The Dark Wood

It was pitch-black in the wood but Jake knew the path well enough and he stumbled along it, occasionally feeling a branch scratch his cheek or poke his leg. He used a stick to cut through the thick spider-webs that occasionally crossed the path. He’d been washing dishes all night and his clothes reeked of fried fish and sweat. It didn’t matter, though, because he had a wad of bills in his pocket.

He’d gotten about a mile in when he saw an orange glow up ahead. When he got closer he saw it was a jack-o’-lantern, fire flickering inside. He stood there, staring at the evil, carved face, wondering who could have put it there.

Then he felt something sharp tear at his shoulder and he spun around, swinging his stick wildly, making contact with something in the darkness. He swung away like he was swinging at a piñata, occasionally hearing the thud of contact. His shoulder burned where he’d been bit but he continued to swinging his stick in the darkness.

Suddenly something cut him across the face and he could feel the warm blood run down his neck. He swung his stick now so hard that it snapped in half. The half he still held he thrusted forward and impaled the thing, which fell backward, its bloody form landing right under the orange light of the pumpkin.

The face was hideous and deformed with hair and a dog-like snout. Its teeth were yellow and sharp. Jake picked up the jack-o’-lantern to help light his way through the wood and continued on, his shoulder and face throbbing.

As he walked he could hear himself panting and he felt slightly odd. When he reached up to touch his face he was horrified to feel new hair growing out of it. He dropped the jack-o’-lantern and took off running, letting out a pitiful howl. The howl was echoed by another not far away, and another, until the woods were filled with a chorus of tortured howling.

The carved pumpkin still lay on its side, its sinister grin having widened. Blood dripped across its face and the candle flickered and flickered until finally it went out. The night then became pitch black and strangely quiet.

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *