Yana trudged towards the Chief, her father’s, hut, wallowing knee-deep in thick mud. Taking a glance over her shoulder, she grunted and squelched on, hauling a spear over her shoulder. They loved mud, the rest of the tribe. She wasn’t like them and neither was her best friend Bear. Bear and her had been friends since she could remember. Running around, they used to dream of flying or riding on a wolf. Really, Yana and Bear’s biggest dream was escaping from the gloomy crater which was their home.
“Hey, look at them twinkly thingys!” Bear caught up with her, his feet making a rude noise in the muck. Staring upwards, she followed his finger, looking at shining dots peircing the inky night sky. “Yeah. Keep ya’ voice down, B, we’re not allowed up this late!” Obediently, Bear fell silent and followed her, hissing all the way, “Where’re ya’ goin’ Yana? Yana??” he dashed towards her, pinning her onto the floor. She moaned loudly, slapping him. The almighty crack echoed around the walls of the crater, like a gun shot in the perfect silence of the wasteland.
“Escapin’ you idiot!” she scrambled to her feet and clutched the muddy walls with her hands. Tugging at her foot, Bear began to try and pull her down, and begged her to stop. Alas, his efforts came to no avail, and he cursed himself. She was at the top now, nearing the Forbidden Wood. Nobody ever said its real name; it was too deathly scary. ‘Don’t be stupid, Bear Arrow Cornelius Fiero Grunt!” he whispered, and he knew what he had to do. Shaking and grabbing a ledge with both hands, he began the long, gruelling climb.
Panting, Bear fell to the ground. There was no sign of Yana. Only then did he realise the dark forest surrounding him. ‘Oh no!’ he thought to himself. Echoes filled his ears, and vines clawed at his skin. Even the flowers were Snapping Wolves, and they were deadly. “I’m not scared of you…Man-Blood Forest!” he shouted. He had just done what no man had done before, and it hadn’t even hurt. He was in Man-Blood Forest.