The silver moonlight danced on her fair hair

The silver moonlight danced on her fair hair. She strode through the clearing like a queen, but her face was hidden and only her eyes could be seen. Her eyes were like glowing emeralds piercing the darkness as she stepped towards the darkened trees. She was not alone, for a mob of townsfolk waited behind her, just waiting, anticipating. She was swathed in black garments, yet the cloths were finely weaved, smooth as silk, dark as night.

As all this occurred a tear fell from her eye. She dare not look back as she entered the towering masters of nature, dare not let her sniffles escape her. She walked straight and tall, knowing what would await her under the trees' shadowy hall. How simple it was to walk to her doom. She did not blame the townsfolk, she didn't blame her fate. She only blamed the creature…whatever it was, that lingered in those shadowy depths. Each step that she took felt like a leaden weight, threatening to anchor her to the ground. Yet she still went on tall and proud, scared but adamant. The tear that fell was not for herself, but instead it was for the future.

How much longer would this horrible tradition, sacrifice occur? How long will the village be held under this spell of death and fear? She breathed in the night air and held it. She needed the courage, she needed it or she would die of desperation. Slowly, how much longer will it take? The ragged breaths of the townsfolk were evident behind her. They were afraid. A ragged laugh escaped her; she was already at the edge of the forest, standing in its shadow. She waited, and waited, and waited. The longer she waited, the more she wanted to laugh. Burst out laughing at the fools who believed that tale. She knew what happened beneath the shadowy hall. No one was ever allowed to leave the village, this prison. The forest was their gate, their barbed wire, but each year one person would leave through those shadowy halls. Die…Or so that was what was believed.

She thought otherwise. Merely tradition the townsfolk believed too easily, trusted too easily and their fear had become their walls. Each year one person would volunteer to be the sacrifice. This year it was her turn, finally. Only individuals who had come of age could volunteer, give up their life for the betterment of the village. All the previous years before she had been part of the mob, watching beneath suspicious eyes, beneath the stars that sometimes shone to brightly and the moon that marked a brand new cycle, but this year it was finally her turn to walk into the forest's dark confines.

She thought that each year one person was permitted to leave the village. She wanted to know what was out there, beyond the forest and it was finally her turn to find out.