The Willow

A Short Story

The Willow

“Meet me at the willow at 3 AM,” she called to the boy as he ran to his class.

The only thing the boy could do was smile as he watched his high school sweetheart run away with that big goofy grin on her face that she always had. But he was afraid to go to the willow, the willow was deep in the forest, it is the biggest tree in the forest. People who went to the willow at night are found hours later, hanging from a branch. Even the happiest of people would be found hanging from the tree. The boy believed in the stories that the willow would take the lives for its own, but his sweetheart didn’t. She said not everyone is as happy as they seemed.

But the boy loved the girl so he told himself he would go. Go to the willow at 3 AM, the witching hour, see his love and confess all his love to her. That's all he could think about. Meeting his love under the willow. Seeing her beautiful chestnut hair, her captivating leafy green eyes. She had a heart-shaped face, moonlight skin dotted with the perfect amount of freckles across her button nose. The boy loved everything about her, her honey sweet voice to her soft feathery touch.

“Achilles, you are late,” the teacher spoke as Achilles walked into his class and took his desk that was in the back of the room.

“Sorry Miss Osborn, I was talking to Willow and lost track of time,” Achilles sighed in content as her name flowed smoothly off his tongue, as if it was the most beautiful word in the world, no, in the universe. Miss Osborn shook her head with a small smile on her face. She loved the thought of young high school sweethearts. She knew how much Achilles was in love with Willow. And ever since Willow came to the school, Achilles’ school work has been so much better, he was the top star athlete of the school. From a straight D student to a straight A+ student. Achilles was just so much happier with Willow. She was the shining sun to his gloomy, and dreary day. Achilles smiled more and more every day. Willow made him happy, she made his day so much better.

Willow was mysterious to everyone. No one knew where she came from, but no one cared really to ask. She was kind to everyone, to all the students and to all of the teachers. She got the best grades in the school as soon as she came to the school. When Willow came to the school, she seemed to already know everyone because she would just walk up to everyone and introduce herself as Willow. That's the only name people knew she had, no middle name not even a last name. She had weird behaviors though. For example, no one ever saw her eating breakfast or lunch. But you could always see her drinking so much water. A lot more water than anyone else would normally drink in two days. But no one questioned her, because everyone loved her, especially Achilles.

“Just a few more hours” Achilles had whispered to himself. At that moment, it was only 12 AM and Achilles was ecstatic. That night Achilles wore a plain blue shirt under his school's letterman jacket, a nice pair of blue jeans and red converse shoes. His jet black hair was brushed out nicely, where it hung just about his ears. Achilles was ready to meet with Willow at the willow tree in the forest. He was afraid to go, he was afraid of the stories and if they were true. Achilles was afraid for his life. But he still went at 3 AM to met with his love.

“Just three more hours and I can go see my dear Willow!” Achilles had exclaimed excitedly.

All Achilles could do at the moment was sit on his bed staring at the clock, waiting for the clock to tock 3 o’clock. Of course, Achilles left at 2:30 AM so he could make it to the tree on time. But, soon he will meet with Willow. Soon his beating, with a racing heart will be at ease. Soon he will finally kiss the love of his life.

When the clock tolled 2:30, Achilles quickly leaped from his window with his flashlight in hand and his phone left on his bed. Achilles was still afraid of the tree and the stories, but he was so in love he still marched down to the tree line of the forest. Though Achilles did hesitate when he finally reached the tree line. The fear was engulfing him, but he wanted to meet with Willow. He wanted to see the love of his life and finally kiss her. So Achilles had put on a brave front and marched into the forest to look for the great old Willow tree.

It took Achilles 20 minutes to find the willow tree so when he saw on his watch that he still had 10 minutes left till 3 o’clock. So he decided he would just have a look at the willow tree. The tree was ginormous, the trunk was as thick as a school bus and the branches hung over with long vines like long silky hair. The Willow was truly beautiful. Achilles was glad he came to see such beautiful tree.

“My dear Achilles,” Willow had come from behind the willow, “You came.”

Willow gave a sickly smirk, her eyes began to glow emerald green. Achilles was stricken with great fear and realization. He knew how those people had died now. The monster of the willow took the form of a beautiful maiden to bring her pray to her. So when the clock struck the witching hour. Achilles knew he should have listened to his fear, but he was so head over heels for this beautiful girl who didn’t look so beautiful when his watch struck 3 AM.

Her skin turned a dark brown, rough like tree bark. Her beautiful chestnut hair turned sickly mossy green and her soft leafy green eyes were now a witching emerald green. Her pearly white teeth were now long dagger-like fangs that were orange and with specks of red and brow. The stains of her pray, the blood of innocent teens. Soon Achilles blood will join the stains on her teeth.

Achilles’ eyes grew wide as he took a step back. His heart was in his throat and beating in an inhuman pace. He opened his mouth to speak but it only came out in a soft whimper. A vine quickly came down and tightly wrapped around his neck and pulled him up into the tree. Achilles struggled to get free, but his efforts came with no victor. Poor Achilles finally took his final breath.

When the sun rose that morning, the search parties went out to the woods to be met with the skinned body of the varsity football captain, Achilles Heel.

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Rosey Smith
See all posts by Rosey Smith