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Campfire Horror 3

Snarks

By Svilleg6Published 2 months ago 5 min read
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The air was thick with the scent of roasting marshmallows and pine needles, punctuated by laughter from Amy, Jennifer, and Eric. They were old friends, reunited for a weekend camping trip in the remote Black pine Forest.

John, the ever-serious one of the group, sat with Brenda, his girlfriend, on the outskirts of the circle. They stole glances at each other, the comfortable silence between them speaking volumes. John noticed the flames cast an unsettling orange glow on Brenda's face. "You okay, Bee?" he asked, a furrow appearing on his brow.

Brenda shivered. "Just a little spooked," she admitted, glancing at the dense wall of trees around them. Jennifer's voice, laced with a hint of theatricality, drifted over.

"They say these woods hold secrets," she intoned, leaning forward with a mischievous grin. "Creatures smaller than your knee, with eyes like embers and claws sharper than a hawk's beak. Some call them Snarks."

A nervous giggle escaped Amy while Eric scoffed. "Come on, Jen. you play too dam much." But even as he dismissed it, unease flickered in his eyes.

Hours later, as the embers died down and the night deepened, a yearning for privacy tugged at John and Brenda. Under the guise of gathering firewood, they slipped away, hand in hand. The playful sounds of their friends became fainter with each step they took into the woods. The air grew thick and still, the playful banter replaced by an unsettling silence.

Suddenly, Brenda squeezed John's hand so hard it left white indentations. "John, did you hear that?" she whispered, her voice trembling. It was a soft rustling sound, almost unrecognizable but growing steadily closer.

John listened intently. A low growl, guttural and primal, echoed through the trees. Panic surged through him, cold and suffocating. "Run!" he screamed, grabbing Brenda's hand and pulling her forward.

They stumbled through the dark, branches whipping at their faces, the unseen predator gaining on them. Brenda tripped over a hidden root, twisting her ankle with a cry of pain. John stopped, torn between saving himself and helping her. The woods seemed to hold their breath, waiting for their next move.

Then, John heard it – a blood-curdling scream. It was Brenda, her voice filled with unbridled terror. John spun around, his heart hammering against his ribs. But Brenda was gone. Only the echo of her scream remained, a chilling testament to her fate.

Grief and terror warred within him. He wanted to find Brenda, to see if she was alright, but a primal survival instinct took over. With a choked sob, John turned and fled deeper into the woods.

He ran blindly, branches whipping at his face, lungs burning, tears mingling with the sweat stinging his eyes. The forest seemed to twist and contort around him, mocking his desperate escape attempts. The low growl turned into a cacophony of shrieks and guttural roars. He could smell them now, a putrid stench that filled him with an almost overwhelming sense of dread.

John tripped and sprawled onto the damp forest floor, his breath heaving. He closed his eyes, bracing himself for the inevitable. But instead of the tearing of claws and gnashing of teeth, an eerie silence descended. Panting, he opened his eyes.

He was in a clearing. The moon cast a cold, ethereal glow upon the scene before him. In the center stood a gnarled oak, its branches twisted and contorted into grotesque shapes. A chill ran down John's spine. Something wasn't right.

He slowly got to his feet, his gaze flicking around the clearing. He noticed movement in the shadows beneath the oak – tiny, darting figures with glowing red eyes that seemed to pierce the darkness. John gasped, the stories Jennifer had told flooding back to him. The Snarks.

They scuttled and hissed, their grotesque forms illuminated by the moonlight. John's blood ran cold. He was surrounded. He backed away towards the thickest part of the forest, searching for a way out.

That's when he saw it. Brenda's silver locket, the one he'd given her for her birthday. Grief washed over him, a bitter tide that threatened to drown him.

Fury replaced his grief. He wouldn't let these creatures win. John picked up a fallen branch, the rough bark biting into his hand. He let out a primal scream, a roar of defiance that echoed through the clearing. The Snarks paused.

John charged towards them, wielding the branch like a club. But there were too many. They swarmed him, their needle-sharp claws tearing through his clothes, drawing blood.

He fought with a desperation born of grief and survival, but it was a losing battle. One of the Snark leaped on John's back, its razor-sharp claws digging into his shoulder. John cried out in pain, his vision blurring.

Just as he felt himself losing consciousness, he tore through the clearing.

Just as despair threatened to engulf him, he stumbled upon a familiar sight - a half-eaten bag of marshmallows, the remnants of their campfire. A surge of hope shot through him. He followed the trail of litter, his heart pounding with anticipation.

Then, he saw it. The charred remains of the camp, the fire long extinguished. His hope turned to ash in his mouth. Panic clawed at him. Had they been attacked by the Snarks? Or something else?

He searched the clearing frantically, calling out their names, but there was no answer. Only the eerie silence of the forest mocked him. Exhaustion and despair weighed him down, but he refused to give up. He had to find out what happened to his friends.

Suddenly, a sound pierced the silence. It was a faint cry for help, weak and distant. John followed the sound, his heart pounding in his chest. It led him through dense undergrowth to a hidden stream. There, clinging to a rock, was Amy.

Relief washed over him, bringing tears to his eyes. He helped Amy to the bank, her face a mask of terror and exhaustion. She was bleeding but alive. Where were Jennifer and Eric?

Amy, her voice weak, told him a horrifying tale. They had been attacked by the Snarks, just as John was. "Jennifer had been taken and dragged away screaming into the night. Eric attempted to save her, had been swarmed, and…"

She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence. Too weak to continue, Amy passed out as the screeching sounds from the snark's hungry voices got closer.. and closer.

John just stood there holding Amy's lifeless body in his hands in pure shock and disbelief as the darkness of the night swallowed him whole.

The next day, a group of hikers finds a backpack half-buried in the dirt. They followed a trail of bloodstains, leading them deeper into the woods. The trail ended abruptly at a rocky outcrop, a horrifying scene unfolding before them.

A group of Snarks feasted on a body, their high-pitched screeches echoing through the trees, John's stomach ripped open, and Amy's once vibrant features now pallid and lifeless.

Remember, campers:

When the sun sets in uncharted woods, darkness descends in more ways than one. Respect the land, heed the warnings, and never underestimate the creatures that lurk unseen. In the end... the forest might let you in but never let you out.

CONTENT WARNINGYoung AdultthrillerShort StorySeriesPsychologicalMysteryHorrorFan FictionAdventure
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About the Creator

Svilleg6

I wear many hats: entrepreneur, 5-star hospitality pro, and a passionate cook who loves whipping up delicious meals. Here, I share stories, tips, and inspiration for those on a similar journey. Join me for more creations.

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