The Windego

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Five teenagers face a terrifying creature from Native American mythology.

Submitted: February 17, 2010

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Submitted: February 17, 2010

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The Windego

It was an ice cold night in 1909, the brutal wind howling like a banshee across the land. The miners were working at their hardest, or at least the ones who wanted to keep their jobs did. The ringing sound of pickaxes filled the dark, old mine, reverberating off the hard, chiselled walls, merging with the moan of the wind to create a cacophony of tortured sounds.

“Harold,” whispered a middle aged man, “let’s go on further. Forget keeping our jobs; if we find the gold and hide it from the others we can keep it for ourselves!”

“Shh! Lower your voice,” Harold rebuked. “All right, when everyone leaves for the night we’ll go in and get it.”

Several hours later, a loud bell rang, signalling the end of the workers’ shift. All the miners filed out with a look of hope on their sooty faces; hope of keeping their jobs. Harold and his friend stayed behind as planned and sneaked into the darkness with just the two candles to provide them with light. Yet, after just a few minutes of walking, Harold realised that his friend was no longer beside him. He was alone.

“Eddy! Where are you?” Harold called out uneasily. “This isn’t funny! Eddy—!” The man’s voice was cut off as a large gust of wind blew past, extinguishing his meagre candle and banishing all light in the mine. After a few seconds of silence, his scream echoed throughout the goldmine.

“Harold? Harold!” the other man – Eddy – shouted, but, with his candle close to burning out, the worry he felt for his friend’s life didn’t matter anymore; the only thing Eddy wanted was an escape from the depths of the mine.

CRACK. The rattling of stones resounded behind him and the stench of rotten flesh shoved its way up Eddy’s nostrils as the warmth of deep breathing blew against his ears. Someone, or something, was behind the miner.

Eddy turned around in the hope of finding his colleague playing a nasty trick on him, but instead, to his horror, he was confronted by a huge, hideous creature. It was stick-like, almost wasted away, with mouldy grey-green skin, bloodshot eyes and a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth. The thing grabbed Eddy, plunging its yellowing claws into the soft flesh of his arms, and dragged him off into the darkness.

Many of the surrounding villages had been told the story of this creature years before. The ones that believed it were the ones that survived. Unknown to the ill-fated miners, the creature that was there that night, the creature that took Eddy and Harold, was a Windego.

100 Years Later

George woke up panting for breath, her body soaked in sweat from head to toe. She shivered, images of the creature still lingering vividly in her mind, but the thought of the nightmare she had just had left her mind when she looked at her phone, finding 12 missed calls. Why would she have 12 missed calls at 7 o’clock in the morning, on a Saturday? Then it sprung to mind – the camping trip. George and her friends were supposed to be going camping for the weekend and they were due to leave at 7:30 AM.

George rushed out of bed and got dressed, before speedily brushing her long dark hair, admiring the way it glistened against her pale skin. She loaded up her computer, trying to search for the creature in her dream. She managed to read through a few websites before the beep of a horn went off and the sound of loud music blared outside. That meant only one thing; George’s friends had arrived. She ran downstairs as quickly as she could and got into the van before her parents would notice.

“You ready, George? This is gonna be one to remember,” a boy called Adam said as the van drove off at a fast pace. George nodded but her mind was preoccupied with thoughts about her nightmare.

***

When they arrived in the woods, the possibility of George telling her friends about the dream was virtually zero – they’d just laugh and think her strange. The trees in the wood were tall and thin, their branches reaching upwards as if they were clawing at the sky, and bushes filled the gaps between the trees. The friends searched for hours to find a big enough clearing to make camp, but eventually they found the perfect spot. It was cleared as if someone knew they were coming.

“It’s getting late and it’ll be dark soon. Let’s setup camp,” George instructed everyone.

“Come on, George, chill out a bit and have a beer!” Dave joked.

“How did you get all that?” asked Adam.

“I don’t think my parents will miss them,” Dave said sarcastically.

