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The Shadow Series
The area had been associated with strange phenomenon. Even when I was a kid, my parents told me tales of peculiar men wandering the woods at night, just looking at the trees as if they were in awe of them. "It was as if every tree were an alien", my mum would say, describing the looks on the faces of the men. The story told by Miss Silverstone's boyfriend in 1954 was never proved to be true. The papers said he was mad, of course. That's what the media would say. His death (and hers) were reported on the news, but no-one particularly payed attention to them. People just carried on with their everyday lives as if it had never happened. Perhaps they were in denial. Not just because of the death, because of the story he told to the police that night.
The story goes like this. Miss Silverstone had just finished seeing "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" at the drive-in theater. Her boyfriend (anonymous) wanted to drive straight back to his place. Miss Silverstone asked if she could go for a walk in the woods first. At 11PM, this has to be one of the stupidest things to do. It sounds too cliched right? Well, she wanted to do it. Her boyfriend claimed he had an argument with her about the situation, and in the end, she stormed off for some "space" as she called it. Of course, her boyfriend wanted to go after her, but he was in a fit of rage because of her behaviour. In the end, he came after her. His account is as follows:
"I drove the car around the block and drove a mile or two. I reached town by then, but half an hour had gone by the time of the argument. I just, you know, drove around trying to find her and I asked friends if she had been seen walking back to her house. I was getting nowhere. I mean, this was my fault obviously. I just wanted to get back and have a good time I guess. I was selfish. In the end, after about an hour, I came across a man walking along the street in a fedora and smart suit. He looked "well groomed" shall we say. I called him over to the car. He turned and just looked at me. "Have you seen my girlfriend?" I asked. He simply turned his head and pointed down a track that led out of town, into the woods. I didn't thank him. I just pressed my foot down and roared into the woods like you would in a crisis.
I thought about the man. He looked, in-human. I mean, that sounds crazy right? His eyes were the creepiest. They were, just, black, and they were set well into his face. At least that's how they appeared when I saw him. But anyway, I pressed on down the track and came to a halt when I noticed that the car got colder. Not just over a period of time, but instantly. I stopped the car because I felt that something wasn't right. I immediately opened the car doors and looked around the car. I don't know why. I was panicky I guess. I looked around. I had driven well into the woods. About two miles I guess. Sheer darkness it was. There was no source of light. That's when I panicked. The f****ng headlights were off. I tried to run back to the car but I couldn't see and I smacked my knee against the bonnet. I yelled in pain. The echo actually scared me. It rang for about a minute it seemed. Then silence. There was no noise. It was like you could hear the silence, I mean, I was breathing very very fast now. I felt the car to identify where the door was and I staggered in.
I switched on the engine, but the headlights weren't coming on. I forgot about the lights and just drove on. That wasn't good. I felt a loud thud at the front of the car. I had smacked the car against a f****ng tree. I just sat there and put my face into my hands, and let out a huge sigh, and then a tear rushed down my cheek. This was the first time in years that I had cried! I was so angry with myself. That's when I turned my head and to my left was a shadow. I let out a cry of fear. I jumped back to the seat next to me. The shadow was standing by the hedge. I turned around and tried to feel the door handle. My eyes hadn't adjusted to the dark had they! I opened the door but I fell out with it, onto the ground. I looked up to see if the shadow was there. It was gone. I thought I was seeing things. Then I turned around and everything went black. That's when I woke up, in my car, and her body was on the bonnet!"
According to the police records, he started crying and asked to just go home. The police refused and kept him in a cell overnight. That's where he was found dead of strangulation the next morning. He had killed himself. The newspaper that came out the next day came with the headline "A Love Affair With Death". What a cheesy headline I thought, but it really did capture the essence of the mystery. The story is now a famous thing in my town. The kids at school joke about the woods and they say that if you go through there, you will get killed by the "shadow man" as the thing is now called. No-one, and I mean, no-one, goes through there. However, a girl named Cassey who goes to my old school went through there with her dogs. Her parents told her to be careful as any caring parent would. She went through the woods and half an hour later she came running out of the woods screaming about a "cloud of mist that surrounded us and the dogs died!" No explanation was given for the dogs deaths. She didn't know herself. She was taken to a therapist soon after the incident and she just ran away from town and has never been seen since. She was called a "liar" and the paper claimed that it was a "cheap attempt at reviving an old myth". Was it?
I was intrigued at entering the forest, but I dare not in case the same thing happened to me. Was I that silly! What would happen in there! It was just stories. People with very vivid imaginations had dominated this town for too long. The final straw for me came when my friend Jack decided to set up camera's on a couple of the trees in the area of the forest where the incident's have taken place. We sort of joked about the idea that this would be like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity. Well, that joke was to haunt us the following morning. We retrieved the camera's and brought them back to mine, excited about what we were going to see. We weren't expecting much, but we were thinking that maybe something a little odd would occur on those tapes. We sat at the kitchen table and started to watch the first camera's footage. Nothing out of the ordinary. This was where the supposed mist was that Cassey became famous for. Nothing out of the ordinary on this camera.
