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Will-O'-The-Wisp

I could feel the warm breath of sun on my bare arms and face. The slight breeze seduced my light hair into tickling my nose. I sat up and the fuchsia fabric rustled around me. The dress fit perfectly and came to just above my knees. I stood up and stretched my arms toward the sky. Soft grass cushioned my bare feet gently and I smiled as the sweet earthen smell engulfed me.

The manor house stood with its Victorian architect in front of me. I turned my back to it and almost skipped into the woods. The canopy of leaves cast dancing shadows over the forest floor and bathed the air with liquid emerald. Bending and turning, I weaved my way farther into the labyrinth of trees. The light came in dim shafts sending the area into premature night. The ground was softer and cool against the souls of my feet.

The swampy air filled my lungs with its damp scent, making me cough slightly. A dim blue light lit up in the distance and I stared at it transfixed. It bobbed, beckoning me in with its angelic glow. I took a small step forward and it mimicked my action, backing away almost teasingly. A slim smile turned at the corner of my lips and I took another step. It reacted the same way but this time kept floating away from me slowly. I scrambled over the thick, marshy underbrush, struggling to keep up with it.

I followed it for hours or maybe it was minutes. I trudged deeper into the swaps, to places I had never been before. Shadows loomed over me like sinister monsters and my heart picked up in rhythm. My breathing became haggard, unsteady and I had a lump in my throat that wouldn’t dislodge itself. I stopped and looked back to where I had come from and then back to the blue light. I bit down on my bottom lip and tried to steady my breathing.

The blue light flicked. An image of a monster with curling talons and a twisted, truculent grin filled the space the sapphire glow had recently occupied. I gasped and took a step back. The creature turned towards me and the smile grew on its face. Its tail flickered from side to side; its slightly hunched back had small round ridges running the length of it and its empty black eyes bored into my soul.



I ran. That’s all I could comprehend. The soft earth laid in with sticks stung my bare feet but still I ran. Darkness was upon me, forcing shadows to spring in the corners of my eyes. Run. It was the one word that consumed every thought in my head. Nothing else mattered; nothing else made sense. Hot tears streamed down my face and burned my skin.

I could hear the fast patter of its feet running around me from all directions. Tears blurred my vision, I was running fruitlessly. I had given into false temptation and now it would be my end. I ran faster as branches leaped out at me clawing my dress and body, trying to pull me in and capture me.

I bust through the trees in a bath of silver moon light. The creature hissed savagely and retreated back into the depths it once came, the blue light bobbing slowly into the woods until it vanished. My chest heaved with the strain of breathed and I collapsed onto the ground shaking and on the brink of exhaustion.




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