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”
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”
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”
Whenever I passed the bog, I made sure to avert my eyes. Made sure to walk quietly, move quickly. When possible, I avoided the bog. Skipped that part of the woods altogether.
No one told me that it was dangerous. Nobody explained what lurked in the water. What kind of things belonged to bogs. No one had to. I just knew:
I didn’t want to find out. Continue reading “Bog Monster”
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.
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”
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”
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”
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.
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.
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”
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.
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”