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The Four Warnings:

by U.B. Light 2 months ago in Horror · updated about a month ago
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of Missy Hallow Hathaway

"The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. It was the first time anyone had set foot on the property again since the death of Missy Hallow Hathaway, and for the unfortunate group of teenagers that horrific evening, that candle was their first warning. On the ten year anniversary of the precarious passing of Missy Hallow Hathaway, shrouded in mystery and cover up, five teenagers cut the fence wire, ignored the half hanging 'do no enter' sign, and made a campfire much like the one we have here, hoping to catch a glance of the ghost of Missy Hallow Hathaway.

They saw the candle in the window. They pointed and questioned it, if anyone was living there, and it spooked them, but it did not move them, so Missy Hallow Hathaway was gracious enough to give a second warning; with a swoop of wind she stole the campfire, and more candles burned in the window lighting up the entire barn; a barn much like the barn behind us over there.

Third warning, a lone wolf howled signaling she had left the barn and she was coming. Fear can be a funny thing. Sometimes what ought to send you running instead wobbles your knees to the point you can't feel you feet to run, and that is exactly what happened that tragic day; they huddled together, breathing heavy, and knees knocking together.

Fourth and final warning, deathwatch beetles emerge and scurvey around the campsite ground. If one crosses your foot, you are marked, and if she takes hold of you with her charred and boney fingers, you turn to dust.

Of the five friends who trespassed on Missy Hallow Hathaway's hallowed ground, beetles crossed four feet, and it was only Billy Bob Borskey's feet who ran away at the sight of his first friend turning to dust before the deathwatch beetle could mark him. You may know Billy Bob Borskey. The old bearded man living at that farmhouse not in much better condition than this abandoned barn here, who rocks in his rocking chair all day long repeating, "candle, campfire, wolf, beetles," over and over again, "candle, campfire, wolf, beetles."

Billy Bob Borskey told his account to the town and the local police, who instead investigated and tried to crucify him for the dissappearance and murder of his four friends, but they could find no evidence as they visited the grounds and trampled through piles of dust they thought nothing more than the remains of the campfire. They had nothing to hold against Billy Bob Borskey, and instead the town and the police decided to collectively believe four teenage friends decided to run away, two couples, and the one who wasn't coupled decided to stay. People kept their distance of Billy Bob Borskey after that. They went by the official story, but at their dining room table they talked of the boy who murdered his friends out of jealousy and buried their bodies never to be found, and told some tall tale of Missy Hallow Hathaway and her four warnings.

Meghan looked around. "That is creepy, so creepy."

Charles put his arm around his girl, "which part babe, the dust touching ghost of Missy Hallow Hathaway or the murdering Billy Bob Borskey."

"All of it," replied Sheila, "either way, if either is true, it's horrific."

"I think it was him, Billy Bob Borskey," said Cypris to her girlfriend Sheila and her freinds. "I mean, a vengeful ghost? Really? Nah. He murdered them or they ran a . . . ," and Cypris stopped mid sentence. "Elliot, where have you taken us?" and she pointed to the barn whose window now showed a single burning candle.

The group looked at each other and they all came to one side of the campfire and faced the barn looking at the single candle.

"Dude, where are we?" Charles asked to Elliot as the fear surrmounted in everyone's legs.

A single gust of wind blew the campfire completely out. The group screamed and they grabbed onto each other, as fear made their hearts race, their breathing fast, and their knees buckle. More candles burned at the old barn's windows. A solitary wolf howled.

"She's out, she's out," screamed Sheila.

The ground began to ruffle, and they drew out the flashlight on their phones to see deathwatch beetles cross over their feet, all but Elliot, who turned and ran, and as he made his way through the cut wire of the fence with the half hanging 'do not enter' sign, none of his friends were around to be seen, but the charred and boney illuminated frame of Missy Hallow Hathaway, and four fresh piles of dust."

When Elliot arrived back in town that day, he told the police what had happened. Police investigated Elliot for the murder of his four friends after they could not be found, and the police trampled through piles of dust in the daytime as they went to investigate the scene. No evidence could be held to Elliot, so the police and the townspeople decided four friends, two of which were couples decided to run away, and the one that wasn’t stayed. The townspeople over dinner would wonder if Elliot murdered his friends out of jealousy, but with the second same story exactly fifty years apart as Billy Bob Borskey, people wondered if it was true, the four warnings of Missy Hallow Hathaway, who left Elliot forever more loosing his complete ability to speak, except to say the words, "candle, campfire, wolf, beetles.”

Photo by Khoa Võ


About the author

U.B. Light

U.B. Light writes fantastical fiction to explore heavy subjects and transform them into light. His first novel, Flicker: Light of a Lantern, debuted in December 2019. He is working on the prequel for a Light of a Lantern series.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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