Categories > Original > Horror
It was dark; I knew that much for sure. My long hair waved behind me, although there was no wind. If I wasn’t half scared to death I would’ve questioned how this was possible, but I was, so I didn’t. I pulled my sleeves over my hands, they felt as if they were about to drop off, but it was going to get colder, especially if it did actually get windy. I hated nights, they were always full of secrets, spookiness and things that want to kill you. Noise howled through the trees, screaming warnings that I wouldn’t, couldn’t hear. It was too late to turn back now, if I was going to turn around now, what was the point of coming this far..?
I sat down by the fire; it was a ritual that had been going on for as long as I could remember. My hair reached down to my waist, nearly touching the floor. I could see my reflection in the mirror above the mantelpiece, and saw a twelve year old girl with bright blue eyes, freckles and brown hair with an annoying wave in it staring back at her. On the armchair beside me, warming herself against the fire was my Gran. She had the kind of face that immediately told you she was a person you had to respect, a person the has gone through all that life has to offer and all that it has lunged at her. She was staring deeply into mid-space, I knew that look well enough not to interrupt her. She would begin soon, I knew it, and her wrinkled face would come out of its shell and spill out some of her stories – of wisdom, of fear and happiness so vibrant almost tangible. Always I would feel fear with all her stories, they were all scary, but Gran had said today’s would be special, that I would take this on and complete the tasks set out for me and only for me. I was always curious for her stories, but this one I could feel was calling for me...
Gran began as her normal self and started, and this is the story (briefly put) that she told me:
‘A long, long time ago, when I was a child, there was a forest behind my home. I loved my home, my family and everything but there was one thing that I know I was never allowed to do. I always wanted to explore that forest, but my father had forbidden me to do so, and in those days you would never disobey your father. For that reason I never did explore it, but the pull was still there – calling me towards it, like a beautiful vampire luring its prey. But still I never disobeyed my father, for his word was my law until I moved out of his household. That was what it was like in those days, you see? I was eighteen when I left my home and the irresistible urge to go to that mystery behind my last home was still there. I didn’t move far from my home though so I could stay in touch easily with my parents – as I’m sure you will when you come to that age. That was when I decided to venture into the dark forest. Once I stepped into the welcome shadows of the gigantic oak trees I felt like I belonged, that under their leafy wing was the place where I was destined to be. I often, after that, strolled through there, till it came to a point where if anybody asked you where I was you could without a doubt say ‘the forest’. One day I stumbled across what seemed like an unused cabin. Before in that wood I had found a disserted campsite, an abandoned wood and tool shed and thought nothing of it, but a cabin just sitting there was unusual in those days, so I bravely decided to go in and look around in there.
‘In there I had the fright of my life, there sitting on the only chair sitting by a high table was an elderly man, and at least that is what it looked like at first. But then I looked past the millions of wrinkles and looked at the man’s eyes, were no eyes. Just holes surrounded by scars, scars that looked so fresh you could still see the blood stained around the edges, but yet so old that they were embedded into his flesh, as if chiselled into the skin. I thought he was dead but then he lifted an old pale hand, practically white, and beckoned me to come forwards. As if in a trance I did that and walked slowly towards the table. The actual table was the most horrible thing you could ever think of, worse than the loss of his eyes, worse than anything I had yet come across. For on that table was a knife, dripping blood, and next to it was the eyes that had originally come from the head of the person in front of me, not only that but there was many, many sets of eyes. All of them watching my movement, the pupils were twitching as I stared at them in disgust. At closer view the old man looked even deader than before, he wasn’t moving, not even his eyes, which had stopped twitching. It was as if they were all waiting for something to happen, anticipating something huge to occur. Then he spoke, a mere whisper but I heard well enough, that was what awoke me from the earlier trance. He had whispered ‘You have to help me, do some tasks for me’ and then the sound had lessoned to nothing, nothing I was able to hear anyway. I realised what I was doing, how stupid and careless I was being and ran, ran as fast as I could. As if in new eyes the once homely forest turned its back on me and the elements turned against me. Things whispered in my ears as I rushed by and branches that I was sure weren’t there reached out and tried to trip me up. I was sure the forest was trying to kill me. Still am. But I was determined to get out of there alive. Yes, the trip was hard but I did manage to get out of that hell hole before it ate me up. Now I know why Father had always forbidden me to enter that ghostly prison. I was right before. I was the prey and the trees were just props to lure me in to the gaping wide mouth.’
