To the people of Enniskregg township it is an ancient warning long remembered that spoke of forbidden places, nightmarish things, and the unspeakable horrors that would befall anyone who did not pay it heed. It goes as follows:
“Hear me now. There are parts of the wood that are haunted by the souls of murdered children.
Keep you to the path. And the wood. But mind you, do not stray into the dark wood. For the dark wood belongs to them. And they do not abide trespassers.
But if by chance you lose your way, and find yourself in the dark wood. Never stray passed the shadowbinders. Or go you near the henge. For they are there, to keep them there.
And to keep them far from us.”
To some it is folklore. To others myth. And others still would call it legend. But to the people of Enniskregg, it is less a warning and something more akin to a commandment etched in stone. A “thou shalt not”. And to pay it heed meant a long, happy, carefree life.
As long as you lived by the commandment. The “thou shalt not”.
As long as you didn't venture into the dark wood.
When an archaeological research team on an expedition to find an ancient druid ceremonial site are found brutally murdered in the wood beyond Enniskregg, their savage deaths are initially blamed on animal attacks. But these animals left behind human-like fingerprints. Fingerprints the size and shape of those resembling the fingerprints of small children. Leading the investigation into the murder of the archaeologists, Dublin Murder Squad detectives Siobhan Ryan and Seamus O'Connell will follow the blood stained evidence into the dark recesses of ancient Irish myth, folklore, and legend that will lead them into a hell–THAT DOES NOT ABIDE TRESPASSERS!!!
“Whenever someone would go missing in the wood”, said Liam, his eyes quickly darting back toward a customer in the store, a woman at the door kneeling to fasten the zipper on her little boys jacket, before starting back out on their way. “Me ‘gran would say, ”They’ll never find them. Not hide, nor hair. They've gone under the hill with the old ones“.
”And if it was a child that went missing in the wood?“, I asked, exchanging a knowing glance with Shae as he leaned across the store counter toward Liam. ”What would your ‘gran say then?“
”She would say“, Liam began again, his eyes catching mine, and his voice taking on a hushed quality not quite a whisper. ”They’ve been whisked away…By the Wee Ones“.
The pause that passed between the three of us couldn't have lasted more then a minute. A long sixty seconds. And then it was overtaken by the jingle jangling of the little bell above the store's door as the woman and her little boy finally walked out of the store and into the rest of their day.
”Hear me now“, Liam said, cutting a quick glance toward the slowly closing store door. ”There's something in the wood and it hates us. All of us to a fuckin' one of us.“
Shae and I cut puzzled glances at eachother and mouthed a quick fuck's he on about? as we watched Liam quickly round the counter; checking every aisle of the store to make sure that there was no one left inside but us, before going to the door and locking it shut. As we watched, Liam peeked first to the left, then to the right, out of the store window; as if he was checking to see if there was anyone outside of the store, before turning the OPEN sign hanging on the door to the CLOSED side.
”What do you mean, Liam?“ Shae asked, as Liam turned and made his way back toward us. ”What's in the wood that hates us?“
”It's a malevolence“, said Liam, taking his place back behind the counter and leaning close to Shae, matching Shae's curious stare with a look of both fear and anger in his own. ”Those children were taken as a tithe“.
As Shae and I watched, Liam suddenly backed away from the counter and turned away from us. When he turned back toward us his face and eyes had tightened into a mask of confliction. His thick fingers rubbed first his chin and then slid through his hair, as he seemed to be struggling with what to say next, and how much of what was clearly eating at his conscience and weighing on his soul to divulge to us.
”They were taken as a reckoning“, Liam began again, catching our eyes with his own, as he thrust his arm forward, his thick finger pointing toward the store window and the Enniskregg town's people walking up and down the sidewalk beyond it. ”A reckoning for debts unpaid, for crimes committed, in times gone by thee fuckin' by. And they all know it, but will never say it out loud“.
”What do they know, Liam?“, I asked, hoping to coax more out of him.
”They know that we're never going to find those kids“, Liam said after a moment, a somber look taking hold of his face and that hushed quality again settling into his voice, as if he were preparing himself for the inevitable. ”Not a one of them. Not alive. Not hide, nor hair“.
”Because of this…malevolence?“, I asked.
”The Wee Ones“, said Liam, his voice almost a whisper. As if his saying the name out loud, in a full throated voice, was akin to speaking of the devil. ”They want us dead, they do. They want us all dead…Starting with our children"…
“THE WEE ONES” by Darryl Hughes. READ FREE ON KINDLE VELLA WITH 200 FREE TOKEN PROMOTION.
Meet, Greet, Show and Sell*
"THE WEE ONES". A horror story about blood thirsty little creatures--THAT BITE!!! Now FREE on Kindle Vella
TheDeeMan at 8:28PM, Jan. 24, 2023
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Mastodon