The Forest Beyond the Mist
The crows sang best on the shoulders of the gunsmiths that had fallen asleep forever. Their scattered bodies floated in the tar bath that stretched beneath the gnarled trees with the thick, time-cracked bark. A huge moon, white and frozen, lay tethered to the sky in two thick, rusty chains, tied with a padlock. During the mating season, black scorpions invaded the steamy swamp in which phosphorescent larvae writhed, emitting discontinuous sound waves, like the tuning of a symphony orchestra.