He woke in darkness, the only sound a dry whisper as of a gentle breeze disturbing dead leaves. He had the impression of slim trunks surrounding him, stretching upwards, he could only assume into a night sky though he saw no stars, no moon. The trees, if they were, stretched in every direction; for further than he could imagine, he felt sure.
Words wound through the whisper. “You read the black book. You were warned.”
He remembered the librarian – so thin he looked ill – and the warning. But what choice had he, than to seek the book that ate souls?
Author bio: All good books steal a little of your soul, don’t they? But they give back so much. John Xero’s forest is full of life and very distracting, with too many interesting-looking paths to wander down.
The librarian: @xeroverse
The library: xeroverse.com
The bestiary: instagram.com/johnxero
Forest is part of 101 Fiction issue 24.