A small girl stands at the edge of a great forest with trees as black as the shadows that dance inside, just out of sight.
She is far too young to wander so near such a place alone, but here she is unafraid. Mostly. There is a little fear, but even that begins to fade as she takes one step closer to the edge of the trees, feeling the incredible hum of something in the air.
It has to be, the way the air sings strangely in her ears, tastes sweet on the tip of her tongue as she breathes in deep. Her heart aches, then. Feeling drawn in to the forest, to that magic, a sudden longing pulls her a step closer, and then another.
Soon, the world falls silent as she steps under the canopy of the trees, the nighttime sounds that accompany the quiet disappear.
The wood isn’t as dark as it appears from the outside. It is lit by blue flits of light that dart like dragonflies, restless. Her eyes open wide in wonder, reaching out a small hand, hoping to touch the balls of light as they dance, leading her deeper into the forest. The shadows don’t seem so scary now, she thinks, the longing tugging her further and further in.
A wind blows, stirring the dark canopy of leaves, scattering the flitting lights.
She freezes, suddenly cold, the world suddenly not so peaceful, but the sort of quiet that happens when a monster is lurking just out of sight.
And then the shadows move.