George sighed. “Come on, Jamie, Annabelle, we’ll set up here. Boys, good luck.” A bush rustled suddenly as if something had disturbed it. “Did you just see that?”she asked Jamie and Annabelle.

“No,” both the girls said, looking worried.

“Well... okay,” George replied, trying to shake away her unfounded fears. “I’m gonna go collect some firewood. Anyone else want to come?” she continued, taking control of the group. There was a long silence, indicating no one wanted to go. “Dave, you’ll do.”

George and Dave walked off into the woods, collecting twigs and sticks on their way. “So, George, why did you pick me?” Dave asked politely.

“I picked you because you were sat on your butt drinking beer,”she answered. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, I thought you would have chosen Adam.” Dave abruptly banged into George, who was staring into space. “What is that?” he asked.

“It’s a mine,” she said in shock.

***

Back at the camp, Adam, Jamie and Annabelle were sat around the campfire, watching as strong flames devoured the wood.

“Do you think they’ll be angry that we found some logs to burn?” Jamie asked.

“Knowing George, yes.” Annabelle chuckled.

The loud rustling of bushes filled the campsite, making the entire group start and stare about in alarm. Annabelle jumped as George burst out of the woods.

“Everyone, come on, we found an abandoned mine and I want to go check it out,” she panted.

“But it’s pitch black,” Jamie complained. “Why don’t we just go in the morning?”

“No, we have to go now. I— I think we’re supposed to find it, and we’re supposed to go in,” George said, embarrassed. She couldn’t explain the absolute certainty she felt in her heart; all she knew was that they had to go.

“Yeah, I do too,” Adam butted in, sticking up for her. “I think we should go. Come on, it’ll be a laugh.”

“Fine then, okay,” everyone moaned.

When the group arrived at the abandoned mine they found tracks – tracks of humans, or something human-like. The entrance gaped before them, a hole of intense darkness, funnelling the wind so that it echoed like the howl of a hell hound.

“Are you ready?” George asked Adam.

“Yeah. I’m with you, I know I’m safe,” he replied with a smile.

The five teenagers paused for a moment upon the threshold of the mine before walking into the darkness. They only had three torches, so they had to stay close, but with it being so cold they would have done anyway.

“There’re so many tunnels. Which way do we go?” Annabelle asked in a small voice.

“We go straight on. I’ve been here before... in a dream,” George said pensively, this time not caring about what people thought.

“Who exactly are we looking for?” Adam whispered to her.

“Not who – what. I know you might be sceptical about this but we’re looking for a something called a Windego.”

“A what?”

“A Windego.” George gazed into the dark, apprehension lining her features, ignoring the strange looks she was receiving. “It’s a cannibal creature that was once human. In Native American lore, they said that eating human flesh could make a man stronger or sometimes even immortal. When someone was cut off from supplies, they might be forced to eat other members of their group – i.e., cannibalism,” she explained, “After that they were particularly vulnerable to turning into a Windego.”

“So how dangerous could this all be?” Adam asked, conflicting emotions playing across his pale face. He trusted George and knew she was being entirely serious about the Windego, but he couldn’t help but think this was still a joke of hers. He decided to play along, for the time being.

“Well, if you want the truth, as long as we all stay together we should be fine, so—” George turned around to find her friends gone. “Where is everyone? Jamie, Dave, Annabelle!” she shouted. George was worried; what if the Windego had got them? What if their fate was the same as the miners in her dream?

“What do we do now?” Adam said anxiously, feeling his heart rate increase. Were Jamie, Dave and Annabelle in on the joke too? Or maybe it wasn’t a joke...

“We have to kill our friend, the Windego.” George’s voice was edged with steel, her eyes glinting hard in the torchlight.

The two teenagers ran through tunnel after tunnel until the reek of rotting corpses filled their nostrils. It was the worst stench either of them had ever experienced, accompanied by the sound of grunting, ripping and crunching. They paused by the entrance to another passageway, searching the pitch black tunnel for any signs of life.

“I think that the others are in there,” George whispered.

“Let’s go in then.”

