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Spirit in the Woods.

This was a 750 word story for the above picture by Erlend Monk.

I love a good ghost story and I really enjoyed this one. So, I’m re-sharing for:
Fandango’s Flashback Friday
Ragtag daily Prompt – Gobsmacked

Spirit in the woods

“If it wasn’t for that bloody girl up there, you’d still be making money instead of sitting here doing nothing!”

“You got me pregnant! You sired that girl up there. It’s not her fault she needs what little money we have.”

Emily listened to her parents arguing, raging whilst in bed hours ago. The moment her parents were asleep, she got up to leave. They’d left her feeling gobsmacked, distraught and unloved. She couldn’t take it any longer.

“They don’t want me, so I’m going.”

Grabbing her little pink tent, some food, drink, Teddy and her favourite book, she fled her home.

Hours later, she sat upon a log in the dark forest a couple of miles from home. She’d made a small campfire, as her daddy taught her. It’s dancing flames warming and comforting against the eeriness in the oaks. The moon made the trees appear gnarled, demonic with limbs out to grab her. The hoot of an owl, footsteps of a slinking fox, even more unnerving. With Teddy wrapped in her arms and tears in her hazel eyes, Emily sat shivering, looking into the flames. Never had she felt so alone in the world – Although Emily wasn’t alone at all.

Catching her breath, she snapped her eyes over her right shoulder. Something walked there. She’d seen nothing more than a spectral, shadow, lurking. Had she seen ghostly-grey leather boots beneath long phantom skirts? No body, arms or face were visible. Nothing but inky darkness and tall spooky trees remained there now.

Emily rose from the log, her knee’s trembling. She added more twigs, stoking her fire. The crackle it made caused her to smile.

Fingers touched, caressed her long blonde hair.

Feeling her scalp prickling, she stiffened with a whimper. Spinning on the spot she gasped. Nothing, nobody stood by her or the tent.

A breeze whispered through the trees.

Emily followed its path.

The shadow returned, undoubtedly a once-human presence.

“W-who are you?” Emily dared to ask, her fear becoming intrigue.

The shadow grew taller, the grey dress, Victorian. The youthful spirit came from a time long ago. Her face friendly, surrounded by translucent curls of hair. “I’m Marie-Clair, and you shouldn’t be here.” Her voice floated like a soft whisper on the cool night air. “Your parents really do care, it’s the money that makes them despair.”

“No, they hate me. I Burden them.” Emily felt her tears coming hot and woeful now. “I cost them money, and ruin their lives.”  

“That’s not so, they love you more than you know. They’re searching for you, home you should go.” The spirit disappeared.

Emily turned circles, searching for the presence she knew was still near her. “No, I’m never going back. I’m living here now.” She folded her arms in defiance and focused on the glowing coals again.

“I was scorned by my family, died before they found me. They came searching with love, I was struck down by a branch from above.” The spirit’s voice wavered as a chill blew through the woods.

“I’m so sorry Marie-Clair. I really am. Will you let me stay here with you.” Emily put her hands together before her. “Please.”

“In these woods, I will not let you roam,” answered the spirit right beside Emily as the fire blew out. Marie-Clair flashed into being, nose to nose with Emily. Her face twisted into a demonic goblin-like maw. “Now be gone, get you HOME!”

Emily screamed, she ran as fast as she could. Blinded by tears and flooded with adrenaline-fuelled terror, Emily barrelled through the dark trees. Within moments she was lost in a maze of bushes and undergrowth.

Marie-Clair was still there, lurking in the shadows. From the bushes she leapt, screaming like the banshee.

Emily reeled away, sprinting around an oak tree.

Time and again the spirit blocked her path, forcing her to turn another way.

The little girl tumbled to the leaf litter, cutting her knee. Bounding to her feet, she was struggling to breathe.

Marie-Clair was waiting, smiling at her. “Sorry, sweet Emily, I had to make you flee. Run that way, your daddy is looking for thee,” she said in that phantom whisper, her transparent hand pointing the way.

In pain and tired, Emily ran as directed.

Not a minute passed before her father caught her in a hug.  “There you are, Emily. We’re so sorry we hurt you. We love you so much. Let’s get you home and safe sweetheart,” he said holding her tight.

Emily nodded, ready to go home. Looking at the woods, she smiled. “Thank you Marie-Clair.”

Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry NookShort StoriesShort Stories 2, and, Short Stories 3 tabs.

Have a great day!


5 thoughts on “Spirit in the Woods.

Add yours

    1. Thank you for your kind words Miranda, glad you enjoyed the tale, thank you for the chance to write it.


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