The White Hart

Blue mists swirled between the densely-packed trees. It was impossible to see more than a few feet despite the full moon overhead. All was silent, save for the crunching of fall leaves underfoot. Even the innocent light of the lantern-flies was lent an eerie cast. Blinking on and off, one could imagine them as the eyes of some lurking predator.

Sasha would never have gone out on a night like this before. The woods were dangerous enough in daylight. With the mists thickening, it would be impossible to see or hear anything before it was on top of her. As a child, she’d been told a great many stories aimed at keeping her safe at home at night.

Tonight, though, it couldn’t be avoided. It was the only chance she’d have of seeing the white hart. The stories said it came only once every ten years, on the night of a full moon. Harrick had claimed to have already spotted it, just as the sun was setting.

It was just a story, of course, but Sasha had to take the chance. The story also said that the one who found the hart would be granted a single wish. Anything their heart desired.

It was her family’s only chance.