The hiddin forest


1. introduction

All this happened a very long time ago, when most of Europe was covered in dense forests, when witches and werewolves roamed the solitary places, when villages were small and people poor, when roads were few and very muddy, and when creatures could sometimes be seen dancing in the moon's silver light.

There are two children in this story-Lucy and Marcus. Lucy was 11; Marcus was 14. They lived with their mother and father on a potato farm, many leagues from the nearest village. Beyond the farm was a marsh and beyond the marsh, a black forest, which no one visited.

"Never, never go near that forest!" the children's parents told them.

"Why, father?" asked Marcus, who was a bold boy. "What's to be afraid of?"

"Nameless things," replied the father. "Do what I tell you and stay away."

But, of course, when you tell a boy like Marcus not to do something, it's an invitation to disobey. At night, he and Lucy, looking out across the marsh, could see blue lights flickering somewhere within the dark smear of the woods. That made Lucy shiver but it only increased Marcus's curiosity.

"I've got to visit that forest!" he kept saying. "I've got to find out what those blue lights mean. I've got to see these nameless things for myself."

One day in the fall, when the potatoes were all dug and loaded into the cart, the childres's parents headed for town alone, leaving the boy in charge of his sister. They had no sooner left than Marcus heard something in the wind-a kind of crooning, soft, then insistent, like a high musical whine.

"It's coming from the forest," he told his sister.

"It's only the wind," said Lucy.

"It is not the wind; it's human," the boy told her.

"No," she said, wisely, "it's inhuman."

But there was no holding Marcus. "C'mon!" he cried, "lets take a closer look." And off he went, slugging through the marsh in his high boots. His sister followed behind, crying out: "No, Marcus. Remember what father said."

"I'm only going to get a closer look," shouted the boy.

The sun was setting as they reached the end of the marsh. Now the trees cast long shadows, something like the bars of a prison cell.

"Look at our shadows!" Marcus told his sister. "They're growing longer as the sun sets."

Then something very strange happened. The two shadows detached themselves and slithered toward the dark wall of the forbidden forest.

"We're losing our shadows," Marcus cried, and he leaped forward.

"Don't, Marcus, don't," cried Lucy.

But Marcus ran toward the forest, following his own shadow which seemed to beckon him on.

"Wait for me," she cried, "Don't leave me alone!" And she ran to catch him, following her own shadow.

As the two shadows reached the edge of the forest, they stood erect as if beckoning the children.

"We mustn't go any farther," Lucy cried out, but Marcus did not hear. With a cry of triumph he seized his own shadow. A moment later, he was sucked into the forbidden forest.

"Marcus.... Marcus..." Lucy started crying out frantically. "Marcus this isn't funny come out". Marcus appeared out of the forest holding his head. Lucy ran up to him and asked he what was wrong. I got this huge headache." Marcus started to moan. Lucy looked at his arm and screamed "MARCUS YOU'RE BLEEDING!" Marcus looked at it "Oh yeah I must have got it when that stray dog bit me." Lucy looked at him in a panic. "What... what if it had rabies or something. I'm getting mom and-" Marcus put out his hand and grabbed her arm. "No if they found out we'd both be grounded." Lucy opened her mouth but nothing came out because she saw his arm hair growing long and dark. His teeth sharpened to a point, and his ears turned into dog ears. Lucy started to step back slowly while watching her brother turn into a monster. Marcus's ears twitched and he looked over at Lucy. Lucy suddenly couldn't move. She was too paralyzed with fear. Marcus put his hands over his head and screamed in to the air. As he leaped for Lucy all his clothing ripped off his body. Lucy fell backwards. She closed her eyes preparing herself for the impact. Except five seconds later nothing happened. She opened one eye and saw that a see- through blue shield had formed around her and that Marcus was trying to get through it. Then she heard a voice coming from forest. "Try all you want but you'll never get through that shield." Lucy saw that a beautiful woman with long black hair and red eyes came out of the forest. She saw that her skin was pale white and her black dress looked torn. "That’s the problem with you werewolves, too stupid to even see that." Lucy looked over at Marcus who was looking at her very fiercely. Then he started to run for her. Lucy acted quickly by yelling, "MARCUS DON'T!!!! I know you're still in there. I know you don't want to kill anyone so please..." Lucy felt the warm tears running down her face. "Please stop. I love you brother and I don't want to see you do this." Marcus had stopped running and looked back at Lucy and started to whimper and with his tail between his legs he started to walk back towards her slowly. The blue shield that was protecting her had vanished. Marcus put his head on her lap now crying. "I'm sorry Lucy I should have listened to father and the others. Now look at me. I'm a freak." He looked at the woman. "Please kill me." Lucy gasped. "Marcus... No." "Yes Lucy. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore... I don't want to hurt anyone at all." Marcus turned to the witch. "Please kill me." The woman smiled and pulled out an A.K. 47. "In this gun there is only one silver bullet and I'm not the one who is going to be shooting it." The woman threw the gun at Lucy's feet. "It would be that girl’s choice." Lucy trembled as she picked up the gun. "Do it Luc... I don't want" Lucy saw that Marcus lost sanity again and she knew she had to act quickly. As the gun shook in her hands she pointed it towards her only brother. Marcus started to dash at her. She felt the adrenaline rush threw her veins. She felt something take over her. As she screamed the gun fired and Marcus’s body fell to the ground. "MMARCUSSS.....NOOOOOO!" She tried to put the gun to her head but it was no use. The bullet chamber was empty. She looked over where the woman was once standing. But she was gone. She stood up and walked over to Marcus's body. "Ohh Marcus....I'm so... I'm so sorry...” she wrapped her arms around Marcus's limp body drenching her own face in tears. As she looked up at the sky she screamed "KILL MEE!!!" then everything went black.

She awoke in a strange place she never seen before. "Wher-where am I-" "You're at my place humble isn't it." Lucy looked over to see the woman bring her a bowl of soup. " made me kill my only brother and-" "I didn't make you do anything. Look kid you come from a long line of werewolf hunters. I can sense it. I am a witch after all. So I am going to give you three options. You can either A. stay here with me and be my apprentice, B...” The woman handed her a dagger. "Kill yourself. Or C. goes back to your mom and dad and live your life without your brother. The choice is yours..." Lucy looked down at her hands and looked back at the woman. "What's your name?" The woman smiled "I am Stella Alliente the III." Lucy looked her straight in the eyes and said, "I want get the man who changed my brother. I want revenge, so I will take Option A." The woman stood up and walked over to the bookshelf where she pulled out a book. She flipped to a page and read out a spell. "What did you just do?" Lucy asked curiously. The woman smiled and said, "I whipped out the memory of you and your brother from everyone who once knew either of you. It's like you never existed..."

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