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Only the strong to survive

By Betty OnesjayPublished about a month ago 5 min read

It was a night like no other, the kind where the air itself seemed to hold its breath, waiting. In the town of Elone, nestled at the base of the ominous Mount Elone, the streets were eerily silent. No wind rustled the leaves, no animals scurried in the night. The town’s residents knew better than to venture out after dark, especially on the nights when the mountain’s shadow stretched unnaturally long, reaching out as if trying to ensnare the town in its grasp.

Sarah Thompson had grown up hearing the stories—stories of people who had dared to venture up the mountain and never returned. Stories of strange lights and ghostly figures that appeared only to vanish without a trace. The rule was clear and unyielding: "No one enters, and no one leaves." Yet, Sarah couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more to the mountain, something that begged to be understood.

On this particular night, the need for answers outweighed her fear. With a small backpack, a flashlight, and a determined heart, Sarah slipped out of her home and made her way toward the mountain. The closer she got, the heavier the air seemed to become, thick with an unseen presence that prickled her skin and sent shivers down her spine.

As she entered the dense forest at the mountain’s base, Sarah’s flashlight flickered, casting long, distorted shadows on the ground. Every step she took seemed amplified, the crunch of leaves and twigs echoing ominously. She followed a narrow, winding path that seemed to beckon her deeper into the darkness. Her mind raced with thoughts of what might lie ahead, but she pressed on, driven by an insatiable curiosity.

Hours passed, and the path grew steeper, more treacherous. Sarah’s heart pounded in her chest, and her breath came in ragged gasps, but she couldn’t turn back now. She reached a clearing where an ancient, gnarled tree stood, its twisted branches reaching out like skeletal fingers. At the base of the tree, she found a worn, stone archway, half-buried in the earth and overgrown with vines.

Summoning her courage, Sarah stepped through the archway, and the world around her seemed to shift. The air grew colder, and an unnatural silence fell. She found herself in a different part of the forest, one that felt older, and more sinister. The trees here were taller, their bark dark and slick with an oily substance that glistened in the dim light of her flashlight.

As she ventured deeper, Sarah began to notice strange markings on the trees, symbols that seemed to pulse with a faint, malevolent energy. Her skin crawled, and she felt an overwhelming urge to turn back, but something compelled her forward. She reached a small, decrepit cabin hidden among the trees, its windows dark and empty.

Inside the cabin, the air was thick with the stench of decay. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling, and the floorboards creaked under her weight. In the centre of the room stood an old wooden table, and on it, a leather-bound book covered in dust. Sarah approached cautiously and opened the book, revealing pages filled with cryptic writings and disturbing sketches. One drawing, in particular, caught her eye—a depiction of a monstrous figure emerging from the mountain, its eyes glowing with an eerie light.

Suddenly, a loud crash echoed through the cabin, and the door slammed shut behind her. Sarah spun around, her flashlight beam dancing wildly across the walls. The room seemed to close in on her, the shadows growing longer and darker. She felt a presence, something ancient and malevolent, watching her from the darkness.

With trembling hands, Sarah clutched the book to her chest and backed toward the door. As she reached for the handle, a cold, clammy hand grasped her wrist, pulling her back. She screamed, but no sound escaped her lips. The shadows seemed to come alive, swirling around her, their whispers filling her mind with unbearable dread.

In a desperate bid for freedom, Sarah wrenched herself free and bolted out of the cabin. She ran blindly through the forest, the darkness pressing in on all sides. The symbols on the trees glowed brighter now, and the air was filled with an ominous hum. She could feel the mountain’s power growing stronger, its presence more tangible.

Just as she thought she might collapse from exhaustion, Sarah stumbled into another clearing. There, standing in the center, was a stone altar covered in ancient runes. Above it, suspended in the air, was a shimmering, translucent figure—a ghostly apparition with eyes that seemed to bore into her very soul.

“You shouldn’t have come here,” the figure whispered, its voice echoing in her mind.

“What do you want from me?” Sarah cried, her voice trembling.

The apparition pointed toward the mountain. “Mount Elone is a prison, a place where the darkness is kept at bay. By entering, you have awakened it. Now, you must leave, or the darkness will consume everything.”

Sarah’s mind raced. How could she escape this nightmare? She turned to run, but the forest seemed to shift around her, the path she had taken now obscured. The whispers grew louder, more insistent, and she felt the darkness closing in.

In a moment of clarity, she remembered the book she still clutched in her hands. Flipping through the pages, she found a passage that seemed to be a spell, a way to seal the darkness once more. With trembling hands, she began to recite the words, hoping against hope that it would work.

As she spoke, the ground beneath her feet began to tremble, and a blinding light erupted from the altar. The shadows writhed and shrieked, their forms dissolving in the light. The apparition smiled sadly and began to fade.

“You have done well,” it whispered. “But remember, the darkness is never truly gone. It waits, biding its time.”

The light grew brighter, and Sarah felt herself being lifted, pulled away from the mountain. When she opened her eyes, she was lying at the edge of the forest, the first rays of dawn breaking over the horizon. The town of Elone lay before her, peaceful and untouched.

Sarah sat up, the events of the night a blur in her mind. She still held the book, its pages now blank. The mountain loomed behind her, silent and foreboding. She knew she had to warn the townspeople, to make them understand the true nature of Mount Elone.

But as she rose to her feet, she realized something chilling. The rule still held true: "No one enters and no one leaves." The town of Elone was trapped, bound by the mountain’s dark power. And Sarah, despite her efforts, had only delayed the inevitable.

For the darkness of Mount Elone was patient, and it would wait for the next unwitting soul to awaken it once more.

To be continued...


About the Creator

Betty Onesjay

Betty Onesjay: architect of imagination. Dive into realms where dreams meet reality. With boundless creativity, I craft tales evoking emotions and stretching imagination. Welcome to a world of fantasy, realism, and boundless imagination.

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    Betty OnesjayWritten by Betty Onesjay

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