Witch of the Charcoal Forest

I was warned long before-hand of the mean old witch’s
domain, but young as I was, I cared not
of their wise words. So which I went away to the
woods for something to do, so to say.

An evil, metal hiss rang through the trees,
clawing into my head the deeper and
deeper I went. Trunks and leaves as black as
charcoal, but left my hands clean like I was
never there. No squirrels or owls or mice
were there to warn me to turn back, for they
already have some time ago.

A short crooked man with his old oil
lantern limped out of the trees from further
on, staring at me with glowing white eyes
as if I should bestow myself to him.
Though he did not step afoot, I feared he
grew closer and closer to me. With that,
I hurried past him, yet there was not a light
of a lantern or firefly to help
direct me any which way.

The ringing turned to humming and soon it
sharpened into singing, though the tin words
of the child-like songs I could not dare
decipher. Sooner and sooner did they
become a steady beat with a sweet
melody I could not help but hate. It
was not long before I could soon hear
my name with company.

From the dead branches fell from yarn nooses,
tiny voodoo dolls made of old metal
spoons. They smiled as they swung and stared into
nothing as they sung the only things they could
say. The souls of many who have wondered
here, trapped inside a man-made device, all
tracing another victim by their taunts
and chants. If she found me, I would only
sing to trap the next.

Before me stood the witch herself, a robe
of a spider demon’s silk and dawned in
her own shadows. From her smooth pink lips I
saw that she was no older than I, but
no more foolish or fearful. Strands of
hair as soft and beautiful as her own
skin, fell as perfect as a doll’s. If it was her
youth she feared to show, or youth she wished
to consume from those who wondered here, I
hadn’t long left.

I turned and ran with fear and pain. Her spoon
puppets lynched to mark my ways for easy
chase. The crooked man watched as all he
wished to do, but only the moonlight in
his eyes reminded me he was still there
watching me.

The dolls sung and laughed as they swung from the
trees, my name chanted through their metal
teeth, as I would soon do the same for the
next innocent young victim to befall
the same.

Charcoal trees darkened into the sky, or
perhaps there was no forest for me to
hide in, but I knew I was gone when the
metal dolls no longer sang or called my
name.

So take warning, my pretty little
dear, none are found dead, or even found at all
even the forest itself cannot be
found. They say it only shows at night and
walks and moves by day, with the ghost of the
witch who wondered and lost herself, she
makes company of those who also get lost.
Why she resents those with lives, I cannot
tell you why, but not every question has
an answer. Those who may, can only sing
the loneliness she makes them feel, hoping
to trap someone else into the hell they
stumbled upon themselves, doomed to sing the
poor lost souls into the hands of the witch.

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