The Empty Forest

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The Empty Forest by Chloe Freeling - Photo by Danielle Deculus

The wind made the trees groan like weary spirits the night little June’s stark white cape was swept off her shoulders and into the woods. The other children told stories of monsters that lurked in those woods, but June reassured herself there was no such thing as she grabbed a lantern and headed into the dark. It wasn’t until she was tearing through the trees, panting as strange silhouettes scratched at her face and she was holding onto her snow-white cloak with all her might, that she realized the stories had been real.

No one in the town knew what happened in the woods that night, but when the sun rose and the dark receded, June was gone with the midnight shadows. The townsfolk searched the empty forest, but found nothing, save for a child’s cloak, red as blood, blowing in the wind.

The piece was published in the November 2019 issue of The Foundress, which is no longer available on the website.
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Chloe Freeling is a member of the class of 2022 at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California. She loves stage acting, dancing, reading, and writing. Her favorite pastime is hiking through the woods while daydreaming her next story.
Accompanying photo: “Solitude” by Danielle Deculus