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The Wickersnips' Woods, Matthew Pritt

They come out at midnight, they stay in the trees

They lower the temperature thirty degrees

But if you feel brave, let it be understood:

Your life is at risk in the Wickersnips’ Wood.

But if you are wandering nearby their area

And all the surroundings become somewhat scarier

Then turn and run quickly, for not a thing good

Can occur when you stray through the Wickersnips’ Wood.

The border is marked by some gnarled old oaks

You’ll hear a strange laughter, like a child hearing jokes

And maybe you’ll smell the most pleasing of scents

Like cookies or pie waiting to be dispensed

Without further thought, you’ll step over the threshold

You’ll shiver and tremble when greeted with fresh cold

By then you’re too far in the wrong neighborhood

For there’s just no escaping the Wickersnips’ Wood.

These fur-covered imps will begin their advances

Hopping so lithely from branches to branches

You’ll see their quick darts in peripheral vision

And hear that their giggles are laced with derision

They’ll bind you in ropes and they’ll drag you in deeper

And shove you down hills that get steeper and steeper

You’d try to break free if only you could

But you’ll find yourself claimed by the Wickersnips’ Wood.

But if, for your blood, they are somehow not thirsty,

Or if they’ve just eaten, they may show you mercy

And taunt you in ways that aren’t quite as painful

(You see, when they’re happy, they’re not so disdainful)

I know this is true, for it happened to me

I was granted my life in this rare clemency

And now I must warn you, it’s for your own good.

Do not wander into the Wickersnips’ Wood.


Matthew Pritt is the author of The Supes, published by Future House Publishing. His work has also appeared in Star*Line magazine and The Bear Creek Gazette. He is an HWA affiliate member. He has five cats and you can see pictures of them on his Twitter at @MatthewTPritt.

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