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Campfire Horror

Lost in the Woods

By Svilleg6Published 15 days ago 6 min read
2

Fire crackles, casting flickering shadows on the faces around the circle. Can you all feel that cool night air seeping in? Good. Because the story I got for you tonight is colder than a witch's kiss and twice as lost.

It all started with a hike.

A beautiful day, sun dappling through the leaves, the kind that makes you think you could get lost forever and not mind. Well, that's exactly what happened to a young fella named Ethan.

Now, Ethan wasn't the brightest bulb, bless his heart. Park ranger specifically told them to stay on the marked trails, but there he went, chasing a rogue butterfly deeper and deeper into the woods.

Hours bled into dusk. The playful sunlight turned into a hungry darkness that swallowed the path whole.

Panic gnawed at Ethan's gut like a trapped animal. He called out, his voice swallowed by the thick silence.

The only answer was the unsettling hooting of an owl, and the feeling of unseen eyes watching him from the trees.

He stumbled on, tripping over gnarled roots, his headlamp a weak beacon against the encroaching night. The forest floor became a maze of fallen logs and thorny bushes.

Every rustle of leaves, every snap of a twig sent shivers down his spine.

Then, he saw it. A flicker of light in the distance. Hope surged through him, a lifeline in the black sea.

He pushed on, ignoring the burning in his lungs, the scrape of thorns on his clothes. As he got closer, the light resolved into a clearing, and in the center, a single cabin.

Smoke curled invitingly from its chimney, a beacon of warmth and safety.

Ethan stumbled towards it, his legs wobbly with exhaustion. He beat on the rough-hewn door, his voice hoarse. A creak, a slow reveal. An old woman stood there, her eyes like polished obsidian.

She didn't speak, just beckoned him inside.

The cabin was warm, the air thick with the smell of wood smoke and something…

something herbal and unsettling.

The woman sat him down at a rough table, placed a steaming mug in his hands. It smelled comforting, but a primal instinct screamed at him not to drink.

He feigned gratitude, stalling.

Through the window, he noticed the sky outside was a sickly, unnatural green. Dawn wasn't coming.

He stole a glance at the woman, and a jolt of terror went through him. Her eyes were gone, replaced by swirling vortexes of darkness.

A rasping voice filled the air.

"Lost, are we?"

it said, not from the woman's mouth, but from everywhere at once.

"Lost and weary. But worry not, for you'll never leave this place again."

Ethan scrambled back, the mug clattering to the floor. He lunged for the door, but it slammed shut with a bone-jarring thud.

He was trapped. The cabin, the light, the woman – all an illusion, a lure for the unwary.

He was lost, not just in the woods, but in something far more sinister.

The fire crackles again,

And that, my friends, is where the story …. ends.

Lost, with only the whispers of the woods for company….

Sleep well tonight, if you can. Because sometimes, getting lost isn't the worst thing.

The silence after the story hung heavy, punctuated only by the nervous chirping of crickets.

"But wait,"

someone finally dared to speak, a young girl with her eyes wide,

"What happened to Ethan? Did that... thing... get him?"

A smile, slow and chilling, stretched across Steve's face.

"That, my dear, is left to the imagination. Though, I wouldn't recommend spending too long lost in the woods yourself. You never know what you might find... or what might find you."

Suddenly, a twig snapped in the darkness beyond the firelight. Heads whipped around, hearts pounding a frantic rhythm.

Was it just a deer?

Or something else, something drawn by the story, by the fear simmering in the air?

Steve held up a hand, silencing the rising panic. A slow, almost casual smile played on his lips.

"Speaking of the woods,"

he said, his voice dropping to a low murmur,

"Did I ever tell you about the tale of the Wendigo? A creature said to roam these very woods, driven mad by an insatiable hunger..."

Perhaps Ethan wasn't entirely alone after all. Perhaps he had found a different kind of company, a chilling companion in the endless night.

A young woman named Ana, her eyes mirroring the same reckless spirit as Ethan, scoffed at the tale.

"Lost for a night? Big deal," she scoffed. "Probably just chickened out and walked back in the morning."

Steve stirred the fire with a gnarled stick. "Lost isn't the half of it, " he rumbled. "The woods take hold of some folks. They twist and turn, lead you astray until you're not sure what's real and what's a nightmare."

Ana scoffed again, but a flicker of unease danced in her eyes.

The next morning, fueled by bravado and a thirst for adventure, she ventured deeper into the woods than anyone dared. She chased a flash of brilliant blue, a butterfly unlike any she'd ever seen.

Hours flew by. The playful sun dipped below the tree line, Panic began to gnaw at Ana, a familiar echo of Ethan's terror. The playful butterfly had vanished, replaced by an unsettling silence.

Then, a glimmer of light pierced the gloom. A cabin, nestled amidst the trees, smoke curling from its chimney. Relief washed over her. She stumbled towards it, her heart pounding with hope.

The door creaked open to reveal an old woman, a replica of the one from the legend. Her eyes, however, held a different glint – not darkness, but a chilling sorrow.

"Lost, are we?"

the woman rasped, her voice echoing the words from the campfire story. "Lost and searching."

This time, Ana wasn't fooled. But exhaustion and fear kept her rooted to the spot. The woman ushered her inside, the air thick with wood smoke and a scent Sarah couldn't place – perhaps regret.

As Ana sipped a steaming mug, the woman spoke.

"He comes for the lost,"

she whispered,

"but sometimes... he takes the ones who are searching too hard."

A cold dread gripped Ana. Was this a warning? A confession?

Outside, the unnatural green of the sky bled into an inky blackness. Dawn wasn't coming.

Suddenly, a guttural howl echoed through the woods, a sound that sent shivers down Ana's spine. The woman's eyes welled with tears.

"Run,"

she rasped,

pushing Ana towards the back door.

Ana didn't need to be told twice. She burst out of the cabin, the howls growing closer. She sprinted blindly, the trees a blur of shadows. Behind her.

Days turned into weeks. Sarah stumbled through the woods, fueled on pure terror and a sliver of hope.

The legend of the Wendigo, once scoffed at, became her desperate prayer. Maybe, just maybe, it was the creature that kept the woman's sorrow in check.

Finally, she stumbled out of the woods,

a haggard shell of her former self.

Rescue teams swarmed her, bewildered by her story. But Sarah knew the truth. The woods held a darkness, a hunger that preyed on the lost and the searching alike.

And somewhere deep within those woods, a lone cabin stood silent, the woman inside a prisoner of her sorrow, the chilling howls of the Wendigo her only company. The legend had grown, a stark reminder of the price of

getting lost, not just in the woods, but in the labyrinth of your own desires.

psychologicalurban legendsupernaturalslashermonsterhalloweenfiction
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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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Comments (1)

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  • Andrea Corwin 15 days ago

    I loved this story, it is unusual - a story within a story and creepy and the photo at the top raises chills. A confusion arises though - toward the end you switch from Ana to Sarah...❣️

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