And that is where my Gran faulted off and started to stare into the air once again. And once again I knew not to interrupt her. She ended her tale with an ending that affected me deeply, which I knew would keep on nagging me till I find out what I was told to. And it was this:
‘I want you, to find out what he wanted, what he needed help for. For I cannot but think that I disappeared with such haste and not gave the old man a chance to prove himself worthy. He may be dead now, lying in that chair, slumped and life less but I think that is not what has happened. I believe I would’ve sensed it. I want you to go there, into that forest and look for him and the cabin. There you will find what you have to do. Just don’t be a fool, don’t fall for its ghastly trap. That place is haunted and the things that inhabit there aren’t nice and kind that will give you warmth and shelter. They want to taunt you until you go crazy in the head and then hunt you down – like prey and predator – and make you whimper and beg for your life, and finally kill you. I was lucky you see, over the years there has been many people gone missing out there, look for clues of how they disappeared, but please, come back alive’
Then she closed her weary eyes as it was late at night. She often did that. She acted as if she was asleep so I wouldn’t ask questions. Of course I know better than to ask questions so I walked towards the bookshelf. They were full of ancient books, to difficult for me to understand. But still I stared at the covers, marvelling at the bindings which kept all of the knowledge falling to pieces across the floor. Then Mother called. It was time for me to go to sleep. I wished I could stay up, I know that my dreams would be haunted by these nights’ stories. I couldn’t tell anyone about them though; no one understands me and my belief in all the stories. But I knew they are true, I can feel it
I was right; my dreams had suddenly turned into a horror movie. I was running, running away from nothing. But I was scared, I stumbled and then I knew what was chasing me. It skidded round the corner and faced me. A man, as old as the earth. In his right hand was a dagger – already stained with blood. In the other was a pair of two faded eyes, his eyes. His gaping holes where his eyes were meant to be dripped red hot liquid. Blood. I screamed.
My eyes flew open. I was crying, clutching at my duvet and tried to hide from nothing. Painful memories of the dream flooded back to me, along with the story Gran had told me the night before. I tried to push them out and replace them with happy thoughts, of my friends, of holidays. But all the time the frightful memories came back – I couldn’t help it. I looked at the clock beside my bed. It was six in the morning and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep again. I got dressed and went downstairs
A note, just fluttering in the breeze was on the table. Messy handwriting was on it. I didn’t recognise it. It fluttered towards me and flew into my face; I was forced to read it. It was a letter, addressed to me at the top.
I have your Gran and I know what she said last night to you. I agree – I think you should give me a second chance to tell you what I want. If you want your Gran back then I am afraid you will have to come and find me in the woods, I will be there, I promise. If you fail to come your Gran will be....let’s just say....gone forever. I have been searching for you for as long as your life. It is not a joke; it is to be taken seriously. I hope you accept my offer of coming and you should know: I want to see you as soon as possible. I would say have a nice journey like a proper gentleman but I guess I am not a gentleman – as you could have gathered by last night. I hope to see you soon as your Gran depends on it – and she is such a nice person, I’d hate to see her go...
I shivered. They know where I live, they had Gran! I couldn’t just abandon her like this – she doesn’t deserve that! I had to go into those woods and find her, and secretly I wanted to see this “old man” for myself. I guess I had to do what Gran asked me to do last night. I have to go into those dreaded woods. I knew what they could do so I was safe from its spells – but not from everything. If what Gran said last night was true then if I ran then all of the nature will attack me and try and kill me. There was no way I could be prepared for that! And what was I supposed to say to my Mother and Father. There was no way if them knowing this – they would called the cops and then I would never get Gran back. I didn’t know what to do at all. I was only twelve and small. But although all those thoughts were in my head – causing chaos - I knew what my final decision was. I was going to have to go there – to the woods. I knew where Gran use to live – everybody pointed it out to me all the time. All I had to do was try and find an excuse to go. That was going to be difficult; my parents were hard to fool.
