Halloween is here and to inaugurate the day and begin the festivities I thought I would share a short story with you. My mom (Hi Mom!) began a tradition a few years ago whereupon she sends a spooky story starter to certain participating family members, we continue and finish the story however we see fit, and then we share them with each other when we're finished.
I've decided to share my story from about 2 years ago. It's short and silly, but a little spooky, and I hope you enjoy it. And if you don't, well then I hope the bogeyman gets you when you're sleeping tonight. Enjoy.
It was on one of the darkest nights I could remember that it happened. I was walking alone down a dirt road on my way home from a friend’s house, not knowing what fate had in store for me that night. The wind was making ghostly howls through the trees all around me. Leaves were rustling up the road behind as if someone were scurrying behind me.The road wound and twisted and turned so many times that even though I had walked that way many times, I lost my sense of direction and ended up at a fork in the road that I did not recognize. I looked behind me to try and see where I had missed my turn, but it was pitch black and I couldn’t see anything. My heart started to beat faster and I began to shake. I had no idea where I was.
Suddenly, out of the bushes, something crashed into me, knocking me to the hard pan road and forcing the breath out of me. I was stunned and panicked, but unable to see my attacker through the dust and darkness. I clawed at the ground to orient myself, and finally rose to my feet. I could hear my assailant coughing a few feet from me. I called in a meek voice, “Who’s there?” The blood began pumping through my veins and rushing in my ears and I felt like my body was revving itself the way a muscle car revs itself before the start of a race. My brain was all adrenaline and high octane gas. It was fight or flight boys, and I was getting ready to check out. And then the other’s cough turned into a splutter and half of a word. It was my name.
This late night highwayman was calling my name. I had been way-laid by someone that knew me? But then the dust settled, and I saw to my surprise that it was my friend I had just been visiting. I helped him up and insisted that he tell me what exactly he was doing running through the woods at such an hour. And then I heard the scream.He grabbed my arm and grunted, “Run for your life.” I needed no further encouragement. I could hear crashing and the guttural grunts of something un-human in the forest where my friend had just been. We ran across the road and vanished into the forest like a whisper in the wind. Whatever was chasing us was not very fast, but we kept up the fastest pace possible until we came to a large house on the edge of an old dairy farm. It was an old Dutch Colonial, with two big windows at the top of the house where the roof lines met.
There were no lights on in the house but a glow lit the night sky from behind the house. We cautiously crept around the far wall of the house and made out the silhouette of a small barn about 200 feet from the house. There was firelight and dancing shadows on the barn doors, and we knew we were safe. We slipped across the black gulf of pasture that separated the house from the barn, and sidled up to the barn doors. When I peeked into the barn I was shocked at what I saw. Several local farmers and merchants held hands and danced around a burning effigy in the middle of the barn. The fire licked up and down the sides of a 12 foot tall scarecrow, and a small altar had been set up in front of it. A man in a red cloak stood in front of the altar clutching a large carving knife and chanting in a low voice. I’d heard of arcane harvest rites, but this took the cake!
The man in the red cloak clapped his hands together and all of the dancers and merry-doers stopped in their tracks. The man in the red cloak began to speak about an ancient tradition. About a gift to “the Sovereign”. He spoke about the sacrifices of a community and the benefit of all. He said “the Eyes in the Corn” were watching and that “the Sovereign” would be proud of them. They would all be rewarded at the next harvest. Suddenly, he drew his hood back and pointed a bony finger straight at the open barn doorway. And I knew he was pointing at me. I felt a hand on my shoulder and my friend said, “I’m sorry, buddy.” I turned to look at my friend, and saw that he was no longer alone. Next to him stood the tall, lanky figure of his older brother who was breathing very heavily. I turned to look back to the barn and saw my friend’s parents in the crowd of late night revelers. They all wore grim expressions. And I knew I had been set up. I was grabbed by both arms and dragged towards the altar (and the man in the red cloak)… And I was never heard from again.