Instructions For A Walk In The Woods

Hi there! Please enjoy this short extract I wrote this evening on the dangers of venturing into the woods… keep the salt handy.


Tread softly on the woodland trail. Mind you don’t stamp your feet – take care, for the tremors through the ground speak volumes to those who know how to listen to them.

Steer clear from obvious resting places; never, ever, sit down on a tree stump or in a round clearing – can you spy the mushrooms ringed round you in the long grass, and suddenly you’re trapped. Watch out for the shimmer of glamour in the air.

Do not break the tree branches, however much they fall in your face. Someone – something – may retaliate, and you do not want to know what it feels like, to have your bones broken like twigs.

If you step in a fairy ring, there are two things you can do. The first is to scream, and cry, and throw yourself at the barrier of air until your hands bleed and your throat aches and they come and laugh at your pain. The other is to sit quietly and await your fate. There is no other choice.

Never give away your name. Adopt a new one, find it somewhere along the path and take it with you. Understand that any name you receive is false. Be grateful.

If you hear the wind whisper to you, do not follow where it leads you. Do not trust the moon, for she waxes and wanes and hides many truths and secrets. And lies.

And, whatever you do; never, ever, leave the path, if you value your sanity, your life. If you value your soul. The path is the only protection offered, and once you reject it, you are armour-less to their desires.

If you ever find yourself face to face with the Fae, understand this: they may not be able to lie. But they have spent the thousand years of their lives practicing the art of deceit, weaving webs of half-truths so fine you will be trapped before you know it with not one falsehood passing their lips. Shut your ears if you can. And if you can’t, shut your eyes.

Never accept a gift from the Fae. If you do, you will owe them. If you accept anything by accident, do not be tempted to give them your name in exchange, for then they will own you. Do not give them blood either, for then they will destroy you. You do not want to know what it feels like to have your blood boil like fire. Jewelry will suffice – take care to leave no trace of yourself before handing it over. You do not want to know what they do to their prisoners.

Be careful. Red, iron and salt will ward them off. Rowan will protect you. Wear your jacket inside out and their eyes will pass you by. They are like children: they love sweets and shiny things. Keep some with which to bribe them; conceal them so that they cannot see them.

Do not trust them. Do not dance with them. Do not love them.

Good luck.

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