Short Story
                                   The Girl In The Forest
                                                         By Judson Michael Agla

 Ironically enough; it was actually a dark and stormy night when I discovered the corpse. I lived on a farm
with mother, father, and little sister, and I behaved like a semi-normal farm boy, and NO! I never touched
any of the animals in that familiar kind of way.

 I was wild and adventurous taking up long journeys through the fields and forests that surrounded our
farm; I never appreciated the beauty of the landscape until I was much older; the colors of fall across the
rolling fields are mesmerizing. I often brought my little sister along on my journeys; living on a farm without
access to a gas guzzling machine meant you were pretty much left with yourself and your imagination.

 That night I got into a screaming battle with my father; the contents of which I can’t remember as it was a
confusing ongoing battle fueled by Rye and given with contradictory abbreviated messages. My father was
a cantankerous man on the best of days; and alcoholism and its destructive abilities weren’t something I’d
fully comprehend until I was older.

 Don’t get me wrong; he never actually hit any of us, he reserved that outlet to kicking in doors and turning
tableware into projectiles. If I had understood more at the time; I think I would have hated him, but he was
my father, and that was how fathers were, the one thing I was sure of though; was that he had something
bad that was building inside of him, inside of his heart.

 After the screaming, and crying, and a bottle being thrown against the wall, I got out of there pretty quick;
as per usual after one of these common sessions. As always I was determined to run off to some far off
imaginary land, where one didn’t have to worry about ducking under flying coffee mugs filled with Rye.

 My sister followed; as we had become sort of joined at the hip in lieu of our shared plight, and I most
certainly could use the company. The farm was surrounded by a vast, thick forest, with creeping branches,
and thorn bushes everywhere. One of the things I had in abundance on that farm was time, and I spent a lot
of it carving trails into the otherwise untraversable forest, all of them leading to hiding spots for nights such
as that one.

 It was on one of these trails that we came across the corpse, I was so terrified that I pissed myself then
and there; my sister thought it was a big doll, at first, so no trauma there. It was a teenage girl, naked,
uncovered, and immaculate; she had no visible wounds but even at that age I knew that dead was dead
and that’s what she was. I didn’t go near her and instructed my sister to do the same; the moonlight
seemed to somehow snake its way through the dense collection of trees around us, lighting up her whole
body, as if it were involved in this as we were.

 My mind raced as I would suppose anyone’s would upon discovering a dead girl; things just became a
different sort of real, the corpse wasn’t a corpse anymore, it, she, was a girl now. I looked back over my
trail, across the field, and at our house with the glow through the windows flickering in the rain, I thought
about the density of the forest and how long and difficult it was to carve the trails, how the girl bared no
wounds of thorns or branches, she was perfectly clean accept for her heels, her heels were covered in dirt.
No one could traverse this forest without coming out bloody and bruised; one could only enter unscathed
by route of my trails, and only four people knew about them.

 Our father would be passed out in his chair by now, and the cold was sweeping in. I didn’t have to
impress the severity of our situation to my sister at that point; she was sharp as a tack and had figured out
that we weren’t dealing with a big doll anymore. As we started out towards the house I began to
experience flashes, small details about the girl; she had a necklace that could have had a charm, but I didn’
t see it, she was face up and most of the necklace was pulled behind her head, dark red lipstick,
untouched, with no smears, fingers and toenails freshly painted to match the lipstick.

 I had one more vision while approaching the house; an impossible vision, during the time we spent there I
never looked at her eyes, not once, I couldn’t; but in the rain on the field, I saw them, I remembered them,
they were green, green with golden flecks. I would have thought myself crazy if it wasn’t for the confirmation
from my sister; green with golden flecks.  

 As we approached the house we were both weighted down with rain water, mud, and a complex riddle
that neither of us was suited for. As we reached the porch steps we heard the shots; gun shots, three of
them, echoing from the house. My mind went blank; as I grabbed my sister in my arms and started running,
off our property and down the row to the next farmhouse, I almost knocked the door off its hinges; finally it
opened, revealing two curiously surprised but comforting faces. They asked what had happened, and with
my sister still in my arms; she simply whispered “The devil came to our farm”.
About Judson Michael Agla

I’m an artist working in a lot of different mediums, like; painting, drawing, sculpture, and writing
in both poetry and flash fiction. My work has always leaned towards the macabre, and I’ve been
able to find a place for my voice in writing in the horror genre.   
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