I thought of everything that I could possibly do and always there were little thoughts saying if you did that then Mother would find out and she would think you had run away and left her. She would feel so guilty and horrible, all because of you. At the point where I was too tired to think I flopped down on the sofa and daydreamed. There was no way I could even think of a way to do this; I would feel so beastly if I thought my Mother was in pain because of me. But then how much pain is Gran in right at this moment. There was no way of knowing. In the end I crept upstairs and packed my bag, careful not to wake anyone. When I had got downstairs again I went to the table and wrote a letter:
Mother and Father,
I have to go – but I really don’t want to. I will be safe and please don’t send anyone looking for me, it will do no good. Please be careful and don’t be worried. I love you
And as I went out of the door tears pricked my eyes. I know I was doing this for the greater good but leaving them two behind like that killed me inside. But I know I had to go on. I caught one of the early buses and set off to Gran’s first house.
It was shut. The actual house had been abandoned for years so I don’t know why I thought the door would be unlocked but I was put down by the thought that people had sensed that danger had been around this area. There were two huge signs. One said KEEP OUT and the other said DANGER ZONE. That was just plain depressing but I ignored them and carried on. I thought again of my parents and wondered what they would be doing right now. Father would probably still be snoring. But Mother might just be waking up. Soon they would know that I had left them for no apparent reason. Once more I felt depressed. It was going to be a hard journey and I almost wanted to forget all about Gran and the mysterious note and turn around – catch the next bus home and run into the welcome arms of my home. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that with Gran somewhere unknown in the shadows of the woods. So I went on, pushing through the high grass and weeds until I found an old and rotting gate leading to a meadow. I went through it and started to stumble the width of the field. Nettles were everywhere and stung me countless of times. No dock leaves where to be found anywhere – it was if that was a warning in itself. A big sting without a cure, just like the wood I was just about to enter. I thought of how happy this place could have once been and a shudder ran down my spine. Something had corrupted this house and long ago home, and I was about to go into its gaping mouth, how stupid could you get?
Whispers, it was the first thing I noticed. It was beckoning me, daring me to enter into its shadows. Leaves brushed my arms, snagged on my woollen top with no mercy. I wondered what I had got myself into. What if I never came out alive? With my mind a whirlwind of questions I didn’t think where I was going. The colours around me were alive to my eyes, overwhelming and slightly scary. Swirling leaves fell to my feet when I disturbed the undergrowth. The path that was before me was dappled by sunlight; it was too late to turn back now. If it wasn’t for Gran’s warning the night before I may have thought that she was only imagining things and it was a perfectly safe forest. But with her words conscious on my mind I thought of it as a wood. Woods made me think of shadows and secrets; totally unappealing to me. I splashed my face with some clean water, sobering myself from the whirling colours around me and thought of putting one foot in front of the other. I tried to concentrate on one thing at a time, sorting my thoughts into an order, although that didn’t work. I tried to think of things that made me happy, holidays that I went on when I was younger. Though my mind was in a hot sunny place I could sense my face was sullen. I knew I didn’t want to be here. I trudged on though, powered by the thought of Gran, Gran with her grey, curly hair and wrinkles that lined her face. I knew I had to go on.
I had a thought on my journey throughout the woods; I had no idea what I was heading towards. For all I knew I could have been lost in that wood and would never return again. I tried to push that thought to the back of my mind. Of course I would manage to get back. I wasn’t able to lie to myself convincingly so I looked around, scanning my surroundings. I hadn’t noticed how much it had changed. It seemed like only five minutes when I was trampling through the woods randomly, but since then I seemed to of found a path. I thought how weird it was that I hadn’t noticed, but then thought that it unusually well trodden. This must be like a pathway to the cabin Gran had told me about in her story. Gran. She could be in danger; I had to keep on moving, for her sake. I forced myself to move forwards again. I was tired; I had properly been trudging through that wood for hours. I had to rest. I let myself go on for a couple more steps then sank against the nearest tree. My eyes started to drop but I wouldn’t let myself sleep, I didn’t trust the woods enough. Funny, when did anyone trust a wood? Just then I saw something in the corner of my eye. What was it? I went over to have a look trying to remember if Gran’s story mentioned anything like this. Ashes that where slightly warm? I hadn’t seen anyone since I had been here and by the amount my stomach was rumbling I had been here for a long time. This wood was getting creepier by the minute. I thought for a second, this could have been the abandoned campsite. I walked around the clearing where the tents would have been. I was pretty sure now. There were holes in the ground where pegs would have been to hold down the tents, dotted around where some rotting hooks. No one had been here for a while, you could tell by the atmosphere, yet when I went round a corner there was a lone tent, green and camouflaged. All of the rest of the clearing seemed to be untouched for years yet this tent didn’t even have speck of dirt on it. It seemed so out of place. I turned around; this was getting out of hand. Caves, before there weren’t caves in the cliff, there hadn’t even been cliffs. When I got back, I decided to have my eyes tested. A feeling I was getting used to came flooding back to me. It felt like I was being watched. It was probably my nerves getting the better of me. One of the caves had a cover on it; strange. On the cover was a series of symbols that I didn’t recognise. This was getting crazier by the second, not minute! I walked over to the cave with the symbols, stumbling over burnt out fires. The stone cover wouldn’t budge when you pushed it. I backed away from it. All of this was freaking me out now. When had cliffs come into existence in an instant? I turned around; the feeling of being watched had suddenly come back again. I was shocked still, I realised I had been watched, by this. A man, with a scythe. No, not a man, something else. It was translucent, but yet still white. Every part of it was white, except it squinting eyes. They were red, blood red. Staring right into me, staring into my soul. I ran, screaming away from whatever it was. I didn’t look if it was following, just sprinted in a random direction.
