“Dalton Snipe” By Annie Tang

Prologue

“I was running through the forest. My friends by my side. I look up, and don’t believe my eyes…” If you were wondering, that was a little snippet of a diary my father wrote. I only knew him for fourteen years. Each year, he would be gone for months at a time with his friends. Only once did he worry us when he disappeared for a whole year. But neither my mom nor I could have foreseen that he would never come back home after venturing into the forest with his two mates. Oh, I forgot to mention my name. It’s Dalton, Dalton Snipe. My mother named me this after my father. Funnily enough, every first male in the family is named Dalton. If you don’t believe me, you can check the records. Since the beginning of the oldest books here, it has always been Dalton Snipe. And if you are wondering why I don’t have any roman numerals after my name, it would add about another five inches to this page. All of my fore fathers have gotten lost in the forest fifty years after their previous father. And each first son of that father was fourteen years of age when that happened. I feel like something fishy is happening. Almost as if someone else is behind this all. Anyways, I’ve been reading my father’s diary to see if I can get any help from it. I have a nasty feeling that I’m going to end up in the forest when I’m fifty and never come back.

?          ?          ?

“Mom, don’t worry, I’m not going to get lost! I’m forty-nine, not fourteen!
“Well I’m still your mother. You can go if you want, but bring everything you need and at least someone with you. Now be careful.”
“All right mom!” Jeez. I know she cares, but I’m forty-nine! I can take care of myself. I have prepared for decades now. I have a great group of friends and they know just as much as I do. Besides, I know the forest from this end to yours. It’s long and dark, but it has the best exploration areas ever! I’m not fifty yet. I won’t get lost like my dad did. Although I do have a thirteen year old boy, he is strong enough to handle life on his own. I need to get ready now. I’ll be seeing you shortly.

?          ?          ?

Alright, that should be everything. I have my food, my weapons, bedding, oh what am I doing! This is the fifth time that I have looked over my supplies. I’m traveling with my two best mates, Otto and Marcelo. We have been best mates since our parents disappeared. I would rather no one else be behind me than them.
“Hey Dalton! Are you coming or not. Let’s leave before dark.”
“Coming.” They are quite excited to go on this trip. There has been a supposed sighting of a rare bird in the forest.

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