I looked down the valley and shivered. It was eerie, as eerie as it had always been. But there was no turning back now. I carefully made my way down the cliff side.
The shadow that took my brother lingered here, in this dark, bleak place. It was a place where many got lost forevermore, either by personal volition or when taken by the malignant spirits that dwelt in its darkness. While many of us would have preferred to keep the valley within the forgotten alleyways of our consciousness, it would always find ways to remind us of its existence. Today, it did so through the abduction of my brother.
I soon felt the ground beneath my feet and took a deep breath before turning to face the forest. It was too quiet; my breaths and movements seemed to echo amongst the trees. There was no breeze to be felt, as if it had abandoned hope of offering a refreshing air for anything or anybody that came to or from the valley.
Slowly, I faced the dark and thought I saw a multitude of red eyes glaring at me, but only for a millisecond. It was more than enough to make me want to clamber back up the wall, back to safety and security, back to comfort and light. But I knew that I’d never be able to rest knowing that the valley claimed my brother.
I straightened up, took out a torch from my bag, and struck a match to light it. As soon as I did, I saw outlines of monstrous forms in the darkness, within the borders of the trees. They, however, made no sound, and merely stood where they were, as if beckoning me to become their victim of the night. I closed my eyes and stood as still as I could despite how jittery my hands were, despite how I felt fear consume my body inch by inch.
The sudden cold that surrounded me made me wrap my coat around me tighter. It was then that I felt the sharp edges of some object in my pocket. Slowly, I placed a hand in it, and took out a crystal that I always had with me. It was given to me by my brother a long time ago, a kind of talisman to protect me from danger, or so he said. It was, however, a constant reminder of his presence, and it soothed my fears. I knew what I had to do to get him back, and I would get him back, no matter what.
With a deep breath, a shining torch in one hand and my brother’s gem in the other, I entered the forest.
Image source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Art/comments/87bqna/the_valley_digital_85x11/
First written March 27, 2018.