Drabble 103 – Alseid

Alseid

A few creepy things have happened to me throughout my life, but when somebody asks me for my creepiest story, exactly one comes to mind–the time I saw a something on the side of the road late at night.

I say a something because I’m not sure what it was and I have no touchstone for what such a thing could even be. It was around three in the morning; I was tired and I’ve been known to see strange things when I’m tired, but it happened on a road that was notoriously haunted in my community.

It went like this: I was staring out the window, watching the trees go by. As I looked, I saw something rise up to about six feet high and outstretch wings that appeared to be about six feet in span. We kept driving, and I kept staring out the window, certain I’d imagined it.

Until a friend in the car said, “Did you just see that?”

It wasn’t scary until that moment. I could convince myself that nothing had happened, that there was nothing to be frightened of in the woods, but the moment somebody else acknowledged that it happened, I had to confront that it had really been there. Whatever it was, it’d been real enough that all three of us in the car had seen it.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

ALSEID

(n.) from Greek alsos (grove)

Nymphs of glens and groves.

“You read too many stories. There’s a smear of dirt on her cheek, leaves caught in her tight brown curls. “You’re imagining things.”

Her heart is still pounding in her chest, her legs aching from running. Even as she tells herself it was nothing, she can’t shake the image.

Glen, she thinks, is a silly word for it anyway. It’s a storybook word, a fantasy word, a word that doesn’t belong in the time of cell phones and social media. She glances at her phone, and sure enough, the picture is there—five figures, hands linked, dancing in the glen.

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