Eldon Woods was dark and quiet as I walked the path from Riordan Crescent to the park. I rarely entered those woods after dark. There were reports of coyotes and, more likely, the risk of human predators. But on this night, I took my daily walk after sunset. The day had been busy and I needed fresh air and natural surroundings.
I was about fifty meters in when something moved to my right. It was large and white, slipping by so quickly I barely saw it. A few meters further, I glimpsed it again.
Whatever I saw was too big to be a coyote. It must be a human either stalking or trying to avoid me. Hopefully, I thought, the latter. Glancing back, I decided I could leave faster if I kept going forward.
I walked on until I reached a side path. When I glanced down it, a chill went through me. A white figure, vaguely human in form, stood in the path.
Curiosity got the better of me and I walked towards it. The figure was tall. It had the basic shape of a human body, with arms, legs, torso, and head in the right places. However, I could see no details, such as a face. As I drew near, the autumn chill grew colder.
Suddenly, the figure turned my way. I jumped back. A face looked towards me, hazy and indistinct as if veiled. I began to shiver as our gazes met.
The thing thrust its nebulous face close to mine. I closed my eyes, unable to look at the strange features revealed by my first close look. Something cold touched my lips. Was this spectral being kissing me?
When I opened my eyes, I was alone. My lips felt cold, even frostbitten. I took a few deep breaths to get myself under control. Then I raced out of the woods.
The nearest exit put me on a small court. I stopped for breath after I was well away from the end of the path. Looking back, I saw the white figure at the end of the path. It raised a hand and beckoned to me.
I touched my chilly lips, remembering the icy kiss. I started back towards the path. Then I shook my head, turned and headed quickly home.
That night, I slept fitfully. Dreams of cold lips kissing me and cold arms embracing me danced through my brain. In the middle of the night, I awoke. My lips felt colder and tingled a little. I sensed something waiting, watching. Desire and terror fought over me as I rose and eased the curtains aside.
The face from the woods looked back at me. An arm with fingers like wisps of mist beckoned. Pale lips promised more cold kisses. Kisses that I craved.
I let go of the curtain and sighed. With shaking hands, I unlatched the window and raised the sash.