“Fear is a misperceived and overexaggerated event borne of the human ID.
What do you think is out there, human or monster? Micheal mused
“I dunno”, Alexander was un-flinched by the wild bush and thorns before them, “Only one way to find out”, she stepped forward. “Come with me?”
Micheal scoffed. “I’m really not that curious, it’s getting dark, and I’m terrible with directions”.
Alex batted her eyes and pouted, “I can’t do this without you. Please.”
Micheal tentatively filled his lungs with air, then led the way.
The air was humid. There was barely space between the sprouting weed to thread upon. The soil beneath them was damp. They were startled by the cawing crows circling the sky above them, then they flew away. They forced their way through the small path, halting by a lake that ran as far as their eyes could see. It split the forest into two halves, the side they were on, and the other side.
“This is the best we’re going to discover,” Micheal fact-checked, “let’s make some pictures and go home”.
Alexander took out her Nikon. Click. Click. She paused, focusing on the images.
“There’s a cottage, over there— the other side, we sh—”
“No, it’s dark”. Micheal sternly dissuaded.
But Alexander countered. “Obviously nobody lives there, we may have just discovered a clubhouse or secret hideout”
“Yea, you can tell me all about it later”, disenchanted by his friend’s pervicaciousness, Micheal started to leave in the direction from which they came.
Alexander stood feeling betrayed. She sighed, then begun ebbing against the stream which rose to her knees. There was an old willow tree in front of the hut where two tenebrous crows rested. She swung the door open, stepping into darkness. She fidgeted her blazer for a lighter, and soon a rich yellow glow bathed her skin while illuminating the cottage.
It was slovenly. There were cobwebs on every surface. One raggedy old boot in the corner. A book rested on the table in the middle. She flipped the dusty brown pages, nothing was inscribed. A grimy cauldron on the hearth.
A gale left her in darkness yet again. She fidgeted with the lighter for several minutes until there was a glint. She near damn jumped out of her skin when she noticed an owl on the table staring at her intently.
“HOO HOO are you?”, the Owl’s wings began to shed and fingers sprouted from the feathers, it’s nape elongated, it’s torso broadens.
Alexander’s glassy eyes widened as the bird transformed completely into a human. A Nyx.
“Cat caught your tongue? I asked what you’re doing in my woods?”
I—how did—what are you? she couldn’t seem to piece the words together
The Nyx wore a menacing rictus, “there are so many things in this world that would fry your pretty brain if you tried to wrap your head around them.” Taking several steps towards the visibly shaken girl, she paused an inch to her face, lowering her voice to a whisper.
“Normally people who disturb me get into trouble, but you—I sense something—it’s not fear”. She crossed Alex, stepping behind. “You came here hoping to find something in ordinary because darkness is the adrenaline that feeds your soul. Am I wrong?
Alexander did not utter a sound.
“I’m going to let you go, she continued, “but, I am keeping your friend”
Alex snapped out of the valor, “what do you mean?”
She grinned, revealing her scattered dentures, “The lad you came here with. He’s mine.”
A glint of lightning revealed Micheal in the corner of the hut, his feet sinking into the ground. “Help Alex, I can’t get out”, he yelled. Another glint and he was gone.
” I invaded your privacy, not him, please let him go.”
The door swung violently open, the woman pointed a crusty finger towards it. “Leave now, while you still can”
Alexander fell on the floor, pleading. Cowering.
The woman spat, “your fear is pungent and your heart is hardened., very well. But, you must come to my cottage, every day for as long as you live, and you must write into that notepad, anything. Everyday. This is your omen, in return, your friend’s memory of this is wiped and he lives. Now go.”
Alex ran out as quick as she could. She could hear ta stentorian snicker. Several crows took to the sky. She dived through the trees but she wouldn’t look back till she got home.
The following day, Alexander saw Micheal and sure enough, his recollection of their adventure ended before the lake. He even joked about her new arcane hideout. After lunch, She went back to the cottage. She sat at the table, picking up a pen. She began;
Chapter One: Don’t go into the woods