Story a day: Dark forest

This is my attempt at the story a day for September 5.

The Prompt

Your character is alone in the woods

nice and simple, right? It probably should have been 🙂 anyway, enjoy what I have done!

This was all supposed to be a bit of fun. A group of them had decided to celebrate the end of their exams by going back to nature and hiking around the district. It had been a lot of fun until some point during the night when they had been disturbed.

They were all sitting around a campfire, telling each other’s stories that were supposed to scare while they were toasting their marshmallows. Everything had been bathed in the warm orange glow of the fire which had reflected their smiles. They didn’t know what to expect when the man came staggering into the small clearing. He was obviously hurt, and his eyes were bulging out of his head in panic. The group had got up to go to his aid, thinking that maybe he had been attacked by one of the animals that they could hear within the woods. The man did not want their help, though. He had stared at the group of five people, and with a rasping breath he had managed to whisper one word, “Run!”

Naturally, the group had not even thought about that, but as the man collapsed they had surged forwards so that they were standing around him. It was normal for them to try to help a stranger in need, right?

Nobody had seen the other man walking forwards behind them. They did not even notice the cracking of twigs as the man crunched his way steadily towards them. He even had time to aim the gun and choose a specific target.


He was the first to fall, and he did so with a sharp cry of both surprise and pain. The group had all turned to face him by then, and that is when he started firing indiscriminately.

Not knowing what else to do, Rebecca just started to run into the forest. She never heard anyone else, not her friends or anybody following. By then she did not really care because fear had taken over. Fight or flight. Rebecca had chosen flight which she thought probably made her a coward, but then she really did not want to die. There was no way of knowing whether or not anyone else in the group had survived, because she did not know where she was or how to get back to the campsite. Not that she would have done that, of course. Who knows what could be back there?

As dawn was breaking the sunlight began to filter through the trees, and the view that greeted her in the hazy sunshine did very little to settle those nerves. The trees almost appeared like they had died, and the smell that assaulted her nostrils was one of damp, rot, and mildew. There was no way that this was the same forest that had been full of life the day before.

What exactly had happened?

Rebecca spun her head as she thought she heard a snapping twig somewhere behind her. Somebody was approaching, and she really did not want to wait and see whether it will be friend or foe. With a sudden burst of energy, she found herself running through the woods. Her feet were squelching against the dampness beneath her feet, and the branches were whipping against her skin as she ran hastily in any direction.

She emerged into the clearing that the campsite was within. Her friends were sitting around the fire that had started to die down. Her relief at seeing them was short lived, because when they turned to face her she saw that their faces looked empty.

“Welcome home, Rebecca.”

Turning towards the voice brought her face to face with the man that had attacked the camp the night before. “Who are you?”

“My name is not relevant. I am a forest spirit, and you, and your friends, have brought damage to my area. You deserve to be punished, but I was feeling generous and have decided to let you all live. The only condition is that you have to remain here.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“You dropped litter, and burnt my fellow trees. I believe you call that murder.”

Rebecca’s mouth hung open. “I am sorry, there is no way that I could have known him penny feet what I was doing.”

The man simply gave her a smile. “No, and that is why I have decided to grant your wish for the weekend. You are now a forest nymph.”

She shook her head in denial. “I can’t be.”

“You are dead to the outside world, and have returned to nature just like you wanted.”

The man vanished and Rebecca looked down at her hands to notice that the skin was tinged with green. She gulped in panic, and turned to regard her friends who were also slightly green.

Word count: 798

Word count

4 thoughts on “Story a day: Dark forest

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