I was so excited for this day. Our school was having a picnic, which it really knew how to do.
The picnic was going to be in a large forest about forty miles from our school (our school likes to plan far-away trips).

Whenever I am going on a vacation or trip, I like to find out every single fact about it. It turns out this forest's history dates back four or five-hundred years.

It was inhabited by a Native American tribe who was known for its worship of evil spirits. When the settlers came in, the natives did not take kindly to them.

When the diseases brought in by the settlers killed many of the tribe's people, they cursed the forest and the settlers. The next day, the tribe was gone, and all of the settlers were either dead or missing. The one that survived lived for another week before committing suicide. The story goes on to tell of loggers who came in about one-hundred years later, and all died in mysterious accidents and murders. I am not superstitious; I did not believe in any of these curses.

That morning when I woke up, I went into the kitchen as usual and had my cereal. At about 6:30, my mom came and told me that the picnic was cancelled; the bus that was taking us there was having engine trouble. I asked her if she found that weird, and she said it happens all the time. I thought about it but brushed it off.

My mother came back to inform me that they found a replacement bus at the last minute. I was overjoyed! We could finally go and have some time doing something other than math problems and English homework. The bus finally showed up and I got on. For some reason, they had the freshmen and seniors on the same trip. The seniors were almost evil. There were rumors of freshmen faces being shoved in toilets and urinals and freshmen being locked in car trunks for as many of two or three days. I was worried about this.

About twenty miles into the ride, our bus got a flat tire. We found that the bus had a spare underneath, so the seniors sent me to retrieve it. As I grabbed the tire and got out, I saw something out of my peripheral vision—a man standing about quarter of a mile away. He seemed to be motioning to go back.

I focused on him, but then he vanished into the mist.

We replaced the tire and continued driving. We finally got there and talked to the woman at the visitor center. She handed us each a brochure on the history of the park. Oddly enough it never once mentioned the old tribes of Indians, loggers, or settlers; it just said that its history spanned from about fifty years ago to the present.

We got out and set up the picnic. I hung around my usual friends and we did everything in our power to avoid the seniors. The picnics were okay. They provide time away from school, so we all liked them. After it was finished, we were informed the bus broke down again, and in the morning a few mechanics would come and fix it. That meant we would be spending the night on the bus.

That worried me. There is no way those seniors would pass up an opportunity to prank us. So as night fell, my group would keep two people on watch, and we would rotate every hour and a half. Of course, the first two fell asleep within the first two minutes. Here we were, in a haunted forest, with seniors ready to scare us.

I woke up and checked my watch—2:30. A note on my chest read, "Have fun! -seniors"

I was extremely angry, but my anger turned to fear. There was something about this forest. The tall, leafless trees; the dark, foggy distance; the wind. My god, the wind. I kept hearing it as though it were saying, "Be afraid."

I kept hearing it. It wouldn't leave my head! "Shut up!" I screamed.

"Who are you?" I kept seeing movement from the corner of my eye. I ran. I didn't know which way I was going, but I didn't care. Then in the distance, there stood a tall, thick, unmoving figure. It was all black except for the eyes.

The eyes! They were an ominous blood red. It moved. It walked in an odd, disturbing strut. I ran. I could see its shadow. The trees swayed with the wind, as if they were alive. I tripped. It was gone. I saw an unlit, small cottage in the distance. I had no choice.

I ran towards it and took shelter in it. Was I going insane, or did I really see that creature? I was in a small room. The cottage looked old; its floorboards creaked and its doors squeaked. It was horrible.

Then I heard a deep, heavy breathing outside the window. Then, the window began to rattle. After thirty seconds it stopped. I decided I would wait out the night here and travel back in the morning. But then I heard a pounding on the door. I couldn't stay here any longer. I dove out the window and cut myself on some of the glass. I ran for some time until I looked behind me.

The creature was there again, moving faster. I ran until I found where the bus was. But it wasn't there. Neither was the visitor center. I sat down and I felt a cold breath on my neck, then a hand on my shoulder. I closed my eyes and began praying.