George grabbed Adam and stopped him from moving. “No! Can’t you hear? It’s feeding.”

“What should we do?”he asked.

“We need to distract it. I’ll get its attention and you run in and help them—”

“No, I’ll distract it, you help them,” Adam interrupted.

George sighed, recognising the resolve in his tone. “Okay, but you can’t kill this thing easily. You have to burn it. Have you still got those matches?”

“Yes.”

“And do you have any alcohol with you?”

Adam fished through his pockets and pulled out a small bottle of vodka. “Would you look at that,” he said, grinning broadly, “I guess I do.”

George took the bottle from him. “It’s a long shot but it might work. Be careful,” she whispered, then leaned in to kiss him. “That was so cheesy,” she giggled afterwards.

“You got that right.” Adam laughed, but it sounded strained. “All right, on three. One... two... three.” He stood up and began to shout, “Hey, you fugly bat thing!”

The shadows writhed and the Windego stepped into the light. It looked at Adam, anger distorting its skeletal face. It was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its hunger-crazed eyes pushed deep into their sockets. Quick as a flash, George uncapped the lid on the vodka and threw the bottle at its large head, dowsing it in alcohol. It howled in fury and started loping towards the girl with a look of pure starvation.

“George, run!” Adam screamed. He spared her a glance and sprinted off into the pitch black, his breath bursting from his lungs in terror. His foot found an unexpected rock, hidden in the darkness, and he tripped suddenly, stumbling into a pit full of dead, half-eaten bodies. Choking back petrified sobs, he looked around, trying his best to find his friends. “Dave, Annabelle, Jamie?” he whispered, fright constricting his vocal chords. He frantically pulled up bodies, trying to analyse their faces in the dark.

A small voice started shouting, “Adam!” and three silhouettes appeared at the entrance to the pit. “Adam, what are you doing?” Dave said, reaching down to pull his friend out of the hole full of bodies.

“Looking for you,” he gasped, relief crashing through his body in waves. “Thank God you’re safe. Look, we need to help George!”

Adam, Dave, Annabelle and Jamie ran everywhere looking for her, each terrified that the Windego had found their friend. Just as they were ready to give up hope, feeling as though they had been walking in circles for hours, they spotted a dark heap upon the ground further down the tunnel.

“George?” Adam ran over to the body, falling to his knees beside its slim form. It was George. Her hair was knotted and pulled over her face, obscuring her bloodstained features and closed eyes. “George!” Adam cried, shaking her shoulders, trying to get a response.

“Is she alive? Adam!” Jamie was in tears.

“No, Jamie. She’s dead,” he whispered, clearly in shock.

“Oh, God. Guys, look!” Annabelle screamed, staring wide-eyed at the gaunt silhouette at the end of the tunnel. The Windego.

Adam snapped out of his trance-like state of shock, anger searing through every particle of his body. “You’re dead!” he roared, leaping to his feet and lighting the full pack of matches, praying it would kill the evil monster. He sprinted headlong at the creature and threw the matches, but they failed to set the beast on fire. As he closed his eyes, he felt the worse pain he’d ever experienced; the pain of being eaten alive.

Everyone cried out at the loss of their friend, and to such a horrific death. Through their fear, all they knew was that they were next. The three friends dashed into the darkness, their only viable exit blocked by the Windego, hoping beyond hope that they’d somehow find another way out of the mines. As they ran, the only thing they could think about was the fact that they’d probably never see daylight again.

Days later, the police searched the woods for the teenagers and years after they searched the mine, but no bodies were ever found... except for one – the almost perfectly preserved body of a girl with dark, matted hair and pale, bloodstained skin. Her body was taken to the morgue and her parents finally found out what happened to their daughter.

But the strangest thing was that once the smell of human flesh came near the body, it began to stir. The girl, who had once been a normal teenager, was now a new race of Windego, far worse and infinitely more deadly. This one had the power to take over the town and to infect every living being that it bit, turning them into a ravenous, ever-hungry beast.

Into a Windego.


© Copyright 2019 MidnightxHour. All rights reserved.

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