The Forests of the Night

on December 1, 2009 in Horror

These days, the woods only ever come out at night.

During the day there are trees, of course, but that’s all that they are. They have been thinned out, pushed back, and pruned and trimmed. Their branches are only permitted to spread out high enough to provide shade for picnics and afternoon pstrolls.

By day, it seems that the trees have been tamed. They are carefully managed… bound in our parks, fenced in or kept out.

At night, the woods come out, dark and vast and terrible. They block the cold, meager light of the moon. They reject the sterile glow of the street lamps. They muscle right up to the edge of the sidewalk and lurk menacingly on the edge of the consciousness of all who hurry past them. Branches that are not permitted to cling and block and grasp at passersby reach out in shadow form at night… a feeble ghost of what they should be, but a ghost that has power and presence nonetheless.

Those whose ancestors once dwelt in the shadows of primeval forests understand that trees at night give shelter to all manner of things. The night woods are alive with witches and wolves, goblins and ghouls, shades and spirits.

We have slain the great giants that once straddled the earth. We have formed the framework of our civilization from their bones and and built our cities on their graves.

Is it any wonder that we find ourselves haunted?

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5 Responses to “The Forests of the Night”

  1. Miss Lynx says:

    I really like this one… very evocative.

  2. zeel says:

    now i’m not likely to go into any woods for a while, very spooky.


  3. Like the old rhyme… Elder do grieve
    and oak he do hate
    and willowman walks
    when thee are out late.

  4. Abeo says:

    The decline of the forests of the world is something that I find continually disappointing. I grew up reading fantasy, where forests stretch on in darkness, for days at a time. The world just seems so much less wonderous without majestic forests of shadow/doom/solitude/etc.

  5. Dave says:

    “primevil forests” – nice. I presume the alteration from “primeval” is intentional.

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