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“It’s not really dangerous, Johnny,” Grit says. She sounds certain, a little exasperated, but her grip on his hand is firm. “They just want to scare us.”

In their back, the meadow is flooded in sunlight, so bright it drowns out the colours. Before them, a narrow path leads beneath the canopy, curving out of sight after a few steps.

“Danger, keep out!” the sign says, black letters on flaking white background, the red border stark contrast to the hazy green beyond. Grit regards it for a moment, then makes the first step into the shadows. The chill is a relief.

“‘m hungry,” Johnny mumbles, hours later. He still holds her hand, trusting.

“Soon,” she says.

The clearing smells like Christmas – cinnamon, ginger, vanilla. The hut is made of cookies and confections.

“See?” Grit says. “They just want to scare us.”

Johnny smiles. His sister is always right.


First published on http://adhocfiction.com/
Prompt: “sign”
max. 150 Words

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