You run down the worn isle way of the forest, autumn leaves falling around you. Yellow sunlight filters through the trees, creating wavering pools on the hard, dirt floor. Slowing down, you head slightly off path to walk alongside the stream. Icy water gurgles over stones and rapidly sucks at the frosted shore. Across the bank, which at the time had seemed a thousand miles away, tiger lilies pushed up through thick orange and red leaves. Leaning over the brink, you stare at your shimmery reflection. Blood still trickled from your pug toddler nose. A dark crimson drop fell into the water, breaking into wisps and carried away. You'd had nightmares of this stream, of falling into its abysmal depths, pulled under by dark tendrils. Today, however, it was your friend. Dipping hands stained with your own blood into the water, you scrubbed your fingers quickly before jolting back.
The temperature seemed to drop hundreds of degrees in an instant. Your chubby fingers turn red with cold, and you stuff them into your pockets. A twig breaks behind you, and with a gasp, you inhale the brisk air. It stabs at your lungs as your watery eyes scan the woods for movement. Not trusting the absolute silence, you listen until your own heartbeat fills your ears. Thick, black trunks stretched skywards in every direction. If there was anything there, their width concealed it. Dread fell over you like a heavy quilt.
Turning, you headed towards the thick grove of apples. The stunted, black trees were so closely knit that it was impossible to see more than a few feet into them. Hesitantly, you walk towards them, their gnarled branches reaching for you like skeletal arms. The sharp cold bit your nose like needles. A trembling breath escaped your mouth, the condensation falling into the thick fog that had suddenly appeared. A door slammed hard in the distance and reminded you of the reason you had run to these woods in the first place. With a cry, you plunge into the brambles, and the overhead branches clog out the darkening sky.