I gave a loud groan and let my forehead hit my desk. My black hair fell around me as I sighed angrily. "Why...? Why did the freaking teacher assign us with two of the biggest jerks in history?" I groaned, laying a hand over my dark blue eyes.
Adrian chuckled from beside me and placed a hand on my head, ruffling my hair. Adrian, with his short, emo-styled hair and lean, yet muscular body made him very hot and good-looking. His eyes, which were a bright emerald green, were staring straight at me. "At least you have Ashley and I."
Oh, how could I forget? Ashley is my best friend of six years. We've usually been described as being twins, but we just have different hair and eye color.
I sighed. "Yeah... at least I have you two..."
Speaking, the only reason I'm pissed is because we have to work on a group project with Riley Moore and Chase Marshell, two of the biggest jerks in the entire universe. Our project was to do a report on animals in the woods. And surprisingly, we had to work tonight.
The bell rang and Adrian and I went outside to meet the rest of our team. Riley made a face as we arrived. "Could you two take any longer?" she sneered.
Ashley glared at her and then looked back at me. "We ready to go? We'll use my mini van because none of the other cars will fit all of us."
We left in Ashley's mini van and got something to eat before taking off for the woods. "Hey, since we're bored and all," Ashley began, "Let's do something."
"Oh, like what?" Chase asks sarcastically.
I glanced over from the passenger seat to see Ashley smirk. "Let me tell the story of the Skeleton Man."
Adrian groaned from the back. "Oh, not this again..."
"Hey, you believe in it too dumbass." Ashley snorted, "Anyway, the Legend of the Skeleton Man goes back years ago in the early 1900's. There was a man who lost everything. He lost his child to disease, his wife to suicide and his house to the bank. He was so lost that he wandered into the woods to find help, but he came across a person."
"Oooohhh, how scary." Riley said sarcastically.
"Bitch." I mumbled.
"As I was saying, the man came across a hooded person. The hooded person asked him a question. He asked, "Do you want a different life?" The man, seeing how he lost everything, said yes. The hooded person gave him a different life, but it was more like a curse. The man lost his skin as time went by, he lost his skin, organs, everything. And he became known as Skeleton Man. He lived in the woods for so long he eventually lost his mind and began killing people."
"Why did he do that?" Chase asks.
"Because he lost his mind and the instant he shedded blood, he wanted more. The man or skeleton, disguised himself in a dark cloak that covered his entire body and killed whomever he pleased. But then he just vanished in the late 1980's. Some say he finally died, others say he just went somewhere else. But to this day, people have said to have seen a hooded man with a very bony body and some have lived to tell the tale." Ashley finished.
Everything was silent for a moment before Riley snorted. "That is so stupid! Really, a Skeleton Man? Sounds like a children's horror story."
"Be careful what you say Riley," Ashley smiled, "You might be Skeleton Man's first victim tonight."
"Oh get a grip, you emo bitch."
"Hey!" I whirled around in the passenger seat to glare at her, "That wasn't necessary Riley! The next time you call her an emo bitch, I'll-!"
All of a sudden, the back two tires of the van popped and everyone screamed as the car swerved back and forth. Ashley finally stopped the car on the side of the road. The only thing that was heard was everyone's hard breathing.
"Is everyone alright?" Adrian asks.
"Yeah..." I groaned and unbuckled my seat belt, being the first one out of the van with Ashley. We both went to the rear of the car and looked at the tires.
"What the hell man?!" Ashley said angrily, "I just got these tires replaced!"
I knelt down and saw something in the right back tire. Leaning over, I gripped what felt like a handle and yanked it out of the black rubber. In my hand was a bent up dagger. "The hell?" Chase swore, "Who leaves a knife in the middle of the road?"
"That doesn't matter!" Riley said, stomping her foot. "What are we gonna do now?! We're lost in the middle of the woods!"
"Shut up." Ashley said and opened the truck. She lifted up the seat and pulled out a few flashlights. "Looks like we're walking back to the school."
"We should get there faster if we go through the woods." I said, taking one of the flashlights.
