The Beckoning, by Conan D’Agostino

(F.F.F. Website Story)

Lead goes slack. Panting breaths transformed into low growl. Atmosphere charged. He looked down at his companion who was now rigid, emanating noises of primal fear and staring straight ahead.

He followed the line of sight. There it was, at the edge of the forest – beckoning him. The translucent, emaciated figure. Same garbled speech but more desperate this time. Pleading. Beckoning.

Suddenly dragged away by his whimpering, flat-eared companion. Lead tight. Bounding.

In the candle-lit croft, the man looked around at his life.

I’m sorry, old friend, the old man thought. But if it should happen again…

I’m going.

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