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After Dark

A Brush with the Hide

By OratilePublished about a month ago 2 min read

The moon hung low in the night sky, casting long, eerie shadows across the abandoned forest trail. My breath formed small clouds in the crisp air as I trudged forward, the beam of my flashlight piercing the darkness. I had heard rumors about the old, forsaken woods behind Nevermore Academy, but curiosity got the better of me. I had to see for myself.

I had been walking for what felt like hours when I first heard it—a low, guttural growl that seemed to reverberate through the trees. I froze, my heart pounding in my chest, and swung the flashlight in the direction of the sound. The beam caught nothing but dense foliage and gnarled branches. I forced a laugh, trying to dismiss the noise as the wind, or maybe a stray animal.

But then I heard it again, closer this time. The sound was unmistakable—a primal, menacing growl that sent chills down my spine. I took a cautious step backward, scanning the area frantically. The stories about the Hide, the monstrous creature said to lurk in these woods, flashed through my mind.

Before I could react, a blur of motion caught my eye. The Hide emerged from the shadows, its massive form illuminated by the weak light of my flashlight. It was more terrifying than I had imagined—hulking and grotesque, with bulging eyes and sinewy limbs ending in razor-sharp claws. Its skin was mottled and rough, a sickly gray-green that seemed to absorb the light rather than reflect it.

Panic surged through me. I turned and ran, branches whipping against my face and tearing at my clothes. The Hide's growls grew louder, closer, as it pursued me with terrifying speed. My legs burned with exertion, and my lungs felt like they were on fire, but I couldn’t stop. I had to get away.

My foot caught on a root, and I went sprawling to the ground, my flashlight skittering away into the darkness. The growls were right behind me now. I scrambled to my feet, ignoring the pain in my ankle, and kept running. The forest seemed to close in around me, the trees morphing into twisted, sinister shapes.

Just when I thought I couldn’t go any further, I burst into a clearing. Ahead of me, through the thinning trees, I saw the lights of Nevermore Academy. Summoning the last of my strength, I sprinted towards the sanctuary of the campus. I could hear the Hide crashing through the underbrush, its breath hot and fetid on my heels.

I reached the edge of the woods and stumbled onto the well-lit grounds of the academy. The growling stopped abruptly, and when I dared to glance back, the Hide was gone, swallowed by the darkness of the forest. I collapsed onto the grass, my body trembling with exhaustion and fear.

Safe at last, but haunted by the encounter, I knew I would never forget the sight of the Hide or the terror it had instilled in me. I had narrowly escaped with my life, but the fear lingered, a constant reminder of the horrors that lurk after dark.

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