It was a beautiful afternoon and Henry’s mother was getting Henry’s baby brother, Oliver, ready for a walk. She trusted that both Henry and his older brother, Julian, were able to grab their little jackets and get ready to go. “Come on guys! Let’s go and see if anyone could spot a new flower or see an animal in the woods! And when we’re back, it will be time for some homework and snacks”. Henry’s mom cheerfully grabbed her cardigan, lifted Oliver, who was happily gurgling in her arms and set out with Henry and Julian in tow.
While they started singing a song, Henry was very distracted.
Homework was entirely occupying his mind and not in a good way. Henry simply could not bring himself anymore to tell his mom what happened every time he began to read a page. She’d always replied that he was gifted with a strong imagination and dismissed his worries by affectionately ruffling his hair. But Henry saw each single letter and often words too rapidly sliding and moving across the page, almost as tiny, quick spiders, too fast for his eyes to catch them. He knew this happened only to him and despite his strenuous efforts, he could never complete his homework.
He was dreading the moment when they would be back home and this torture would restart.
Some leaves were floating in the breeze.

All of sudden, there was a whisper. But Henry’s mother and Julian were already saying outloud the name of the new flowers on the path and Oliver was shrieking with enthusiasm.
Only Henry heard it.
He turned around and thought he saw something in the dark depths of the wood.

2019 All images and content copyright Isabella Thermes