Colin, his reflexes dulled by the trance he had
succumbed to, blinked and turned his head. He beheld a
small boy not unlike himself, save that two small knobs,
the beginning of horns, rested atop his head, and his
eyes were of purest silver, absent of pupils.
The boy smiled, angel-like, and held something out.
Colin slowly reached for it, and saw that it was mask.
Seemingly made of tree bark, it was painted a light
shade of green, had two eye slits rimmed with brown,
and two small horns imitating those of the boy.
“Come dance with us,” the boy whispered.
Colin donned the mask, felt it adhering to his skin as
though it belonged there, and shivered with forbidden
delight. Following the boy into the clearing, the ring of
unnatural forest-folk parted, allowing him entry.
He followed the boy into the circle, skipping and
dancing, waving his arms frantically along with the
beating of the drum. He soon found himself surrounded
by other strange and wondrous children, some with
tails, some with scales, some with claws, and some with
wicked grins filled with sharp teeth, but Colin was not
He knew he was welcome here, for the mask made
him one of them. Laughing and shouting with glee, he
frolicked and danced away the night. He joined hands
with some – the boy who had given him the mask on
his left, and a dark-haired girl with pointed ears on his
right. Together, they spun about, leaping and running
and circling about the fire, until Colin finally collapsed
from exhaustion and exhilaration.
His tired bones and weary head succumbed to sleep
as he settled down into a soft bed of leaves and grass.
The intoxicating smell of the earth was like a sweet
For more information regarding the fantasy series, The Tales of Tanglewood, please visit the website to learn more about Colin and the other characters in the 'wood, and to download a sample of the first few chapters of each book for free.