Before they arrived, the forest gathered around itself and waited for the dark to slither in and devour the last vestiges of sunlight. With increasing panic, drops of rain flicked the tree leaves. A cold November wind wailed like a mother who’s lost a child. A community of birds chirped and whistled at each other in spite of the occasional thunderclaps.
They arrived. Yvette gasped when she saw the rusting tin sign nailed to the tree. The sign from her childhood nightmares also had the same hand on it.
Lightning flashed overhead, and for a fraction of a second, a macabre figure coalesced behind them. The wind stilled. Only an echo remained of the departing thunder. On cue, the birds stopped chirping.