Deep in a forest with many names lies a hidden home.
The family that once lived there was dependent on the forest... and was broken by it.
More than a century old, the dwelling is in surprisingly good condition, though it shows signs of often being patched and mended.
The forest holds the house tightly in its grasp, growing over and around it like a second skin.
Only once inside is it clear that someone still lives there.
It is warm and welcoming and lovingly decorated, with a large living space, a bedroom and a corner dedicated for little ones.
Here they are protected from the harsh winter of the northern forest.
This house is new to me.
I have never stumbled upon its existence before.
Nature made a good job hiding from the rest of the world.
I am pondering upon who might live there.
Sometimes I have seen lights stemming from its windows. Sometimes a passing shadow.
The engulfment that the surrounding wilderness provides might not be unintentional.
Might it be on purpose? Might this…home seek anonymity and to be unseen by the rest of the world?
I am not at peace with this dwelling.
I believe to be hearing screams and wailing coming from it.
But my mind is unstable and my ears might not be trusted. Or can they?
For the common hiker, the house might be hard to spot.
Engulfed by nature, it lays dormant, as if it is waiting for its family to return.
Once a home that held laughter, smiles and warmth, has now grown cold.
But not completely deteriorated and forgotten.
Nature is rough in its treatment, but someone withstands the wear and tear that stems from the winter.
The inside lacks the care that once was.
But flickering candles can sometimes be seen through the window, and inside there is a place for the younglings.
Decorations are visible, but may not be impressive for anyone who does not understand this newly gained purpose of this dwelling.
It is not just a place, for someone, to live and flee the world.
It is a home for some and a cell for others.
Others that scream one word that the outside wind destroys and is never heard.
One simple word, screamed in distress…”mother”.
The half-forgotten Temple complex dedicated to the cleansing of the High Priestess' followers.
The vertiginous hypo-style hall was believed to hold the weight of the heavens.
Stolen from the memories of The Plague, the Temple was planted in the howling Red Forest, whose winds eroded its smooth edges.
It now stands as a beacon of fear, visible from all cardinal points.