In the woods, he had always felt it, that silent invisible, moving when he moved, still and patient as he stood still or sat quiet on a rock. He thought it was just the flow, which moves through all things, or his lonely mind, imagining a presence to accompany him on his days.
But once, when he whipped his head around, he saw it for an instant, before it flashed behind a tree. The pale face, like snow; the matted fur or clothes, like leaves. And those eyes, some deep water, staring at him. Now he wished he were alone.
Author bio: Nathan Alling Long grew up in a log cabin in rural Maryland and travelled around the world before settling in Philadelphia, PA, where he writes, bakes bread, and teaches. His work has appeared in over fifty journals and anthologies, some of which can be found at his website:
Alone is part of 101 Fiction issue 3.