10:13 AM, Found a Sprout in My Garden

Cold grey air came wafting out the hole made by two great pines. A moment later the fog would get sucked back in, right into the deep of the wood, and then back out, slow and sickly. Drunk trees leaned out of the earth on either side of the hole, twisted and mottled they shared nothing with the foreboding straight-backed pines behind them.

Maria was waiting for Willy outside. She didn’t believe in ghosts, but dared Willy to go into the forest. Now she was bored.

It was ten minutes before she recognised the sound of Willy’s scream. It was muffled, like he had a mouthful of crackers. Agonised, like his hand was stuck on a hot oventop. “Willy?”

She saw it peak out of the dirt before she’d gotten to the pine-hole. Twisted and blotchy, and every inch revealed more of Willy’s loud shriek. His head came up brown and crusty, his eyes were shut, his mouth was loosing its teeth. Maria screamed. She saw Willy’s face once before running, then it was mottled bark and she was gone.

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