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The Demon in the Wood
There once was an old wood carver who lived in the woods with his lovely wife.
They both lived happily together until one day disaster struck his poor old heart. One cold rainy night the old wood carver was busy carving a wooden heart for his beloved wife when he heard knocks on his door. He opened the door and received news that his wife had been crushed by a tree that was struck by lightning.
A funeral was held the next day and the old wood carver went home with a heart filled with nothing but loneliness.
The days that passed seemed like months to the old wood carver and he lost interest in everything, even his carving. When people came asking for something he would turn them down and eventually he lost his costumers altogether.
More weeks passed and the old wood carvers heart could no longer bear the loneliness, and just when he was about to do away with himself he heard a soft knock at his door. “Go away!” he yelled “We’re closed.” Again the knocks continued. “I said we’re closed!” The old wood carver got up and stormed toward the door. He yanked it open. “What are ya, deaf?!” The old wood carver stopped in his tracks. “No, actually I’m blind,” Came the reply.
Standing in the doorway was the villages’ herbal healer. Though the healer was blind his eyes seemed to look straight through the old wood carver and he was frozen in place until the healer spoke.”May I come in?” he asked.
“O-of course. Please.” The old wood carver shut the door behind him and found the healer tinkering in his workbench.
“What can I help you with, sir?”
The healer ignored his question.”Do you miss her?”He asked picking up the wooden heart the old wood carver made for his wife the day she died.
“Of course I do, I’d do anything to get her back.”
“Anything?” The healer looked straight into the wood carvers’ eyes. The wood carver got a strange feeling that the healer could actually see him.
“Y-yes. I want nothing more,” he said firmly.
“Very well then. Now listen carefully if you want your wife back then go into the woods and chop up the tree that killed your wife and carve an exact replica of her. When you’ve finished, dig up her grave and take out her heart, then feed it to the wood and you will then have your precious wife back,” the healers’ voice was almost sinister when he gave the instructions, but the wood carver took no notice.
The following evening the wood carver snuck into his shed and walked into the forest. When he found the tree anger took over him and he began chopping madly at itwhile cursing at the wind.
When the old wood carver finished the job he tied up the tree and brought it into his workshop and got to work. When he finished he had splinters covering every inch of his hands, but it did not matter to him, the deed was done. Standing before him was the exact replica of his wife in wood. He stroked the carvings’ smooth face and then he remembered that he needed the retrieve his wife’s heart. He set down his tools and fetched the knife and shovel.
The graveyard was deserted when he arrived and it was easy to work since the soil was still wet from the past storm. Once he had opened the coffin he covered his mouth and nose from the smell of decay that was seeping out, he closed his eyes while he carved out her heart.
The old wood carver held his wife’s still beating heart home and squeezed the blood into a small hole he made in the carvings mouth. The blood dripped off the corners of its mouth. The old wood carver backed away and waited.
Suddenly the wood creaked and groaned. The mouth was slowly opening, but something was wrong the carvings’ face contorted and turned demonic. The delicate hands turned into ragged claws and its soft lips opened wider revealing rows of jagged teeth, and a horrible shriek came out of its throat. The eyes turned red. This wasn’t the old wood carvers beloved wife. This was a demon in the wood.
“You are not my wife!” the old wood carver screamed.
The demon took a step closer toward him and spoke with a voice that sounded like nails on a chalkboard.”You have disturbed the balance! Once you are dead you stay dead. The living shall not intervene with the dead! Now you shall pay!”
The demon pounced onto the old wood carver and ate out his heart while the herbal healer, who had watched the whole thing, transformed into Death and disappeared into the wind.