Beatrice stood on a hill looking out over the forest. Shadows crawled across the icy field as the sun sunk below the earth. Shadowy fingers slid through the frozen grass and snatched at her feet. Beatrice jumped over the crest of the shadows and started towards the forest.
The trees puffed up their chests, bark cracking and looked down their noses at her. She pushed through them allowing no fear to creep into her mind. The shrubs scratched at her legs, Come here! they hissed, Come play, Beatrice. Come play nice. But she did not stop. She hummed to herself to drown out their voices.
Beatrice felt something small and soft land on her arm. And then another. And another. A storm of feathers swirled down from the trees. Beatrice looked up; the ravens were nearly indistinguishable against the black forest.
Kawra! Kawra! Come catch us, Beatrice! We have something for you! A gift! A gift! Kawra!
The screeching ravens were louder than Beatrice could hum.
Kawra! This way Beatrice, this way!
Beatrice picked up her pace, walking swiftly through the forest, dodging tree branches and angry shrubbery.
Ssssay Beatrissssss...where ARE you going in ssssuch a hurry? Sssssertainly you can sssstay for just a moment. Let'sssss have a ssssnack, you and I, hmmm?
Beatrice stopped in her tracks. At her feet lay a snake with long, delicate fangs. She looked around to see if she could dodge it but it's long, thick body zigzagged down the path and out of sight. Beatrice looked innocently at the furious foliage and then darted to the left but the snake pulled up its body until it was looking down at her and completely blocking her way.
Ssssuch a hurry, ssssister?
Just then the snake cried out in pain. This way! a small voice cried out. Beatrice was frozen in fear. Come on!
This was her only chance; Beatrice jumped over the snake's long, knotted body and ran towards the darkest part of the woods. The sharp twigs of the trees cut her arms and legs while she sprinted through the forest. Her heart pounded in her chest. She ran until she could no longer breathe then she stopped and sat on a rock. Blood gushed through her body.
The forest was growing restless since it had yet to devour its prey. Beatrice began to shiver and her feet ached.
Beatrice turned just in time to see a small orange tail slip into the darkness. She followed it. The forest was closing in on her.
Kawra! Kawra! It won't be long now! Kawra! You'll be ours!
Beatrice stumbled over roots and rocks but kept going.
Clossssser, darling, closssser to me.
Beatrice pushed the thought of the snake from her mind. The voices were bearing down on her and it was becoming too much. Her legs gave way and she tumbled onto the ground and out of the forest in time to see the sun chasing away the shadows and a little orange tail disappearing behind the hill.