By: Adam Chabot
The New England woods is ancestral darkness. Trees clutch onto secrets but these trees have deeper rooted memories of long, mundane nights, brief flashes of life, slow growths of time. I came to these woods to have my thoughts swallowed. My feet crunch over brown leaves; everything is loud and quiet, an Aristotelian contradiction of reality in which something is and isn’t, an edict no sane person could refute. Something is different here.
Today, there’s no horror to cover-up, no body to bury, no secret to unleash. The weight of past transgressions lingers like a web unseen but felt only beneath the open canopy of leafless trunks fingering a gray, homogenous sky. I came to remember them. There’s a reason why many believe the Devil lurks here, but the woods are wild, unruly, and unkempt only because we made them so.
There’s dried blood on that branch, a metal spade tangled in an overgrown shadbush, a shallow grave near the creek. I am in control here for those are my terrors. Even though foxes shriek like old women it is I who create the fear.
Adam Chabot is the English Department Chair at Kents Hill School, a private, independent high school in central Maine where he teaches English and Creative Writing. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Agapanthus Collective, Words & Whispers, 433 Magazine, and elsewhere. He can be found on Twitter @adam_chabot.