Terfinmer’s Woods

Poor Jo was a baby when left out in the cold. He was found in a blanket, in a basket, by the side of the road; Out in Terfinmer’s Woods all alone.

A curious crow in the tree above Jo flew down, he alighted right next to the now young man. Jo never learned to speak, or to sing, or to whistle. He could, though, clap and drum. The crow leaned in to hear a rhythm, and satisfied, mouthed an acorn before he took flight.

Poor Jo was, in his mind, speaking to the birds. One from the tree, and one scared of fire. The birds shouted to each other after a visit, and it made him smile. They were not like the people who lived near by.

One chilly fall morning when Poor Jo was a boy, some men came to the road where Jo’s old hut was nearby. It was a roof and some poles and not much more. Jo crouched, but they saw him, men in dark pants and dark jackets. One looked him straight in the eye and froze, then mumbled the word “Poor…” and shouted the words “Jo! Come over here!” Poor Jo. They all broke into a sprint and ran deep into the forest, all the while the dark clothed men yelled and implored him: “COME BACK!” But Jo only knew he was being hunted.

They ran over dead logs, followed by two crows.

The crows swooped in to help Jo escape them. The Men in dark clothes were strong and were gaining. They tore at their scalps and “CAWED” like horrid villains! In anger one man lit a torch and one crow was no longer willing. But they foiled the men in their chase regardless. They looked around and saw no boy, but a growing shadow, from the edge of the torch split, mutable darkness.

A clapping and drumming came from a distant log; hollow. Petrified in terror they stood. The monster they saw had a grey face, broken nose, and three claws for hands. It raised them and brought down the torch wielding dark clothed man. In the light that was dying the man squirmed about crying for aid as the monster took off his limbs.

Poor Jo stopped the reflection, and stared off in a densely wooded direction. He heard back the faint acorn tap of the rhythm he shared again.

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