This is a sequel to Shadowhunted. It can stand on its own, but the experience will be greatly enhanced by reading that one first.

The music that inspired this is an hour-long compilation called Pumpkin Woods by Grimm Music World on YouTube. I highly recommend.

She gasped awake with a jerk, sitting up and flinging the rough blankets to the side. Standing, shaking, she glanced around the empty room, crossing to the lantern and turning the dim flame up bright. Her shaking unabated, she leaned on the dresser for a moment, head down, eyes closed, before looking up into the mirror, studying her own face. A shadow behind her caught her attention, and she shifted her gaze – swallowing a scream as two red eyes looked back at her over a slash of a mouth set in an evil grin.

She spun, hand raised to defend herself, but there was nothing there. Shaken, terrified all over again, she turned back to the mirror, only to see the shadow was gone. Likely a leftover from her nightmare, her mind playing tricks on her as it catapulted her back to that cursed night in the forest.

Reluctantly, her hand went up to slightly tug down the sleeve on her opposite shoulder, her eyes fastened on the twisting, curling black vine scarred there. The village doctor had reassembled the bones in her troll-crushed shoulder to the best of his ability, but had warned her that her arm may never work properly again. To his immense surprise and her trepidation, she had healed perfectly in an uncannily short time.

The scar had only just appeared about a month ago, though, concurrent with the resurgence of the nightmares. That dread night in the woods had never fully left her, but over the summer it had begun to fade. With the advent of autumn, her shoulder had gained a new tattoo and her nights were haunted with fleeing from evil shapes and cackling voices.

She abruptly re-covered her shoulder with her sleeve, turning away from the mirror to go and sit on the bed again. Leaning over with her elbows on her knees, she buried her hands in her hair and finally allowed herself to name the nebulous dread that had spent the past weeks forming in her stomach: that she was marked, now, and she would never be rid of the evil pursuing her.

I will probably continue this at some point, but really can't say when - it could be another year and a half. Sorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