At dusk the villagers commence their annual pilgrimage through the woods.
I’m sixteen; judged old enough to participate now.
We reach the clearing where, only yesterday, charred timbers littered a blackened hollow, that nature, oddly, has abhorred for years. But today I see a sprawling house, with dark soul-less eyes. From within I hear whimpers and sobbing.
We stand in a circle for hours, pain etched on our faces, listening.
And then the windows glow red, and the screams…
The house vanishes.
“For years we refused to acknowledge what went on at the orphanage,” my father says, “we owe them this.”
I really didn’t feel like submitting something darkly tragic today, but this is what the muse thrust upon me, and having had the grandchildren to stay for a few days, I really must get on with restoring the house to its usual pristine condition… yeah, only joking. 😉 Many thanks to Rochelle who leads the Friday Fictioneers with her usual aplomb and dedication.