Of course we fast-forward the footage. We didn't sit there for hours. Time for the second camera to be analyzed. Nothing out of the ordinary appeared for the first 3 hours or so. Once the footage reached 3 hours 49 minutes, my heart stopped. I didn't feel right. My whole body shivered. We played the tape at normal speed. We just, stared at the camera, for 2 minutes at least in total silence. There, facing us on the screen, was a silhouette. It's facial features weren't visible. There were only the minor details of two arms at the shadow's side, and a pair of thin legs. Something didn't seem right though. The shadow appeared human, but after 5 minutes of watching the footage, the video appeared to jump and hour. The shadow had moved to the left slightly, still looking at the camera. At least I think it was. It's head was raised. We fast forward the footage an hour and the shadow vanished. We kept it on fast-forward until 9 hours 19 minutes, when the camera appeared to drop from the tree and the shadow vanish from view as it did so. The film kept rolling, and we had reached the end of he footage. We looked at each other, and we just, chatted, for hours that day. We didn't tell our parents. We kept it secret. That evening, I suggested going into the woods to confront the shadow. I sounded like a right idiot. Jack of course said no, occasionally raising his voice, followed by me telling him to shut up.
I had my dinner and I headed out on my own, telling my dad that I was going to Jack's to sleepover. I exited the house and I walked very cautiously to the woods. I was brave, unlike Jack. He was a coward. At least, that's what I thought at the time. It was sunset. A hot evening it was. I was in the woods just looking around until darkness arrived. Nothing unusual happened when I was looking around waiting for "the time" to come. I looked at my watch. 9PM. I should be getting back soon I thought. But I wasn't planning to. Some time passed and it was 11:30PM. I was so brave I thought. Braver than Jack. I wandered around the woods for longer, petrified of every single sound in the distance. That's when I sat down against a tree. I looked left to right, seeing nothing. Time passed. I got out the camera and started to film. I thought that if I was to capture anything more, it should be on film surely. That's when the camera failed to switch on. Oh s**t, I thought as I began to panic. I began to calm myself, and I turned on my torch. I flashed it around the place. Nothing there. There were noises all over the place, but I could see nothing. The hairs on my neck began to stand up as I sat there for longer. I flashed the torch again. Something passed the torch light. I stood up about to run, but I stopped myself. I won't be chased out. I won't be defeated by fear.
I flashed the torch everywhere, making sure every nook and cranny had been lit up before I pressed on. Nothing to be seen. I turned around, and began to walk back the way I came earlier on. I heard a noise behind me. I immediately turned around and I saw absolutely nothing. This was useless. My mind is playing is playing tricks on me I thought. I walked along the path again and I was suddenly brought to a halt when my ankles appeared to be grabbed. I began to struggle and shout. Tighter and tighter my ankles were becoming. I screamed and screamed and screamed and my ankles kept getting tighter. Snap. I fell to the floor. My ankles had given away. I was screaming and crying with pain and fear. I span myself around to see what was grabbing me. That's when I screamed even more. The shadow was grabbing hold of me. My torch light that had fallen beside me was illuminating the shadows hands. This was no human anymore. The hands had nails like claws that were green with dirt and whatever other things were in there. The hands was translucent. The veins filled with ooze and that's when I grabbed the torchlight and shone it upon the things face. The hair was dark green, the eyes were bloodshot with a hint of yellow within them, as if someone had poured snot into the creatures eyes. The nose appeared to be broken, and blood was running from it. It's mouth filled with five rows of yellow rotten teeth. There were spots of black visible on them. It's chin hung low and pointy and the creature let out a shriek. It dug it's “claws” into my legs and cut one of them open. I was screaming for dear life. It's eyes then went blood red and blood spurted from them all over my face. That's when I felt someone grab my arms and drag me away from the creature. It's face got further and further away from me. I was still screaming with pain. Then, the thing that dragged me away walked around me and began to run towards the creature. It ran faster and faster and the creature then scurried off back into the woods, leaving a trail of blood. The thing that rescued me turned towards me, and I blacked out.
I woke up. The sky had lightened up. It looked like sunrise. I looked up and around, sitting up and attempting to stand up before shrieking with pain. I looked at my feet, and I gagged. I tried to avoid looking at them again and I peered over my shoulder to see what I could see behind me. Just the rest of the woods. My parents weren't here. My friends weren't here. No doctor. Nobody. I was all alone. I began crawling along the ground, and I kept squinting with pain. I realised that I had my phone in my bag. My bag was back at the tree. I had to crawl back along the ground again and when I reached me bag I got out my phone and called my dad. I couldn't bring myself to talk, but I managed to murmur the words “woods”, and “monster”, and he immediately came over to the woods. He found me after a long while. After carrying me off he took me to the hospital. I still wasn't talking. Some time had passed since the event. About 2 months. That's when I began talking. That's when I told my dad about the thing I saw. I was in the papers of course. We moved away not too long later. There were too many bad memories in this town, and not just my memories. There are some unanswered questions that I am still trying to answer to this day. I have done countless research about the woods since we moved away. We moved away to escape the area, but it's like I'm reliving it again. I need to answer some questions. What is the creature? It is still alive. It is out there waiting for more people to slaughter. Who was the person that saved me, and what were their intentions? Maybe I'll never know, but I will one day go back into that woods with my dad and I will get the answers I want. This thing will keep haunting me otherwise... and one more question. Who was the man with the black eyes that led the boyfriend down the track all those years ago?