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The Clearing in the Woods

David Rowell
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"Peace Tree"

Reagan Hofer

The Twilight Forest is old, far older than you and me. My entire life has been dedicated to finding what secret lies at its heart. I finally found it.


Weeks of travel put me in a small clearing filled with thousands of blood red roses, all lacking the painful touch of a thorn. Noticing the relatively defensible nature of such a place, I quickly set up camp to rest for the night.


The next morning found me more groggy than I’d been before sleep. My dreams had been filled with a sense of chaos and death, and I swore the air itself felt different. Most peculiar of all, however, were the roses around me. What were once vibrantly beautiful works of nature, had all withered to death. I found myself centered in that field and every second I thought something horrible was going to happen.

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