Jules definitely heard a crunch.
The air was chilled, and it moved, whooshing around and around. Had she left the ceiling fan on last night? Had Dave switched it on?
She rolled over to drape her arm around him, but instead of his warm body her hand touched a shard of bark, rough and crackling.
“Dave?” she murmured, rubbing open her eyes. “Dave!” she screamed. She wasn’t in their bed at home at all…
Branches clacked above her as a cool wind swirled then groaned through tall bare trees, carrying with it the dank scent of rotting leaves. A pale lemon sunrise gleamed on patches of snow. Her fingers were numb and grainy from the hard earth beneath her. Twigs and leaves gripped onto her clothes like they didn’t want her to rise from the forest floor.
Given the empty shadows between the trees, Jules wasn’t sure if she wanted to get up either – somewhere among them, someone was shovelling dirt with a spade, cackling with too much venom for comfort. Jules shuddered, remembering the joke she’d made before bedtime, about Halloween not being real, about witches not being real…
Her mouth went dry. The log she thought lay beside her was clearly a broomstick.