Finally, I saw light poking through the trees. A clearing! Clara had been wrong; there was a way out. I’d have to go back and tell her.
“Welcome back,” she said, walking over to me. Wait a second. How could she have gotten here before me? She told me that she would wait for me in the village. Then I realized what must have happened.
“I must’ve gotten turned around,” I responded, looking around. Sure enough, there was the other end of ribbon she’d had me lay out.
“That’s what I thought the first time,” Clara told me, taking it from me. Then, in one fluid motion, she pulled the ribbon taut. The other end went rigid as well.
“What?” I was dumbfounded.
“It’s not caught on a tree, either,” she said, shaking it vigorously, sending waves into the wood. “Watch.” A few moments later, the waves emerged from the forest, smaller but undoubtedly the same.
“How…?” I trailed off. She shrugged.
“All I know is this: the only way out of here is to cross the bridge.”