Close to where I live, there is a forest which holds a dark secret; The Witch's Tunnel, a cluster of trees that have intertwined, clasping hands with each other to form a dark passage. It is said deep within the forest lives an old witch with eternal knowledge.
Walking through during the day is unsettling, a walk through this tunnel at midnight in the dead of winter when
the moon is full is a different experience entirely. The branches will twist and sway as if trying to grab you and you’d swear they were alive. There will be no sound except the wind whispering in your ear, telling you to turn back. What looks like a distance of a few feet will take you nearly an hour to travel. If you turn around the entrance will be barely visible, a mere speck. Turning back now, however, would be a very bad idea, you must keep walking.
Eventually you will come out the other end, only this won’t be the same forest as it is in the day. The moon will be so big you could almost touch it and where its light manages to pierce through the dense foliage you’ll see the ground is alive with one big crawling mass of insects. Grotesque, mocking shadows will surround you in a thick blanket of fear.
As you continue, the path will split in two. Look for a crow in the trees: she will indicate which path to take and serve as your guide. If you ignore her and take the other path, you will be doomed to walk it for eternity as punishment for your insolence. The correct path leads to a break in the trees overlooking a small lake, thick with fog. Remain here until the fog clears, then walk to the shore. Glancing at the deep black water you will see yourself reflected, only many years older. If you see nothing, you have already failed. You may ask your future self one question and it will answer truthfully. Ask wisely however, some things you are not supposed to know.
When you have your answer turn round and you will see the crow has reappeared, only now in her true form; a sunken-faced old hag propped up by a gnarled branch. She will turn and begin walking and you must follow her, a few yards behind. Be careful not to lose sight of her as you will become lost in these forbidden woods forever. She will stop beneath the tallest tree in the forest and her bony finger will beckon you over. Approach her, but do not look her in the face, lest what you see behind those ageless eyes drives you insane. In return for letting you into her wise woods, she will ask a favor of you. This could be anything, from reading a certain book to committing a murder. Promise her this favor and she will lead you out of the forest.
Upon leaving the forest, return home immediately and go straight to bed. The next day, rise at dawn and return the witches favor. If you do not do so within twenty-four hours she will return to you that night. She won’t kill you herself, that would be too easy. No, she will whisper in your ear whilst you sleep, invading your dreams and filling your subconscious with dark suggestions. You will create your own death, tearing yourself apart both mentally and physically.
The witch does not forgive.