Everything was a blur.

The small girl ran past tree after tree, hoping for some sort of escape, some return to safety. She couldn’t see where she was going; she wiped away the tears, but only more came. The nearly oppressive darkness felt like it was consuming her. Lost and tired, her legs gave out from under her, and she fell to her knees in the fallen jet-black leaves.

There it was again, that feeling of being watched. Heaving, Willow sat down and looked at her surroundings. She couldn’t make out much. The sunlight streaming from above seemed to have dminished significantly. She could still make out the tall Gravewood trees swaying in the cold breeze, back and forth, back and forth, the same way they did back when…

Willow shook her head and called out, “I– I know you’re there! Come and f– face…”

Her brief courage ran out when she realized she would much rather not face this unknown entity head on.

Unfortunately, that’s when she saw it. The face, just within her vision, spying from the dark.


Frozen in fear, she screamed. She could only make out the top half of the face, golden and owl-like in appearance, reflecting light from the boundary of her field of view. The way it moved was smooth, unnatural, and very much unlike an owl. Its one behavioral similarity to owls, though, was the way it stared unrelentingly, as if trying to pry her flesh open with sight alone.

She stared back, too frightened to look away. Never before has Willow actually seen the entity that haunts her.

Or… No, this was different. It wouldn’t just reveal itself like this... This was a completely separate apparition. The golden face eerily moved side to side, as if trying to hypnotize her, before disappearing behind a tree.

Then, a distant voice was heard. “Willow! Was that you? Where are you?”

“Li…” Willow tried to call back, but her voice was too weak at first. “L–Lily! I’m over here!”

Lily ran up to Willow, with Fox close behind.

“There you are!” the older girl exclaimed, “are you okay? Did you fall? What happened?”

“I… I, um–” Willow started, until Fox reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Listen Willow… I’m sorry. Really. I shouldn't've… I didn’t think you’d run off like that. You had us worried.”

Willow swallowed. “It’s okay. Thank you. Um, for worrying, I mean. But I’m…” she glanced back between the trees, but the face seemed to be gone for good. “I’m fine. Can we go home now?”

“Yeah, c’mon. I know the way.”

Take me home
Back page