the time she got there. The ebony smeared onto the walls had wiped out the once lustrous
stars and glorious constellations. She felt like crying. She could make out faint shadows
hopping from one aged tree to another, as rustling leaves gossiped yesterday’s news.
Scurrying squirrels ate under combs of feathery moss, carefully watched by the gigantic
oak trees - the pulsing hearts of the forest.
The cold gnawed at her skin, bit her inside out but still she trudged on, past the daunting
figures that stood erect cloaked in moss and perfumed with dew. In the mornings the
paradise-like forest was scented with lavender and honeysuckle and adorned with bursts
of colours- creatures and flowers alike. Light cascaded slowly, prolonging the glow of each
individual species. It really did look like an isolated dream, encapsulated and protected,
untainted by the essence of man. ‘Heaven’ some said.
It was only during the night; once darkness descended, did the malevolent demons emerge,
creating chaos which ran through every being which had a pulse. The smell of death would
scent each hour until daybreak. It seemed far worse than Hell. Every night blood would
splatter, carcasses would decompose and the air would be thick with screams of pain. Some
would be feasting, others mourning. The only sirens were screeching jays whose voices
would signal the start of a bloodbath.
Each step was a disappointment, sugarcoated with fright and sprinkled with dread.
The sound of shattered glass accompanied her everywhere. It was the leaves rotting
underneath- dried to the bone. Papery remains drifted, circling around the blooming buds.
Thick shadows of voluminous bushes cleverly hid all the gore while impregnated bushes
decided to branch out to cover up all tracks.
She knew for certain this was where he had disappeared – amid the icy clusters of green
where birds sang and warbled only while the golden orb hung in the sky but in her heart
she could already predict that he would never return- just by glancing at the maggot
infested corpse of a young boy.
By Andrea Fernandes, as her response to the first task.