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The Mad Man's Woods

By: Ashley I Read

Chapter 1, The first chapter going up is setting a story frame. The frame is a Man who was outcast as a youth for being overly violent and dangerous. Now he lives in the woods, like an animal, and no one knows anything about him. He stalks and prays those who do him wrong, and adds each one of them to his portfolio...of death.

“When I was a young man, I was homeless. There was a problem at home where my parents didn’t agree with my way of life. See, I was… Well, I don’t really know how to put it. Ahh, fuck it, I was an absolute bastard. If someone had something to say to me, they would be allowed a certain amount of time, before I left their lips feeling like balloons were invading their mouths. I didn’t care much for reason, or ‘fair’. I had my own system of deciding who got a fair case. That system was as follows. You have annoyed me; you now have 2 minutes approximately to make me feel like I shouldn’t inflict some damage to you. Of course, I didn’t take this approach with my family; that isn’t why they abandoned me. They left me behind because they couldn’t watch me disappearing anymore. They couldn’t stand by and watch me become a thug. I don’t blame them at all. I thank them, as I didn’t want Josh growing up trying to be me.”

 

This was just part of the letter found in the desk of a man named Alan. It was in a folder, covered with dust and what seemed to be coffee stains. The man searching through these documents was Mike Hoskins. He was searching for a missing girl called Elizabeth Jonah; Liza for short. Liza was last seen arguing with Alan. No one could identify the man, and no one even knew a surname. All that could be said, was he didn’t seem to like being shouted at, and definitely didn’t like the slap to the cheek he got. Liza was seen leaving the shop, was caught on CCTV walking up the street toward the taxi rank, but then never seen again.

  It had been a matter of two and a half weeks since she had been seen in that shop and her family were worried sick. Mike was trying his best to find her and return her to her parents. Liza was only 17 years old and was looking into universities. She was attending a local college doing script writing and had a couple of voluntary jobs too. Her parents were still holding out that a letter of ransom would arrive. Mike was working the clock trying to crack this case, and it had lead him to this cabin. Using witness statements, and bits of CCTV he discovered that this man, Alan, lived somewhere in the woods.

   Once in the woods, he had the task of finding exactly where this man was. Mike knew that it could take weeks to search this area properly. It may be that Alan doesn’t live here and that he just uses the woods to hide. It may have been that he just walks through this area to get home. They had to search it though, just to look for clues; clues on where this man might be, or even clues to where Liza could be. It just so happened that they came across a small structure. It was a moss covered wall that appeared first and Mike’s heart sank straight away. It wasn’t a feeling he had experienced before. It struck his mind that this could be the resting place of a kidnapper, or worse, a murderer. He approached slowly, making sure he was quiet as he brushed through the golden leaves. He put his ear against the wall, but no sound made its way to his attention.

   Walking round the wall that he was against, he saw a great wooden door, two windows and a small set of steps. He snuck round to these steps, and tried looking into the windows. Upon seeing no lights or movement, he made the decision to kick down the door. It was empty, in regards to people, but full of things, possessions. This is where the desk came into it. This took his attention before anything else. He’d picked up the folder, and started to look through it. It was just filled with extracts from previously written memoirs. The only things in the drawer of the desk other than this file were a few bits of blank paper and a set of pens.

   It was at this point, that Mike turned round and spotted a huge wardrobe. This only took his attention due to the light that seemed to be coming from the cracks. He slowly approached the doors with his hands and started to pull them open. It was a look of absolute horror that took over his face. He didn’t know what to do with what he had seen. The walls of the wardrobe were plastered with pictures of young girls. Nothing offensive, just ordinary photos from day to day life, but what were they doing here. It was then he noticed a picture of Liza from just outside the shop where she was last spotted. He had narrowed his search for a culprit to one man, now he needed to find that man.

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