Throughout the course of our childhood, we have all been told frightening stories. Whether those stories were about “The Boogey Man” or “Bloody Mary” or even an original story, they all served one purpose, to frighten us into behaving. I really wish | had listened to my mother, I really wish I hadn’t tried to be the moron I was, if only I had experienced the slightest ounce of fear to prevent me from entering the woods, especially at night, when evil is said to be at its strongest. As a child, I was raised my whole life in the country side.
My mother and I had lived for years in a lonely shack at the edge of the small village we called home. At the very edge of the village was an eerie forest, a forest that seemed to beckon unwary fools into entering it. I was always told as a child to never go near the forest, especially at night. Some people say that a bear lives there, while others say that a serial killer lives there, and some even say that a monster lives there, either way the forest is always portrayed with death.
I remember various occasions in which I would wake up for reasons unknown, only to find myself outside in my backyard staring at the edge of the forest, the soft moonlight caressing my bare skin, the crisp night air followed by the refreshing scent of grass. On one occasion I thought I heard a shriek, but thought to myself that I was still half asleep and brushed it off. Several years have passed since those events, within those years my mother passed away. I was alone in the world, other villagers tried to comfort me, but to no avail. I did not weep when my mother died, I was broken, shattered beyond repair.
I just felt empty inside, nothing seemed to matter anymore. I inherited the house, I lived alone for the following years, as my father left my mother when she was pregnant with my brother, my brother had long ago left to “find himself”, as he couldn’t “take the voices in his head anymore”, and now my only family was gone. As the years passed by, I would continue living alone. On the days that I would enter the village to purchase meat and other necessities, I would have women approach me, seeking companionship, while the men just stared in disgust at me.
I did not want any women, women could not fix the empty shell of a human I had become, and they could not restore my humanity. Eventually, they stopped trying altogether. I entered the butcher shop as usual, only to be greeted by the owner. He says to me” hey there son, my daughter just turned 22 and I’ve seen you here multiple times, you’re not like those other scoundrels out there who care only about a woman for her body, you’re different, how about you come over for dinner tonight so I can introduce you to my daughter? “.
I refused, but after a long argument I reluctantly agreed, after all, I had nothing better to do. Once I got home I took a shower, and put on my brothers jacket. The jacket still smelled of him. The faint scent of cologne was his, as I put it on, I felt something in the pockets, as I pulled it out I realized this was a note. I opened it and realized this one undeniably my mother’s handwriting. The note said “Wherever you go, just know that your brother and I will always love you, just keep in mind that there is always a place in this house for you, I love you”.
I felt a sharp pain in my chest, lumps in my throat, before I knew it my cheeks grew warmer and I felt tears streaming down my face. This was the first time I had cried since my mother died. Once I recuperated from my emotional breakdown, I made my way over to the butcher’s house. As I approached the doorsteps the door swung open. It was the butcher; he let out a hearty laugh and smacked me on the back so hard I almost fell. He says,” and here I thought you weren’t going to show up, well come on in son, the foods almost ready and Amanda is in the kitchen helping her mother, go on in and introduce yourself.
As | entered the house the smells of spices and all sorts of dishes filled my nose. I made my way to the kitchen and saw the two women. As I entered the kitchen I am greeted by the older of the two who I assume to be the mother. “Ah, you must be the young man Harold was talking about, why don’t you go talk with him while we get the food ready sweetheart”, says the mother. As the mother greets me I see a young woman who I assume to be Amanda, she turns around and greets me with a warm smile.
As I stand there awkwardly smiling, I can’t help but feel a strange and ominous feeling, as if the atmosphere itself had completely changed. I brush it off and go into the dining room to prepare for dinner. As I sit down eating, I notice that the once cheery family is no longer behaving as gleefully as before. Everyone just seems so lifeless, just sitting down and eating without saying a word. Suddenly, without warning, he room temperature drops noticeably, to the point where I can see my breath. I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around. Standing there behind me is a creature I cannot describe.
A creature with skin as white as snow, two gaps in its head which I assume were its eyes, the body of the creature itself was a thin lanky build, with large hands that accommodated even larger claws. I just sit there frozen in fear, it leans in close to me, and makes a low guttural sound and lunges at me. I wake up screaming. Was it a dream? Did I even go out last night? I make my way to the butcher’s shop to ask if he recalled anything from last night. Once I arrive to my surprise the shop is closed. The shop is always open, there is no reason the shop should be closed right now.
I decide to go to the butcher’s house to see if he maybe slept in, once I arrive I find the door wide open, but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to encounter. The first thing I notice when I enter the house is the overpowering scent of metal. I knew what the scent was, it was blood. I head inside the dining room, only to be greeted with an even stronger metallic scent. I turn on the lights and could not believe my eyes. The once dining room was now crimson red, there was blood everywhere, the bodies of the butcher and his wife lay there, but I could not find Amanda.
As I stand there, feeling sick to my stomach, I get the same feeling I got in my dream. The air felt heavy. The atmosphere just felt so evil. I hear the sound of the window being tapped behind me. I turn around and standing there looking straight at me is the creature from my dreams, just smiling a crooked horrendous smile. I look closely and see that it is holding Amanda, it has her slung over his shoulder, like a piece of meat. He then emits a loud, ear shattering screech and runs off into the forest, the very place as a child I was told not to go.
By now, I look up at the sky and see that it is already nighttime. I ponder to myself, should I go after it? What will I do? Will I kill it or will it kill me? After a long thought process I decide to go, after all, it’s not like I have someone at home waiting for my safe return, everyone I love or loved is gone. As I make my way up the trail I hear a scream. My legs begin pumping me as fast as possible to get me into the forest. The only weapon I have is the small hunting knife I always carry with me. I eventually made it to a clearing. Oddly enough, I was surrounded by vegetation all around me.
There was grass growing everywhere except for where I was standing. I noticed that there was a perfect circle around where I was standing, but there was no vegetation. As if the grass refused to grow in that circle. I feel the temperature drop once more and know what is about to happen. I see my breath come out in short gasps. I turn around, and standing there, is the creature that has been haunting my dreams. I firmly grasp my knife and brace myself. The creature lets out a screech, but this one sounded different. As if this creature was in pain.