I stumbled and fell. A tree root that jutted out, I got up and tried to start to run again. I must have twisted my ankle; I couldn’t put any pressure onto that leg. I sank down again on what I thought was a tree. A wooden pillar, that wasn’t right. I looked around for the first time. I was at a cabin made of rotten wood; smoke sprouted out of the top of a stone chimney. Maybe there was life in this wood. I pulled myself up and stumbled up the steps which creaked under my feet, opened the door and stepped into the gloom.
Gran said I had to keep safe, why was I in here then? At first I thought that there was nothing there, but then I saw the table. A high table, and what a horrible sight it was. For on that table was a knife, with dark red stains on the hilt. The metal of the knife was dripping endless blood, gushing out of nowhere. But that wasn’t all. To the left of it there was eyes, with their pupils staring into space, as still as a statue. Attached onto the back of them was a tendril of flesh, as if the knife wasn’t sharp enough and something had to pull the rest of the eye-ball out with their bare hands. Behind the scene that met my eyes was a wall, blank except some symbols. It looked a bit like Chinese but I know straight away that no Chinese individual would be able to decipher the meaning. Some of the signs where hidden behind splotches of red, I didn’t dare think what it could be, and where it could of come from. My eyes wondered towards the chair, on their own accord. I felt them widen in astonishment, surprise and finally and most strongly; fear. The wood was still yet the creaks of it echoed in the small room. Scratches, marks embedded into the furniture, evidence that life was once here, but now gone. Sounds of scrapings entered my ears, yet wherever I looked around I couldn’t pin-point the place where it came from; weird. Astonishment, fear. There sitting on the creaking chair, a man. Yet his eyes were not there, but on the table in front of him. Instead of eyes were bits of pulled out pieces of flesh, with blood pouring out, staining all there is to see. He was wearing a tattered shirt, torn as if it had been clawed at with sharp talons, from a screeching bird of prey. His hands wavered in mid air and then with a move impossibly fast for a human he grabbed a pair of eyes and stuck them into their original sockets. He had to hold them there for they will never be attached again, ruined out as they were. With his left hand he slowly moved his fingers, beckoning me to move forward. Grans words spun in my mind: “keep yourself safe!” but as If in trance I moved towards the chair, one step at a time until my hands grasped the edge of the table. The smell of blood made me nauseate, and I clutched harder to try and regain my balance. He released the eyeballs and they fell back onto the table, bouncing up and down until it came to a standstill. I watched them, mesmerised, until it seemed strangely rude, staring at them. I switched my gaze to the thing sitting by the high table and made the fatal move to let go of it. I fell onto the ground, making a clanging noise when my knees hit the floor. I screamed in agony, it really hurt, yet I tried to scramble to my feet again. Once more holding onto the table until my knuckles were white I heaved myself off the floor to look at the monster in front of me. Weird, he didn’t seem as scary as before. I didn’t speak and nor did he, and I started to fiddle with my hair, a move I only do when I feel as if I am in an awkward situation. Well, I grant myself now it was awkward. That was when he moved, standing up incredibly slow compared with the movement he made when snatching up his eyes. He walked towards the left-hand side of the room and motioned me to follow. To my eyes it was empty but the he knelt to the ground. I copied, thinking this was when he would reveal what he wanted me to do. I was wrong. He pulled up a loose plank of wood from the floor and pushed it aside so I could see what was down the hole. Gran. Sitting there, alone, her back facing us. The monster made a tapping noise and in reaction she turned. I gasped, in shock and misery. He had changed her! I remembered the table behind me and glanced over my shoulder. Yes I was right, they were familiar, the eyes. I turned round back to what was Gran. HE had done it to her; she had no eyes in her sockets, only blood gushing out. A wave of pity washed over me, how could someone endure all of that and still be facing me and still alive!? I realised then, he wouldn’t let me out alive. He lied that he would give Gran back and it was all a trick to get me to come in this place. I stood up, slowly and quietly so that he wouldn’t notice, well I hoped he wouldn’t anyway. Yet though I was sure I hadn’t made a sound he still turned. I froze, unsure of what to do. In the end I knelt down again but this time keeping my hands near my face, in case I had to defend my vital features of it. He twisted back around to face what was previously Gran and I just legged it towards the exit. I know unconsciously that I hadn’t got a chance but I ignored that fact. I didn’t even make it to the door of the cabin. He grabbed me from behind, immensely strong although his obvious old age. He towed me towards the table, forcing me on to the chair. It creaked noisily when I sat in it. He grabbed the knife, and that’s all I could remember.
