The Wood squats along the side of the lane like a huge malevolent toad, overshadowing the scrawny chestnut paling, stretching long fingers of creeper and ivy into unviolated verge. It waits with a brooding intensity for the girl to come too close in the dark of the moon. It knows she will one day, and sighs with anticipation, leaves rustling in the wind.
The girl hates The Wood. She feels its presence, is weighed down by its menace, and dreads the short winter days which force her to brave its shadows to reach the garden gate. Her mother tells her not to be silly, but she knows it wants to steal her, to wrap and bind her within its dank mossy soul, to feed on her blood and bones.
Winter solstice, and the last day of the lunar cycle. Blacker than black, The Wood feels its chance and gathers itself, fronds sliding outwards, silently forming snares. Late home from school, the girl runs unsteadily, she senses the danger, but has no choice. She trips and falls and feels tendrils slither over her legs and arms. Ferns fill her mouth to choke her scream as The Wood pulls her into its dark, wet heart.
Lyn lives in Lincoln and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and Publication at the University of Lincoln. In previous lives she has been an accountant, a garden designer and entrepreneur. She has three grown up children, a partner, a horse, a dog and a cat. email@example.com