Never Go To The Woods

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It was a warm summer day. Tai was laying in the wide-open field by his house, watching the fluffy clouds roll by. He had messed up his chores again, causing his parents to start fighting and for him to run away from them both. His eyes were still wet, but he had managed to stop the river of tears coming from them.
He wasn't sure how long he had been lying there when a sudden noise caused him to look over. By the edge of the clearing began the sacred woods, a sprawling forest that Tai had been instructed to never go in, lest he disturbs the spirits sleeping there. On the border between the forest and the field now stood a young girl, around Tai's age. She stood motionless and was starring at Tai, never seeming to blink. She was wearing a plain white dress that was covered in grass and dirt stains. Her hands were covered in dirt, and she had long dark hair that went down her back that was nearly slicked back with grime. She and Tai looked at each other for several moments without speaking before the girl turned around and began to walk into the woods.
"Hey! You can't go in there!" he called after her, quickly getting up to try and stop her. Even though she seemed to move slowly, she was a decent way in the woods by the time he got to the edge of the clearing. She had stopped to look back at him as Tai regarded what he was about to do.
"You're not just going to leave the forest, are you?" he asked, looking for a way around going into the woods. The girl shook her head, a motion that was too rigid and disjointed to be natural. Tai sighed before finally taking a step over the line around the woods he had always imagined. His immediate instinct was to run back out of the woods, but when he looked back, the field was gone, replaced by a seemingly infinite forest. Tai looked back to the girl who had stayed frozen in place, staring at him.
"What do we do now?" he asked, his voice barely louder than a whisper. The girl didn't seem to hear him, instead, turning to walk further into the woods. With one final glance behind him, Tai set off to follow her.
They had been walking in silence for a while. Eventually, Tai had sped up to be side by side with the girl, close enough to notice the dirt under her fingernails. The woods didn't seem much different than other woods Tai had been in, save for how cold it was, and this ever-present feeling that something was going to happen. He had always heard stories of how explorers of this forest were attacked by odd beings, creatures seemingly ever-glowing yet a void of all light, but so far, he hadn't seen anything. Tai was sure it should be dark by now, but the forest seemed as bright as it had been during the day, every inch of the forest looking exactly the same as the last.
The pair finally came across a piece of the forest that looked different from the rest. The grass was trampled down in a way that seemed like something had been laying there and there were deep grooves in the dirt surrounding it. The girl stopped near the patch of trampled grass and seemed to be waiting for Tai to do something.
"Why are we here?" he asked, his voice barely coming out. The girl pointed to the ground and continued to wait for Tai.
"What do you want me to do?" She continued to stare at him, her eyes never blinking, and continued to point. Tai walked over to the spot, looking at the ground to avoid the girl's eyes. He suddenly felt a push that sent him sprawling on the ground, directly on top of the trampled grass. He tried to quickly scramble up but only managed to flip onto his back before he felt something wrap around him. Thick roots were wound tightly around his arms and chest, pulling him towards the ground.
"Hey! What's going on?" he yelled, looking back up to the girl. She hadn't moved an inch, her unfocused eyes never leaving his. When Tai was flat against the ground and could no longer move to fight, the girl slowly moved her arms, exposing the inner sides to him. On both her arms there was a small cut near her elbow. Tai watched in horror as something began to wriggle out of the holes.
It was a small green vine that slowly made its way over to Tai, seeming to float on air. Finally, it pressed against a similar spot on his arms and began to burrow inside. Tai immediately tried to squirm away, his fingers clawing into the ground around him, but was held tightly to the ground by the roots. It felt like nothing Tai had ever experienced before, pain shooting through his arms, a pressure seeming to pause in places before continuing to move through him. It moved from his arms to his chest, before worming its way to his head.
The last thing Tai saw before he passed out was the vines finally leaving the girl's arms and her long-since dead body hitting the ground.


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