I took the Path to the left of the road.
My family, their humming voices faint, marched along the pavement to my right,
their laughter and chatter becoming Leaves in the wind as I, alone, took the Path.
I used the simple moments I was given to explore the Woods with my eyes,
admiring the honeyed yellows and crisp reds of the Leaves beyond,
watching with naïve bliss as the glowing Trees passed me by.
The staccato tap of an Acorn hitting the pavement
turned my attention back to the three people on my right.
Although I kept my eyes on them, a passing Tree stole them from my sight.
Taking a few steps forward, I awaited their emergence,
but Something was wrong.
The air turned bitter as my heartbeat crescendoed.
I felt a chill like a thousand fingers needling their way up my spine.
The only sounds were the crackling of Sticks under the unseen feet dancing around me and the erratic drumming of my heart.
I was Alone. I took the Path and I was left Alone
The Woods to my side mocked me, taunted me,
whispered threats whistled from the gloom and sinister spikes of Thorns.
I felt their barbed fingers wrap themselves around my throat.
Choking out a final sob, I felt a caesura in the tune of the World around me.
I, in my infinite foolishness, took the Path.
By Xyn Evans ’27