the woods

the basket
rocked
in her hands
as she made her way
through the all too
quiet
darkened forest
a howl
in the distance
set
the silken hairs
on
her ivory neck
to standing

her heart
began
to thump within
the woolen red hood
as she thought
of grandma
waiting at home
for the meal
she carried
clutched
in her now
shaking hands
as she hurried
her steps

a branch
snaps
somewhere
just behind her
emerald green eyes
go wide
as pupils become
pinpricks
adrenaline surges
through her
she searches
for a place
in which she could
to hide

she dove
into the brush
on the side of the
nigh overgrown path
holding the picnic basket
close to her chest
upon her sudden entrance
into the briars
that tore at her cloak
a frightened family
of skunks raced out
onto the trail
with a cloud
of acrid stench

as she sat low
watching
through the thorns
that had cut her
frightened face
as a great
emaciated wolf
came bounding towards
her hiding place
with slabberous fangs
dripping drool
to the soil
until it hit
the skunk’s last gift

it yowled in dismay
as it raced
past
her huddled form
she smiled
through the tears
of relief mixed
with nausea
she pulled herself free
of the briars
with a look of sorrow
at her now
tattered cloak
and half broken basket
with an anxious
look around her
she sighed
convinced herself
she would find
shelter
at grandma’s house
deeper
in the woods

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