I stormed out of the library. The familiar scent of pine filled my nostrils. I looked over and saw the giant trees in the woods. They seemed to be mocking me. I ran over to the forest as fast as I could. The wind blew my hair back and I could feel my eyes begin to tear up. When I arrived, I started yelling at nothing. I was screaming at the tree’s and kicking dirt around. What had my life come to? Maybe I really was going crazy. I had nearly lost all hope in that moment. Just as I was ready to sit down and start crying again, I noticed something at the edge of the woods. There was a small pathway leading right into the forest. That was odd, nobody ever went near the woods, let alone in them. Forgetting my rage, I curiously went to inspect the path.
There it was. It was small, but it was definitely there. A tiny dirt path leading into the vast forest. I stood at its mouth, staring into the giant woods that seemed to go on forever. I hesitated. Nobody’s ever been in these woods before. But I knew what I needed to do. I took a deep breath, and slowly started my journey into the woods. The smell of pine got stronger and stronger. I looked around me, every single tree looked exactly the same. I was following the path obsessively, I was afraid if I stepped off even once, I would get lost in the unforgiving forest. It was uncomfortably quiet. Not a sound of a squirrel in the trees or an insect stumbling across the forest floor.
I was beginning to get really scared. I wanted to go back. This wasn’t right. My heart was beating out of control. I kept telling myself to just go on. “You need to know what’s going on here. Stop being such a pansy..” I told myself out loud. I didn’t buy it, though. I could live forever without knowing a dang thing, and I wouldn’t have to be in this situation right now. I was putting up quite a fight in my head, but I never did turn back.
After a few minutes of walking, I saw something grey in the distance. As I got closer, I realized it was some sort of altar. There were three large concrete gargoyles positioned around in a perfect circle. In the middle of them was a fireplace, and directly in front of the fire was a grey slab with rope tied to it. There was a red stain on the ground where the altar was. “What the hell…”
I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. I realized someone was grabbing me, digging their nails into my skin. I cried out, but soon the other hand was over my mouth. I could smell cherry pie..
A voice whispered in my ear. “You just had to keep digging, didn’t you sweetie? Everything went so perfectly with your parents, then you had to come and ruin it. You’re so quiet, we all forgot you even existed.” I could feel her breath on my neck.
“I’m terribly sorry, sweetheart, but this is the way is has to be.” Mrs. Conway talked to me as she pushed me to the ground and began tying me to the altar. I tried to fight back, but I had no strength. “I know it seems cruel now, but we’re really doing this to protect the town. You’d thank me one day, if you were alive to do so.”
“Is this what you did to my parents?! What is this, some kind of sick ritual?” I screamed as I spat in her face.
She calmly wiped the spit off with her sleeve. “You’ll understand soon enough.”
She stuffed my scarf in my mouth so I couldn’t talk. She then mixed some ingredients in a bowl and chanted something in Latin. I tried to pull my hands out of the rope, but it was tied too tight. My wrists began to bleed.
“Stop struggling, dear. You’ll just make it worse. I’d like to do this as civilized as possible.” Mrs. Conway said as she threw the ingredients into the fire. “I have to go now. You’re a lucky girl…there was once a time when parents were happy to sacrifice their children for this. People lined up from miles around! It was a beautiful thing. Happy suffering, sweetie!” She then hurried off into the woods.
Alone again. I waited a few minutes, but nothing happened. Minutes turned into hours. Before I knew it, the sun was setting. I was starting to think that Mrs. Conway was just a crazy old bat. Even if I didn’t die from whatever ritual she preformed, I would starve to death out here if I didn’t find a way out. I once again tried to pull my hands out. Every tiny movement of my hands hurt so incredibly bad. My skin was rope-burned, raw, and bloody.
The silence of the woods was suddenly broken by a loud whooshing noise. I didn’t look. I was frozen. I held my breath and hoped whatever it was would just go away. A minute passed. Nothing happened. I slowly turned my head to the right. What I saw was something that shouldn’t be allowed to live on this earth.
There, staring at me, was a giant wolf-like creature. It’s eyes were mean. It looked like it had mange or some sort of disease, it was nearly furless with a few ugly patches of grey hair throughout its body. It huffed at me. I was in shock. Again. The creature then opened its mouth and snarled at me. It’s teeth were like no wolf’s teeth I had ever seen. They reminded me of barracuda teeth, long and sharp. The wolf-like thing then darted back into the woods. It was fast and quiet. I let out a deep breath.
Within a second I felt a deep pain in my left side. I let out a loud scream. Blood gushed everywhere. I was then ripped from the altar and taken away. The creature held me in its mouth as it ran through the forest. Leaves hit my face as he ran. We soon came to a cave where it dropped me on the hard ground, and then ran off into the forest once again.
“Ugh..” I groaned. I could barely move. I had a deep gash in my side. I looked around. It was dark, but I could see bones. A lot of bones. I wanted to run. I just wanted to get out of here. I was in this creatures feeding grounds. “Ily?” I heard a soft voice come out of the dark. “Mom? Mom!” It was her voice. I knew it was. I desperately tried to crawl towards the noise, but failed miserably. I was in a dark cave, ready to be eaten by a mutated wolf-creature, but I had never been so happy in my life.
“Ily! Sweetie! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine! Is dad here?”
“Your dad is fine. He isn’t injured badly, he went looking for food. He should be back soon.”
“Oh, thank God.”
Me and my mom sat there talking for awhile. We just enjoyed each other’s company. A little while later my dad came back and was ecstatic to see me, as I was him! He didn’t find any food, but he did find a large stick my mom could use to help her walk. The three of us managed to limp out of the forest and onto a busy road, where we got picked up by a nice family. They asked where we were going, we told them anywhere but here. We had nothing. No money, no furniture, no house. But we had each other. And that was enough for us. We drove off into the distance, and we never looked back.