Horse Isle 3 – A Tour of the Dark Forest

The various Biomes of the Infinite Wilds are all interesting in their own way, and most look pretty cheerful.  The Dark Forest is a wonderful exception to that, and a perfect place to explore as Halloween draws closer.

The Dark Forest is rather pretty from the outside, with dark red cliffs and rust colored water.  Once you enter, though, your vision is limited by perpetual fog.  This gives the Biome a wonderfully spooky atmosphere.

mulberry bush
Mulberry Bush

When night falls, though, the Dark Forest really shines.  There are spooky trees that occasionally show red, glowing eyes.  There are also odd plants that cast a red glow.  Also, in the deepest parts of the Forest, you can find the occasional graveyard.  Nobody knows who left the gravestones, though TigerTon Village has a quest that attempts to explain it.

boneyardBoneyard at night

There are also plants here that your horse will be afraid of, Spiderwort flowers that make good dye ingredients, and mulberry bushes that also have silk cocoons.  It was plain that the Dark Forest was lovingly designed!

creepy plant
Eek!  Scary plant!

Two tips for adventurers:

If you are trying to gather Dark Forest Essence, stay on the edges of the Biome so you can see inside.  Spot the various glowing balls and go in after them, then come back out so you can see again.  This is a much easier way of finding Essence.

The horses here are tiny and dark, so if you want to breed miniature horses, this is the best Biome to catch them.  However, I’ve really only had luck by using the Wild Whistle, which costs 100 Mobla to use.

red light plantred lampcreepy tree onecreepy tree

Interested in joining? 

Click HERE or go to the HI3 site and put in my user ID, 1023.   You’ll be rewarded with 10 Esroh Essence (good for more energy) and 1000 gold dust to help you get started!

Mini-story: A Dark Night

This was in response to a challenge to write a spooky story in 200 words or less. According to Libre Office, this is exactly 200 words.  It certainly helped me get more bang for my buck, verbage-wise!

 

Why is that bell ringing?

I wondered this as I walked along the dark, foggy street. It was late and I knew the people at home would be wondering.

I checked my phone again – no signal. Strange behaviour for a trusty device.

The bell continued to toll, deep and sonorous. It sounded like nothing modern.

My steps quickened as I dashed from pool to pool of light, cast by the yellowish streetlights. A chill went through me as I thought about the darkness that lay in the alleyways. No one else was around, and I suddenly realized that all the shop windows were dark as well.

Still the bell rang. An image came to mind, an old Buddhist temple in Japan. Though I tried to focus on the modern details around me, the pavement and the signs and the street lights, I couldn’t help but think of mossy stone walls and a festival honouring the dead.

I hurried on, wanting nothing more to get home. Then, as I passed one particular alleyway, I heard drums and dancing feet. The bells were loud enough to split my head…

…I ran off into the fog, turning my eyes away from lantern light.

 

 

Inktober Day 15 – The Red Eyes (fiction)

Hunching against the rain, Daphne hurried up the concrete walk till she reached the overhang that sheltered the apartment door. Her battered key rattled in the lock, stuck for a moment, then the knob turned and she was in.

She came inside, shook herself and flipped the light on, looking for her only roommate, the cat. The big Siamese was nowhere to be found, however.

“Dagoba– I’m home– come on out, girl.”

Putting her grocery bags on the stove and taking off her wet sneakers, Daphne padded back into the small living room. She meowed. It wasn’t the best feline impression but usually got a response. This time, though, Daphne didn’t hear an answer. Where is that silly cat? she wondered, her mind already starting to run wild from the stories she’d been swapping with her coworkers on that wet October evening. SHe grunted, lowering herself to the carpeted floor, She got on her hands and knees to check under the couch. That was Dagoba’s favorite spot to hide when the storms were too scary.

“Come on out, Neko-chan,” said Daphne, using her favorite japanese pet phrase for the cat. For some reason, Dagoba sometimes responded to Japanese words more rapidly than words in English. Daphne had wondered before if cats simply liked words that had fewer sibilants in them, but whatever the reason was, right now she just wanted her furry friend out from under the couch.

Two glowing, red eyes shone out from the darkness beneath the padded seat.

Fighting down the jangling from her already frayed nerves, Daphne called quietly. “You got me again, Dagoba,” she said. “Scaring me with those pretty eyes of yours. Come on out from there.”

That was when Dagoba’s warm, round head butted Daphne in the side. She stretched, blinking sleepily, as if to ask “why did you have to wake me up from my nap?”

Daphne glanced over at the Siamese. The cat looked at her curiously, as if wondering why she was on the floor. Her voice shook badly. “You were in the bedroom? Then who’s under there?” Or what? she wondered silently. Her blood was running cold in her veins. She most definitely did NOT want to look at those red eyes again. She got up and grabbed the flashlight that was stuck magnetically to the microwave and turned on its powerful 28 led beam. Slowly, shakily, she got back down on hands and knees. There was no other way to see under the low futon-style couch.

Feeling better with the light, she shone it dagobah-800underneath the couch. There was an old roll of duct tape. A wood saw. Some crumpled up grocery bags. A partial sheet of sand paper. A bottle of white glue, still in shrink wrap. An old radio. Some airsoft beebees. Lint, cat hair. Cardboard. And nothing more.

Dagoba mrowed questioningly.

“Nothing under there, I guess,” said Daphne. “Maybe the airsoft ammo reflected the light somehow?” Even as she said it, she knew it was a lame excuse. But her conscious mind fastened on any halfway plausible explanation. She wanted a normal evening. Life had just been too weird lately. She got up, scooped up her cat and hugged her. Instead of wriggling out of her grasp, Dagoba wrapped her long, brown forearms around Daphne’s neck, licked her cheek, and purred.

Two red eyes under the couch, blinked, waiting.