Backwoods.

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They say you shouldn’t go into the forest alone. It looks peaceful, a respite from the summers heat beneath the thick overgrowth.

But looks can be deceiving.

You descent the rocky staircase to the forest floor. It is still; the murmur of trees whispering to each other. Everything seems to tell you that you are alone. But you are not. You can feel the eyes of creatures upon you. Whether they are human or other, you don’t know.

As you go deeper, the penetrative gaze hardens and you stop to look around. It isn’t right. Even the animal chatter has ceased. You are about to turn back and call it a night when you hear a sudden shift behind you…

…and you run. Deeper and deeper into the depths of the place you once found comforting. Now it’s a twisting, gnarly path of vines and thorns, tripping you up so that you might become prey.

You don’t think you can keep on running, but you do, until you feel your heart exploding with exhaustion. That is when you slow down and the fingers grasp the back of your hair.

Is it only a dream?

And then you scream.

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