"Are you kidding me?" Riley snarled, "I'm not walking through those woods!"
"What, are you scared of the Skeleton Man?" Chase asks with a grin and she punched him in the shoulder.
"Not funny Chase!"
Adrian shook his head. "Stay here if you want and wait while we get help. Let's go." He said and we began our journey through the woods.
"Wait, we're coming too!" Riley shouted and her and Chase ran close behind us.
"Ugh... don't these woods ever end?" I groaned. We had been walking through the woods for over an hour now and it didn't seem to be getting us anywhere.
"Seems not." Adrian spoke from beside me. The others were closely in front of us, Ashley up front. "By the way, I heard a little something from Ashley."
I raised an eyebrow as I looked at him. "Oh really?"
"Yes, Ashley said that you have a crush on me."
My eyes narrowed. "Damnit Ashley! When we get back to the school, I'm gonna murder you!"
"Yeah, I'd like to see you try." Ashley snickered.
"So it is true." Adrian chuckled and he slipped an arm around my shoulder, "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me."
I blushed a little. "Aren't you the strong protector?"
"Are you scared?"
"The Skeleton Man."
I snorted. "Of course not. I believe in him, but I don't think he's that scary."
"Hey guys!" Ashley shouted from up front, "There's a cabin up ahead! Let's see if anyone lives there. I see a light on."
"Oh boy, doesn't she read the rules of a horror movie?" I muttered as we neared the cabin.
"This isn't a horror movie, moron." Riley said.
"Seems like it." I muttered as Ashley knocked on the door.
"Hellooooo?!" she knocked on the door. "Anybody home?"
"Ashley, that's seems like a very stupid thing to do." I said, whacking her on the shoulder and looking inside through the window. "I don't see anybody."
And then a face collided with the window, making me scream out. "Help me..." the mouth moved and disappeared, where we heard a thud from inside.
Ashley kicked open the door and we rushed inside, all of us gasping. The entire cabin was splattered in blood and the person, the guy on the ground, was bleeding from a stomach wound. I knelt down and pressed my hands on the wound. "Get me a towel!" I glanced at the guy. "Who did this to you?"
"I... I don't know..." he coughed, wheezing harshly. "We... c-couldn't see his face..."
"What was he wearing?" Adrian asks as he handed me a towel and I pressed it to the wound on the guy's stomach.
"A... a black cloak... with a hood..." the guy gasped. "R-run..." he wheezed and then went limp. I felt for a pulse.
"Is he dead?" Riley asks, clutching Chase's arm.
I sighed. "Yeah." I stood up and walked up to the kitchen sink, washing my hands of the guy's blood.
"We gotta get out of here!" Riley cried out.
I walked forward and slapped her. "Calm down!" I said in an annoyed voice.
"Nice." Ashley whistled.
I shoved Riley out of the way and closed the door, locking it. "Ashley, go see if the phone works. Adrian, go look for some type of weapon in case we have to use it."
Ashley went to the phone while Adrian disappeared into one of the rooms. Ashley picked up the phone and dialed 911. "Yes, we need—hello?"
My eyes narrowed. "What's wrong?"
She quietly put the phone on the receiver. "It just went dead."
Us girls screamed out, whirling around to look at the door. Adrian came out with a shotgun in his hand. "Found a gun." he said. "What happened?"
I quietly walked towards the door and knelt down, looking underneath. I didn't see anything. "I don't see any—SHIT!" I screamed out as a dagger came from underneath, barely inches away from my face. I heard a low, demonic growl from outside and the dagger disappeared. Breathing heavily, I scooted away from the door and stood up. "We gotta find a way out of here."
"Should we split up?" Chase asks.
I nodded. "Ashley, can you be by yourself?"
"No problem." Ashley said, "I keep a switchblade in my back pocket."
We went our separate ways. Adrian and I went to the back of the cabin. "Did you hear or see anything outside?" he asks.
"I heard a growl from outside," I replied. "It sounded... demonic."
