The Netherlands in the year of the Lord 1571: The young widow Ann lives alone with her little son Florentijn in a house at the edge of the woods.
From childhood on, Ann has been told to never ever go alone into the woods. But when her little son runs away, Ann has no choice. She must venture into the forest to save Florentijn from the creatures that live in the woods surrounding the village of Doodenbos.
This is a historical horror short story of 3000 words or approx. 12 pages.
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- The Ghosts of Doodenbos is a historical horror short story of 3000 words or approx. 12 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- This story was written as part of the 2019 July short story challenge. The idea was to write a short story per day in July 2019.
- Like many of the July short story challenge stories, The Ghosts of Doodenbos was inspired by a piece of fantasy art, namely this one by Michael MacRae.
- The historical background of the story is the Eighty-Years-War, during which the Netherlands attempted and eventually succeeded in getting rid of the Spanish occupation. A large part of the issue was that the Netherlands were largely Protestant and found themselves faced with the Spanish Inquisition. It was a bloody time that still looms large in Dutch memory just as the Thirty-Years-War a little later looms in the German memory.
- “Doodenbos” means “dead wood” in Dutch. I felt it was an appropriate name for a haunted forest.
- I have serious issues writing straight horror, cause whenever I try to write it, what comes out is either parody or stories where the protagonists try to figure out what the monsters want and how to deal with them without violence. The Ghosts of Doodenbos falls into the latter category.
- The cover is stock art by Chainat.