There's a woodland I like to visit. I tend to go there on Friday nights, so that I might breathe that fresh, green-scented air, walk amongst those ancient trees, and rid myself of all the pressures I face during the week.
Last night, I went there with a friend, but something was not right. There were a large number of people about, for one, and there was a sense that they just didn't belong there. Even once we left the people behind and were deeper in the woods, the woods themselves seemed agitated, for some unknown reason. There was a Shadow passing through, and we could not stay. I do not understand what was wrong, but something was very wrong. It wasn't just an ordinary feeling of surprise at being not as alone as we had expected to be, but a sense of unbalance, of darkness, maybe even of evil presence. It was a stronger and more pure fear than I have felt in many years.
I know the woods will right themselves. Those woods are as sacred and holy as any church or any Druid oak grove ever was. But last night Shadows walked on human legs, and I don't know what feels worse: having to accept that we will probably never know what was really wrong, or knowing now that those woods are not the complete haven I believed them to be. They are still beautiful and still sacred, but even there, reminders of Shadow may still come.