I went to West Virginia hoping that I would find something to write about while I stayed at my cousins' farm.
But alas, I did not. Instead I ended up only reading more and more stories, wishing that I could write something to blow everyone away. I looked at the Pasta of the Month page to see how many votes my story, Black as Night had gotten, I had gotten one vote. I looked through the list and saw dozens of votes for a story called The Disappearance of Ashley, Kansas. In all honesty, I deeply envied the number of votes it had received, and as a result, I reluctantly read the story.
I was glad I had read the story. Once I finished it, I had chills. I no longer felt the jealousy of the votes, the story earned it. The style of the story had introduced me to something new, something I had not done before. I tried to come up with a concept, something terrifying, but nothing gave me the satisfaction of terror that I was going for.
Then I thought of Boy.
On the 28th of March, exactly nine days after my arrival in West Virginia, I was taking a walk along a gravel road that ran through a field when I thought I saw what looked like a small child running into the woods in the distance. He was wearing brown pants and a brown shirt. I only saw the back of him, but he appeared to have dark hair, probably black. I thought he may have lived nearby and thought nothing of it the rest of the day.
That night I had a dream about the boy. I was walking through the same field, but everywhere I looked, I saw the back of the little boy running into the woods. I woke up to someone whispering.
"Look and see."
I opened my eyes just in time to see a little boy run out of my room into the night. Somehow, my door had opened and someone had come into my room. I sat paralyzed in bed, not knowing what to do, fearing that he may just be waiting outside for me. A feeling of doom grew inside of me and I quickly fumbled to turn on the bedside lamp. I did not sleep the rest of that night.
The following morning, I went into the garden and asked my cousin if there were any small children who lived nearby and explained to him the incident that had occurred the night before. My cousin shook his head and told me, "The only time there were any children close to the farm was when a boy's camp was running back in the 1940's. It was shut down due to a flood in the camp and no one had ever bothered to keep it running so it was overgrown."
I looked at him and hoped he would go into more detail. He merely shrugged and went back to working on his garden. My thoughts began to race.
Was this a boy from the old camp? Is he a ghost? Is he even a boy? How old is he? Is he a runaway child? Did anyone die in the flood?
I did not know what to think until I looked up at the second story balcony where my room was and saw the white face of a child staring at me through the window. Then he was gone. I named him Boy.
I felt Boy was partially my creation, as I seemed to be the only one to discover his existence. I did not see him for three days until the storm. It was a severe thunderstorm and we had all gone into the kitchen to have dinner when the power went out. We lit a few candles in order to provide light and we sat at the dinner table having small talk here and there. Every time the thunder crashed, I jumped.
I love rain, but thunder sometimes scares the hell out of me. I looked out the window to see how hard it was raining when I saw Boy. He was standing about 200 feet away from the house out by the old barn. He had his head down and when I leaned in closer to try and make out what he looked like, he looked up.
The boy had dead eyes. There was nothing but black pits. His face was pale as bone and he looked as if he had been starved. The only color on his face were his lips, they were blood red and caused me to cringe as they curled into a smile.
I motioned for my cousins to get up and come to the window without looking away. A moment later, we were all gathered at the window staring at Boy from a distance. He ran at us. We backed away and frantically ran around the house to lock all of the doors. By the time we all were back in the kitchen, we knew he was right outside. Boy was nowhere to be seen, but his crying could be heard.
The crying went on for an hour and then suddenly stopped. I looked up and checked outside the window. The rain had gone down to a slight drizzle and thunder could be heard in the distance. Boy was gone.
That was what I hoped to be that last time I ever saw Boy, as I could no longer even stand the thought of him. From that night until I left I slept in the living room, waking up every so often to check around the house and make sure the doors were locked. I prayed that Boy wouldn't come back.
Once I returned home, everything went back to normal and I researched any possible information about Boy and if he stayed at the old camp while it was running. I went to multiple libraries and looked up the camp, but found little information. Its almost as if they never publicized the camp or even had records of it running.
That's when Boy came back.
I fell asleep in the library and awoke about an hour before it closed. There was another severe storm outside and roughly two people in the library. I decided to call it quits when I heard a child crying. It was from inside the library. I looked among the shelves I found that the source of crying was coming from nonfiction. I ran out of the building and straight to my car intent on not ever returning to that library again.
As I ran through the parking lot, I heard the crying behind me along with the sound of footsteps close behind. I jumped in my car and pulled out of the parking lot as fast as I could not looking back but only hearing the child cry in the distance. Just as the crying was fading, I heard a slight shift in the noise from crying to screaming. It was a scream of wrath. It didn't sound human.
That scream left a ringing in my ears for the last two weeks until today. The ringing kept me up at night and it eventually caused a severe migraine. I had to visit the doctor to see what could be wrong and got a CT scan. I have a brain tumor. It had just developed within the last two weeks. I thought back to how Boy screamed and I knew that he had done this to me.
When I walked out of the doctor's office I noticed that someone was talking to a friend of theirs about a tumor. What I overheard gave me chills.
"I don't know if this is related or not, but it scares the hell out of me. Last week, a small child kept following me and cried constantly. When I looked at his face I ran in terror. I have never seen a face like that. When I ran he screamed at me. I know this sounds crazy, but his scream caused my ears to ring. I..."
I had enough. I couldn't hear anymore and I walked away. I was not the only one, Boy was still out there. I have not heard any similar stories recently but I'm sure I will. It is inevitable that Boy will make another appearance.