How Grief Transforms You (HTML excerpt)
 
It haunts the forest at night, its search eternal, the object of its search unknown. Its search proceeds undeterred by towering tree or scurrying beast or by the night. It searches by the bloody, blue-stained light of its own body. It may not need light at all. It searches all night long, every night without fail.

Sometimes it grows impatient. Sometimes it wails in the night.

During the day it is sometimes necessary for you to venture out of your home. That is when you hear your neighbors gossiping. Sometimes they’re gossiping about you; you don’t hear the words, but the conversation stops dead at your approach. Sometimes they’re gossiping about the nightly phenomenon in the forest, exchanging wild guesses and logical hypotheses about its source.

“It’s a fog horn, and the Loch Ness Monster,” says a youngster to her playmates in the park. She’s just discovered Ray Bradbury and she’s eager to show this off.

Her companion scoffs. “A fog horn in a forest?” She bounces her basketball twice and takes a shot from the three point line. “Obviously it’s a dragon.” Swish. Nothing but net.

“I can’t figure out what animal it is,” you overhear at a sidewalk cafe patio, “but I can tell you this much—it’s a parent, and it’s lost its child. You can tell by the way it wails.” Then the speaker catches sight of you and succumbs to a fit of cover-up coughing. You want to slap him....
__
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for August 11, 2017. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1013 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.

Cover art incorporates public domain photography from Pixabay.com. Story inspired by "The Redwoods Gray" by Aria Keehn.