Monday, July 30, 2007

Entry #43

Spirit Woods
by Anne Pinckard


Shizue edges the shadows with her toes, peering into the trees. "Who's there?" She strains to hear above the voices of her brother and sisters drifting across the meadow behind her.

"Shizue!"

"Grandpa!" His voice comes loud enough to recognize this time and she scans the woods until she spots him a few paces away. "What are you doing in there?" Mama told her he was gone, that he would never come back, but he'd been wandering in here all along.

"Shizue!"

He looks lost, confused, sick. Mama said not to enter the woods, but Shizue had to help him home. It's not safe for him, either. She glances over her shoulder at her siblings, then enters the darkness.

The dust tickles her nose. Ahead, Grandpa's pale form waits for her in the striped light. She remembers his warm, rough fingers pinching her cheeks, the faint smell of iodine lingering on his skin. "It's okay, I'm coming," she says.

He flickers between the trees as she moves closer.

"Shizue!"

He's sitting in a clearing now, beckoning to her, and she approaches, grinning.

"Shizue, he says in the scratch of dry twigs.

"I missed you." She curls into his lap. He feels cold as moist earth; he smells of pine and mushrooms.

It's not safe in the woods, she wants to say. Mama warned her of spirits inside that lure people away. But suddenly she's so sleepy, and she will rest here a moment, and close her eyes.

17 comments:

Jaye Wells said...

Wonderful!

Jude said...

Lovely. I really liked the sense of peace and softness that accompanied this one.

Victor j. Banis said...

This reminds me of an old sci-fi story, Mars is Heaven, by, who - Heinlin? Nicely subtle

Hoodie said...

Very nicely written.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautiful! Gentle, evocative, yet quietly horrific - well captured!

wrath999 said...

Nice feel. Great writing.

Sometimes they call me Kelley, sometimes Twizzle. Sometimes a lot worse. said...

Very sad, but beautiful.

SzélsőFa said...

I suspected some drama right from the beginning - but I loved the mysterious ending.

Jeff said...

I like this. Nicely done.

angel said...

love it love it love it! bucking frilliant!

JLB said...

Lovely fairytale :)

Chanpheng said...

Nice fairy tale quality!

onipar said...

Very cool. Really enjoyed this.
-Anthony

Sarah Hina said...

Gorgeously rendered. I loved the details, and the quietness of the horror here. Excellent work.

Bernita said...

"Come away, O human child..."
Really like the figuratives and description, like "in the scratch of dry twigs," and "he smelled of pine and mushrooms."

The Quoibler said...

I could definitely feel why the child was so drawn to death. I loved this piece.

jason evans said...

I like the malevolent spirit motif very much! It reminds me of Native American stories. The repeated name is perfect.

High marks! A contender.