The old wood

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Step over into the wood and you will be lost forever. Keep this side of the fence. That was what she was always warned as she grew up. There are wolves, bears, screech owls. Spiders big as dinner plates. The boogy man lives there.

For twenty years she kept out. But she knew one day she would have to climb the fence and go and look.

She was twenty one today, she had been to a birthday party at the village hall. Now she was walking home along the lane. The sun was setting and the wood loomed up above her rising up the hill, shutting off the sunlight.

One step led to another. Pine needles softened her footsteps, tree roots started to tangle round her ankles. She looked back to check where the path was, but could not see it through the trees. She tried to retrace her steps, but could not find the fence. Fear crept into her, she trembled as the cool night air touched her skin.

The night was darker and a cold rain fell, still she walked, tripping and falling into bushes, scratched from thorns.

It was early morning when the ranger found her wandering. She could not speak. Her eyes were staring into space, out of focus. No one ever found out what happened to her that night. But the Green man of the woods smiled to himself as she was taken away in an ambulance.

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