Adrian blinked. "Well, in that case. If we die tonight," he gently pushed me against the wall of the hallway. "I want to at least kiss you once." And then he pressed his lips to mine softly. I felt my face heat up and I closed my eyes, dropping my flashlight and wrapping my arms around his neck, my fingers tangled in his black hair.
He dropped the shotgun and his flashlight and locked his arms around my waist, deepening the kiss. Once I needed air, he pulled away and smiled, resting his forehead against mine. "First kiss?" he asks.
I smiled. "Yeah." I went in for another and then we both heard a loud scream.
"Damnit, that sounded like Riley." Adrian swore and we picked up our things, running to where Riley was. She was huddled up against the corner and shaking.
"There's someone outside! I saw him!" she pointed a shaky finger at the window.
Ashley and Chase rushed down the hallway to us. "What happened?" Ashley asks.
"I think we should get the hell out of here before we're the killer's next victim." Adrian said and grabbed my hand as we ran to the front door. He opened it and we all ran outside.
"Where are we going?!" Riley shouts.
"Anywhere but here!" Ashley answered, jumping over a log.
All of a sudden, Chase tripped and then screamed out in pain. We came to a stop and looked to see that his leg was caught in a bear trap. He was struggling to get it off. "Get it off! It hurts!" he cried.
We tried to open the bear trap so that we could slip his leg out, but we just couldn't do it. "We're not strong enough!" Riley sobbed.
Ashley looked up and paled at what she saw. "Guys..."
We all looked up and my eyes widened. In front of us, was a tall figure in a black cloak. It made sort of a raspy sound and it rattled as it walked towards us. "Please!" Chase sobbed. "Get me out of here!"
"We can't!" Adrian grabbed my arm, "Let's go!"
"But what about-?!"
"It's too late for him! He'll only slow us down!"
"You can't leave me here!" Chase sobbed.
"He's right, we have to go!" I grabbed Riley's arm and we ran off. Chase screamed for us not to leave him and his screams turned into cries of pain. We all heard a crunch and then the screams stopped.
The Skeleton Man exists... I thought as we ran.
Breathing heavily, we wheezed as we sat down on the ground. "You bitch!" Riley slapped me across the face. "We could've gotten him out and you two only thought of yourselves! Now he's dead because of you!"
"Get over yourself." Adrian muttered, "We just saved your life. You could at least be the least bit grateful."
"But at the cost of Chase's life!" Riley shouted.
"Shut up!" I hissed at her, "We need to go back to the car and get out of here."
"But the tires are blown out." Ashley held up a finger, "There's no way we can drive with two flat tires."
"Then we'll just have to make the best of it." I muttered angrily. We ended up walking back to the car and driving off, even with two flat tires. The car made loud, thumping noises as Ashley slowly drove.
Riley was crying softly in the back, repeating Chase's name over and over again. I rolled my eyes. "Riley, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Don't be upset because the guy you liked died."
"Blaise, that's kinda harsh." Ashley whispered.
"I don't care. I don't need some sobbing person slowing us down." I whispered back.
"I guess you have a point. We just need to find a payphone and-SHIT!" she yelled out when something dropped onto the hood of the car. She slammed down on the brakes and turned the car off, getting out. "Oh God... it's Chase."
The body on the car gave a jerk. "H-help me..."
"Oh God, he's alive!" Riley cried and jumped out of the car, going around to Chase's body.
"Barely." I mumbled as Adrian and I got out, "Damn... that's gross."
"We have to help him!" Riley grabbed onto what was left of Chase's jacket, "Get him to a hospital! Anything!"
"Riley, he's not going to last very long." Ashley said sadly, "I feel sorry for him, I really do. But we can't risk our lives for him."
"Shut up!" Riley screeched, turning to Ashley and roughly pushing her, "Don't tell me what to do!"
All of a sudden, I got something out of the corner of my eye, something that gleamed from above Riley. "Riley! Look out!"
