A wind stirs in the trees; cold and sinister. It weaves through the branches and around fallen trunks, over the denizens of the expansive forest and embraces those that had lost their lives within it. It drifts through and catches at the cloak of a wanderer, holding onto his horse as he struggles through the dense thicket of brush and weeds that entangles the forest floor. 

The man continues to endeavour along with his horse, keeping a close eye on the floor so as to not lose his footing and damage something, namely himself. The lantern bobbing in between him and his horse, allows him to see somewhat but the canopy roof of the forest did 

not allow much natural moonlight through so he had to rely on his lantern and his own sight.

As the wind continues to beat at him, he goes to pull the cloak back around himself when unexpectedly, the horse screams and rears violently, heaving him about like a doll. He holds on for dear life with the arm that was weaved within the bridle whilst simultaneously trying to comfort the beast with the other, his eyes darting about to identify the cause of its terror. With the limited moonlight and the lantern now swaying madly beside them, the man found it hard to concentrate on any lurking threat; he knew it was there, however, as the mare was resolute and difficult to startle. Due to the animals increasing thrashing, he is forced to draw a small blade he keeps on his belt and cut the bridle loose from his arm. He backs up a few paces from the animal, trying to find the source of the beast’s terror, squinting from the lantern light which is causing dancing and shifting shadows amongst the looming trees.

He didn’t hear the ice-cold intake of breath. He didn’t see the horse take flight, but he sure felt the cold, slimy hand against his nape. He felt the dagger slide into his spine with effortless ease.

He then felt nothing but the cold embrace of death.

The man crumpled to the floor, as if he had no bones within his body, as the last of the horse’s hooves faded into the distance. The wind came to a howling stop and life itself seemed to end. 

Moments stretched into aeons, and aeons seem to pass away again as nothing stirred and breathed. Evil itself gained a voice and the man’s eyes, now fully aflame with green vitality, snapped open. He let out a sharp cold breath and began to fumble to his feet as deep within the soul of the forest, that bodiless evil whispers a name into the eternal night...


Next Chapter: Mion