CΩT (Part 22, Scene 1)

I’m back in the woods, back between the towering, living trees, their outstretched arms a welcome departure from the stark shininess of the humans’ city. How could anyone prefer such sterility to the teeming life of the forest? Even as I think this, the feel of the woods I’m within is not as wild as those of my kitten-hood, no doubt a byproduct of their proximity to the human apartments. I guess I’ll just have to go a bit deeper. My body elongates as I pick up speed, zig-zagging through the trees and leaping over the undergrowth that attempts to impede my movement in vain. Startled birds scatter from their perches at my passing, but these tempting little morsels are unnecessary after my meal made of the delicious water-dweller, the strong taste of which is still upon my tongue. I pause once I’ve passed far enough into the wilderness for my liking and look around. Though I can sense activity, much of it is either subdued or far away. Nothing much happens during the day anyhow, so I decide to take a nap ’til nighttime. I pick a tree and scale it until I find a spot suitable for slumber. Locking my claws into the tree-skin, I close my eyes, wrap my tail ‘round myself, and it’s not long before I pass into sleep.

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Forest Frightful (Part 5)

At this point Eugene is a sight that would make your eyes sore. His clothes are sweat-stained, his hair is plastered to his forehead, and his steps are heavy upon the ground in spite of its relative softness. There is truly something wrong with this region. I’ll be glad to be done with it. Hopefully it will not be much longer, or shall without a doubt run into some new monstrosity, he thinks to himself as he tries to keep moving. However, his legs are sore and resist the commands of his brain, and he catches himself dragging his feet and stumbling even more than usual. I don’t think I’ve run so much in one day since I was ten years old, nor had so little sleep. He looks around and, seeing a patch of sparsely-leaved bushes, walks over to them and drops to a seat. I’ll just rest a moment, he thinks, but barely a minute has passed before exhaustion catches up to him and his eyes shut. In spite of of all the recent danger or perhaps because of it, the lure of sleep proves irresistible, and his eyes close even as he worries about what new or known oddities might assail him while he rests, the memory of the hooded man at the forefront of this lineup. Before consciousness leaves him, there is the sound of a howl in the distance, and he has time to think that surely it is too far away to worry about. The last thing he remembers is a faint smell, almost like wet dog, that seems to be emanating from the bushes that surround him. Read on →

Forest Frightful (Part 1)

It was a forest where the trees were bare no matter the season.
Summer, winter, fall – there was always an unclothed and bony brown tangle that arched out above and, in many places, would nearly blot out the sun. That’s not to say that the trees were dead, though, as they would invariably reveal a light green flesh if scraped with knife or nail. And the region was warm, a humid area that persisted even through the colder seasons, striking many that passed into it with illness at the sudden change.


Nevertheless, the trees never put forth any noticeable foliage.
As if to emphasize the oddity of it all, there was a very clear border where normal-leafed trees grew. There was grass below the naked trees, but even this was of a fainter green than its healthier-looking counterparts. A bird flying overhead could look for miles and miles and see no signs of habitation.
Something flying higher than a bird would see that the region was an irregular shape, a dollop of brownish paint in the middle of otherwise healthy green land, broken partially by a line of red-grey mountains.


When the occasional traveler comes across this strange region of false autumn, they invariably pause for a moment at the threshold before either plunging on ahead as if they could speed through the entirety of it or, if they have heard the tales of this particular neck of the woods, retreat several paces from the interstice between life and seeming death, taking the long way around rather than intruding on the silent and interminably long stretch of wilderness.


And then there was Eugene. Go on →