There’s a cacophony of lights swirling around my head. Vibrant pigments dancing in the night sky. Each one erratically jumping from one space to another like a psychotic gnat. Each one more iridescent than the next one against the gloom of the sky. They are accompanied by old-timey carnival music, each note carefully choreographed for the movement of the lights. A large concentration of lights is focused around a singular red and white tent all alone in the middle of this field. The grim backdrop of broad trees stalk behind the illuminated tent. It reminded me of a giant spotlight. Almost like Batman was going to come out of the tent at any moment. You can tell the high top is old given the dingy yellowing of the white sections. I felt a sense of joy and comfort reminding me of my childhood days. Not having a care in the world. Well… it didn’t last long.
The music stops. The lights abruptly shut off as if someone flipped a switch. A once-bright and light-hearted atmosphere quickly turned to a sorrowful environment. As my grandfather used to say, “it’s darker than the inside of a dead cow out here.” And indeed it was. Not a soul was around. Even the stars couldn’t penetrate through this dark obscurity. A wave of anxiety envelops me. I can’t move. Can’t breathe. All I can see is the dim outline of the tent. Against my better judgement, I walk toward the tent with great trepidation, unsure as to why I am walking. I can’t seem to stop. Almost as if my conscience is forcing me to endure this task. Closer and closer I get to the tent I began to make out more details of the tent. The stitching of the colors was haphazard. Either Victor Frankenstein got ahold of this tent or someone was really drunk while creating it. My vote is on the latter. Aside from the amateur stitch job, something more disturbing became apparent to me. The smell. Having worked on a farm during high school, I knew the origin of this distinct odor. An overwhelming scent of blood flooded my senses. That metallic pungency invaded my space. Nearing the tent, the smell becomes so overwhelming I began to cover my nose. It becomes harder and harder to breathe. Continuing to advance towards the eerie tent, it becomes apparent to me the source of the smell. It’s the red on the tent. Fresh blood. A recent kill…more like kills.
I’m standing at the entrance of the tent. Now understanding what this tent is made of, I began to panic. Skin makes up the white and blood makes up the red of the high top. Fear isn’t enough to describe what I am feeling. However, this unbeknownst force continues to pull me further into the tent. The obsidian inside didn’t allow light to enter or escape. I felt trapped, alone, nervous. Why am I in here? What source has dragged me into this quagmire? Not a soul was present inside the tent. It was just me hearing my heart pounding in my chest.
I hear something. Rustling outside of the tent. The sound is moving around the tent. It’s beginning to intensify the closer it gets to the entrance. A resounding dragging starts to become apparent. Whatever it is, they are moving something heavy. I began to have a panic attack. Rapidly breathing and my heart pounding, I could barely hear the dragging. Then it stopped. I turned to the face the entrance of the tent again. A silhouette was standing there, a hunchbacked creature about six feet tall blocking my only escape route. I stopped breathing. I can feel my eyes widening as the figure slowly begins to move. The creature's arm bends and reveals the outline of an axe. I can see the viscous drips of blood escaping the edge of the weapon. I’m frozen. I can’t move. I can’t escape. I don’t know what to do.
The creature starts to creep its way into the tent. As it enters, the darkness inside envelops the creature, shrouding its entire frame. All that was visible was a bright white Cheshire smile, its sharp white teeth glistening. The creature comes closer and closer until I can feel the warmth of its presence on me. I start to look up towards to the creature, petrified. I see the eyes. The lifeless, glazed eyes of a creature I’ve only seen once in my life. I start to breathe harder and harder to the point of passing out. All the creature is doing is staring at me. Waiting for me to make a move. It begins to slowly raise its weapon. This was it. This is how I would die.
As fast as it happened I woke up in a puddle of my cold sweat. The sheets of my bed suctioned to my skin. I steer my head to the alarm clock. 7:45 AM. Crap, I’m late…
End of Part 2