Flash Fiction, Shorts

Pangur Ban

There is a cat that hides in the forest by the name of Pangur Ban. He is ghost white and hides in the spaces between the trees.

Just outside the borders of the forest is a small village. The people there warn their children to not wander into the forest at night, for there are dark and dangerous things in there.

One night, a boy named Aiden sneaks out from his home after his parents are asleep. He has always been a curious one, always doing what he is told not to. The moon is full and bright, and Aiden’s shadow follows close behind as he slips behind the trees.

It isn’t so bad in here, he thinks. Certainly no dark or dangerous things that will kill or eat me. The trees are thin and tall, and grow close together. The cool night air is soft, and a breeze whispers through, kissing the leaves.

A twig snaps, and Aiden jumps. He listens for a full minute, scarcely breathing, and finally relaxing when nothing comes out to nab him. He wanders deeper into the woods, and the hour becomes late. When he finally decides to turn around, he finds that he has lost his way. In a panic now, Aiden turns wildly trying to find the path he took. Too scared to take a wrong turn, he sits himself down against a tree and hugs his knees close to his chest.

A bright white light causes Aiden to lift his head. In the distance a white cat seems to be giving off its own light. Aiden stands up and takes a hesitant step towards it. The cat darts behind a tree and the light is gone. Aiden chases after it, not knowing exactly why.

He keeps following the white cat through the forest, only ever catching a glimpse of its tail as it turns behind another tree. It leads him all the way back to the border of the forest where his home waits.

As Aiden walks away from the forest he looks back at the line of trees bathed in moonlight. The little white cat sat just at the border, not passing beyond the cover of the trees.

Aiden sneaks back into his bed without his parents noticing and waits for sleep to take him, and on his lips are one name.

Pangur Ban.

 

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