On A Leaf Edge

In this forest, standing on the edge may already be too close.


© Al Forbes

“Bojay! Come back!”  Aksi peered into the shadows, poking the fallen leaves at the forest border, scared to go further.

Turning, he scanned the sparse bushes and trees.  No sign of Bojay.  He must have gone in here.

“Lose someone?”

Aksi spun, startled by the old woman.  “Where did you come from?”

“I live over there.”  She waved vaguely.  “What happened?”

“My little brother ran off.”  Aksi gestured to his push-cart, apples and potatoes mixed together.  “It spilled.  I looked away for a moment and he was gone.”  His worried eyes twitched toward the forest.

The woman stepped just to the leaves, leaned in, listened.  “Yes.”

“He’s in there?  I have to—“

She grabbed his arm, surprisingly firmly.  “You’re too old.  You’ll get lost.  We wait.”

He glanced back.  “Wasn’t the forest farther from the road before?”

She shrugged.  “The forest is always wherever it is.”

Closer, she seemed much younger.

Finished waiting, she sang into the forest, a wordless, cooing, keening song.  It echoed unnaturally long.

Wet leafy footsteps, then a little boy emerged from behind the nearest tree.


The woman chuckled.  “Good. Wasn’t sure that would work.”

When Aksi turned to thank her, she was gone.

This was inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.  Click here to read all the other writers’ submissions, and to submit one of your own!

Word count: 200

15 thoughts on “On A Leaf Edge

  1. Oooh, spooky! With Halloween coming and magic mysterious things in Eneana, I wasn’t sure the boys were going to make it. Glad to hear that there is some good deed-doing taking place among those with some powers in that land! Awesome atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Heather! And I didn’t even think about it being spooky for Halloween, that was just a happy coincidence! But yes, these boys got a much better ending than most people who wander too close to this particular forest…. (Ooh, spooky music cue!)


  2. Sometimes I get carried away with words, especially how they are used…its not really always about the story is it but the words, always about the words: “The forest is always wherever it is.”…I love how the old lady brings Bojay back with her “wordless, cooing, keening song” the words again…I love the mysterious old lady, this story and how you tell it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I love getting carried away with words myself. And I love that you picked out those lines, because I played with those in particular to try to get them just the way I wanted them, to try to convey exactly those feelings and images in my own mind.


  3. Pingback: Once Theirs, Always Theirs | Tales from Eneana

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