Follow the trail

You decide to follow the trail. The flowers entice you, and as you approach the green grassed-area, you feel a blast of hot air hit your face. The warmth is welcome to you - the heat is not necessarily needed - you are very warm thanks to your stolen clothes, but the weather is bitterly cold.

You walk into the center of the green. It feels almost tropical now, and you peel off your coat. You see the hairs on your arms stand up on end, but this doesn't worry you. It is probably the static that was produced when you took off your coat. You sit down, running your fingers through the grass, and kick off your boots. You feel a great sense of delight. You have always been someone that liked the heat. Your feet feel slightly numb, but you presume that this is the result of the temperature change between the boots and the air.

You open your bag, and empty it onto the floor.

A well-thumbed map is the first item that you find. Whilst worn, the map is detailled and you set it aside to look at once you have seen everything else; it appears to be of the forest you are currently in.

There is also a large bag of meat jerky. You are unsure as to what meat it is, but food is food, and you set it aside for keeping. There is also a half-full water skin, a scratched but still readable compass, and a large packet of what appear to be boiled sweets. A small, sharp knife, engraved with a strange pattern catches your eye, its blade glinting in the cool sunlight. The inscriptions baffle you. You suspect that it may be an ancient language, but you do not know.

Your stomach grumbles. Despite the fact that there is food in your bag, your eyes are drawn to a tree. Shining, red apples hang off it, and you feel enticed by it. You stand up, your bare feet being tickled by the grass. Out of the corner of your eye, they appear to be blue, but when you look properly, they return to your regular colour. It must have been a trick of the light, you think.

You reach up, and pick an apple off the tree. It is round and shiny, and you form your hand around it. It is cool to the touch. You take a bite. It is sweet and juicy, and it is unlike anything you have ever tasted before. The skin is waxy, and the flesh is not too hard nor too soft. You return to your seat, and draw out the map from your bag. You open it, putting it down on the grass and weighing it down by the one spell you were always able to perfom - the sticking charm. You scan it, looking for this small oasis of heat and green.

You see nothing. The whole forest seems to be the same.

Suddenly it hits you. The forest had tricked you into trusting it, and you had fallen under its spell. As if it could read your thoughts, you hear a growling sound behind you. A massive, black dog stands behind you. Its teeth are bared and its eyes are tinged with red. You try to run, leaving your bag where it sits, but you cannot seem to escape. Every exit you try to take brings you back into the clearing directly opposite where you tried to leave. After only a few minutes, you are exhausted, and you shut your eyes for a second, trying to regain your composure.

When you open them again, the dog is in front of you, and the forest is once again covered in snow. You look down, and you see that your feet are blue. The dog stares you in the eyes, and pounces. 'Time's up, little wolf', it growls.

It opens its jaws, revealing a wide mouth of sharp teeth. It is the last thing you see.


The End

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