The Saints of Slaughterville

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: December 25, 2016

Reads: 1099

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Submitted: December 25, 2016

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Their boots trodded through the thick mud that led down a slope to the river's edge where they had planned to dump a jumbled mess of ingredients. The oldest, and subsequently the strongest girl, gripped the large bag of clutter, escorting the other two girls behind her downhill, whilst one of the girls gripped onto the glass jars filled with strange liquids, some leaving a glazed coating of thick substance along the inside. The remaining girl kept watch in case someone just so happened to have strayed off track, far enough into the woods that they would somehow stumble upon three girls desperately trying to rid of their secrets.

The water flowed gently down-stream, separating the land-mass in two. Once the girls had reached the bottom of the hill they stopped by the water's edge, took three lunges and tossed the promiscuous bag far enough into the river for the current to carry it effortlessly away. Each turned and stared at each other. November had only begun to creep over the town, bringing the cold chill of early winter with it. Each girl was numb with the feeling of brisk winds sliding through their fingers, slicing their cheeks, yet they were warmed with the relief of ridding the black bag.

“That wasn't too bad now, was it?” The eldest asked, her pale lips forming a smirk as she looked from one girl to the other. Her black hair fell neatly around her face as she stared at either of them, waiting for a reply. The light began splitting the trees and sending rays down directly to the spot in which they were positioned.

“We shouldn’t have done this, Payton,” The youngest hissed, however she felt no remorse.

“They’ll get what they deserve,” Payton shrugged off her reply and turned to the other girl standing next to her, “What's kept you so quiet, Annie?” The girl, fear in her eyes, looked to the stream and pondered for a moment. Dusk was dragging across the sky as the colours began to fade from intense golden radiance, to a sombre lilac. The beams of light had disappeared behind solemn grey clouds.

“Heidi's right, what's going to happen to us now? We just cursed someone...” Annie, arrested in thought, kicked the stones on the ground.

“Look, nobody's going to know about this, so long as nobody says a word to anybody, we're in the middle of nowhere, with nobody around to see. You two need to calm down!” Payton silenced them. Her blue eyes rested briskly on the pathway of footsteps in the mud leading back up the hill.

“Now, how about we get out of here before anyone does come looking around these parts?” She asked rhetorically as she pushed past the two and made her way back uphill, the mud repeatedly grasping her boots as she did so. Heidi and Annie followed closely behind, keeping quiet with their thoughts. Neither of them regretted what they had done, it was a thrill they couldn't help but enjoy. They did, however, fear the possibility of consequences.

Each clambered up the steep slope, following one after another through the trees, back the way from which they came, stumbling past bushes of thorns under the blackened canopy which partially shielded them from the heavy rain that now poured down from the violet night sky above. Occasionally, their skin would catch the thorns, leaving small scratches and often drawing blood, however, the three did not slow down to tend to their wounds, they simply marched forward through the forest, blending in with the darkness in their black outfits.

“I don't remember it taking us this long to get from the car to the river,” Heidi broke the silence, “And that was with the ton of stuff to dump...”

“I know where I'm going,” Payton retorted, continuing to walk hastily forward through thick branches and bushes.

“Doesn't seem like it. You've changed direction so many times, it seems like you don't have a clue where you're going.” Heidi stopped in her tracks, causing Annie to halt behind her. Payton turned to face them both in a state of disapproval, “Either way, this place is surrounded by roads. We'll eventually find an exit.”

“How long will that take us?” Annie questioned Payton, however no reply was given. Instead she turned to look around and then down to the ground where her eyes rested on the footsteps beneath her. The atmosphere was growing ever so tense with every breath, a slight sense of awry disillusioned the three. Payton continued to walk further, ignoring the feeling they had gone astray.

“We have to be going the right way,” She once again turned to look at the now curious Annie and Heidi still trekking behind her, “I've been following these footsteps the whole way.” There was a tone of doubt in her voice. She aligned the heal of her boot to the footprint beneath her and slowly lowered it down. The print was much larger than hers. A sense of dread began to loom over the group, and when Heidi and Annie both tried their boots to the prints below, they were also far too large for them to have made.

“Who would have walked in here without plans like ours?” Annie had an anxious look on her face. They could barely see a few metres ahead of them, the darkness had seeped below the canopy to surround the forest paths in a complete black gloom of obscurity.

“We aren't the only ones who've done this kind of stuff Annie. I'm sure this is a very popular witching ground for others.” Heidi stated, however, Payton wasn't convinced. Something about the situation seemed askew.

“In that case, the last sighting was at least a month and a half ago. If they'd brought the ceremonial gear here, their tracks would've been long since gone by now.” She argued against Heidi's statement, “These tracks are recent, I'd say no less than a day ago. Maybe even today...” There was complete and utter silence. The last thing they wanted to hear was that someone was roaming around where they had just rid of their most recent cursing. A sense of panic drifted between them, and each of them waited for a decision to be made. At last Heidi finally spoke up.

“Why don't we follow the tracks and see where they lead?”

“That sounds great, walk right in to the threats arms. There’s no way that could be dangerous. What if they've alerted the police and they're waiting for us to walk into their trap and surround us?” Annie said, paranoid, “We wouldn't stand a chance,”

Payton glimpsed further in to the dull night, the moon had begun to split through the clouds to give a faint white glow, silhouetting the trees around them. They could see their breath hit the icy air and turn to mist, all was silent.

“I dare say that's the case, Annie.” Payton said hesitantly. Heidi burst past Payton and began to follow the footprints, and both girls followed her. Annie frantically started to look around through the darkness, calling from behind.

“I really think we should just try and get back to the main road, guys.”

“Calm down, Annie. We'll be fine,” Heidi said reassuringly, “The worst that could happen is we get lost again,” She turned and smirked at Payton, whom gave a bitter look back. Annie, however, remained as nervous as she was before, dreading the thought of having to follow her friends deeper into the forest.

A cool air drifted past them as they neared a clearing in the midst of the path, which settled them for a moment, nothing to square their vision. An opening between the trees above allowed the rain water to pour down atop the girls, soaking their clothes and hair. They were tired, and the footprints seemed to lead them to nothing, no-one. Between the three was a sense of disarray.

The moonlight continued to bleach the stones on the ground before them, a rinse of charcoal black seeped through the violet sky. The silver rays of moonlight struggled to penetrate the canopy of dense leaves, and the dampness of the earth made the mud hopelessly difficult to pull their feet from. As the blackness creeped further and further inwards, a sense of claustrophobia repressed the three closer, the sound of running water had ceased permeating the forest. It was as if the silence grew stronger with each step, and the wind screamed in their ears, bringing the feeling of dread to the air.

“Maybe nobody saw us, this could've been way earlier this morning,” Payton suggested. Heidi shrugged off the thought. It was too suspicious that the prints led to almost exactly where they dumped the bag, and at a distance safe enough to watch from without getting caught. She stared closely to examine the mud tracks. Upon scanning the ground at a closer distance she noticed something peculiar.

“There was three sets of footprints earlier, and now a fourth has appeared,” she said as she walked forward, “ And here, two pairs of prints stray off the path, to the right... and walk back again.” Her voice began to grow lower.

“What the hell are you trying to say?” Annie said in a frenzy, her face completely panic-struck.

“I'm saying that two out of the four people walking here, doubled back.”

At that moment a crash of footsteps sounded from behind the three girls who were now completely helpless at this point. Arms wrapped around them and they struggled to breathe as the white cloth covered their noses and mouths. Each of them fell hopelessly unconscious.


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