I heard the whispers in the wind. Drawn to the familiar sound, I was certain it would lead me to a place where I belong. I followed the melodic tune down a meandering path. I traveled so far that I found myself lost and alone in the forest.

When I could no longer see clearly, I panicked and fell into a ditch. The ditch was so deep that I could no longer see the glow of the stars or the moon. I yelled for help but nobody came. I couldn’t climb out, so I made a tunnel in the dirt. I followed it until I saw the light again.

I looked up to the sun glowing a bright yellow in the sky. I looked to my right and saw the stone cottage from my dreams. I thought this must be a sign. This was my path, the one I was meant to find. I looked down at the gravel at my feet, picked up a pebble and put it in my pocket. I began to walk towards the cottage. Before I could get very far, I heard a loud crash behind me. Startled, I turned quickly to see a large branch had fallen, just missing me. I took a deep breath, thankful for my good fortune. As my heartbeat made its way back to normal, I noticed the silence. I could no longer hear the melody that had led me here. And when I turned back around, I realized the cottage had vanished.

I found myself back where the journey began. I collapsed, weeping, overcome with grief. And when there were no tears left to shed, I sat unable to move wondering if I had imagined it all. But the melody felt so real, playing on a loop in my mind. When I finally gained the strength to move, I reached into my pocket. There I felt something rough around the edges – the pebble. And then I knew, someday I would find my way back to that path and to that cottage where I knew I belonged. Until then, the melody would haunt my days and nights, reminding me of the feeling of home.

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