Cover by Mina Rivera
The trees are farther apart than I thought they would be. The outside looks like a dark world of leaves and danger, the daytime’s pocket of forever darkness, living here in plain sight. As if a forest is a normal thing. As if the secrecy of the earth is in any way safe.
My steps are careful. My eyes are everywhere.
This is not a designated campsite. A park for like-minded people coming to take up house for the starry nights, hiking in the wilderness during the days.
This is Lost Lake, a thicket of nature plonked in the middle of anywhere that will take it.
We are hot, sticky beaming some of the time, torrential rain, rain please don’t go away the rest of the time. I love the rain. I just don’t want to sleep in it.
A fallen tree, massive, and beautifully tragic, dying alone out here, left only among its tree friends.
“Well that’s not creepy at all.”
On the other side of the tree lives a car, rusty, and old. It too has become a part of the earth it sits upon.
“Who doesn’t come back for their car?”
“Okay Jasper, we get it, we’re camping in the woods, let the horror ensue.”
“You don’t believe in scary stories?” Edward almost seems to come out of nowhere, except, I knew where he was, who he was looking at, and the moment he began to speak. When he moves, I move, just to learn him a little better, just to get a little closer.
“Scary stories yeah, but what are the odds that something gruesome will happen here? Of all places, this town is the total opposite of housing serial killers and boogeymen.”
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