Today’s challenge comes from LJ- ‘I’m a horror guy, go for a short (paragraph long) horror story. Make it as creepy as you can with the limited amount.’
I’ve never tried writing horror, and I will admit that personally I can take or leave it as a genre, but since this challenge is about pushing myself and my style- I thought I’d give it a go! (It’s a longish paragraph…oops!)
If you’d like to add to my writing to-do list, I’m doing another 20 days worth of challenges. Head over to this post and see what it’s all about. Drop me a comment with a suggestion and I will do whatever you ask!
Her footsteps crunching through crisp autumn leaves beat in time to the thud of her heart and the rasp of her breath. The rhythm grew pace as she corned the outer rim of the dusk soaked forest. She had left leaving too late, and now panic was in for the night. Her senses wildly working overtime, knowing that she needed to find him before the others got there first. She tried to listen to see if he was calling out her name. But she heard nothing but silence and the throb of her pulse in her throat. Looking in every direction astonished that her that her eyes could adapt to the light but still fail to see any hint of a clue. She was lost. Maybe they both were lost.
The nights were getting longer and the temperature would soon drop. But the bitter chill would not be the worst that the night was going to bring. Why had he come to this godforsaken forest anyway? Morbid curiosity should be limited to reading about it in the new she had told him.
There had been four sightings so far. Four outlines of sketched out facts shaded with fear. Nothing concrete. Hunches about glances and sounds in the night. Whispers that something was killing the forest. The withering branches lay limp on the ground. She had seen that with her own eyes. But having something to sell to the papers never did seem like a good plan to her. But now was not the time for I told you so. If this was why he brought her here, it was not a good enough reason.
It had been an hour since she turned her back on him. An hour since the split second he had vanished. She had called out his name. Cried to the night. Phoned him. Far from anywhere; neither of them had a signal. Her phone would soon be dead anyway. She wouldn’t even be able to get a photo of these things if she did even see them.
Why can’t things be left to mystery. Surely this should be someone else’s problem. This was not the time or the place for fame hunting, or trophy stealing. She screamed his name at the shadows again. This time, the echoes did not even reply. Then. Suddenly a crack. A hundred years of growth fell in a split second as the shadows that brought it down moved in the darkness. She ducked behind a tree. Her artery slammed agitation against her neck, choking her with every thrust. Against her wishes the adrenaline jolted her to feet. Soon she was running faster than she had ever run. Branches whistled as they hit her face and sped off her as she pounded forward. She didn’t look back. She didn’t see them come for her. Her feet hitting the ground with automatic vigour over uneven, untrodden terrain.
Then.Suddenly she was face down on the ground with the weight of the forest bearing down on her. This was it. They had her. Their long arms pulled at her limbs as they dragged her back to her knees.
She could not see them but she could sense them. They were tall. Too tall for her to comprehend. Maybe she was just small. Petrified and weak at their feet. She did not dare look up. Then.Suddenly, just as she raised her face to look at them.