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The Forest Dark

Author: 
Joseryne Madier

In boots dyed black by dead man's soil,
I stood upon fear's wheezing threshold
Hidden there, beyond brambles dried
The wolf-throats howled and dark boughs sighed\n\nOnly once did I stray within
A fiery youth with a Midyear heart
And hair not yet tussled by death's boney hand
Soul not yet seared by dread's hot brand

On moss-covered bones and stinkhorn stalks,
My feet found frightful, oily purchase
And through the trees swirled fetid murk,
Where growling, blood-starved creatures lurked

All around, I heard their breath,
Like a bow-saw drawn through rain-soaked wood,
And then the howling! That mournful hymn,
To the hunt-king Hircine and his murderous whims

I turned and ran through raking thorns,
A coursed hare's panic upon my eyes
With each clumsy stride, the snarling grew
Yellowed fangs set upon flesh to hew.

I burst through the tree line, a ragged thing,
With linens tattered and skin flayed deep
But the black wolves relented, behind the briars,
Their coal-eyes fixed, alight with white fire

"Flee from here," they seemed to say
"Back to your hearth and your hollow joys,
"But know that we wolves linger still
"Return for your last blood-soaked thrill!"