Here is day 22 of JNW’s Halloween Challenge: Forest.
Lost! You don’t know how, the trail markers had been easily visible, yet you haven’t seen one now in some time. If you hadn’t lost the trail you would have been back to the parking area and on your way home. Instead, standing here in the dark pine forest, the sun having set an hour ago, you fight a panic rising within you.
You begin to worry how long the batteries in your flashlight will keep going and are thankful for the little bit of moonlight that streams through the pines here and there. With nothing else to do, you continue to move in the direction you expect the trail to be, knowing you still should not be far from the car.
Then you hear it, a cacophony of noise somewhere up ahead. No idea what could be making such a horrible sound but recognizing it as a sound created by others, you head towards it at a faster pace. It continues to get louder as you approach, is it simply because you are closer or is the sound actually increasing?, you wonder to yourself.
Still hurried you begin to slow as you approach, hoping to get a look at the source before stumbling upon it. You are very close now, just beyond this next rise you are certain. Silence! The sound stopped and the forest stands deathly silent. You continue to head up over the rise, more cautious and aware of the sounds of your feet at each step. You can see there is a clearing ahead though there is not enough light to make anything out. You turn off your flashlight, letting your eyes adjust. There is no movement but you catch glimpses of moonlight reflecting off of a car. A car? This is the parking area?!
You move closer and can tell that the car is yours, no other cars are here. Something is sitting on the hood of your car. Too small to be a person and sitting too still to be living, assuming that any animal that size would have fled at your approach. You reach the car and see that a small rag type doll, its eyes sewn as ‘X’s’ is sitting there. It reminds you of ritual dolls you have seen from movies and gives you the shivers. Why is it here? Who put it here? Are you truly saved from the forest?!