One week ago, a group of young middle school children, a mixture of boys and girls, all friends, went on a camping trip into the nearby woods.
The only reason I know this is because I have a brother who went on this trip. Our parents told him to be careful, and to not climb tall trees, and he said ok and left. I watched from my bedroom window as he walked off and disappeared in the mid-afternoon sun.
None of them have come back since they were supposed to.
The police were contacted, a search party with only under a fourth of the townsfolk was launched.
I was among this party. At first, everything seemed just creepy. The woods is always dark, and there was a rumor a mental institute inmate had escaped into the woods.
Except it was only a rumor, and there were no mental institutes near our town. So we followed the path they had all supposedly taken, and eventually we found their camp.
The camp was perfectly normal. Everything was in perfect condition and the fire pit still had some glowing embers. We all sighed in relief.
But then I felt strange, and started looking around. I don't know what had alerted me, but I knew something was wrong. After three minutes of looking, somebody screamed. We all rushed over and looked to see what had happened, or what they'd found.
Several people puked. Some of the women started crying. Everyone looked away. Everyone but me.
A intangible mess of a body lay before me, burned beyond recognition. It wasn't black, like in the movies. It was a mixture of a coal black and a gooey looking bright red. I looked around and studied the scenario, then saw something that made tears fall down my cheeks.
My brothers favorite yo-yo.
I had fallen to my knees and started sobbing. I couldn't, and still can't, believe my brother is gone. As I stared at his carcass, I knew one thing.
Whoever or whatever did this was a monster.
After a few days, I packed up a few supplies, including my fathers 22. pistol, and I went on a search into the woods. I was going to find whatever had killed my brother, and I was going to kill it.
I had told my parents I was heading off to a friends house for a couple days, so I was covered. I spent the first hour of my search looking around the area of the camp.
Nothing, and I knew I wouldn't find anything, because I had no clue what I was doing.
But then I found something different. A cardboard sign saying 'This way'. Like an idiot, I followed the signs instructions.
After a few hours or so, I came across a small creek with large rocks on both sides. I stared in shock and disgust at the dark, crusty red stains on them.
I looked at it and eventually figured out which direction it had been going. I followed it as best I could, but I eventually lost it. Then I realized I myself was lost. I frantically looked around for anything familiar, and then noticed something odd.
I had come across an old, abandoned cabin sight, most likely for summer get anyways. I slowly moved forward, checking inside all of the cabins and finding nothing. Then I came across one that towered over the rest, a three story one.
I opened the door, feeling my heart attempting to rip itself out of my chest and up my throat. I took three deep breathes and shut my eyes, trying to calm myself down. After seeing that I had failed, I opened my eyes and reached my left foot forward, oping that the floorboard didn't break.
I quietly closed the door behind me, and checked my surroundings. The room I currently was in had rotted floorboards, peeling paint chips, and cobwebs. I then noticed something out of place...
Fresh blood. My heart once again jumped into my throat and my eyes began to burn, but I continued on. As I entered the next room, I noticed several doors leading off to various places. I opened one to hear a loud, creaking noise coming from upstairs, and I felt something warm and wet running down my pants.
I entered the door and found that I could not see anything. I closed the door behind me and started bumping around for somewhere I could hide. I found a table and I quickly slipped underneath it, trying to slow my breathing.
Hearing the footsteps, I stopped trying to breath at all, thinking that by this point any sound I made would be heard. Slowly, almost excruciatingly, the door that I'd come in from opened, and a pair of black clad feet started walking around the room, dragging something behind it. A black blag...
With a hand coming out. I covered my mouth to keep from puking, and continued to watch, my vision growing blurry from the tears running down my face. Eventually, the bag was placed in a corner with some other random items, and the feet left.
I did not want to see what was in the corner, or what was above those feet. I layed there for at least a minute or fifty, there seemed no difference now, before I finally stood up. I looked ever so carefully at the corner, seeing completely fresh blood dripping down from the bag.
I got the door opened carefully, and stepped through into the room I'd been in before. I slowly started pulling my gun out...and something jumped at me. It was too fast for me to see what it was, or it was the fact it knocked me to the ground, but I closed my eyes and tried to push it off. I felt a wet sensation trickling down my arm, and I screamed in pain and terror as I finally managed to push the thing off of me.
I opened my eyes and reached for my gun, but it was just out of reach. I looked up at the thing that had attacked me and saw the most horrifying sight I had ever seen.
Its face hung loosely, the flesh almost leathery and burned, and I could clearly see patches of skull. Its eyes were pure white, and it had no mouth. Then I noticed its hand.
The right hand of the creature was mutilated beyond human. It had sharp blades stitched everywhere into it, and the fingers were cut off and replaced with what which were like animal claws, sharpened to the point that the tip was almost invisible, yet I had felt those breach my skin. But the creatures verall body was the most horrible. It had gashes and blades stitched everywhere, and I think I had seen a head inside of its torso. I watched as it slowly started towards me, twitching its hands ever so violently, and its head twisting and turning to odd angles, almost like an owls.
As a last hope, I leaped towards my gun and grabbed it, training the sights upon the creature and firing the entire magazine into its chest. A horrible gurgling screaming sound erupted from it, and the region of its face where the mouth should have been ripped open as a black ichor flowed forth freely.
I got up and ran, ran for hours until I reached the town, never looking back hoping that it wouldn't follow me.
I can still hear the scream it made to this day.
I had gone to my friends house, bloody, wounded, and crying, and stared at the horror upon his face. He and his family took me in and called 911. Evening had fallen and I thought I hard the creature outside and began screaming incoherently.
It had only been a raccoon. The police and an ambulance showed up soon, and while I was whisked away to the hospital, the police asked me what had happened. I told them that I'd seen a creature, off in the woods in an old abandoned cabin that had attacked me and tried to kill me. They did not seem to understand me, so I told them again, and saw the looks of disbelief and judgement on their faces.
Three days later I was released from the hospital. I had told the police everything I could, and my parents were angry with me, yet they seemed glad I was okay, and told me they had a surprise at home.
When we got home, I was barely moving, looking in every shadow, expecting something to jump out and attack me. We got inside quickly, and I was greeted with the sad, yet happy look upon my brother's face.
My dead brother.
After that day, I have heard the creature come to my window at night, asking me to come outside, and how alone the creature is. I will never forget that scream.
My brother cannot recall what happened to him or his friends. All he knows is that for some reason he had woken up outside the house, all memory of the camping trip gone.
I am completely certain he is NOT my brother.
I believe everyone from that trip is still, and will always, be missing.
And so will I.