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The Masked Ones

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Comment1
Camping

I was camping in the woods with my friend. These woods were in Highland Hammocks, a campground in Florida. We got there late at night, probably around nine or ten o’clock. My friend started up a propane lantern while I started setting up the tent. There were other people camping around us, but we didn’t seem to disturb them. Once the tent was up we both put our stuff inside. My friend went in first. I looked out into the woods. I swore I heard something ululating. I shook it off, knowing it was just a raccoon or a wild boar.

Both of us couldn’t go to sleep. He couldn’t because of his ADHD. I couldn’t due to the Red Bull I drank earlier. So we sat there in our sleeping bags, passing the time. We talked about what most boys our age talk about. We started off talking about attractive girls in our school. Man, there are some fine girls at my school. Then my friend mentioned Slipknot, and we started talking about music. Real music, like rock and metal bands. We spoke about how Slipknot wears masks. He and I both thought the concept was great and original. You see, we were thinking of starting a band.

My friend soon had to heed nature’s call. He went outside and went to take a piss. Sitting in the tent, I could hear the stream of urine from far away. Rolling over, I felt a root under my back. Dammit, this always happened to me. I shuffled a little bit to get off the root. Once I was in a comfortable position, I laid down. Rustling could be heard in the bushes behind the tent.

When my friend got back, he looked worried. I asked him what was wrong, but he ignored me. I decided to continue our conversation, so we sat there, talking. After a few minutes, an adult passed by our tent and told us to quiet down. Once we were sure he had left, we continued in a whisper.

My friend told me to be quiet. We were both listening. I heard rustling from far away. My friend heard it too. We both passed it off as an animal and continued talking. Even though I was conversing, I heard the rustling getting louder. It sounded like more than one entity was scrambling in the wilderness.

I asked my friend why he looked worried when he returned from pissing, but he refused to tell me. Alright, enough is enough. I grabbed his shirt and demanded him to tell me. After gulping, he spat it out. When he was outside, he saw some strange creature scavenging the food of a fellow camper. The creature appeared to like a raccoon, but its fur was white, its eyes were bloodshot, and it appeared to have human teeth. He kept pushing so he could finish quickly, but the creature had looked up. However, it was only for a few seconds, and the creature went back to gorging down a jar of Nutella. My friend took this advantage to run back to the tent.

The rustling was right next to us. My friend and I were dead silent. The rustling died into footsteps. A dark figure flashed on the door of our tent. Sweat started to bead on my forehead. I could hear my friend heavily panting. Another silhouette appeared on our door. This one paused its marching. We could hear it sniffing the air. It moved an appendage towards the tent, then pulled it back. It sniffed again, and continued walking.

My friend had to find out what these figures looked like. He leaned forward and slowly unzipped the tent door. He peered out of the small opening for about a minute or so, then pulled back. Yet another figure appeared. This one kept marching.

After there was no sign of the figures, my friend lunged forward and zipped the tent up. He then whispered to me what he saw. A line of humanoid figures were marching. They each carried a spear and wore all black, except for their faces. He couldn’t tell if it was a mask or their actual face, but he described it. It looked like the face of the creature he saw earlier. There was white fur, bloodshot eyes, and human teeth.

A final figure, possibly a straggler, came dashing by. My friend concluded that the best thing we could do is go to sleep. I turned over and shut my eyes. The state of anxiety I was in brought nightmarish images to my head. Jeff the Killer, Slender Man, The Rake, all of them.

I can’t decide what’s worse, inside my head, or outside the tent.

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