By: Teresa VanMeter

Copyright 2017 Teresa Vanmeter

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Published by: Teresa Vanmeter by Smashwords.

‘Smashwords edition’

Copyright 2017 Teresa Vanmeter

Chapter 1: Reckoning.

At the heart of every forest is a darkness that bides its time. Hiding and waiting beneath the canopy. Among the twisted bracken and brambles clawing its way out. Out emerged a blackened mass. Oozing as it unfurled from a fetal position. Taking on what appeared to be a human-like shape. A willowy human. Holding its arms apart from its body in disgust. Hardly able to stand upright. Stumbling amid this dead of day. A day foreshadowed by the breathy whispers of the trees.

Another noise warbled betwixt the timbers. As if something were following the human. The human jerked in the direction of the sound. Fearfully crying out, "Who's there?" Eerily a breath had blew across the back of their neck. In that instance someone whispered in their ear, "... you’re not even real.” The human rubbed the offensive spot. Looking to see that they were quite alone in these woods. How could they feel anything covered in bile? Maybe its all in their head. An even better question, how did they get here in this state? Could this be a dream? A paradox of imagination, a slice of reality, or an echo of madness? No. They believed that it had to be a nightmare. Soon they would awaken from the infinite folds of darkness. Anxiously repeating the words, "Wake up. Please wake up." While they wondered how a dream could be so lifelike. Right down to the breath on their neck.

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