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Rock Street, San Francisco

Sawyer stared into the dense forest. It was dark, overgrown, and humid, but Sawyer couldn’t hold back a big smile. He looked at his dog, Atlas. “Let’s go on an adventure!” Atlas wagged his tail and barked. They both ran into the depths of the forest. Sawyer had short, light brown hair and blue eyes. His parents sent him to the city for college along with his loyal dog, Atlas. Atlas was a brown Australian cattle dog that was smaller than normal. The duo yearned for adventure and were on their way to The Heart of Reflection, a lake not to far from the city that was surrounded by a forest. The forest ground was covered in moss, the vegetation was so thick that it was hard to see more than 3 feet, and the air was so humid that it was hard to breathe, but the adventurous pair found their way with no trouble at all.  As they went deeper and deeper into the forest, Sawyer ran faster and faster. Sawyer loved the adrenaline of adventuring and couldn’t contain his excitement. They were full on sprinting at this point when Atlas started growling and barking. Sawyer stopped. “What is it boy?” All of a sudden something launched at Sawyer’s side and his back hit the ground. Sawyer became dizzy and realized that there was something on top of him holding him down. Sawyer was about to throw a punch when the thing on top of him yelped in pain and stood up. Sawyer pulled himself to his feet and to his shock he saw Atlas hanging by his teeth on the butt of a man. The man swung around and Atlas lost his grip. Atlas flew off as the man turned around and kicked Atlas in the stomach. Atlas let out a small whimper. “WHY YOU –” Sawyer charged towards the man. The man dropped to his knees, raised his hands, and yelled, “Stop! Stop! Wait!” Sawyer paused, fist still clenched. “Let me explain,” the man started, “my name is Jax and I need you to help me. A wretched witch cursed me!” Jax was scrawny and dirty, as if he had been in the forest for a while. He had crazy, tangled, black hair. His blue T-shirt and jeans were all torn up, but perhaps the most prominent feature was the tattoos that covered his whole face. “Why should I help you? You just attacked me and Atlas.” “Okay yeah, whatever. Just help me.” “Not interested.” Sawyer turned around and started walking away. “Wait stop! I need you to help me find a map!” Sawyer paused, “A map?” “Yes a map to find a key to unlock the curse.” Sawyer imagined what a fun adventure that would be. He thought about it for a little and then turned around. “Okay fine,” said Sawyer, “I’ll help you if you apologize first.” “Soorr….” Jax took a deep breath, “rryyy. There I said it, now find the map.” “Where do we look?” “I’m not sure, I’ve been looking for ages. The witch only gave me a stupid riddle. ‘Follow the map that covers the mind, of which ends in the windows to the soul. Look into the reflection of the heart when two hearts in debt become a whole.'” “Mind….” thought Sawyer. Sawyer stared at Jax. “What? do I have something on my face?” “Yes you do actually. Your tattoos look like a map.” “What tattoos?” They both stared at each other in confusion. “The tattoos on your face…” said Sawyer. “That wretched witch! She put tattoos on my face? No wonder everyone avoided me in the city.” “You didn’t know?” “The curse prevents me from seeing my own reflection.” “Well no wonder you couldn’t find a map.” Sawyer reached into his backpack and pulled out a battery powered razor. “Here, we need to shave your head.” said Sawyer.”Why do you–” Jax was about to ask why Sawyer carried around a razor.Sawyer cut him off, “Always come prepared.”          Sawyer shaved off all of Jax’s crazy, dirty, tangled hair, and revealed a mirage of dark, swirling,  magical tattoos. The markings reminded Sawyer of ancient maps he used to look at as a child and knew that they had to follow it. “What does it look like?” Jax asked, “Where do we go first?” The markings formed a path that curved around the back of Jax’s head, towards his ears, around his face, and seemed to end in his eyes. Sawyer walked in a circle around Jax, amazed, staring at this dark print that covered Jax’s entire head. “I think we go to this cave first.” Sawyer put his finger on a figure that looked like a cave about 3 inches above Jax’s left ear. “I know a cave! Follow me.” Jax lead Sawyer and Atlas through the thick forest and in no time arrived at a large mountain with a cave at its base. All three of them stepped cautiously towards the mouth of the cave. The cave was dark and damp. “Anyone got a flashlight?” Jax asked sarcastically, staring at Sawyer. Sawyer reached into his backpack and pulled out a flashlight. The three wearily continued into the cave in a single file line; Sawyer lead the way. The cave was full of long, sharp stalagmites that littered the floor and ceiling. There was a shallow layer of water that covered the ground of the cave. The water had a small current that Sawyer decided to follow, leading them further and further down the dark abyss. The small group had been walking for a while without a word when Sawyer decided to speak. “So Jax, what exactly did you do to this witch?” Jax sighed,  “She was disguised as a young lady on the streets begging for money. I pretended to put coins inside and then spit in her cup. She was so pitiful and dirty, asking for help from a stranger.” “Look who’s talking.” Sawyer thought as he rolled his eyes. “I told her she didn’t deserve money from me and walked away. She found me the next day at the edge of the city and cursed me. She told me I needed to learn a lesson. After that everyone acted so mean and rude when I walked by, probably because of my tattoos. So I hid in the forest and here we are now.” Sawyer nodded as he stared at the mellow water flowing beneath his feet. He soon found where the water ended as it seeped through small cracks in the ground. He looked up and stopped suddenly. Sawyer stared at a wall; it was the end of the cave.”This can’t be it!” Jax said, “There must be something else.” He pushed past Sawyer and felt around the cave wall. Sawyer joined in, searching the walls for any signs. Atlas sniffed around. After a few minutes of searching, Jax felt an indent in the wall. He looked closer and saw that it was a carving of an eye. He brushed his fingers over the carving and pressed down slightly. The eye pushed in like a button. It made the sound of rocks grinding together that echoed throughout the cave. Then suddenly, the cave began to rumble and the walls crumbled apart. Large, sharp stalagmites began to fall from the ceiling. Sawyer glanced above Jax where he saw the base of a big stalagmite begin to crack. “Lookout!” Sawyer yelled, as he launched towards Jax. Sawyer propelled both of them out of the way right before the stalagmite crashed on the ground where Jax was standing. Atlas barked repeatedly as he tried to make his way towards Sawyer, dodging falling rocks in his path. The end of the cave wall fully crumbled and revealed the other side of the mountain. The rumbling stopped just as quickly as i

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