The Shadow in the Woods by Zach Scribner
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I went for a walk through the woods with my father. The sun shined down as we made our way through. Though it was in this walk that the shadow began to enter my life.

“Look at this!” my father told me as he pointed over to a marking in a tree.

I looked over to see and upside down cross carved into the tree.

“What do you think it means?” I asked.

“I don’t know…it creeps me out though.” said my father.

“I wouldn’t read too much into it. Probably just some stupid kids.” I said.

“Yeah you’re probably right.” said my father.

“But it is kind of creepy I must say.” I said.

Then I heard a growl in my ear. I saw something move at the corner of my eye. A shadow it was. Though it moved too fast for my sight to completely catch a glimpse. All I saw was a clawed hand and a tail. I saw it disappear behind my father.

“Did you hear that?” I said.

“Oh stop son. I know you are just trying to scare me.” my father said.“No seriously.” I said.

Then it was at this moment that my father started to change.

“Just shut your mouth son. You’re acting as if you are ill mentally.” said my father.

“Father?” I said shocked by his language.

Father had never talked to me like that before nor had he shown such intense anger in all the time that I had known him to be my father.

“Why are you so shocked son? I mean if you act like a superstitious retard then I will treat you like a superstitious retard. It’s only natural for me to treat you this way if you act like a moron. So just shut up.” said my father.

It was at this moment that I realized that the shadow in the corner of my eye may have something to do with the intense anger of my father. What it was is a question that I do not know but in the case of my father’s anger, I know that the shadow in the woods is the culprit.

Me and my father walked home in silence. We made our way into the doorway but before I could shut the door, it shut with a bang by itself.

“Probably the wind.” said my father.

I turned to him shocked.

“What’s your problem? You know that we have seen something out there and you know that it affected you in some way. You have never acted like this in all of your time as my father. Nor does anyone tell stories of you acting like this in your youth. You know something is wrong yet you do not show any knowledge of it at all.” I said.

My father laughed.

“What’s so funny?” I questioned.

“I have no idea what you are talking about son.” said my father seeming to have no memory of the way he had spoken to me just a few minutes earlier.

I sighed.

“You are telling me that you have no memory of speaking to me like a jerk just a few minutes ago.” I said.

My father shook his head.

“No son. I have no idea what you are talking about.” I said.

I sighed again.

“Alright I guess I can forget it.” I said.

“Son I am sorry if I was mean to you but I just can not remember saying anything of ill language to you nor do I remember it being any time lately.” said my father.

I wiped my eyes. It was getting late.

“Alright I am going to bed.” I said.

My father yawned and wiped his eyes as well.

“Yeah I feel you there. I guess your mother already went to bed.” my father said.

I went up the stairs and to my room and I fell asleep.

I awoke to a scratching on my window. I sat up to see the shadow of a long fingered hand with long witch like nails.

“What are you?” I asked.

“I am the darkness that poisons humanity with anger and rage and the fowl emotion of the pits of hell. I am the evil that destroys peace and brings about the destruction of mankind. Who am I? I am your doom. I shall never cease of chasing you and your family. Once you stepped into my forest, you signed your own death certificate. What shall happen from here on out is merely the destined fate of your stupidity.” said the shadow.

I got up and ran to the door but it shut just as I reached for the door knob.

“What do you want?” I said.

“I require nothing but everything. I indulge myself as much as I can even if there is of short supply of the treasure of my choosing. Be it lavish gold and silver or be it the wine of god. I shall make it so that I shall have every last piece and every last drop of the treasures of man. I require nothing but I shall have all of whom you call friends and family.” said the shadow.

Then a face morphed into the door. It filled me with incredible terror and I stood in horror of the monstrous face of the beast that I stood before. Big red eyes it had with rows of jagged razor edged teeth and a pig nosed with horns upon its head.

“What are you?!” I screamed.

The beast that stood upon me only cackled and yelped with unutterably terrible glee.

“Who am I?” the beast cackled.

“I am evil incarnate. I am terror reborn and I am horror revived. I am the beast summoned from the pits beneath.” said the beast at the door.

Then the beast began leaving the door. Two goat like legs it had with red skin and two hands armed with long razor sharp claws. Then once the beast passed through, it grabbed me by the stomach and I felt myself begin to sink into the ground and I felt heat touch my body. I was going to hell. No not like this. It couldn’t be possible. But at the moment it was true. I was going to hell and I could not do anything to stop it. As I passed through I saw both men and women being tortured by beasts of many nightmares and horrors of the unknown. Then as I sunk even further, I saw my mother and father burning in the lake of fire.

“Mother!!!!….Father!!!!.” I cried.

They did not hear me. All they could do is writhe in horrific pain as the fire torched their bodies and cooked them to the point of their skin falling from their bones into the lake of fire in which they both stood. It was burning of the flesh which caused a foul smell to reach my nose. The heat of the lake of fire burned me without even touching my flesh causing my skin to bubble and and making my blood boil. I screamed in agony until I was shaken awake by my mother.

“Honey!!! Honey wake up.” my mother cried.

I woke up in tears and I wrapped my arms around my mother as I wept terrified tears of terror.

“Mom…You…Dad…you were!!!” I cried.

My Mom held me as I wept.

“It was just a nightmare honey. Everything is okay.” my Mother gently said.

Then my mother looked in my eyes.

“Your father is very sick.” said my Mother.

“What’s wrong with him?” I asked.

“He’s just not himself.” my mother said.

“What are we going to do?” I asked.

“Well he’s going to stay at a psyche ward for a couple of days.” my Mother said.

“What?!!…Why?!!” I said shocked.

“I know…I know. It seems like it is too much too soon but it was at his request. Your father told me he felt as if he was changing into somebody else and then all of a sudden he threw himself to the ground and screaming. I called paramedics and they sedated him so he would not have any more seizures and took him away to the psyche ward.” my mother said.

“So what are they going to do to him?” I asked

“Well they’re going to put him through therapy to analyze what is going on inside his head.” said my Mother.

“Can we go visit him?” I asked.

My mother shook her head.

“The doctor says us being there would make him restless.” she said.

My mother and I then went downstairs to have breakfast. We turned on the television and that is when the most unspeakable of horror and the most unutterable of terror began. The news anchor on the television spoke of an escaped inmate at revelation asylum.

“Mom…you don’t think.” I began.

But then my mother interrupted me.

“No it couldn’t be…don’t you fret. Here’s your lunch for school.” my Mother said.

“Oh..okay. I won’t worry. Love you mom.” I said as I took the lunch and headed for school.

The day at school was as it always was. Completely normal until I was released from school. As I walked home, I kept on hearing a growling noise in my ear and a whisper that said.

“Daddy’s home.” said the whispering shadow.

As I made my way home, I noticed that the window from the front door was broken and the door was left open. I walked into my home only to see a blood trail leading up the stairs. I made my way up the stairs and into the attic to see the body of my dead mother in the middle of the floor. Then I heard the whisper in my ear.

“Behind you.” said the whisper.

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