A large scythe came down from the trees and stabbed through Riley's lower back and out of her stomach. Blood splattered onto Ashley's face and clothes. Riley gurgled, gasping as blood trickled down from the wound. The same cloaked figure dropped from the trees and onto the hood of the car. With a growl, he swung the scythe and Riley's body flew off, knocking me to the ground.
"Ugh! So gross! Get it off me!" I yelled. The Skeleton Man jumped off the hood and to me as I tried to shove Riley's body off. I froze in my tracks as he rose the bloodied scythe above his head.
"No!" Ashley screamed and tackled the Skeleton Man to the ground, the scythe clattering loudly on the pavement. "Go! Get out of here!"
"I'm not leaving you!" I shouted as Adrian pulled me up by my arm and tried to drag me off.
"Go damnit!" Ashley yelled out in pain when the Skeleton Man pulled her up by her hair and then threw her away. She flew through the air and hit a nearby tree harshly, falling to the ground out-cold.
"C'mon!" Adrian dragged me by the arm and we ran back into the woods, but the opposite way. "We need to find help!"
"How?!" I was losing hope. Now my best friend is going to die.
"I don't know," he breathed.
Just when he said that, I saw a light about a hundred feet away from us. "Hey!" I shouted, trying to get the person's attention, "Over here!"
The person seemed to hear us and the light got closer fast. It was a hunter, wearing the proper gear and even had a rifle. "What are you kids doing out here?" he asks.
"We're in trouble." Adrian breathed, "Some... monster is trying to kill us."
"Monster? Like a bear?" the hunter asks, curiosity on his face.
"No, like something demonic." I replied, "You wouldn't believe us even if we told you."
"Try me," the hunter smirked.
"Fine, it's the Skeleton Man we're running from."
The hunter stared at me, "The Skeleton Man? Right, I've heard of that creature. People say it's nothing but a legend."
"Well, he's real as hell and he's freaking hungry for blood!" I protested, "He killed my best friend and our other two group members. I've even got blood on my clothes!"
"Alright, calm down," the hunter said as he reloaded his rifle, "Jeez, you sound like my sister," he muttered.
"Listen, bullets ain't gonna stop this guy," Adrian spoke.
"Listen kid, the Skeleton Man is just a legend. It's someone in a costume trying to scare you," the hunter said seriously, "The other three kids are probably in on it too."
"But we saw it for ourselves!" I yelled at the hunter, "The Skeleton Man ran his scythe through Riley! She was dead!"
The hunter sighed and cocked his rifle, "Fine... I'll go take a look." And we tracked our way back to the car. Riley and Chase's bodies were still there, but Ashley was gone. The hunter knelt down beside Riley's body and felt for a pulse, "Well... I'll be damned. She really is dead."
"See?" I frowned, "We aren't lying."
"I know you ain't," the hunter fixed his hat when he stood up, "I only see two. Where's the other one?"
"He must've taken her," I whispered.
I gasped and whipped around just as Ashley ran into my arms. "Ashley! You're okay!"
"Yeah, I ain't going down that easy," she smiled as we pulled away.
"How did you get away from the Skeleton Man?" Adrian asks.
"Pfft! He went after you guys and I woke up a couple seconds later. He didn't actually knock me out, but I did hit my head pretty hard."
I laughed, "You bitch, you made me worry."
"Didn't mean to hun."
"Wait, so this Skeleton Man is real?" the hunter asks, "Jeez, if I could see him for myself, I would believe the whole story."
Just as he said that, the Skeleton Man dropped down behind him from the air. "Behind you!" Ashley screamed.
The hunter whirled around and shot the creature right in the face. The Skeleton Man let out a demonic screech and dropped his scythe, bony hands going to whatever was underneath his hood. The hunter cocked his rifle and shot him again, this time in the leg and the Skeleton Man fell to the ground.
"Not so tough now, are ya?" the hunter smirked.
"Holy shit..." Ashley swore.
The Skeleton Man lunged out with his right hand and grabbed the hunter's ankle. Tightening his hand, the bones underneath were crushed without much ease. The hunter screamed out in pain and fell on his back, the rifle falling from his hands. I grabbed the rifle and emptied it into the evil creature before us. It screeched at me and lunged.
I whacked the creature on the head with the butt of the rifle and the Skeleton Man fell to the ground. "Ha." I breathed, "Guess he can be knocked out after all."
The hunter cried out as Adrian helped him up, "Alright, we really need to get some help."
Ashley spoke as she lifted the other arm over her shoulders, "You got a car?"
"Truck, half a mile from here," the hunter grunted as we walked back into the woods.
"God!" the hunter cried out as Adrian lifted him up into the passenger seat of the truck.
"I'm driving." Ashley grabbed the keys and got into the front seat, "You two can be in the back and watch for the Skeleton Man."
"Can he fly?" the hunter asks.
"Dude, what's your name?" Ashley asks.
"Matt," he groaned.
"And yes Matt, he can fly." Ashley said as she stuck the keys in and turned the truck on, the wheels screeching as she drove off.
"Hey," I opened the back window of the truck, "You got anymore bullets?"
Matt opened his glove box and gave me a box, "That's all, use them wisely."
"Right," I muttered and re-loaded the rifle, "Let's kill this bastard for real." I cocked the rifle, "Hey Ash, is there anyway to kill the guy?"
"I don't know," she winced, "I can't remember now."
"Damnit..." I muttered, "I guess these bullets can slow him down at least till we get some help."
"You might wanna get that rifle ready now." Adrian pointed up at the air as the Skeleton Man appeared before us.
I aimed the gun and pulled the trigger. He dodged the first bullet... and the next and the next. "Damnit!" I swore, "Stay still!"
"Blaise, use this to catch him," Adrian handed me a rope, "You said you can lasso a rope."
I handed him the rifle and stood up, leaning against the truck. Lassoing the rope, I threw it at the Skeleton Man and it wrapped tightly around his cloaked form. Keeping a good grip on the rope, I knelt down towards the back left tire and threw the rope at it. The rope got caught in the wheel and pulled the Skeleton Man to the ground. I grabbed the rifle and emptied it into the creature, including using the whole box.
And he still didn't die!
"I'm out of bullets!" I threw the rifle at the creature, which hit him in the head. The Skeleton Man let out a demonic screech and his bony hands grabbed the rope and began to pull himself up.
"Oh shit..." Adrian swore.
"Hey, you got a knife?" I ask Matt.
He reached into the glove box and pulled out an eight inch hunting knife, handing it to me. "What are you doing?" Adrian asks over the wind.
"Ashley, I've got an idea!" I shouted, "I'm going to cut the rope and when I do, I'll tell you to stop and then back up to run over him!"
"Got it!" she shouted back.
I cut the rope, "Now!"
Ashley slammed down on the brakes and then backed up quickly. The truck thumped as the tires ran over the Skeleton Man once. I looked from above the truck and saw the glowing, red eyes of the creature as he looked at us and screeched.
"Oh—no you don't!" Ashley whispered and put truck into forward. She slammed down on the gas pedal and ran over the creature. She kept running over him a bunch of times until he seemed motionless. Ashley stopped the truck and poked her head out the window, "Is he dead?"
"Looks like we'll have to find out," I said and jumped out of the back. I slowly approached the creature and nudged him with my foot. He didn't move. "I think he's dead," I said and walked back to the truck.
Ashley had gotten out without me knowing and her eyes widened. "Look out!" she screamed and pushed me out of the way. Next thing I knew, a bony arm came through her chest and out her back.
"Ashley!" I screamed, "No!" I tried to go to her, but Adrian grabbed my arm and threw me into the front seat beside Matt. "We have to help her!"
Adrian got into the driver's seat and took off. "We can't help her. She's gone."
I felt tears in my eyes as we drove through the trees. "I'm so sorry Ashley..." I whispered.
"We're out of gas."
The truck stopped the minute the arrow hit the empty gauge. "Shit..." Adrian swore, "Looks like we're walking." We got out and helped Matt out of the truck.
"Goddamn, that hurts!" he groaned, hopping on his good foot.
