There are two very short stories here. Each will leave you with the question “What did I just read?” The first story has the same name as the title of the two story collection If You Go Into The Woods. Jiri has a very lonely childhood. His father has moved too far away for frequent visits. His stay-at-home mother cries all the time and Jiri doesn’t know why. So Jiri goes into the woods a lot to play. The trees have birds that chirp all the time. Jiri cannot see them, so he wants to climb the trees and see what creates the noise. And one day, he can climb a tree due to the mysterious appearance of a ladder. And his wish is fulfilled; he gets to see and hear birds, even gets to touch one. And the bird gives Jiri a dark, vague, possibly terrifying message.
The second story, The Reset Button, is also about abandonment. But Linus is older and it is he who has filled the role of abandoner. It was his fault; he could admit that part. He had cheated on his wife and had to leave. His wife wouldn’t talk to him even though she lived in their house. She wouldn’t let him see their child; the court agreed. And then everything else abandoned Linus. There was never food in the refrigerator. He could never find his keys; they were always in a different place. The girl at the bakery he frequented could not remember him. Coffee that he cooked boiled over. All the friends that had been his and his wife’s were still friends … of his wife. Even a bartender he had known since his student days couldn’t remember him, or his favorite drink. But after finding a new bar in which to drink, things would change. There was only one person left who would forget him.