A Cabin in the Woods
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window.
“Meg, the old Willows cabin has a candle lit,” Barb said.
“No way. No one would go there. You know it’s haunted right?”
“Yea, I heard the old ghost stories. Never believed them. We should check it out.”
“Not me. I don’t need any trouble. And you shouldn’t either. Nothing good can come of this.”
“Please. Just don’t need to get in trouble for doing something stupid. C’mon. Let’s go.”
“Nope. I’m gonna check it out.”
Meg turned and started down the path out of the woods.
“Last chance. I bet we find something there.”
Meg waved and kept walking, shaking her head.
Annora came to an abrupt stop when she saw the distant glow of the candle flickering through the broken glass. This cabin held the portal to The Divide. The place for the dammed, a world between worlds.
Please, no. The cabin had been abandoned for years. No one dared enter. The stories surrounding The Divide kept them away—nightmares, hauntings, deamons, gruesome deaths.
This is the night she had been dreading since she had been called to serve. Luck had been on her side—until now. As Sentinel to The Order, Annora had been charged with guarding the cabin each night, and she had. No matter what. How did someone get past her? Why? Only evil would want The Divide open. Annora needed to act now—time was short. Three days. Only three days to keep the portal from opening, and evil contained.
Tonight’s act had to be done by someone that knew about The Divide and what it took to open it. Who? Who knew about the portal? Why would anyone want that evil to roam free? Should they escape, the evil trapped inside would bring about destruction that hadn’t been seen in millennia. Annora had to start the binding, and let the Order know.
Barb walked to the cabin alone. Each snap of a twig made her jump. This wouldn’t deter her. She knew better. There were no such things as ghosts. She’d show them all. Maybe even find some treasure. Just a little farther.
Barb spun around. “Who’s there?” Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Snap out of it. You’re psyching yourself out.
“Meg, is that you? Not funny.” The woods were super quiet. No hooting owls, no bug sounds, no dogs barking.
Finally she made it to the cabin. Barb reached out her hand but hesitated before she pushed the door open. Maybe Meg was right. This was a stupid idea. Before she could leave something hit her in the back of the head. She lurched forward and blacked out.
Annora knew the evil within could never be completely contained. The Protectorate was formed and created The Divide. But all prisons had a key. The Divide was just a little more complicated. Aside from the signs—glowing candle in the window, the first night of the full moon, starless sky, church bells chiming in unison—a sacrifice was needed.
The Divide, the world between worlds, housed evil elements and deamons who had no emotion, no feeling, no remorse. Centuries ago, The Divide was created and sealed. The most horrific deamons, and evil beings cast into a world between worlds. There they would stay until released.
The glow from the candle grew stronger. The flame flickered higher. This was the first of the three signs, The Calling. A chill went up her spine. Her hands trembled and her stomach clenched. She couldn’t fail. Annora sent a summoning to the others in the Order. She made her way to the cabin being careful not to be seen. On her way she stopped by the fourth tree from the left, pushed aside the leaves that concealed what she needed for the binding, removed it, and moved the leaves back to cover her tracks. Carefully mixing the potions together, she circled the cabin and said the words. The one she knew by heart but never thought she would use. This needed to be done before dawn or—she shuddered at the thought.
After completing the first of the bindings, Annora sent another summoning to the Order, as per protocol. Exhaustion overcame her and she slumped to the ground, still mumbling the words of the binding—Keep all secure, keep evil at bay. Our hearts are pure, chase the deamons away.
The rain woke Annora early in the morning. Even though she needed the rest, she had to prepare for tonight. The Transformation. The spirits of the damned would materialize trying to take form. It would take all the Sentinels had to keep them contained. Another hidden box, a stronger binding spell. Keep all secure, keep evil at bay. Our hearts are pure, chase the deamons away. Give us strength, we cannot fail, with lives at stake, close the veil.
Annora greeted them as they arrived explaining the situation, although not necessary. They were prepared. As prepared as they could be. Not one of them had been around since the last binding. If they got one thing wrong—she couldn’t think like that. They had to get it right. They must succeed.
Annora prepared the potions she and the other Sentinels would cast at midnight for the second binding. None of them knew what to expect. According to the scrolls, night two of the full moon brought about The Gathering. A call to the spirits trapped on Earth. The ones that would open The Divide.
Annora led the Sentinels to the cabin. They waited just a few yards from the cabin to cast the second binding. Something bothered her. Just a feeling, but—
It came to her. The path to the cabin was disturbed. Someone or something went inside. Did they have the sacrifice? Annora knew the rules. Entry was forbidden until The Sealing. They would have to wait until tomorrow.
After the binding the Sentinels needed to gather the herbs necessary for tomorrow’s binding. It would take some time to gather and create the potion for tomorrow night, but they mustn’t fail.
The air surrounding them was cold. The sky, pitch black. It would be a long twenty-four hours. They formed a circle and cast the binding a second time. And prayed. Prayed the spirits of the damned wouldn’t succeed.
Barb struggled to move but the bonds were too tight. She wanted to scream, but she had been gagged. Tears flowed freely. She should have listened to Meg. Would she ever see her again.?
She couldn’t see her captor, but she heard his laugh. Please, God, don’t let me die.
“Don’t worry. Tomorrow it will all be over. Your sacrifice, your blood will open The Divide.”
The Sentinels gathered on the third night of the full moon for The Sealing. When they arrived at the cabin, the door was wide open. They couldn’t go in. Not until midnight. They were bound by the rules. Evil had a different set. Just one rule. Midnight sacrifice.
Annora led the charge to the cabin, the Sentinels following, chanting the last binding spell as they went. They ran in at the stroke of midnight just as the creature lifted the knife to plunge into the sacrifice.
About the author
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Original narrative & well developed characters