Specters of the Void: Part 1


      The wind whispered to the shadows as he passed over their heads. From far above, the moon cast down small beams, as if to see who could converse in such low tones that her hearing could not discern. But alas; it would seem that her eyesight was no better than her hearing, for she could see no more than pines shifting softly in the breeze.

     Disappointed, she returned to her watch of all things heavenly and earthly, as it is fitting for any moon who wishes to keep his or her reputation as a poetic and somewhat mysterious being. But, as you shall soon see, this moon had much more to do with the dark land of the pines then she ever could have imagined. 

     As I came into awareness I noticed first complete frigidity; fingers of wind, gentle, but of the coldest conception threatened to find their way under my coat. Secondly I discovered I was lying on my back, cushioned from the hard earth only by a rather thin layer of something springy and prickly. Only when I opened my eyes did I realize they had been closed; opening them revealed only a lesser shade of black, through which I could see only blacker shadows. 

     I sat up and pulled my coat further around myself, shivering. I did not first think of how I had gotten to where I now was, but how to escape it. I supposed I might stay where I was and wait for dawn but–what if I was not in a place that the sun could be seen from? I had not a notion of where I was, and besides the wind blew far to cold for me to stay where I was without freezing right to the ground. Wind? Then I was in the outdoors, but I could see no moon, so who was to say I would ever see the sun here?! No, the only thing I could do was to get up and pick a direction to walk towards. 

     I stood, and thought suddenly the darkness turned to only a deep grey–against which I could see a form before me, gnarled and misshapen. I could not see it itself, but only its silhouette against the grayness which was somehow light. This figure moved not, breathed not; not necessarily saw not. I reached up–not without reverence for this strange being, its sense of presence–and touched it. To my surprise I touched a woody, familiar surface. A tree, nothing more. 

     Suddenly, there came a silvery light from somewhere above; much lessened by many tree branches between it in the ground–indeed, the light showed me to be hemmed in by a most mighty forest of pines–but still it shone pure silver and nearly blinding to me at first. As my vision adjusted I could see clearly above me the shape of one of the tree’s branches, twisting and clutching like a grasping hand frozen still–but, more disconcerting still, was the feeling of something slightly wet against my cheek, and a vapor that came between my face and my hand! 

     I stood motionless, frozen with horror.

To Be Continued…

By Chaidie Petris