I wrote this for a Halloween Writing Contest for the local paper. I got second place!

Another Tree

Years ago, before I was born, a group of kids went out for Halloween. In a clearing in the woods, a boy was separated from everyone else. He was never seen again. The police found no evidence, but there was something different about the clearing: to the police, there seemed to be another tree in the clearing. People dismissed them for being overworked in a stressful situation. How, people thought, could a tree just show up? Eventually, the case was closed and the clearing forgotten, but people's worries about it remained.

Now, years later, I wanted to go out for Halloween with my friends. I begged and pleaded, but my parents said that it was dangerous. "Look what happened to that boy," they said. "He was never found." I kept on pleading. Finally, my parents agreed.

"Don't get lost," they had said.

I told them I would not.

I had.

Somehow, I had ended up in a clearing in the woods; I knew where I was and I knew the way out. What I did not know was how I got there. One minute I was with my friends and then the next… they were gone. However, on the way out, I slammed into a tree. Rubbing my sore nose, I walked around it. Another tree was in my path. Feeling anxious, I backed away. There was a tree behind me. There were ones to my left and right. They were everywhere.

By now, the branches were scratching my face, tangling my hair. The branches made a canopy over my head, blocking me from the outside world. Their dark trunks closed in even closer. I could not move; I could not see; I could not do anything.

Finally it stopped. From what I could tell, it was morning. The trees had receded. Maybe, I told myself, I had imagined it all. I went to take a step forward and found that I could not move. My feet, my arms, my legs—they were frozen to the spot.

Oh God, I thought as something occurred to me. I know what happened to the boy.

Sometime later the police came. I tried to call out to them, but it was in vain. They could not hear me, but I could hear them.

"… No physical evidence, sir," one officer was saying. "But it looks like… it looks like there is another tree."