Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
A quiet wood cabin sits alone in the dark wood trees of Ashen Park. The building itself is elevated in four trees of immense age. Deep scarlet splatters the frozen-over grass; for as long as the forest evades the warmth of human breath, it will remain winter.
None with a beating heart or pumping blood ever dare wander here. Those with their mortal souls still clinging to their frail bodies do not dare meander over the thick, dark roots. The large trees rock and sway, attempting to defy the ever-whistling wind – only to make it faster, stronger. No mammal, reptilian, or creature of the night dashes under the dark canopy. The ever-frozen creek reeks of death, the scent tainting your nose and mind forever.
If it is you, you who dares step cautiously over the boundary into Ashen Park, beware. Because to this day the only feet that crunch the grass are skinless and have never met the light of the Sun. If it is you, you who let your heart beat faster as the dark canopy devours you, beware. Instantly your soul will be split and your mind corrupted. Nothing else will matter you you more than finding your thoughts and the way out – both things that are lost as long as you will be. The rambling prayers that spilled out of your mouth upon entering are forgotten. And all the fear in the world churns around in both your stomach and your heard.
You can walk in, if you please. You can taste death all around you. You can hear the moans of what you sincerely hope are the rocking trees. You can feel the dead leaves that crunch under your feet, and you can feel the low temperature condensing your body. You can keep your face to the ground, avoiding the chilling bodies that hang from the trees and the faces that seem to form themselves out of the fog. But eventually, being the hopelessly curious mortal you are, you will tilt you head up and widen your eyes. You will look into the emotionless face of not only terror, but feat. You will smell the rotting dreams and the taste of poison on your tongue. And the small unnamed beasties whose homes dot the frozen floor will clamber out and snatch you. And then it will continue.
The tale is also very true for those who live near to Ashen Park. At night the beasties do crawl out, and when no mortal chooses that time to wander in, they do the job themselves. They infest both your physical and mental state with the ease of, say, opening a door. Possibly your door, if you’re foolish enough to choose an abode so close the park. They will seep into your walls and open the bedroom door you use as a barrier between life and death. So little protection for those living so near to their own demise. And so little time to realize that, when they drag your screaming, desperate body into Ashen Park you will face more than the creature that so mercilessly places all the bodies there. You will face agony beyond your greatest embarrassment or pain. They will drag you to the cabin, not caring about the slits you’re gathering in your skin from the roots, or the bruises you are acquiring with ease. They’ll throw you up the frozen ladder and you’ll be too cold, too weak to move. Only moan and scream. They will leave you up there, hissing at your pitiful wails and laughing in delight as you close your eyes in defiance. Which, in fact, I strongly recommend.
And when you think all is quiet. When your mind believes it was only a dream and that you can hear the flapping of birds wings outside, you may open your eyes. And the eyeless face of my brother will face you. Every thought you’ve ever had will race through your head. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll turn your head to the right. And you’ll see my cold body curled up on the dead wood ground. My eyes are still closed. Are yours?
Credit To – Tinqer