And In The Shadows

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In all reality, I have no idea how I got there, and by there I mean the dark woods. It was like a dream…or better yet a nightmare. I wandered through the dark woods; it must have been at least midnight…or even later. It felt like I had been here before like I had walked this exact path. I tripped several times in the dark wishing for a candle or a lantern of some sort. Then my nightgown was snagged by a nearby tree branch. Its other limbs bare and uninviting it snatched the hem of my nightgown and tore a hole in it. I stumbled free from my captor and tripped again to my dismay only to land promptly on my knees by the side of a flowing river. A river I had never realized was there before until this moment. And in the shadows I saw her….Actually I should say “it”. A young woman in a black dress and black shawl sat in the shallow of the river; she was holding something gingerly in her hand. A white gown. A nightgown. She sang quietly to herself, laughing occasionally as if she was remembering a silly memory, and rocked herself back and forth. Her face was beautiful and somehow vaguely familiar like an old friend’s face I hadn’t seen in a long time. Her face was pale and smooth like porcelain, large black eyes so deep you thought you would fall into them like a chasm. But then her face changed. It flickered like a shifting image in a pond suddenly disturbed. Her beautiful porcelain face distorted into an ugly horrible face of an old woman who smiled villainously and then shifted again to a soldier’s face crying out in pain only to change again to a little boy’s face who coughed and took his last breath. I was shocked I tried to get up and run but my legs would not respond I whimpered with fear and my hands shook and clutched the earth beneath me. Then suddenly her face snapped back to the beauty it once was, but now her face was scarier then before, an evil I had never seen when I first beheld her. A dangerous being I had never encountered. She looked up almost as if shocked to see that I was there, like I had just walked up. She smiled at me as she continued to wash her little white nightgown, an eerie smile that I wish I never saw. And then I realized what she was washing out of her nightgown. A red spot, a large red spot that I hadn’t noticed before, it looked like blood, and in the middle of the red spot was a large tear big enough to fit a dagger through. Suddenly I became very alarmed. That was my nightgown although I still wore mine. It had an identical tear in it at the hem excluding the blood spot it was the same. I got up slowly hoping she wouldn’t notice and backed up and as I backed up I panicked and began to run, and suddenly I heard an ivy voice. One that sounded strangely like mine that whispered through the trees “You are not going to go anywhere, my dear.” Then the woman rushed me screaming in a shrill voice almost like a laugh holding a dagger in her hand, her black clothes flowing behind her like wings. I looked down to see the wound in my side from the dagger I had received such a serious blow from. It gushed blood and I started to feel faint and suddenly everything went black. In what feels like ages later, I woke up in the shallow of the river washing my blood-stained nightgown.





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