The old cabin nestled in the woods had been abandoned for years, its windows dark and lifeless. But one fateful night, a glimmer of light pierced through the darkness as a single candle flickered in the window. This is the tale of how that candle came to be lit and the mysterious entity responsible. While you might encounter various versions of this story from different folks in town, I shall share with you the official and authentic account.
After listening to this account, I strongly advise you to make swift arrangements to leave this place. It is no sanctuary for outsiders. Those who venture here have an unfortunate tendency to vanish without a trace, or suffer even worse fates. Following my narration, I believe it would be prudent to reconsider your vacation plans. We welcome tourists who visit to enjoy the river or support local artisans by purchasing their crafts. By all means, partake in a brief and pleasant visit, and you will undoubtedly express gratitude for heeding my advice.
When you catch sight of that solitary candle, you may dismiss it as a mere trick of the light, perhaps a remnant of the sun's dying rays reflecting upon the cabin's windows. That was precisely what Jonas Hollingshead assumed when he paused during his uphill trek, turning to survey the horizon behind him. A sliver of pale yellow pressed down by the weight of dark clouds—it seemed a plausible explanation. Yet, when his gaze returned to the cabin, the light had vanished.
"Foolish old man," he chided himself. "Hurry your steps and enter that cabin while there's still daylight. This place is infested with snakes!" Hollingshead readjusted his backpack, hoisting it higher on his shoulder, and secured the cooler in his other hand, then resumed his ascent up the hill.
As Hollingshead crossed the threshold into the cabin, a pungent stench of mildewed clothes, unwashed dishes, mouse urine, motor oil, and Irish Spring soap assailed his senses. The odor was far more potent than he had anticipated after such a lengthy abandonment. The sound of tiny scurrying feet reached his ears as the mice hurriedly scattered away. "Should have picked up some mouse traps," he muttered, taking note of his increased inclination to talk to himself, a behavior he seldom engaged in back home. Then again, no one had heard Hollingshead speak much lately.
According to his account, Hollingshead didn't bear any guilt, deeming the incident an unfortunate accident. Things had spiraled out of control, fueled by excessive drinking and a series of misunderstandings. He had assumed they were having a good time until she grew agitated around the fourth day, scratching him deeply across the face. Her unexpected outburst disrupted his plans, forcing him to make a trip to the store for rubbing alcohol, cotton pads, bandages, and ointment. Hollingshead explained to the clerk that he and his girlfriend had been partying at the cabin when she became a bit unruly.
The clerk, Clark Thomas, was a well-meaning young man, albeit prone to confusion. He mistakenly believed Hollingshead mentioned his girlfriend, Brittany, driving off erratically in her car. Clark informed me that Hollingshead had teared up and mumbled something about a broken engagement or the girl being pregnant by someone else. Clark Thomas often got things muddled. Personally, I speculate that the girl was pregnant, and that's what led Hollingshead down a treacherous path. However, it's not to say Brittany was entirely innocent either. If I had to choose between the two, I'd say they both share blame, and they can both be damned to hell. Our town has no need for their kind.
During his first night at the cabin, Hollings.
About the Creator
Passionate storyteller and creative explorer.
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