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The Official Website
of John Derhak
Author of Tales from the moe.Republic & The Bones of Lazarus
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The Witch of the Wailing Wood
With a new afterword

Deep in the forest, beyond the northern slopes of the Old Mountain by the Sea, upon the far edge of the Lost Kingdom of Moose Harbor, stretches a dark, mysterious tract of land known by those who know no better, and better known by those who do, as the Wailing Wood. For more generations than remembered superstition has held that the old-growth forest is enchanted by a witch—a witch that came to be in a dark time. At nightfall, it is said, the woods come to life, haunted by evil spirits under her spell. Locals believe that none shall pass through her woods after sunset—and live to tell about it—for no one ever has.

Then, late one night, in the dead of winter, one man knowingly comes before the Wailing Wood. There’s been a terrible accident, and time is against him. He must choose his path: the lengthy trail off the mountain or the shorter trail through the witch’s forest. Wavering and unsure, he brushes superstition aside and enters. His mind drifts, as does his reality, slowly, with each step he takes, until the forest awakens, or so it seems. Struggling for his sanity, he finds himself in an endless nightmare desperately trying to break the forest's enchantment as he attempts to break through to the other side.

A short story in digital
by John Derhak