Author's Note: This was written a couple of months back but I never received any feedback on in on the site I originally posted it on. I've only just remembered it and decided it would be worth while to post on here. I'm not entirely happy with it although I like the idea. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you - Ravena Storm XxX

Hiding in the Forest

I backed away slowly from the shapes which were slowly taking corporeal form around me. What had started off as mere grey wisps in the dark air were solidifying before my eyes into black creatures; black creatures whose eyes were beginning to glow eerie red. With every step backwards I took, I first checked the ground was still there, still behind me. You never knew with this place. The forest was closing in on my trembling body as I backed away down a long forgotten path; their bare, spindly, arms reaching for me, grabbing at my clothes and skin. They tried to get my eyes, but my hands beat them to it. I peered through a gap between my forefinger and middle finger, my breath misting up the cold night air as my breathing intensified as the approaching creatures began to make footprints over my own. Their glowing eyes cast a blood red glow across the age old trees as their branches dipped and swayed in the non-existent wind.

Overhead the cloud thickened across the face of the full moon, making sure no light could help me tonight. The darkness swirled as the night stretched out unending in my mind. I swallowed and bit my lip to prevent myself from screaming. Screaming would only bring death quicker; faster; nearer. The bittersweet taste of blood tainted my tongue as I bit through the weak skin of my lower lip. Just a reminder that I could be hurt and not just by myself. The nearest now solid shape reached for me and a scream threatened to explode from my constricted throat. I couldn't make a sound. I just couldn't. I continued to back up, stumbling now, forgetting to check the ground first. Twigs, dead leaves, dirt clods, all tried to get in my way; to trip me up and let me fall to my fate. But I managed to avert them all. Roots slithered across the path both in front and behind me, trying to bind my ankles to the ground so I could move no more. But I kicked and stomped on them, my heart beating faster as I tried to run backwards. I knew I wouldn't be able to lose them, but I knew I could try.

They came at me, I could feel their heavy footsteps shake the earth as they began to run properly rather than float across the ground. Their outstretched bumps finally turned into thick arms with two stumpy fingers and a thumb on the end. The lump which bobbed at the top of their body grew a rounded snout which grinned to reveal two rows of sharp, cruel, broken teeth which shone pink in the red glow from their eyes. Two smaller lumps were sharpening into horns just next to two blobs for ears. A shaky tear snaked its way down my cheek as they all laughed in unison, the sound echoing off the creaking trees and ringing in my ears. I finally closed my eyes; I couldn't bare it anymore.

And that was when the ground finished.

My foot hung out in the open air a brief second before my other one followed it before my brain could register what was happening. My arms flailed, clutching the nothingness which surrounded me as my body fell backwards. A rush of air flew past me as I plunged through the darkness. I opened my eyes in time to see the black creatures plunge after me. My eyes opened as wide as they could as I watched them half fade out of existence, causing them to speed through the air faster that I was falling. I scrunched my eyes shut and my entire being clenched in on itself as the deathly ice of their half formed hands touched my skin…

…and with a scream I jumped bolt up right in bed, my breathing harsh and loud in the silent night. I frantically scanned my room, my racing heart slowing as I took in the familiar objects in my bedroom. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down. It was just a nightmare. A dream. Something from my mind; I was okay and I wasn't being chased off a cliff by scary black creatures who didn't seem to be real. I was sure that the reoccurring nightmare would stop once I had settled into our new house. There was a dark forest at the back of our garden where the trees grew so close together it was almost impossible for sunlight to penetrate the canopy's. I hadn't been in there yet and I figured that it's that which is caused my nightmares.

A cool breeze swirled around me, causing my gaze to fall on my curtains which were flapping slightly. I frowned, not remembering leaving my window open until it occurred to me that Mum might have done it to "let some air circulate in this stuffy room." She must have forgotten to close it again. I rolled out of bed, shivering slightly and went to my window. With an exaggerated sigh I yanked on the edge of the curtain, sliding it quietly across the rail on the top and stared out into the night.

Staring back at me were two glowing red eyes.

I had no time to scream out or step back as a powerful grip from an icy pulsing shadow reached through the broken window and removed me from my room. Forever.

© Suzanne Atkins

© February 2005