Where to start with a story as grim as mine. How about the beginning of things? Yes, that seems appropriate. It was autumn and there was a cold wind that blew through every now and then, chilling you to the bone. The colony was very busy, with shop owners springing up, children attending school, and men working the soil. Everything was as it should be or perhaps just how we’d all like it to be. The most peculiar thing is that things went wrong so very quickly. It started with the first child to dissapear, he always seemed to be a nice boy, though maybe I just prefer to remember him that way. Death tends makes us remember our friends better than they were and our enemies not as bad as they seemed. But all in all he seemed a nice boy. He would always keep his shoes clean and he’d use good manners, in front of me anyway. His father and I were building an exceptionally nice table for his in-laws. He would make it a gift in an attempt to erase their fears of him not being able to provide for his family. It was still early in the morning when he told me of his sons dissapearance.
“He’s gone and I’m afraid he may have been taken by someone.” He told me in a somber tone out of character for a man as large as he. And he was, a very tall and muscular man.
I was caught off guard with this sad news.
“Are you telling me you haven’t told anyone this yet?”
“No, I haven’t there’s no sense in tellin’ everybody. Getting them all worked up. If someone took him I’ll just go take him back and kill whoever took him away.”
He said this a tone of violence, making me uncomfortable. Because as I told you I’ve never been a violent man, up until a little while ago.
I tried my best to explain to him that telling everyone he knew would be the best course of action and I still believe I was right. But unfortunately nothing I told him would convince him. He became so angered that he tossed the nice table we had been making across the room. I stood in shock as he stormed out of my shop. That was the last time I ever saw him.
Only a few hours after our little talk he was seen heading off into the woods nearby, never to be seen again. After the sun had set and he had not come back his wife was hysterically pleading with me and a few of his other close friends to go into the woods and look for him. I have no shame in now saying I was terrified of the idea of going into the woods, in the dark need I remind you, to look for someone who had recently destroyed a table I had worked many hours on.
The woman plead her case from one to the next each one turning her away either out of fear or simply out of laziness I do not know. But finally exhausted she fell to the ground whining with tears streaming down her face. She just sat there on her knees crying and crying. The noble part of my soul wanted to stand her up and dust her off and assure her that everything would be alright. But my fears prevented me from doing so and besides I felt I would be lying to say that everything would be alright. I now know it would most definitely have been a lie. I watched as she sat in the street and cried. But thankfully there was,
James Bradford strolling upto her. I was thankful James didn’t seem to be busy for he was a man of great valor. He had fought many battles in his life and had scars to prove it and so I was sure he would handle the situation. James Bradford strolled up to the woman on the ground, with a sack hanging in his hand. He set it down then he knealed beside her and spoke in a whisper to her. He helped her up and much to my dismay they headed towards my shop. I tried to leave the room out of fear of being asked to aid in the search. But before I could cross the threshold and out of ear shot James hollered out to me.
“Hey mister. Can you assist me in tending to this woman?”
I ducked back into the room acting as if I never meant to leave in the first place.
“Of course, of course set her down over here. ”
I lead James over to a chair I had just recently made and he set her down on it. She began to cry a bit less and her breathing became more regular. I then tried once more to leave the room avoiding any and all involvement but once again Mr. Bradford called me back into the room. So realizing the inescapable truth that I was going to have to sit and listen to her plight once more, I sat down and slumped in my chair. She began speak in a sobbing voice telling him everything that had occurred. After she finished James assured her everthing was going to be alright in the same way I had wanted to comfort her myself. I do not believe he was lying though as I would have been, He truly belived everything would be alright. But I must tell you how very wrong he was.
Within minutes of hearing the womans plight James Bradford was outside of the building calling to every man he saw.
“Come men and listen, for a great beast has descended upon our people.” He spoke as I had ever heard anyone speak and when he spoke men did listen because he was James Bradford and every man in the colonies knew of his exploits. Some even spread rumors of his conquest over monsters of every sort, I do not know the validity of such claims, but in light of recent events I no longer doubt the possibility.
“We must vanquish this evil from our land.”
Many men had gathered to listen. Some interjected with opinions such as ;
“Is it a Were-Wolf?!”
“Perhaps a Vampire.”
“No no! I’ve seen the witches come out of the woods before. It’s a Witch!”
The men began to argue amongst each other debating what kind of beast lie in the woods. But before they could make any more conclusions Bradford brought back their focus.
“Men, listen! We know not what foul beast of hell lurks in the cover of the woods. What we do know is that it must be destroyed! Are you with me ?”
The men cheered and shouted approval of the mission. How they could all be so brave was a great mystery to me.
“Gather weapons so that we may fight this beast.”
The men in the crowd began dispersing in different directions to obtain weaponry of all sorts. Bradford looking very proud of himself crossed his arms and now looked to me. I knew very quickly he would ask me to go into the woods to fight the best. So quickly gave reasons for my exemption from sucha mission.
“Well I would go with you sir. But the problem is my leg….”
“Yes sir. My leg is severily damaged and so I would most definitely be a drain on the whole operation, sir.” He must have known I was lying because he started laughing in a loud playful way. That slightly made me feel more comfortable until he began speaking again.
