Beware the Trees

There are rules to dark forests.

Rule number one: never take directions from an owl. Trust me, just… don’t.

Rule number two: never stoop to pick up anything shiny. If it’s not a trap, then the shiny thing is almost certainly cursed. Either way, it doesn’t end well for you.

And, rule number three:

Never turn your back to a dead tree.

Continue reading “Beware the Trees”

Splitting the Difference

When the cat split—it’s head growing, morphing, slowly tripling all of its features—that’s when I realized:

It probably wasn’t a cat. Continue reading “Splitting the Difference”

Devil’s Well

I’m not a people person. Everyone in this desolate wasteland of a town knows it. It’s glaringly obvious. Like an old oak standing alone in the desert. This town is small enough that they all know I’m gruff. Grumpy, even. A little surly. But, that’s only because I don’t interact with people much. I’m harmless really, but still.

Yeah, I’m not a people person.

But, who can blame me?

When this is the price to be paid for interacting with others…

If this is what comes attached with people…

Why would I be a people person? Continue reading “Devil’s Well”

Winter Beast

It falls. Blankets and exhales of it, raining from the sky. Dropping like a thousand little bites of blistering cold. Nipping at the inside of your skin as you walk, as you breathe, as you move. The Miser himself couldn’t do better.

It’s freezing, that’s the point I’m trying to make.

Freezing, and white, and windy as all hell.

And still, I can’t stop.

Can’t stop.

It’s right behind, you know. Right behind. Trailing through the snow. Sniffing me out. Big, bushy coat keeping it warm while I freeze. While I run, endlessly, through this winter underworld.

I tell you what:

It’s hell. Continue reading “Winter Beast”

Spirit of Halloween

Cold wind bristles the trees. Leaves scatter as the children move like sheep, walking from house to house. Collecting their treats.

Not understanding.

Cute princesses and adorable pirates. Kids dressed as faux vampires, scruffy werewolves, and pop-star zombies. Silly costumes, trivial things.

Things that won’t trick.

Not in the slightest.

They’ve no idea why they’re dressing up. What the goal is.

But I do.

I know.

And I partake properly.

Not because I’m stingy. Or because I’m some crazy “purist”. But because I know.

I believe.

Tonight—and tonight only—it’s happening. They’re here.

They’re out.

Continue reading “Spirit of Halloween”

Coming of Storms

It was a dark night.

But it wasn’t stormy. Regardless of the rolling thunder, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Not a flash of lightning to be seen. Yet, still.

There was thunder.

Rummaging against the ground. Pounding into the dirt as they moved. Marching forward, as only a band of travelers can.

The night was dark and clear.

And full of hammering thunder.

A night to be reckoned with. Continue reading “Coming of Storms”

Wax Forest, The Fox, and Me

The door was closed.

The fox had the key.

A thief of nature. An ancient burglar. Quick-witted, swift. A natural in the forest.

The fox had the key.

In a forest filled with candles. Brightly lit against the dusk, the falling sky. They glowed gently, shimmered. Lit the fox’s eyes so I knew exactly what he was thinking.

It wasn’t good.

Continue reading “Wax Forest, The Fox, and Me”

Run River, Run

I regret a lot of things.

But I don’t think you can live your life with no regret. It’s unrealistic.

Regret is part of growth. Part of understanding. Letting your regret weigh you down is a mistake, but it’s a good thing to have some regret. It’s a good sign.

It means you’ve grown.

You’ve changed.

Hopefully, for the better.

I think mine has made me better. Stronger.

My regret for you.

I’m sorry. I’m still sorry. I’ll always be sorry. From the day I knew I was sorry, I was sorry, and, until the day I die, I’ll be sorry. Even then, even after I’m dead, I might still be sorry.

I’m sorry.

But I won’t let it weigh me down, because I know that’s not what you’d want. That’s not what my regret is for. It wasn’t meant to be a stumbling block, it was meant to teach me. For me to learn. My regret wasn’t born for hurting me.

It’s for this. Continue reading “Run River, Run”

When Called

It’s so, so stupid.

I can hear the dog whistle.

It calls out to me, a long, shrilly whine. Breaks the barrier between real and fake. Breaks down every wall that’s ever been built. Breaks down every obstacle.

It’s stupid.

I’m no dog. And I sure as hell shouldn’t answer to a whistle.


What do I do when I hear it? When that stupid, piercing shriek hits my ears?

I take off running.

So, so stupid. Continue reading “When Called”