The Forest

Stories by Ryan Barnard-Stoker

Photo by Phoebe Strafford on Unsplash

The red flags were obvious. There was no trail, there were no signs, and he couldn’t hear the traffic from the highway anymore. He knew he had walked too far. Dave had stumbled into the deepest reaches of the forest. Nobody had ever come back from that far in. The uncertainty of survival made his heart beat out of his chest.

It was getting dark and the only thing he could hear was an owl in the distance and the nature sounds of the forest accompanying it. So lonely now, he tried to locate the owl. If the owl was the only company he would have for the night, he could live with that.

With his next step, a branch snapped beneath his feet, and everything fell silent. Even the voices of the forest didn’t make a peep. He slowly stumbled forward. His heart…

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