BY: Samm Sanity
I stand at the edge of the darkened woods. It was midnight and the time that all ungodly creatures came out to play. Faeries like in-betweens, wolves hunt at this hour as do vampires. I could possibly be walking into some in between world, where glamoured faeries and dark unnatural creatures would tear me apart and offer me to to their own gods. I could be walking into my death.
If I believed those outrageous stories. I was not superstitious and none of these creatures existed. Wo had this grand of an imagination to make believe these things, and have others be deathly afraid of them for years to come? I want to meet this man. I’ll bet he was smoking something strong.
Mm, that sounds good right about now.
I dig around my cloak pocket for what I desired. I pull it from my pocket, along with a lighter, and begin to light it.
“Imogen! I said no joints!”
I sigh and turn to look at the girl who had followed me, I had almost forgotten she was there. Tita, I believe that’s her name.
She shifted in her, too big, fae costume and stared up at me. She was just about faerie sized too. Petite height and form with short, spiky, tinsel coated, white hair. Glitter had been dotted on her eyes and had melted in the course of the night. If such things existed, I’ll bet she would be a fae.
“I didn’t. I also didn’t ask for you to come, so feel free to leave.” I say brushing her off and lighting the joint. She sighs.
I begin into the woods, not bothering to see if she was following. I knew she was when I heard tiny footsteps. By the sound of it, she was trying to keep up with me. She was taking three steps for every one of mine. I snickered to myself.
The moonlight shone through the leafless tree branches, casting eerie shadows across the forest floor. Other shadows dashed through the light of the moon. Small animals. It was silent and almost soothing. There was a slight chill, but that was to be expected with it being the end of October. The path itself was clear as day. There was nothing scary here; why were people so petrified of venturing here?
“Tita,” I ask, waiting for the tiny girl to respond back. Perhaps she knew why people feared this place.
I glanced behind me when she didn’t respond. She must have went back home. I smirk. That was one less thing I had to deal with. She was the most superstitious of them all, and a little know-it-all. I don’t even know why I had hung out with her at the Halloween celebration. The little twit.
I continue along the path. I could see the end of the forest, just a few more strides. I laugh at myself and at the people back in the village. They were all nuts. I had walked through here and there was nothing around. They sure will be embarrassed to know they were afraid of nothing! Those idiots.
I shake my head, still chuckling, and turn around to head back. The shadows cast by the moon had moved. The ground was darker now, and shadows were harder to make out from the dark ground. I glanced up, thinking clouds had moved past the moon, but there were none. The sky was clear.
“That’s odd.” I state, confused as to how it looked much darker in the woods now.
I shrugged and walked forward, trying to make out the path with the seemingly nonexistent moonlight. I gave up trying to stay on the path.
If I just walk forward, I should eventually end up back where I began. At least I hope. I could always just stand here until the moonlight comes back. No, I’ll miss out on the after parties. I have to keep walking.
I keep walking, keep going forward, but still don’t find my way back out. I kick at the ground and growl, “I should have brought a light!”
I was becoming frustrated with this stupid forest and the stupid nonexistent moon and the stupid superstitious people. When I get out of here, I’m never coming back. I made my point and I’m tired of walking in circles!
I growl once more and continue walking in the direction I hoped was still forward. My temper was rising and I was going to lose my mind any minute. I punched at a tree and kicked it too for good measure, before leaning against it and sliding to the ground.
I was lost. I should have brought a light. Maybe this is what they’re all afraid of? The forest is too dark to see where you’re going and losing your way is too easy. I begin to regret even coming in this far. I should have turned back with Tita.
Regret soon turned to slight discomfort. I sat against the tree for several minutes before getting up and trying again. Maybe I should go backwards. I didn’t have to find the exact way I came, I just needed to get out of here. It was cold and dark and I was tired of walking. My shoes felt as though they were worn through. My costume was dirty and mangled and ripped and torn. I didn’t even care, I just wanted to go home and sleep. But with no moonlight at all now, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to make it out until daylight.
