How We Write – The Woods Are Lovely, Dark, And Scary

The prompt for this one was to write about a real-life incident. Orion doesn’t know why this particular piece of her past surfaced, but even all these years later, it was still vivid in her mind.

It happened when she was a newly-minted English teacher living in a new, strange town. Being raised on a farm and not used to the noise and bustle of a city, even a relatively small Midwestern one, she often sought the peace and quiet of local parks. While the events of this story only happened once, it did put her off that particular park.

When she first wrote this story, she mostly just stated the facts of what happened, like a victim recounting the event to the police. When she and Kyros edited the piece for this blog, they fleshed it out into an actual story, framing the incident in thoughts and emotions, while still keeping it 100% true to Orion’s experience from when she was (much!) younger.

Photo by Cecile Vedemil on Unsplash




I took a deep breath, letting the light and air and peace of the wooded park seep into my body through the open car window.

I really need this. I’m still not used to this city with its loud noises, cars, and people running everywhere. I need reconnect with nature.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man jog into view.

Where did he come from? There must be a hidden trail over there. I guess I missed it when I drove in.

Probably some fitness nut. Or maybe a bird watcher.

But there was something off about him. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what. Then it hit me: He was wearing a trench coat.

It’s way too warm to wear that. Especially for a beautiful early autumn day in Indiana like this. And, besides, who jogs in a long coat?

Warning bells went off in my head. A shiver skated down my spine. My heart sped up as he drew closer.

Instinct took over. I was already reaching for my key when he changed course, racing up to my open window.

Before I could process what was happening, he’d yanked his coat open, revealing a naked, white body and hard penis jutting out toward me.

My heart raced.

My brain spun out of control.

My mouth went dry.

My hand shook as I cranked the ignition.

Start, dammit. Start! I implored my aging Simca.

The engine sputtered to life.

Fear still clutching my chest, I slammed the stick shift into reverse. My wheels spit gravel as I floored the accelerator and backed away from the trees and my would-be rapist.

As I whipped the car around and sped off for the safety of home, I could hear his deep voice calling after me, pleading, “Come back, little girl. Let me show you….”

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