Fiction

The Gray Girls

A short story by five authors.

Collages by Emma D. and Marjainez.

Collages by Emma D. and Marjainez.

Have you ever seen an exquisite corpse drawing? One person sketches a part, then the next person starts where they left off, and so on and so on until there’s one completely weird but cohesive work of art. This story was written in a similar style. The individual sections are by Pixie, Maggie, Emma S., Jenny, and Monika. They were written and appear here, by author, in that order, and they merge to form one delightfully creepy short story.

The man in the violet coat ran as fast as he could. The woods were terribly dark, blanketed in shadows, and there were no paths—only small breaks in the overgrowth to climb through or hide under. He’d been running for hours—two, maybe three—but he refused to stop. He knew that the girls were following him, and that death itself, his or theirs, was the only thing that would make them relent.

As he fumbled through the brush, he cursed himself for venturing into the woods in the first place. He’d heard stories about the doomed forest when he was a small boy, but paid them no mind. He chalked them up as mere fairy tales to keep curious children from running too far into the mad sea of trees.

“You must never try to make your way through the forest,” his mother would warn him when he was young. “The hidden places of the world remain hidden for a reason.”

And now they were following him, laughing and calling after him. He realized as he ran helplessly and breathlessly that he could not recall the fate of the men who had populated the tales of his youth. Did they die? Were they captured? Or did they just disappear into the darkness?

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