Souls Trapped in the Queen's Forest -| The Ink Well Fiction Prompt 128

The rain splashes on the raffia roof of an old hut house. The wind blows the trees standing close to the building. The dark atmosphere sends a feeling of joy in Remy's heart as she makes her way to enjoy the free gift of nature.

As she dances in the rain, her mind goes to the sacred forest known for ages to be ruled by a ghost known as the Queen of all the forests. The forest is secluded, and only gods and goddesses can enter if summoned by the queen.

With no successor, the ghost spirit dwells in the forest. Tales of how the forest haunts souls that step into it with full awareness of what would befall them circulate. Due to that danger, families warn their kids never to go into the forest as even an ordinary drop of a pin would attract the attention of the queen.

Remy, a curious, stubborn, and disobedient child, after hearing so many stories about the forest, unlike her other friends, thinks about exploring it. "If dancing in this rain is this sweet, how much more going into the forest. But, I can't go to that forest alone. Eunice loves adventure, so I will talk to her about it."

After Eunice agrees, they talk to Mark and Henry. Henry is the only person skeptical about going into a scary forest, but he has no choice but to join his friends to explore.

They agree to tell their parents they are going to fetch firewood, which is the easiest way for them to avoid being questioned, as firewood is found in bushes.

As they assemble, Remy leads the way, and they converse, making them feel unbothered.

"I really feel bad about this whole exploring thing. This place is eerie, and the feeling I'm getting is not ordinary," Henry asks.

"Mummy's boy, come on. Enough of all this; we are four and can stand anything that comes our way," Eunice says.

"Don't make it look like you are alone; we are four and can stand anything that comes our way," Remy assures.

"There are other forests we can explore. Why must it be this one? Maybe we should just stop moving forward already. I can't go further than this; I'm sorry. My mom has warned me on several occasions to avoid this place, and here I am not heeding her warnings," Henry says.

"Guy, stop acting childish. You don't even know the route to go out. Please let's be coordinated; you will enjoy this adventure. We all have been warned too. Don't make it look like it is only your mom that knows the history of this forest," Mark, who had been silent, says.

As they keep moving, the tall trees begin to grow taller, there is a wild sound, the breeze is uncontrollable, the atmosphere is unfriendly. Their hearts pound as they try to hold themselves from being blown away by the wind.

"We must return right now; this is a clear warning," Henry says, his eyes filled with fear.

"Come on Henry, everywhere is calm now. Can't you see? Maybe it's the forest's way of welcoming us in," Remy says.


They continue, and after some minutes, the wind becomes worse, the scream is louder than the first. Terrified, they stand still, unable to run or move further. In front of them is a ghost, with long sleeves white, her eyes turned with a scary scream which causes the wind to howl through the trees.

The breeze rolls the four friends out of the presence of the ghost. They lay where the wind stopped them unconscious for hours. The first person to wake up from the deep trance is Henry.

He tries to wake up the rest of his friends but to no avail. With trembling feet, he begins running Helter Skelter in the forest until he makes his way out and runs straight to inform his friends' parents. Their parents, knowing the forest is a haunted place, go to the village goddess to accompany them.

"The queen of the forest has trapped their souls out of anger. She warned them with signs, but they didn't heed her warning," the village goddess says.

"But I was with them. How come she freed me?"

"You were the only person that saw the need to go back after the first warning she sent across by causing a great wind," the goddess adds.

"These items must be purchased to appease the queen of forests to release their souls; otherwise, they will remain in a coma. Death in the physical but alive in the spiritual realm," the goddess lists all the items needed.

The items are bought and taken to the forest. At the front of the thick forest stands the goddess, the parents of the three trapped along with Henry and his parents. After lots of incantations and rituals, the goddess concludes by asking Henry to call the names of his friends three times.

Terrified he begins, "Remy! Remy!! Remy!!!, Mark! Mark!! Mark!!!, Eunice! Eunice!! Eunice!!!."

"All is done; the queen of the forests will release their souls when she pleases." As their parents return home, they pray for the return of their children.

In the evening of that day, the three friends wake up simultaneously, remembering the last thing they heard before collapsing, and they begin to run for safety. The queen of forests, merciful in nature, guides them out of the forest as they run to their different homes.

The story is heard everywhere in the village and by other neighboring villages. The terrifying experience is a lesson for others to avoid seeking the unknown in places they know are sacred and have been secluded.

3 columns
2 columns
1 column