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what lurks in darkness

By Theresa M HochstinePublished 25 days ago 4 min read
Photo by Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

Darkness swept across the sky like a heavy lead blanket. I hear the screeching of the owls fill night sky, a sound that sends a cold shiver down my spine and my body trembles, and I feel as if I'm being watched. In a panic I scan the area surrounding me yet, I see nothing and no one. Not a single soul lurking about. The campfire cackles and roars, and I get lost staring into the blaze. The warmth from the fire kisses my cheeks and with a slow blink, a single tear trickles down my face. I am alone. As far as I am aware. Crack! A sudden snapping of a twig catches my attention and i jerk my head around to peak behind me. Again, I see nothing. Yet, I feel eyes on me. I can hear the thunderous beating of my heart and sweat begins to drip from my neck and forehead. I'm on the alert and nervous. I begin fidgeting with my hands and I feel the paranoia begin to sink into my thoughts. "He's coming for me." I thought to myself. "He's watching me and he's going to come for me." I started to regret my choice to go on this camping trip.

My companions fade back into my sights and I remember I'm not alone. "Are you alright?" Sarah questions with a worrisome grimace stretched across her face. I replied that I was indeed, just fine and had only drifted off for a moment. We traded childhood ghost stories like the tale of Sleepy Hollow,even some as ridiculous as the legend of Pig-man road in Angola for just a little past an hour before I felt my tummy rumble. My mouth was salivating out of control and I began to drool. Hunger had invaded my body so I retreated momentarily to the cabin I had rented for the weekend and returned immediately with a jar of Dill snacking pickles. I began shoveling the pickles into my mouth one right after the other. My appetite began to seem insatiable when I reached the bottom of an empty pickle jar and had to once again, retreat to my cabin in search of more snacks. This time I returned with a family sized bag of Nacho cheese Doritos and began funneling those into my mouth next. I consumed nearly half the bag before I was satisfied.

After my snacking episode was complete, I lit another joint and passed it to my left to Jenna. Jenna passed the joint to Angelica, and Angelica handed it off to Sarah after taking a couple of puffs. As Sarah began to take her turn with the joint, I felt myself slipping back into the bitter, cold darkness of the night. Tara... tara... I hear the ghostly whispers of my name in the howling of the wind and my body began to ache. The chill of the air weakens my knees and my body begins to tremble once more. My heart starts to race and my mind is overwhelmed by panic. My eyes begin to dart back and forth and my friends. My friends are gone again.

Tap. A sudden pat on my shoulder. "Tara!" Sarah exclaimed in a rapidly fired shout. I shake my head and fade back in. We quickly finish smoking the joint and decided that it was time for bed. Jenna lifted an orange five gallon bucket of water that was sitting beside her black camp chair and poured the liquid onto the fire. My back was turned and I was nearing my cabin which stood about twenty-five feet from the fire pit and I was forced to the ground by a great explosion. The water bucket had been filled with gasoline. I could smell the gas filling the air and I tried to keep my eyes from closing. Oh how I tried. Thump. Thump. Thump. I hear footsteps approaching. "Please be the firefighters" I thought to myself desperate for help. My back was burned, I'm not sure how badly but the pain rendered me motionless. I grabbed at the grass, trying with all the strength I had left to pull myself further away from the still burning fire pit.

I felt two massive hands wrap around each of my ankles and lifted my head then turned as far as I could to see who this stranger was grabbing at me. Was it the park ranger? A police officer? Fire police? No. It can't be. I thought to myself as I stared in terror into the pitch black eyes of the brother I sent to prison for molesting me. "Did you miss me?" the predator asked with a sinister smile bearing his horrid, shaven down teeth.

The monster ties my ankles together with a rope i can only assume he brought himself. He pulls me along as he examines each of my friends for signs of life starting with Jenna who was missing both a leg and arm, as well, as most of his face and just about all of her skin. She was very clearly no longer living. Angelica was pulsating and blood was spewing from her mouth. The sound of her choking on her own blood brought me to tears and I began to cry hysterically. He left her to suffer. Sarah was clinging to life by a thread but a powerful one. She was inching her way to her cell phone when he drove his hunting knife into the back of her throat and left her to bleed out. "Well that was fun" he said with a chuckle as he began rubbing the dirt, ash, and blood from his hands with an old ratty t-shirt. He grabs the end of the rope that is attached to my ankles and drags me up the steps of my cabin. I begin to scream and flail my arms about whilst also trying to kick my ankles free. My head it's each of the four steps with greater and greater force each one he climbs. He closes the door and a final blood-curdling scream echoes above the trees and then, I wake up .


About the Creator

Theresa M Hochstine

I am a stay at home mom who writes for the love of it. I am passionate about writing as it is a constructive way for me to process negative emotions and work through my PTSD. Many of the stories are pulled from nightmares I have had. Enjoy!

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    Theresa M HochstineWritten by Theresa M Hochstine

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