Taylor’s feet pounded the dirt path, each step taking her deeper into the woods. Her short breaths could be seen against the cool, night air. It feels so good to be out of the city, she thought as she looked skyward; beyond the tree tops she could see the millions of stars twinkle back at her. She smiled. She hadn’t remembered seeing this many stars at night since she went on her last camping trip with her family. That was 3 years ago though.
She steadied her pace to catch her breath. She only had a mile until she got back to the small cabin. She checked her watch, 11:30pm. She was due back to meet a friend of hers, Jackson, that she hadn’t seen all semester. She felt a tingle run up her spine as she flushed a vibrant shade of red. She was so excited to see him after months of missing him.
He kept on making excuses not to get together, saying that since he moved up north he didn’t have enough time to make it back to the city. Even though Taylor protested, he was more stubborn than her. “Why don’t you come to visit me then?” He snapped at her over the phone last week. He thought she would say no, as she isn’t much of an outdoors person anymore. He thought wrong.
“Sure, summer break just started and college classes don’t start up until September. I have all summer off to catch up.” She playfully joked. He was her only friend, so being in up state New York all summer wasn’t going to be all that bad as long as she got to be with him.
He stammered over the phone, she remembered as she started to walk back to the cabin. She thought it was really cute. “What are you trying to hide from me?” She tested the waters with a laugh, they were best friends after all. He knew everything about her, she couldn’t help but feel a little hurt by his change in attitude since he moved. He never wanted to talk about the school he was going to, what he was majoring in, his social life, nothing. He would mainly keep the conversation on her, or reminisce about all the stupid things they used to do. “Is it a girlfriend?” She whispered, suppressing a giggle. She hoped it wasn’t.
“What?! No, Tay no. Just… life. It has been stressful adjusting to everything since moving. You wouldn’t understand.” He responded to her, his voice was short, almost angry.
She sat up in bed, flustered by his tone. “That isn’t even fair Jackson. What are you so afraid of? Are you avoiding me on purpose?” It was hard to ask the last question, she barley managed to choke out the words.
After that she could clearly tell he felt bad. He finally gave in and said to come to his parents old cabin. They would spend the summer there, if she chose to stay that is. She immediately began stuffing her bags full of clothes, and having to go out to actually buy a pair of hiking shoes. She couldn’t help grin from ear to ear. But when she finally arrived at the cabin, no one was there. The only thing was a note:
Hey Tay, just finishing up with work things. I will be here around midnight, please be inside the cabin then! Can’t wait to see you XOXO
She yanked out the note that had been jumbled in her pocket for the better half of the evening. Nothing had changed about the outdated cabin. She popped in a few movies on the relic of a TV, but grew insanely bored with it around an hour ago and decided a jog in the cold night air would do her some good.
Her heart kept skipping a beat over the “XOXO.” She was acting like a school girl with a crush! She felt her limbs go to jello as she re-read the note over and over. She and Jackson were friends for the better half of high school when Taylor moved to the city 5 years ago. And half of that time she had developed an ever growing crush on her friend. She still hadn’t told him, and she was completely unsure if he felt the same way. Maybe the note suggested that he did? She could just be over thinking it though.
She came up to the clearing where the cabin waited for her. She stopped dead in her tracks. Drenched in silver moon light, a large figure loomed over the cabin. She was a deer in head lights, she couldn’t move. Her small, beater of a car looked like a toy for this creature. She couldn’t believe her eyes, it was a giant man. She shook her head vigorously. She pinched herself. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, praying it could go away. Every time she looked though, the figure became more and more clear in the moon’s light.
The figure got down on his elbows and knees, peering into the cabin. She felt a jolt of nausea, she thought of being in there and helpless. Out here it wasn’t much different, but she had the upper hand. She hadn’t been seen.
She slowly started to back up. The silence felt deafening, even the crickets and the general sounds of the night seemed to be snuffed out. A sharp snap of a twig, and her skin turned to ice. In a quick moment, the creature’s massive head twisted to look at her. There were too many shadows on the face, all she could see were the whites of his eyes.
She didn’t have time to think. Fight or flight mode kicked in and her better option was to run. The trees would be her safe space, they would offer some kind of hiding place or barrier from whatever that was.
She didn’t realize she could run this fast as she took off flying down the path she had came from. Her lungs strained for oxygen. It felt like a knife was being forced into her side repeatedly with every step forward. She swung around sharp corners, dodging low rising branches and roots that stuck out from the ground. She finally collapsed on the damp earth, taking in large gulps of night air. Her throat was on fire, raw from running.
Her phone rang out loudly against the silence, jolting her back to her feet. She fidgeted with her arm band, and ripped apart the fabric, throwing it to the ground. She practically dropped it twice as she unsuccessfully opened it to answer the call. Her hands were trembling as she saw the missed call was from Jackson. Her heart sank. The phone cried out once more making her drop it. She crawled on hands and knees to steady herself. She answered it.
“Taylor?” He practically shouted. “Taylor, thank god. I am so sorry Taylor. Please don’t—”
“Jack,” she spat. Her voice was shaking, it sounded unrecognizable to her. “Don’t go to the cabin. I don’t know what was there, oh my god, Jack. God, I am so scared.” Her voice cracked as she stared to cry. Her heart was hammering against her chest, at any moment it could rip out of her body. She couldn’t think clearly. “I don’t know where I am Jack.”
There was a sharp intake of breath and then a moment of silence on the other line. “I… Everything is going to be alright. Nothing is going to hurt you, I promise. Where are you, can you describe where you are?”
“I am by a massive rock formation, I think I am partially up a cliff. I can see a lake maybe a half of a mile away.” She responded as she stood up on a large rock. She could feel herself calming down as she talked to him.
“I am really close to there, whatever you do don’t move—”
The ground below her shook. The phone slipped out of her hand, and landed hard on the rock. A long spiderweb crack was carved into the screen. A gasp escaped her throat, and she felt another rumble.
A large shadow casted over her, covering her in darkness. The massive figure, same as before, hovered over the trees. She could see no characteristics of the face, it was only cast in complete shadow. But the gaze seemed to home in on her.
She took off running again, but slipped off the rock bruising her hands and knees. She cried out in pain. She looked back to see that the giant had made its way ever closer, and it started to reach its hand out to grab her.
She screamed as she adjusted herself, and started running again. A familiar voice boomed out over her, “Taylor!”
She skidded to a halt, but not soon enough. The last thing she saw before she fell off the ledge was the gigantic face of her friend, Jackson.
I just posted this on my deviantart: http://melrosie.deviantart.com/
I will be posting chapters here and there like I did with my “The Little Things in Life” story. I want to actually do the updates more frequently though lol. I have a small idea of where this is going, which is to say I have no plan. But it’ll be fun. 🙂