Faint of Heart

“It’s… eerie.”

Fog coated the ground, oozing from some unseen place. Skirting along our feet as it snaked its way over the dead, dry ground. Souring the earth further with its muggy breath, leaving a chill to nip at my spine as leisurely as it pleased.

I hated it.

Honestly, I did.

This place…

You could hear something in the air. Whispering to you. Or maybe it was something yelling. Screaming. I couldn’t be sure. It was just a whimper of a sound, nothing more. Skating by my ear so quickly, so quietly, that I couldn’t be sure what it was.

Except:

It sounded pained.

Agonized.

The trees here were decrepit. Creepy. All gnarled, knobby branches. Naked and lifeless. Dragging their twigs across the air like tiny, desperate, old hands. Clawing their way out of the bark—

It was eerie.

Very eerie, indeed.

At my remark, The Master scoffed. His glowing purple eyes were hard to decipher usually, but, in that moment, I saw something clearly within them.

Doubt.

“If you find this eerie, you’re going to want to stop now. There isn’t a single thing about what I do that isn’t eerie, creepy, or grotesque. You might as well quit while you’re ahead.”

But…

I didn’t.

Instead, I straightened my shoulders. Ignored the voices. Got a firmer grip on the bag I carried.

And followed The Master into The Grave. Continue reading “Faint of Heart”

Strength of Spirit

It isn’t about how strong the thing is.

It’s not about the body. Not about the mind. Not about the heart.

It’s not about that at all.

Soul.

It’s all about the spirit.

Strength of the spirit, to be precise.

How strong is a thing’s spirit? That’s what decides what it becomes. Who it becomes.

Who it challenges.

Who it takes.

Who falls for its cunning.

The strength of your spirit decides whether you fall for the voice.

Or not. Continue reading “Strength of Spirit”

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”

Understanding Ichabod

“Wasn’t he, like, a town guardian, or something?”

“What? No, he was a solider that got beheaded right?”

“I thought he was a demon.”

I rolled my eyes at the three of them. “First of all, he’s a legend. Second of all, he’s based on the Irish myth of the dullahan. In the story, he’s a soldier, but, the original idea came from the folklore. So, I guess he could be considered a demon? Some considered faerie creatures to be demons, so—”

“You’ll allow it?” Randy interjected.

I rolled my eyes at his devilish grin. “Yeah, I’ll allow it.”

The others chuckled as we made our way down the dark and spooky trail.

The trail that was more than myth, and more than legend.

The Trail fo Ichabod Crane. Continue reading “Understanding Ichabod”

Dead Forest

I’ve never understood this town. Lived here all my life, and still, I don’t get it.

What do they expect?

This town is right on the edge of Dead Forest. They know that bad things come out of those woods. They know about the dark magic lurking in the pines. They know it drives men mad.

They know.

And still.

They’re mad at me.

Me!

Ridiculous.

I seriously don’t understand this town. Continue reading “Dead Forest”

Walk in the Dark

There was fire in the woods. A slow building plume of smoke rose, signaling that they were out there, somewhere.

Who?

Who was out there, you ask?

Nobody you’d want to find, that’s for sure. Continue reading “Walk in the Dark”

Twisting Woods

This land used to be full of magic.

Well… good magic.

But man has a way of twisting things. Of corrupting the natural good of the world.

We used to have good magical creatures.

Not these monsters.

These beasts.

This is not the natural way of things. Not how they were supposed to be.

This is not how they were supposed to be. Continue reading “Twisting Woods”

Monstrous Answers

A monster walks through the forest.

His antlers brush against branches. The darkness cloaks him in kind favors. The moon highlights his skull, hitting the red of his eyes, making them glow.

A monster walks through the forest.

His home.

His feet leave no marks, he can’t afford them to. The long, jagged, torn tail that trails behind him looks like a shadow’s spine. Teeth dangle from his bangles, his anklets. Pieces of forgotten creatures, long since dead.

A monster walks through the forest.

And as he does, he must come to a stop.

There is another creature here.

One that is forgotten.

But not dead.

Not by a long shot. Continue reading “Monstrous Answers”

Dark Preys at Night

The woods are not a place for playing.

Not at night.

I tell every one of them that. Every one of them that comes by my hut. I do everything possible to make it clear to them:

Be home by sundown.

Go home.

Don’t stick around.

Don’t wait for night.

Don’t.

Because the night is waiting too. Continue reading “Dark Preys at Night”

Failed Run

There’s no air left in my lungs.

As I realize that, I stop my running.

Stop and pant.

Stop and keel over.

Stop and watch your form disappear into the distance.

Stopping wasn’t what I wanted. In fact, it was the exact opposite. For months now, I’ve been training. Been running. Been building myself up in order to chase after you.

But you’re still too fast.

As I watch you run, I feel myself slip.

I hit the concrete hard. Continue reading “Failed Run”