The forest was thick with the smell of pine and screech owls glided overhead. Patches of thick heavy fog hung low to the ground and left her feeling vulnerable. She was careful not to walk too fast, as she couldn’t quite see where she was going or what she was stepping upon. The ground was soft and squishy and with each step she took, her boots sunk deeper into the boggy terrain. She wrapped her parka tighter around her chilled body and hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before she found her way back to the cabin.
The day had been unusually warm for this time of year and so she had decided to go for a nice long walk in the woods. She didn’t really think about where she was planning on going and ended up letting her imagination flood her mind and in the process ended up leaving her good judgement behind. Eventually, she realized that she had lost her sense of direction and had been wandering around the forest for several hours. She tried desperately to find her way back, but was quite sure that she was just walking around in circles.
The trees were so tall in this part of the forest, that she could barely see the sky through the canopy of endless evergreen pine needles. She did the only thing that she could think to do and just kept walking. She walked deeper into the forest and noticed that the terrain was quickly changing. The day was fading fast and the forest had become eerily quiet. Every twig she stepped upon, echoed in the cool night air and dark shadows formed all around her, causing the forest to turn into a frightful and foreboding place.
She pressed on though and searched for an open place where she could at least sit down and rest and hopefully be lucky enough to capture a glimpse of the North Star to help her find her way. As she continued on, the ground only became more difficult to navigate and soon she was so deep into the marshland, that she could barely lift her feet at all. She wanted to turn back, but she couldn’t remember from which way she had come.
The screech owls were back again, their frightful cries caused her to shiver and tremble in fear. Suddenly she heard a twig snap from behind her and she whirled herself around as fast as she could. To her surprise and great relief, it was only a raccoon and so she continued to trudge through the soggy soil as best she could.
A little while later, she heard another twig snap and figured that her little friend must be back, but as she turned around, she discovered a man instead. He was nearly twice her size and his cold hard stare caused her to stumble backwards. His eyes were black as coal and he wore a long dark trench coat that was covered in mud and torn in several places. In one lengthy step he closed the gap between them.
She tried to scream, but no sound came. She felt her body begin to plummet into a black hole of oblivion. The last thing she saw before she broke free of his evil gaze, was the edge of a silver blade, saturated in a thick red substance, which was trickling down upon the watery ground below. The droplets pulsed through the murky waters and formed beautiful patterns that glistened in the moonlight.
Startled awake by this haunting dream, she woke up in a cold sweat and wondered where she was. She sat upright, trying to adjust her eyes to the darkness and breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that everything had all just been a crazy dream. She laid back down and tried to fall back to sleep, unaware of the screech owl perched on a low hanging branch just outside her window and the large muddy footprints on the floor just outside of her bedroom.
Written by, Michelle Cook
Originally posted: November 6, 2015
Photo credit: pixabay.com