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.