I wrote this my second year of college before I wanted to be a “serious writer” back in 2006. I wrote this as an extra credit grade in American Literature for a Phi Theta Kappa Halloween reading. It was nominated for a chance to win, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the chosen winner. Sort of a runner-up tale. (Disclaimer: This has been re-edited since 2006)
Enjoy the read, and watch out! Things tend to happen in the wink of an eye!
Maggie’s never run this fast before. She has to get out of these woods alive. A branch scratches her arm as she runs, and she stumbles over a fallen tree limb. She keeps going. Someone, no some thing, is after her. She’s never seen anything like it before.
There’s no moon shining tonight, and she can’t see where she is going. But she doesn’t care. It’s after her and gaining territory. Maggie runs as fast as her legs will take her, but it is faster. She doesn’t think that she will be able to last much longer. This thing will probably kill her before the night ends.
She runs into another branch, pushes it aside, and keeps running. All she can hear is her heat beating loudly in her ears. She can’t hear the monster. The thing is extremely quiet. It came upon her and her friends while they were camping. They didn’t even hear it until it was too late. It took her two friends, and she has no idea if they are alive or dead. All Maggie knows is that she has to run.
She picks up pace. She has to get away from it. The deeper she goes into the woods, the darker it becomes. She can’t even see the stars shining in the sky. Maggie’s sense of direction is off. She doesn’t know where she is or where she’s going. All she knows is that she has to get away and quick.
Maggie runs for about another mile, but she needs to take a break soon. Her breathing comes in quick gasps, and her chest tightens. Every time she takes a breath her chest burns and aches.
She’s surrounded by darkness. What if it is hiding and she can’t see it? But since she can’t breathe well, she has to stop running. She leans against a large tree, gasping for breath. Maggie tries to listen to her surroundings but finds it difficult to hear anything over the blood rushing through her ears. Breathe, just breathe. She inhales and exhales loudly. And when she’s finally caught her breath, she keeps running.
Maggie runs with new zeal and determination. She has to find a safe place although a small part of her doubts any place will be safe from this monster. She has to try though. A small nagging voice tries to force her into believing she will die. No. She isn’t going to let that happen. She runs faster. Her legs ache, and every muscle burns. She pushes through the pain.
She sees a light ahead, and for once that evening, Maggie feels hopeful. Someone is going to save her.
“Help!” she yells, eagerly, “Please, you have to help me.”
No one speaks. The light comes closer. She yells again.
“Help! Please. Help me!”
No one speaks to her even though it moves closer. Why isn’t this person speaking to her?
“Hey,” she calls out.
Still, no one answers. She shrugs it off and keeps going anyway. She’s desperate. She needs to get away from the fiend trying to attack her. She runs, advancing with each step.
When she sees the person holding the flashlight, she screams. It isn’t a person after all. It’s the thing that’s been chasing her. It stands almost seven feet tall and is dressed in all black. She turns and runs, but it catches her by the hair and pulls her back. The fiend makes her look at it. It holds her against a tree by the neck; the bark is rough against her back. Maggie tries to turn away, but she can’t. She’s forced to look in its eyes.
The eyes of this thing are entrancing, but it doesn’t have any other features to its face. Only its glowing eyes are showing. Maggie succumbs to defeat although her mind is raging against her, begging her to try and survive, but she has no control over her own body.
It laughs; at least she thinks that it laughs. It’s more like a loud howl. The thing tightens its grip around her neck.
“Please let me go,” she managed to plead, but the words sound hollow.
It shakes its head. Maggie cries, and the fiend winks at her.