There once was a small forest nearby a small village that the locals called the Forest of Laughter. It was an attraction for many of the villager’s children, to go and spend their days playing in the forest ‘til the sunset, while the adults were working in the fields. It got that name, because sometimes, if the wind was right, and the ground was calm, you could hear the children’s laughter coming from those woods. The younglings were usually found playing in a naked small field, that was located in the middle of the forest, that the villagers referred to as the Oak Field. It was covered with a short moist grass, that always felt like it was coated in a morning dew and it stayed that way even on the hottest of days. At the center of this field, there was an old, thick branched oak tree. It had many carvings of the children's names on its trunk, some cuts were so deep, the sap from the oak never stopped bleeding, as the wounds were too deep to heal. The villagers, both young and old loved the forest, for what it provided to the little community.
On one of the sunsets, however, a villager’s daughter, Gloria, an eight year old with a yellow dress, didn’t return from the forest as usual. When the other kids came back from it were asked by the worried father if they’ve seen her, they all just nodded their heads. The country men gathered the torches and began the search. The whole forest was searched, throughout the night and day, inch by inch, but the girl was never found.
A few days later, when the search was over, to the surprise of the villagers and the mourning father, the little Gloria emerged from the woods right before the sunset. The strangest thing was that the girl was happy and laughing, as if nothing bad had happened. When asked where she was those past few days, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said: “I was just playing with the kids.”
A few days later, the daughter’s father decided to go into the forest alone, while the girl was sleeping at home. He took his torch and went into the woods just as the sunset light had scorched the sky with its reddish tint. As he reached the Oak Field, he noticed a small silhouette resting on the grass, its back leaned to the old Oak. Once he reached the silhouette, the light of the torch revealed something that made the man paralyzed for a moment. It was a corpse of a little girl in a yellow dress. Above her head, on the Oak’s trunk there was a fresh carve, from which the sap continued to bleed out. It read “Gloria”. Once he saw it, his horrified eyes stared back to the direction of the village as he silently asked himself: “Who is she?”
As the sun completely set, and the red sky turned black, you could hear the children's laughter from the forest as it took another prey.