Annie’s nickname was “Sunshine”. She liked running, and laughing, and swimming in the creek, and how her mommy pulled her hair up into two puffs every day so it wouldn’t get in her way when she was doing all these things. Annie had lots of friends. They liked to run and play with her every day. Sometimes they even stayed out after dark. Their mommies and daddies all knew each other, so none of them worried.
One day, it snowed very hard, so hard that the school bus never came. So Annie’s mommy helped her bundle up into her coat and boots and gloves and pink fluffy hat and let her go outside with her friends. The snow on the trees by the creek was piled up on the trunks. Annie thought it looked like a lot of people all looking out at her.
Annie and her friends had a lot of fun that day. They built a big snowman and took Mr. Sanchez’s coat and hat for it, and then the snowplow came through and the nice man piled up a huge hill of snow for them to play on. They took turns riding their sleds down the snow hill. Then they threw snowballs, and that was a lot of fun. Annie was glad her coat was so big, though, because she was starting to get cold. But she didn’t mind, because then they decided to play hide and seek. Marcus was it, so they all ran off and hid. Annie saw her best friend Cass run into the woods. And then some snow must have dropped from a branch, because Annie thought it looked like one of those trees with the snow on the trunk moved as Cass ran by.
Annie liked the snow day a lot. But the next day all the snow plows had cleaned the roads up, and now they had to go back to school. When Cass came in, she went to a corner by herself. She was smiling.
“Cass! Do you want to play in the snow after school?” Cass looked up, still smiling.
“No, Annie, I have another friend that wants to go play.” Annie felt her own smile leave. Cass always wanted to play with her!
“Can’t I play with you?”
“No!” Cass stopped smiling too. “No, you can’t play.” Then she turned and looked out the window.
Annie sat at her seat and tried not to cry. Cass didn’t want to be friends anymore. It was a long unhappy day for Annie.
After a week of Annie being unhappy and her mommy trying to cheer her up with cookies and soup and all kinds of fun things, Cass came over to Annie at school.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you. I just wanted to have fun with my new friend for a while. But now he wants to meet all my friends.”
“Yeah. We should all go to the woods tonight and play hide-and-seek.”
Annie’s smile returned immediately.
That evening, Annie ran to Cass and grabbed her hand. She was excited for this. Cass must have made a very fun new friend. The other kids were also very excited, and they all followed Cass and Annie into the woods.
Funny. Annie liked the woods most days. There were always birds and squirrels, even at night. But they were very very quiet tonight. Annie held Cass’ hand a little harder.
“You don’t need to be nervous, Annie!” Cass said.
But Annie didn’t like how she was feeling. It was sort of how she felt when she was about to be sick.
“I don’t feel good, Cass.”
“You can meet my friend then you can go home. Maybe you’ll feel better after this!” And Cass gave her such a nice smile that Annie kept on going.
Up ahead Annie saw a tree that still had snow way up high on its trunk. But then she noticed the branches weren’t moving right. They were long and flowing and suddenly Annie felt very bad.
“Cass, I’m going to be sick! I don’t want to throw up in front of your friend!”
“Well hurry up! You might feel better.”
So Annie hurried away behind a bush, wishing she was home and her mommy could put her to bed and give her that pink medicine for tummy aches. But after standing there, she started feeling a little better. It was very quiet; Annie couldn’t even hear her friends now. So she walked on ahead, hoping to catch up to them, starting to smile at the idea of making a new friend.
She had gotten to the tree, but now she wasn’t so sure it was a tree, because it had legs and looked like a man, but the snow was still there instead of a face, and the branches were still swinging around but now there was blood on them and blood on her friends who were all lying on the ground not moving and Cass was looking up at her smiling but the rest of her was over by the tree man who was moving toward Annie and Annie turned and walked away back through the dark woods back home still smiling still
The doctor used a lot of big words that Annie didn’t know. He used them because he wanted to explain why she didn’t stop smiling. But Annie didn’t want to stop smiling, even though her face hurt. Right now, her mommy wouldn’t let her leave the house, because everyone said a very bad person was in the woods, and it was dangerous to go out there. But Annie wanted to go to the woods, so she could keep smiling, just like Cass.
A/N:Well that was dreadful.
Slendy made me write this. Really.