Painted by the light of the moon, I moved through the woods as stealth as possible. Clawing at branches. Looking, looking for something to eat. Four nights. That was a long time. My stomach growled, spoke in another language. Desperation was leaking from my tongue, dripping from the sides of my mouth.
“What was that?”
I turned, made myself smaller as I hid behind the nearest tree.
There it was again.
Subdued my breathing.
The sound was getting louder.
Wiping my jaw, I headed toward the noise. “What’s this?” I blinked. “Could it be?”
Three of them and they were all plump as a raisin. Oh, and they looked tired, so tired, as they wiped their sweat from their foreheads.
I burrowed down and waited until the honey melon fireball started to rise.
Licked my fingers, one by one, tiptoed to the first house. It was made of straw, so thin and light. “Almost too easy,” I said to myself. Knocked once. No answer, but I heard scurrying coming from within. I rubbed my hands together and drew in a gulp of air. My lungs expanded until they couldn’t fill anymore. Puff. That’s all it took.
Whimpering with his legs crossed, teeth chattering, he looked at me with eyes that begged for mercy. But I was in no mood for sympathy. Gobble. Gobble. Then as I chewed, I turned to my right. “What’s this?” A house made of sticks.
Laughing, I walked toward the house of twigs, rubbing my belly. Knock, knock. No answer. But I could hear music playing, sounded like a jewelry box being opened.
Again, I drew in a large gulp of air and blew with all my might. But this time, the house only swayed, and a few branches fell to the ground.
So, I tried again, filling my lungs with morning air, and blowing harder this time. The sticks fell like dominos. This one was not as plump as the others, but I didn’t care. He stood there with his hands behind his back. A glare radiated from his glasses. Almost blinding me.
His eyes widened.
No energy, it was getting cold, sleep, sleep.
I am a Lowcountry author of short stories, poetry, and novels. I made my debut in 2014 with the novel, Life with a Bird Out the Window, followed by Forgiving the Past (2020), and The Untold Legacy (2021). My work has appeared online in Spillwords. Two of my short stories, Shining Light, and Claire De Lune have been chosen to be published in an anthology titled, An Iron Fist in A Velvet Glove. They also were awarded honorable mention in the Globe Soup 7 Day Writing Contest. I am a member of several writing groups, Write Like You Mean It, Kingsbridge Writers Circle, Writers Beyond Borders, Charlotte Lit, and participate in open mic nights with the Pat Conroy Literary Center.