Don’t dare to delve so deep, dear child, into the dark woods that you cannot find your way back… The woods are green and glorious, yes, but the woods are grim and ghastly too. The tenacious woods will trap you within themselves, closing in on you, climbing up your very toes, causing you to tumble terrified upon dead trunks of the dreaded trees. The tempting fruits will turn poisonous and pernicious upon touching, for the trees don’t pardon pugnacious people anymore, they punish. Every old root in the engulfing wood will make effort to entangle your feet and bid its eerie branch to ensnare you with elongated arms. The wild undergrowths, the warning wind, the waterless stream, and wilting flowers will watch you – the intruding wanderer – who wasn’t, and will never be welcome to the wilderness.
For these, are the silent survivors; the ones who made their way through the earth into the world in defiance of all warning, all whispers of brutal beasts armed with axes, ready to uproot and unhinge and unsettle. They escaped death, protected themselves and watched, watched, watched. They watch, and will watch. They are watching you.
For these are the survivors. And they don’t pardon anymore.
© Isha Garg
Doodle by Isha Garg