When it came to commute back from the university, nobody was safe. People either lived alone or walked alone. Sometimes both, giving optimal time for a twisted mind to find an opening and take advantage of it. That must have been what happened to me, because I believe I was one of the lucky few made it through alive.
I knew I was alive because I wished I was dead. I woke up in a ditch filled with bodies. Their cold skin sent shivers through me like nothing else, emotionally shaking me as well as physically. The cold was the worst part, because it felt like it was stealing my life.
There was blood, but not as much as there should have been. The bodies were pale and had a strange texture. Once I had pulled myself in a panic from the pile, I saw that they had been drained of blood. Slits everywhere, dried blood caking their legs and hands.
With the will to escape, I barely noticed what was around me. My eyes were only drawn to the morbid sight of the body pile. Once free of their grasp, I saw that I was only better off by a small measure.
The surrounding area was hidden in a dense fog, but it was easily broken by dark pine trees, an old farmhouse and barn and finally a tall mountain in the distance. I never paid attention to the scenery beyond my city, but I took it that I wasn’t too far from it. Afterall, I was assaulted, kidnapped, drugged, but the more I try to remember, the more I realize that to travel so far was impossible.
I took stock of the mountain and tried to remember if pine trees grew in my state. However, that was information that didn’t seem to make itself present despite all my years learning such meaningless things. I was left standing on hard dirt in the middle of nowhere and I wanted to go home.
My hesitation to head into the fog was great, as I had an ill feeling looking past the dense trunks of pine trees. Something was there, but it was too far, a mere blur from this distance that could have easily been fog or a person. Instead, I considered the next best option, the farmhouse.
I am no fool when it comes to strange places, I’ve seen enough movies. The barn wouldn’t have anything, but the telephone line leading towards the farmhouse was enough to fuel me with the hope of calling for some sort of aid. ‘How would they find me?’ is the big question.
I spun in the spot, unconsciously checking for more options, but none seemed to present itself. Growing dizzy, I lowered my eyes and noticed that there were similar slits along my hands and feet. However, the blood seemed to have clotted a lot better than the previous victims. I took that as a good sign.
As much as it pained me consider it, I couldn’t go to the farmhouse. The woods my have held some ill intent, but the piles of bodies, the menacing barn all led me to believe that I was in hostile territory. The last thing that I needed to do was stay here and find out how hostile it could be.
Near the ditch, I saw a pile of clothing. Stumbling towards it, I collected anything to cover myself with. Soon I was comforted by their warmth as the cold air had seeped in and made them icy to the touch. However, that was only the first step in the situation and not a particularly great one either. I pushed the thought of these clothes belonging to the others in the ground and marched towards the pine trees.
“God..,” I whispered to myself after a moment. “I’m starving.”
My stomach ached for some food, but there was none to give. I was hungry and hiking through the countryside. Not my finest moment when I eventually snagged my foot on something I didn't see, but I still felt a lot better the further I was away from the farm.
However, curiosity caused me to look down and examine what had tripped me once I had clambered back to my feet. Laying there in the dirt was a dark iron rod. It protruded from the ground towards a tree, but stopped just short of hitting the pine. My mind simply threw it aside as some piece of man-made structure that got lost in the woods a long time ago.
When I reached down to pull at it however, there was a noticeable click and the woods fell silent. It was a sound so loud, despite the lack of sound. Before I barely noticed the wind, the sound of trees sway. However, it was now that I realized it was all gone. I lacked any sort of audible sensation, but my sense of touch remained.
It was then that I felt something trickle down my ear. I felt it, then I heard it. The sound of droplets hitting the ground. I thought it was starting to rain, so I proceeded onwards, stopping when I no longer felt the cold water hit me.
“That was qui-” I murmured, but stopped myself when something crimson caught my eye.
Something slid down my nose and I quickly wiped it away to reveal it was blood. Red and cold. I felt a sense of uneasiness as I heard the sound of straining ropes above me. The creak of branches as they were bent and pulled by the weight of something on the end of those ropes.
I didn’t look up to see what it was. I kept walking, choosing my steps carefully at first. Blinking slowly, I found my heart in this darkness and pushed forward with more enthusiasm. My jog soon turned into a sprint and the trees flashed past me. I would not stay here to learn more of this darkened world. I wouldn’t stay to shiver in fear.
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