Long ago there was a little boy who lived in the wood with his father and his sister. One night, the three of them were out collecting firewood when they heard a low, delicate whimper. The father realised it was an injured animal and ordered the children to fetch water from the lake, whilst he followed the sound. Hours past but the father did not return. The children became fearful for their father’s safety and in their moment of fright, they disobeyed their father in order to find him. And find him they did. However, he was no longer the man he once was. Both his eyes were slit through their centre, oozing blood down the paleness of his face. His neck had been torn open. The entirety of his midsection was split but nothing, not one, single organ, seemed to be left within. Each limb still remained, however they had been dragged, with some exceptional force, in the opposite direction to which they were designed. The children screamed and ran, though the image of their father’s mangled corpse seemed to chase after them. They slept. Within the whisper of the wind came the sweet tune of a woman’s song. The little girl awoke to the feeling of happiness, security and motherly love that the song carried with it. She needed to find the woman it had come from. Leaving her brother, she took off into the wood to try and find the singer. The little boy quickly entered into a spit of panic when he found his sister missing. He didn’t know whether he should call out for her, look for her or wait. But waiting could mean the worst, he thought and so he took off into the woods after her. He had searched everywhere, every dark corner and decrepit tree, before reaching the lake. The moon reflected off its black surface, which drew his attention to something bobbing within the ripples. It was a leg. When he caught sight of the foot, the boy fell to his knees. He recognised the shoe. It was his sister’s shoe; his sister’s leg. Soon enough, the other body parts came drifting to join the leg, forming a rough manifestation of what was once his sister’s living body. Firstly, there was a head facing down in the water, then arms seemingly blue under the moonlight and lastly a torso coated in her favourite dress. He felt sick, lost, terrified to his very core. Just as thoughts of never being whole again began to pain his chest, the boy heard the snapping of a twig behind him. He dared to turn around but all he found was a small, black-furred wolf. The wolf approached him timidly, whining deep in its throat to say to the boy that he too was lonely and afraid. The boy put out his hand for the wolf to join him and they sat together. Perhaps he would be OK. Perhaps all that had happened had led to this; something new. He rustled the fur of his new friend, starting with its back then its ear before going under its snout. His hand touched something wet and sticky. He drew it from the wolf to get a better look, only to find a crimson substance now clinging to his small hands. Blood. The wolf turned on the boy as its eyes became a pale blue before thwack! He tore the boy’s face from his head…
S.R. Crawford