"We'll get you to a hospital soon." I spoke, feeling guilty about Ashley, "We need the freaking military to kill this guy. Contain him, get him away from the world."
"I don't think the military can do anything about him." Adrian paused, "He's way too powerful. He's also too dangerous for people to mess with him."
"But we have to do something about him!" I protested, "We can't just let him roam around and kill people!"
"Blaise, there's not much we can do."
Matt gasped as a scythe came through his chest. "Shit!" I screamed and we both dropped Matt. The scythe was yanked out and the Skeleton Man landed on the ground.
"Blaise," Adrian grabbed my hand, pulling me close to him, "There's something that Ashley and I never told you because we had forgotten."
"What is it?" I ask.
"If we keep running, we'll reach the border of the woods. The Skeleton Man can't cross into non-forest territory. We're safe if we reach the school because it's right by these woods." Adrian grinned sheepishly.
"Why didn't you tell us that before, moron?!" I punched his shoulder and then we sped off. The Skeleton Man seemed dumbfounded for a moment before going after us. We ran as fast as we could and finally reached the border of the woods.
"On the count of three, we're going to jump!" Adrian shouted, "One... two... three!" We both took a leaping jump just as the scythe nearly threatened to sever us in half. We fell to the ground and rolled a little bit before stopping.
Breathing heavily, I looked up to see the Skeleton Man glaring down at us, trapped behind the barrier that kept him in the woods. He let out a low, demonic growl and then walked off into the darkness.
"You okay...?" Adrian asks, pulling me up by my hand.
I looked away from the woods, "Yeah... I guess so..."
"Oh Blaise," he murmured and pulled me to him in an embrace, "I'm sorry about Ashley. I know she was your best friend."
I closed my eyes and sighed against his shoulder. "Yeah..."
Two hours later, the bodies of Ashley, Riley, Chase and Matt the hunter were all brought out and laid in the grass. I leaned against Adrian, exhausted.
"We found no Skeleton Man in the woods," the chief said when he walked over, "I believe in the legend, hell, I've even seen him once. But we didn't find him at all."
"The woods are his grave," I spoke and sighed, "He's trapped in those woods forever."
"Well, we'll make a rule about not going into the woods, especially at night. Unless you have a special reason," the chief said, "Come on kids, I'll give you a ride home."
Minutes later, Adrian and I were sitting in the back, sort of leaning against each other. "Hey, since we didn't die..." he spoke, his hand finding my own and squeezing gently.
I smiled and squeezed back, "Are you asking me out?"
He shrugged, "I guess so."
Before I could answer, something jumped onto the roof of the police car. The chief stopped the car. "What in the world?" He muttered and was about to open the door, but then a scythe came through the roof, splitting him in half.
"Shit!" Both Adrian and I screamed, "Get the door!"
I began kicking the window with a hard force and within minutes, the glass broke. "Go! You first!" he shoved me out the window.
"Come on!" I grabbed his hand and began to pull him out.
"Adrian!" I screamed when the Skeleton Man drove his scythe through Adrian's back.
Blood trickled down his chin. "R-run..." he whispered and then went limp, hanging over the door.
"Damnit!" I yelled out and then ran off. The Skeleton Man followed close behind. "This can't be!" I suddenly tripped on the grass and fell on my face. "No..." I cried, tears rolling down my face as I tried to crawl away. I rolled onto my back and didn't see the demonic creature. Panting quietly, I stood up and just stayed there. "Adrian..." I said quietly.
Then I heard a growl from behind me.
Eyes wide, I slowly turned around to find the Skeleton Man glaring down at me, scythe ready to strike.
I let out a loud scream.
The bodies of Chief Harrison, Blaise Anderson and Adrian Charlton were found the next morning around 8 AM.
No suspects have been recognized for these murders.
Some people say it was the Skeleton Man, a demonic creature that lives in the woods. Others say it was wolves.
But the ones who believe fear the woods.
For if they cross the Skeleton Man, he will not let anyone escape.
You have been warned.