What's Behind You (Contest Entry)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

SUMMARY: Acting on a dare, a group of friends go into a spooky forest.

Written for the “Once Upon a Time” Story Contest. I used a reference from one of Keke's stories, so this is kind of a crossover with original content and Curse of Torro…

Excited about the contest. Wish me luck!!

I think the worst decision would have to be our first one. The whole “going into the spooky forest” thing. Yeah, we shouldn’t have done that.

 

But our footsteps didn’t stop. Mine slowed, shoes scuffing up dust and getting dirtier by the second. I glanced over at my friends, surely thinking they were doubting this as well.

 

But a dare was a dare, and there was little I could do about it.

 

To say this was a normal spooky forest, just your average run-of-the-mill creepy horde of trees, would be an understatement. I was feeling some whacked-out-energy as soon as we stepped foot into this place, but my friends were still totally fine.

 

“Hey!”

 

I looked over, stopping my walk to doom, and saw what my friend Zack was holding.

 

A stick…?

 

“Oooo…” And the end of the stick glowed, an ember appearing. Zack was too distracted trying to be “edgy” or whatever to really notice, but I jumped back, wanting to swat it away but not wanting to get burned.

 

He tapped out the ember, twisting his shoe like he was snuffing out a cigarette. I sighed a little, relieved that was over, but something told me to watch my back as we continued on.

 

I felt the eyes soon after. I felt how they watched, my brain completely focused on how they seemed to follow my movements.

 

I heard the whisper, the quiet voice that spoke beside my ear. I want you to curse Nane. 

 

A quick look behind me, a blur of darkening trees, and I realized I was alone.

 

I could feel my brain slipping, mind trying to scramble and hold on to sanity.

 

Was I ever really with someone in the first place?

 

Did all of this just happen like a dream? Confusing and then lucid?

 

A flame burst into my palm, the glow blurring as my mind went back to that damned embered stick.

 

It’s all on fire. All of it.

 

I took a gaping breath in, surely making too much noise as I sat up, water dripping from me. I was drenched, but as soon as I saw a familiar head of blond hair, I embraced him in a hug.

 

“You’re alive,” I said, speaking into his shoulder. “You’re alive.”

 

I felt an awkward pat against my back. “As I have been for twelve years,” he said, laughing just for a moment. He pulled away, and even though I was reluctant, I followed suit.

 

“You okay?” Another friend asked me, and I took a moment to check myself. Yep, all here.

 

When I told him I was fine, my friends nodded, and I focused back on Zack.

 

“So…” And with a wolfish grin, he spoke again.

 

“Let’s go into the forest.”

 

 

 

——-

 

 

WORD COUNT: 514

 


Submitted: April 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.

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