I’m lost, I’m lost! I’m lost in the woods! Oh, where do I go now!
Jimmy had been standing there watching as the crowd had gathered around him. As the story moved on, he could feel the despair of the beautiful woman on the scenery as if it was his own, feeling her fight to find a way out of the dark, haunted forest, her fear of the creature lurking in the dark.
An imp came running out from between the trees.
I can help you, fair lady! He said, and she let him take her hand. Jimmy stood watching as they disappeared in a distance. He was alone between the trees. The crowd was gone.
Wait! He shouted, but both the little man and the beauty were gone. Darkness fell. He could hardly see in the dense woods. Help! Somebody help me!
Something moved in the bushes. He started walking faster, away from whatever was watching him. He looked over his shoulder. It hid behind a tree. Cold sweat emerged in his neck. He started running.
He saw a house in a distance. A lonely light in the darkness. Footsteps were following just behind him. He could feel a breath in the back of his head. He fell onto the door.
Come in! He heard from inside. He entered. Whoever it was, he preferred anyone before the creeping shadow in the woods..
An old man was sitting by a table, looking at him with a friendly smile.
You’re lost, are you?
I am. Jimmy sent an anxious look at the closed door.
Don’t worry, it won’t come in here. You’re safe now.
I was watching a play…
Ah, the show! The wonderful play of life! Such a beauty, such intrigue, such comedy. It’s old, you know. Older than you and, me, older than these trees, these hills. It’s as old as the darkness of the woods.
I… Jimmy wasn’t sure what the old man was talking about.
But it’s not your play, this one. Yours is another. Look! Behold the scenery!
Jimmy looked out of the window. He could see his wife with a little child in her arms. His child, still unborn.
That is the play you are supposed to play, said the old one. That is the role picked out for you.
Jimmy was back in town. It was dark, and everyone had gone home. The portable scenery was gone, too. Or had it ever been there? Jimmy didn’t know. He turned and left for home, where his wife was waiting.
Waiting for him to play his part.