“I don’t think this is a good idea,” Joylyn moaned. “Nania says the shadowtrees eat children when both the moon and sun are sleeping.” The sky was inky black, a dark blanket enveloping the world. Ahead, Zin’s torch sputtered and sparked, the light giving ghostly life to the edge of the dark wood.
“You’re such a globberworm, Joy,” Zin mocked over his shoulder. “Nania’s just trying to scare you. If you’re too frightened then go home. We’ll find the star rubies without you.”
Joylyn paused and looked back at the slumbering village. It seemed a lot further away than she remembered, too far to return alone. She clutched her blanket tightly. The light around her began to fade, and she ran to catch up with the rest as they entered the forest. Under the canopy, the fire played more ominous tricks. The gnarled branches seemed to grasp for Joylyn, yearning to wrench her into their twisted trunks. She sobbed quietly as she followed the rest down the path.
High above, ten pairs of red eyes followed them hungrily.