From The Narrator, Chapter 9

As soon as they entered the woods, the bright summer afternoon went out like a snuffed candle. The pleasant heat was replaced with a cool, damp breeze that surrounded them like a whisper. The trees pressed in on them, their trunks forcing the riders to shrink into their saddles. Low-hanging branches blocked the path, while tangled roots threatened to trip the horses.

But worse than all of that was the oppressive sense of someone watching them. Or rather, something, as if the trees watched their progress with disapproving stares. Calder wanted to confess everything he’d ever done in a vain attempt to make the judgement stop, or to curl up into a ball and close his eyes and wish all of it away.

Instead, he lifted the next branch out of his way and continued on.

After an hour of fighting the forest, Saydie grumbled, “I’m starting to think we’re not welcome.”

Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.