Again, I began walking in a straight line, hoping I was making some progress. The whole wood was strangely completely dark. No lights from the distance homes, no light from the moon which was very much bright and very much still there above head. Why was it so dark?
Discomfort began to turn to slight fear and worry. What if I couldn’t get back until daylight? I would be stuck out here. I wanted sleep and I wanted to get away from this place; it was beginning to give me bad feelings. Something wasn’t right at all with this place. I was beginning to understand everyone’s apprehension with it.
A sound of footsteps behind me made me turn around, hopeful Tita had come back to find me.
“Tita!” I call, my voice feeling sore. I had not spoke much, why did it feel so bad?
No response. I assume animals.. hopefully.
Another, closer, set of footsteps. I try to pass that off on animals as well, but I still speed my pace. Even if it was just animals, some of those animals could possibly devour me. More footsteps and unintelligible voices and sounds.
Slight fear turns to full fledged terror. I break out running, hard and fast, trying to stay ahead of what or who ever was following. Friend or foe, I did not want to stay to find out which was tailing me.
I kept running into trees and roots, tripping and falling. I had to keep going, had to keep ahead of it, had to find that dang exit. Where am I? I have been walking and wandering around for hours, why haven’t I left this place yet. And where is the sun?!
More running and more terror inducing sounds all around. When would it end?
I step and slip through a puddle, falling to the ground and getting soaked. I don’t have time to groan, and I really don’t care, I get back up. I fall into a fleshy feeling tree. It felt cold and slightly stiff. There is no light to confirm my fear of what I just touched. Instead I scream and run.
The running, like the forest, is never ending. I begin to hear almost perfect voices accompanying the other terrifying sounds. Were these voices real? I couldn’t tell. I just keep running, my mind and heart racing. My lungs and throat burned from the strain of breathing, while my legs and feet felt as though they would give out beneath me. I wasn’t going to make it out of here alive.
I knew I wasn’t surviving this, I had mocked all the superstitions and now I was going to have to deal with the consequences.
My breathing was heavy and my legs burned with pain; I had to stop for just a millisecond. I quietly tiptoed around what I assumed was a tree, feeling the rough bark, and hoped I was hidden. I had no idea if I was or not, I just needed a rest before I passed out.
A quick, loud snap of twigs and fallen branches causes me to gasp. They had found me. I can’t run now or they’ll know where I’m at, but I can’t stay put either. I slowly get up to move, but something has pinned down my cloak. I pull at it, trying to break free. I silently whimper and fight to get it off. My breath catches as I claw at the cloak’s clasp, desperate to get it off and get away. Warmth and stickiness slowly cover my neck; where is that damn clasp?
More footsteps and more noise. I scramble to undo my cloak, but I cannot see to find it. It’s getting hard to breath, my head is spinning, and I feel weak. Someone was choking me. My hands were sticky and slippery, and wouldn’t grasp at anything. I felt consciousness beginning to slip, my mind and body giving way. The dark began to grow even darker. How was that possib…
“Death looks to be caused by self suffocation and severe loss of blood. The cloak was caught here and it looks as if she tried to pull it away. Unable to do that, she severely clawed her neck to get it off and escape”
The other police officer, nodded at the half smoked joint laying next to the girl, “Hallucination induced?”
A woman police officer walked over, looking slightly nauseous, “What about that one?” she asks, pointing to the girl skinned and hung from the tree.
A large puddle of blood lay beneath the dead girl that was still dripping with blood. She had been skinned and strung through the tree. It even appeared something had been working on devouring her. Tufts of white hair and tinsel rested in the blood puddle along with a tattered dress.
“I can’t say for sure what happened. It appears she was a victim of one of the unnatural creatures out here. We shouldn’t touch it, it may bring bad things upon the village. We shouldn’t even be out here, even in the safety of daylight.” The head officer says, glancing from officer to officer.
All of them nod.
“Leave them, we may anger something out here by messing with them. Let’s head back before that something comes back. We’ll just say the report was false; a Halloween prank.” The head officer states as he leads the way back out of the woods, only a few feet away.