TITLE: WOLFSBANE AT MIDNIGHT
The distressed cries from a flock of birds echoed through the forest as they clamored to escape the trees behind Scarlet. Her breath caught in her throat as she spun around. She scanned the edge of the clearing.
It was rare for her to encounter anything besides small animals on her daily herb gathering missions, but the recent reports of wolf attacks made her nervous. She wasn't sure wolves would travel deep enough into the heart of the forest to reach Aradia's hidden garden, but Zev, the woodcutter, might and Scarlet wanted to avoid him too.
Icy fingers of fear trailed down her spine but the only movement right now came from the ragged figures of scarecrows dancing in the fall breeze. Their waving arms must have startled the birds. Scarlet shivered and turned her back to the straw figures. She pulled the list of today's herbs from the pocket of her hooded red cloak.
"One arnica flower, one white poppy flower, one small garlic bulb, and one bloodroot rhizome," she read. And then she noticed a scrawl at the bottom, "Please return with these potion ingredients before sunset."
Why hadn't Grandmother Aradia said something instead of writing it on the slip of paper? She knew Scarlet loved to wander in the forest. Especially now when the trees gifted her with a canopy of vibrant color and a carpet of crunchy leaves to enjoy.