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Will-O-Wisps


The streetlights that littered the sidewalks had begun to lose all their vibrancy, casting a darkness along the roads. The only thing that brought any semblance of guidance was the pale moon, that had created a hazy glow throughout the town. The people that had once densely crowded the streets had all since retired into their homes, the warmth that was given by the sheer number of people was no longer enough to sate their needs. In one such home, the people that took shelter within it had already escaped into their dream worlds, hoping to forget about that one that they truly belonged to. One of which, was a small boy, around the age of seven that had begun to dream of dragons and knights. Utterly immersed, he failed to notice that the stars outside of his opened bedroom window that had once dusted the sky, seemed to have gotten brighter, and almost, closer.

Small balls of light began to descend from the midnight sky which began to follow an unwritten path that led to a small opening that was created by the little boy’s window. Floating around his room, they casted such a vibrant light that it caused the small boy to toss and turn in his sleep. Rousing from his slumber, he looked up the see the display of dancing lights, resembling that stars in the night sky, all traces of sleep left his face at that instant. A grin splitting his face at the wondrous display. Standing from his place on the bed, he turned in circles trying to catch sight of them all. And in turn, they began to glow even brighter than before, casting away any darkness that lay in his room and turning it into a beacon of sorts.

Then one by one, as if playing a game of follow the leader, they began to dance their way towards the little boy’s window, motioning for him to join. As the little boy began to follow, not yet understanding the meaning behind the phrase “Stranger Danger,” he stumbled to the window and climbed through. The soft grass that greeted his feet went unnoticed as he continued to follow the dancing orbs throughout the street. On and on they went. Passing all the houses in his neighborhood, by the local church and even a gas station, they made their way to a destination unknown to the little boy. However, as they continued on, he hadn’t even noticed the changing of the road, from pavement to gravel. Or even the houses that once cluttered the sides of the road, was now replaced by a dense, tree-ridden field. The road changing once again from gravel to now dirt, grass, and rocks, small pine needles piercing into his feet yet, he remained unaware.
The balls of light, that were once such a bright white that it would blind anyone that looked, became a dull, soft blue color which gave an almost serene feeling. Leading the little boy deeper and deeper into the forest, the lights began to dance at a more frantic pace, urging him to move faster. To their chagrin, the little boy never made it to where they wanted him to. Before anything happened, the little boy started to truly see again, losing the haze that had surrounded his vision. Bright, orange light began to shine through the dark green trees, illuminating the path that lay before him ; the small wisps no longer visible. Stumbling around in a daze, the little boy turned and started running the way he came. Pure panic overtaking him, tears and snot began running down his face. Panting and sobbing throughout the woods and into the town. Passerbys became alarmed to see such a small child running out of the forest, sobbing, and alone. Some rushed over, not only to find his guardians but also to console the poor child. Everything had passed by in a blur, police came to investigate what had happened, his parents had found him and eventually, the three-member family made it home.

The police had become curious of what laid down the paths he took, hoping that this event wasn’t going to end in horror. Brushing tree branches away, some stumbling over logs and stones, they tried following the small path. Trees and shrubs made a sort of concave that forced the officers move into a crouch, almost like it was made for only children to explore. Slowly moving down the path, they noticed an end to the tunnel. Stepping forward, they made it into an alcove, trees surrounding the entire field. Turning in small circles, the officers tried to take in every little detail until eventually, they noticed small stones in the middle. Haltingly walking towards them, they noticed the grass around them was a much darker green. Unnerved, they returned back to the road, to hopefully get an investigation under way. Once they did, a full day later, a new team made their way to the area. They began to dig in the darker areas. A nauseating smell overtook the area, the smell of rot. Biting back any bile they had, they continued to dig until eventually, they found a body. A body of a child. They found dozens of children rotted away.


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