I woke up and the first thing I thought was that I was still alive. Then there was a feeling so weird that I felt I must be still dreaming. I could see the door and I could tell it was unlocked and in clear running distance yet when I tried to move towards it I kept on bumping into an invisible wall. I tried to bring my hands to my face, but when I moved them I couldn’t see them, even when I placed it so it covered the whole of my face and I still couldn’t see them. I suddenly remembered the table, the table with the eyes where the first thing you see when you walk through the door. The knife raised to my face before I went to sleep – maybe it was actually me but knocked out? I couldn’t believe it. My eyes were on the table and my body most still be in the hole under the trap door! How could I have survived?! Then it struck me – Gran was gone. Maybe he let her go with no fuss, I somehow doubted it. But anyhow she was gone and I tried to think of good things like the welcome she would get when she arrived back home. How long had it been since I had left my note? I seemed like years but the logical part of my brain was trying to tell me at the most it could only be a day. I was starving as well – I guessed I wouldn’t be getting any food. I tried sitting down and getting myself comfy but there just wasn’t enough room. Shame, it was standing up or nothing – I would have chosen nothing I had a choice now – my legs were really aching. I gathered my thoughts and realised how hopeless my situation was. I was stuck in here forever. How long have I been in here? How will I die? – Starvation? Questions boggled my mind and I gave up. I closed my eyes and fought for them and tried to never open them again. I won – I think – until I heard the crash.
Was it rescuers? How long had I been stuck in here. I tried to call out but the pain in my throat after one moment was unbearable. It looked like I wouldn’t be saved. The door was pulled open after the banging and I can see through my vacant eyes that armed people in camouflage suits had come in. I wonder what they thought when they saw the line of eyes, staring back at them. I didn’t have long to wait when there was a gunshot – out of the vision of my eyes. The old man – he was still in the room. I hadn’t seen him go – I had tried to keep my eyes shut but my hearing was perfectly good. They must of shot him! Strangely, my heart was masked with horror – although that same man had cornered me and torn out my eyes and locked me in this hell-hole. There was a tearing sound right above me and I guessed that they were trying to wrench open the trapdoor. Bit by bit fresh air meandered towards me, and I sucked up each tendril of it with welcome. I hadn’t noticed how stagnant the air was around me. I thought about what they would think of me when they saw me with no eyes – yet breathing, more like rasping with my throat as sore as it was. I couldn’t see it - obviously – but I could suddenly sense the light – blasting towards me.
A gasp, they must have seen my face.
A bang, they must have shot my chest.
If they shot me, you ask, how come this is written down. Well – to put it blunt, the pain of the shot was worst than any other thing I had faced. But, thankfully, it quickly went, replaced by nothingness. I can’t feel anything, love, hate, remorse. I can only have memories, look back at them and wonder how from that I got to where I was standing. I didn’t die naturally – how fate had planned it, therefore I didn’t go to heaven or hell, and I was left in between, with a huge hole in my chest where my wound still stays. I am nor dead or alive, I am simply a ghost, haunting this place of where I have died.
Hello - this one is weird and I wrote it ages ago! Thanks for reading though and please rate and review! Hugs and kisses! - Ali
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