The moment anything goes wrong in my life, I have an instinct to run away to the woods. There’s no good reason for this–I have no wilderness survival skills, no particular instinct for directions, and no idea what sorts of things forest-dwellers eat.
It’s not even that I want to be some kind of quiet forest hermit. I imagine myself existing not as a fixed person, but as some kind of spirit-like entity that shows up to guide lost folk out of the woods. Given my lack of wilderness skills and my general lack of magical ability, this is not likely.
Maybe sometimes I’m a vengeful spirit, wreaking subtle havoc on the lives of those who disrespect my home. Mostly I’m kind, but what spirit can exist without a hint of darkness?
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Noun: from Japanese 木霊 or 木魂, tree/forest + soul)
Spirits that live in trees.
There is a place in the forest you can only reach when you’re lost. Miki has known this since her mother first warned her of it when she was a child. The forest is cool and quiet and deep and she knows, without thinking, that she has found this place.
Miki presses her fingers to tree bark, whispering. She shouldn’t have strayed, shouldn’t have let her anger get the best of her, but it’s too late for ‘shouldn’ts’ now.
A tear rolls down her cheek, and slowly, lights spring up all around her. A path, lit by an unearthly glow.