She went to the woods to draw the fey from her. The fresh air and absence from all else lightened her bonds, and she eased out into her wicked nigh-fanged grin and wandering wondering eyes. She was never one to move freely but now she felt that she could. In an instant she’d shimmy up a tree and scale out watchful onto its branches and leap hungrily down onto anything that moved. She’d stretch lazily on a moss-eaten log and bask in the yellow light on her skin. She’d spread her wings and alight on the rock jutting over the path and gleeful-grinning ask riddles to passersby. She’d dart through the trees like wind in the leaves.
“Did you hear that?” Someone would say and only their phrase would remain.
“It was nothing,” they’d mutter, but wrongly so- out here in the wilds where no one knew her name she was no one, it was true- oh, but she could be anything.
With quick-dancing feet and a manic grin she imagined she could lose herself in the trees- that wandering so frequently down this path would make it her home- that she’d dissipate in the breeze or the earth, find herself as a spirit or demon or dryad and become this place. But the further she stepped into the woods, the faster her heart beat, the slower her feet would carry her. The wind felt cold on her skin and a thought pressed with increasing urgency in her mind.
“I don’t want to get lost in these woods.”
The manic left her in an instant and her frenzy fueled itself with fear in its stead.
Things were too still here; she thought, and she thought if she stayed here, she’d grow still too.
She turned tail and ran back the way she had come, feet thudding on the path,
Exhaustion finally rooted her to a fork in the trail.
A tree grows, twelve feet from the road.