“Can we go now?” his son asked, barely concealing his fright.
“Wait a moment. I have to check to make sure it’s safe out there,” his father replied, trying his best to cloak his own cowardice with the veneer of bravery. He switched off the lights and drew the curtain slightly back, peering into the night, eager to confirm its absence. His eyes, adjusting to the dark, swept across the thick black silhouettes of the forest’s trees illuminated by the cold, bluish glimmer of the moon. Its light barely helped him, but it sufficed.
“Okay, we can go.”
Th door yawned into the night as he led the way up the low hill that led to their cabin and into the trees, firmly holding the boy’s hand. The dried leaves crumbled under their every footstep, almost as if they were crying in anguish and letting ‘it’ know that they were leaving the confines of their home. Yet, he was willing to try one more time, hoping that he and his son would escape isolation.
“Dad, wh…,” the boy began.
“Ssshhh,” he whispered, covering his mouth. His son calmly pulled down his father’s trembling hand from his mouth and pointed to the house.
“I forgot the torch,” he hushed.
“If we use light, it will see us. We’ll use the moon’s for now.”
“Please? What if we get to the other side and we need the light?”
He thought for a while, still gripping his son’s frail hand, then slowly released it as he knelt down to instruct him.
“You run there and you run back, do you hear me?”
“Yes.” With that, the boy fumbled back to the clearing and vanished down the hill to the ajar door, whose creak only heightened his father’s fear, as he kept a look out for it again. Many days had passed since he saw it, and the last time he was sure it nearly got to the house, but he managed to escape. He didn’t want to risk going out in the day, for never knew what it even looked like, and he wasn’t eager to find out.
The sound of footsteps rushing towards him was assuring. The boy must have found the torch and was running back, very fast by the sound of it. A bit too fast for his age, and from the wrong side.
“OH GOD!” He screamed, seeing it charging towards him from his left, forcing him to drop the backpack and flee to the house, the being still hot on his heels. He zigzagged through the trees and into the clearing, where he tripped and rolled towards the house, to meet his son just leaving it.
“Dad, what is it…?
“IT’S THERE. IT’S THERE!” he wailed, shoving the boy back inside as he leapt in, slamming the door shut and leaning on it, hoping that the creature would not follow them in. he sat there for a while, his heart racing wildly, fighting his chest and wanting out from the sight of that thing.
“It never came for a long time. How did it find us?” The man asked himself, his son huddled in a corner, embraced with terror at their unique predicament.
“Please…please can we go?” he meekly asked, choking back the tears of despair.
“No, no, not now. That thing has to go away first. Did it hurt you?” the man inquired, reaching out to the boy, who could no longer take it.
“Please, please don’t hurt me! Please let me go, PLEASE!!” he wailed in despair. The man then held the boy’s round face, wiped the tears from his eyes and comforted him as best as he could.
“Listen, son. We might be at a bad place right now, but give me some time. I’ll get us out of here and we’ll get back on the road. Alright? It’s okay to be scared, I am too. But, I promise, we’ll get through this together.”
The boy whimpered as he walked away to his room, sniffling his troubles. The man peered outside the window, checking if the being was nearby. He then opened the door, and was a bit relieved to see nothing, but for a moment he thought he saw its head disappear up the hill.
“You can’t get in here,” he gloated as he shut the door, taking his usual place at the living room just ahead of it, keeping an eye out before he slept.
Yet the nightmares still haunted him. Every dark memory reeling through his now frail mind kept him tossing and turning on the cold floor. It wasn’t his fault, was it? Or was it? How could it have prevented it? Now he remains there, tormented by his past, and always having to see it every night, chasing him, trying to kidnap the boy, and maybe even kill him. He slowly opened his eyes to relieve himself of the vision, only to see its incarnation at the window.
lay still, his lungs on the verge of collapse and his body weak with fright. His eyelids trembled slightly at being forced open, as he felt it would attack if he so much as blinked, but the pain was becoming unbearable, so he did. But it was still there, staring at him for a while until it turned its head to his right, where he saw…another one.
“Oh my God,” he squeaked, watching the other also stare him down, then turn to the other, almost as if they were communicating. Then, in a strange turn of events, they backed away and left. He waited a while, counted to twenty, then when he guessed that all was safe, sprang up and ran to the boy’s bedroom, peeping through the ajar door. He saw him seated on the floor, looking out at the window, nodding. He couldn’t understand what his son was doing, but something told him to stay there and observe. So he did, leaning further in to see the boy’s arms outstretched towards the open window, as the being looked down with green glowing eyes, trying to carry him out.
“NOOOO!” he cried out, wrestling him away from his captor.
“Please don’t leave me. PLEASE!” the boy wailed as the man pulled him away from the being’s shiny hands. It fled the scene, leaving them huddled on the floor, the boy in tears.
“Don’t worry, you’re safe now,” he assured him as he embraced him, a small sense of relief in his heart.
“No! No, I’m not!”
“It’s okay, we’ll leave first thing in the morning. I think we scared it off for now. But we have to be careful, there are two of them now. “
“There were more of them?” he implored, his voice cracking.
“Yes. But don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe. For now, get some rest.”
“Okay,” he whimpered as the man returned to his position on the floor, although he could barely sleep thinking of the two creatures. What if there was an entire horde of them, just waiting to pounce on them as they slept? What if they were on their way now?
“GET UP! WE HAVE TO MOVE NOW!” he bellowed, storming into the boy’s room, only to meet an empty bed with crumpled sheets and the window wide open, and the shuffle of footsteps rushing away from the cabin.
“WAIT!” he screamed as he jumped out the window, nearly slipping on the puddle of blood on the pavement outside the house. Up the hill he went, dashing through the trees, leaping over fallen trunks, all in an effort to get back his son. He stopped at a clearing, turning his head frantically to try determine where next he should go.
“I’M HERE!” he heard his son’s squeaky voice.
“I’M COMING!” he cried, trying to guess which way to go before he was tackled by something.
“Oh God,” he murmured, staring at the beast in the eyes, his legs like jelly. It crouched slightly, arms outspread and breathing heavily, green eyes still glued onto his. Just then, another joined it on his left, then another, and yet another one from the trees, this one walking with his son, who was clutching his thigh in pain.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SON?!” he cried out, rushing to the boy, only to be tackled by one of them and pinned down by the rest.
“NO! NO! PLEASE NO!” He pleaded, watching one of them take a huge knife to his throat. The being peered down at him, then tore off its face. It had an angry look, and a strange liquid flowed from its eyes. It then said something before it pushed the blade slowly down his throat.
“Please, please don’t…please don’t kill me,” he implored a last time as it looked at him, hoping that it had a semblance of mercy. It didn’t, but as he breathed his last, it said:
“You’ll never hurt anyone else ever again.”