The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Dark Side of the Wood
by Stephanie Ayers
“Today’s gonna be a good day, eh, Roo?” Pooh said to his small friend. The yellow haze of a full moon night in the Hundred Acre Wood were his favorite evenings of all. It was the one night he didn’t have to eat honey, and that made him happy. After all, a Pooh bear can’t survive off honey alone. But this night was even more special; he got to teach his young friend all about the Yellow Moon. Tonight, under the Yellow Moon, they hunted bacon.
“Now don’t feel bad for Piglet, Roo,” Rabbit said, licking his chops. “We all know what happens under the Yellow Moon. Someday it will be your turn, too.”
Roo trembled and hid in Kanga’s pouch.
“Now, Rabbit, really? You know we don’t talk about the Yellow Moon. There’s no point in scaring Roo. Your turn will come before his will,” Kanga said. Her arms wrapped around her son protectively.
“Ha! We’ll see about that. I’m too important. Who will tend the garden in my place? Owl is the only other person of importance in the Wood. What good is a Piglet but for meat?”
Pooh grunted. “Well, a certain bear could argue that Piglets are better friends than Rabbits, if a bear of little brain could argue.”
Rabbit rose on his hind legs and towered over Pooh, pressing his nose against Pooh’s.
“A bear of very little brain has even less uses,” Rabbit warned, licking his chops. “I hear bear meat is even better than bacon.”
Tigger bounced between then and separated them. “Whoo-hoo-hoo! Tigger is here!”
Eeyore stumbled in. “I have a very bad feeling about tonight,” he said in his slow, lazy drawl. “My house collapsed as I left it. And I lost my tail again.”
“Don’t worry, Eeyore, we’ll find your tail after the hunt,” Owl said, peering over his glasses. “Has Christopher Robin arrived yet?”
“He’s catching the Heffalump to chase Piglet into the trap,” Kanga said. “The Heffalump loves the Yellow Moon even more than Pooh loves honey.”
Pooh whispered, “Which would be a lot if a Pooh bear actually liked honey.”
“Brilliant,” Owl said. “I knew Christopher Robin would come up with the perfect plan. He always does.”
“Did I hear my name?” Christopher Robin asked as he appeared from the woods. He carried a squirming bag over his shoulder.
Pooh’s eyes widened. “Is-is that the Heffalump?”
Christopher Robin laughed. “No, you silly old bear.” He set the bag down and Piglet emerged from it.
“Christopher Robin, why did you wake—” Piglet’s consternation changed to fear as he saw his friends gathered around under the Yellow Moon. He looked at Pooh with sorrow-filled eyes. “You, too, Pooh?”
Christopher Robin gave Piglet no time for tears. He glowered at the small creature and lowered his eyes. “No time for that, Piglet. Run!” He poked Piglet with a fork.
Piglet squealed and took off into the woods. Rabbit started to follow, but Christopher Robin stopped him.
“Wait for it, Rabbit. He should be running into the Heffalump right about-”
A squeal of terror interrupted Christopher Robin.
“Yep, that’s what I was waiting for. Let’s go!”
Christopher Robin led the animals into the wood. It wasn’t hard to follow Piglet’s trail because for such a small person, he made a horrible mess as he crashed through the woods. Piglet’s squeals grew closer until they finally found him, secured under the trap Christopher Robin had set up for him. The Heffalump growled and made faces at Piglet on the other side of the trap.
“P-please,” Piglet cried. “I’m too small. Wouldn’t the Heffalump be better? I’d barely fill Roo let alone all of you.”
“Heffalumps don’t taste as good as bacon,” Christopher Robin said. “Isn’t that right, Heffy?”
The Heffalump stopped growling at Piglet and gave Christopher Robin a thumbs up.
“When’s dinner? I’m starved.”
Fiction © Copyright Stephanie Ayers
Image courtesy of Christina Sng
More from author Stephanie Ayers:
The 13: Tales of Macabre
Can you survive all 12?
Killer watermelons, murderous jewelry boxes, centenarian sea whisperers, creatures of myth/legend, and more…
This supernatural story collection will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew. At night you’ll hover under your covers while looking over your shoulder in the day. Down, down in the depths they fell; bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 12?
This is the second collection in The 13 series. Will you survive all 13?
With forward by JM Ames and poetry by Stacy Overby.