The Whispering Woods
They told me not to go in there. Into the woods where the you-know-whats lurk. Huge hulks of brown fury, all claws and teeth and menace. They said terrible things would happen to me if I did. I weaved a finger into my locks as I listened, smiled and nodded.
“No mama, no papa, I won’t go in there. Not ever, I promise.”
But promises are hard to keep. Especially when the whispers call your name. Especially when your heart beats with adventure.
I took three steps beyond the line of trees. Just three. Just to see, and smell, and taste the forest.
A chill descended, creeping from the shadows like icy daggers driven through my skin. Trees repeated into nowhere and I sighed with the pull to see where they might end. I raised my foot to trespass further, to follow the tickle of pine cones at my nose. But the you-know-whats were watching from the darkness. Teeth bared, eyes hungry. Their fury at my boldness electrified the air.
I sensed their gaze too late. Three small steps to safety was one too many. As I stumbled back, their teeth found flesh and ripped it from my bones. And my screams live on in my mother’s aching stare.
Now I roam the forest. My voice a whisper.
Let Me Go
She came to me three times – in the night when sleep masked my senses, the dark laying heavy on my eyes. The first time was simply a whisper. Three words on a breath, ‘Let me go.’ I leapt up with a start, heart pounding, eyes wide . . .
Both published in The Sirens Call Ezine, Issue 42, The Bitter End, December 2018, Page 108