“Well, well we can’t have that nw can we? You most definitely should stay here my friend. I would never have asked you to go, I know you’re not one for fighting.”
On the outside I chuckled a bit and appeared light-hearted but on the inside I was boiling with anger. The idea that he had decided I was not one for fighting without even knowing me was most insulting and upsetting. But I think what was more upsetting was the feeling I had that he was probably right in his assumption. I was much releaved when he left my shop. I could hear the men rallying on the edge of the woods until the sound died down slowly as they moved further away. I decided a bit of carpentry work would calm my nerves so I began work on rying to repair the damage my friend had done to the table.
The hours passed and the table was coming along quite nicely until I heard the sound coming from the woods. The sound I heard was like nothing I had heard ever before and I dare say you have never heard such a terrible thing. I could hear the voices of the men screaming in terror and agony. I could hear guns firing. But I also heard a stranger voice that sounded like that of a ontherworldly beast and I thought to myself, “That can be no witch, I’m sure of it.” The teeth clenching sound did not stop either it just kept on going, it was so bad I was forced to clasp my ears. I look out the front door of my shop and saw the woman of the colony running about screaming and clasping their ears as well. The sound lasted for what felt like several life times but really couldn’t have been more than a few minutes.
When it stopped, those running around outside began to calm themselves. I removed my hands from my ears and they were in an extreme amount of pain. I held up my hands to look at them and they were covered in a thick layer of blood.
I screamed and fell back onto the ground. I don’t remember how long I sat on the ground panting and looking at my hands. Finally, I calmed down , a litttle. I rose and exited the shop wanting to see if everyones ears were bleeding or if I was just losing my sanity. As I walked outside in to the street Inoticed most of the women were helping each other clean their ears of the blood. I was slightly releaved knowing at least I hadn’t imagined it.
Another sound “graced” my ears, one which I do not care to remember any more than the last. But nevertheless I must go on. The sound of a man screaming and yelling could be heard coming form the direction of the woods. The women gathered around me as we watched a figure about a hundred yards off frantically running toward us. As he came close enough to see that he had a limp and was bleeding profusely some of the women shreiked. But one particularly tall woman recognized the man.
Hearing a name reassured me that it wasn’t a beast and so I ran out to meet him. As I approached him in the dark he screamed horrible screams and as I lead him by the arm back to the women he began crying.
“NO NO! Don’t take me back in there! It’s horrible! The teeth, so many teeth so much noise.”
Finally he fainted falling to the ground. The one tall women from beofre began cleaning his face with her dress. The other women allgave shouts and yells of “What happened? Where are the others?” But they were given no reply because the boy had already lost consciousness. I helped the tall woman carry him to his house I assumed she was his wife but I am not sure of it. Once we laid him down on his bed he began to thrash and squirm again. We held him down until his movement subsided.
“What?! Where am I? ” He asked.
“You’re in your home, you’re alright.” I answered.
“But what happened to the others?” The tall woman asked him.
“They… They. Oh no!” He began thrashing once more requiring us to restrain him once more. After he relaxed we again let him go. He spoke now in a much calmer tone.
“I only remember parts. There were twenty of us when went in. We didn’t know what killed the first two. We just were’nt watching them and then when we looked again they weren’t there. It was as if they were never really there at all . But as we kept going deeper in, deeper into the woods we found THEM!” The man thrashed uncontrolably.
“Found who?! Who is THEM?” I implored agressively.
He stopped thrashing and became very relaxed once again speaking calmly.
“The monsters were nothing like we thought. They were much more intelligent. But they would speak with us Bradford tried to reason with at first saying that if they returned the man and his child to us we wouldn’t kill them. They didn’t like that, not at all. They just went insane, they began screaming and clawing and biting us. Oh that noise! That terrible awful noise!”
The man then thrashed more violently than before until we couldnt control him any more. He fell out of the bed, all of his thrashing had increased his bleeding so badly that now it was spraying out of his wounds in spurts of dark red. He stopped moving. He was dead. We both stood quietly in the room staring at his limp body. At that point I knew in my heart htat something had to be done , these monsters could not , nay would not get away with such terrible murder. I left the building and headed for my shop. Once inside I glanced around the room for some sort of weapon. The only thing I saw were a wide variety of wooden furniture as well as some spare peices. So, I began shuffling through the wooden peices until I found a peice about four inches in diameter and about four feet long. I weighed it in my hand with purpose and headed for the woods clutching it in one hand and a lantern in the other.
As I neared the edge of the woods I could make out the distant sounds of terror, owls, wolves and God know what else. Though I had made up my mind that the monsters could not be left alone, I was still quite terrified of what they might look like or act like. I only had what the dead man had given me as clues to their appearance and so I dwelled on it as I made my way into the woods. Perhaps they would be slimy and scaly like that of a fish or hairy and big like a bear. But I knew from what the man had said that they would have teeth, so many teeth and they would make terrible noise. Now looking back on the situation I honestly do not know how I ever worked up the courage to trek off into the woods to face the beasts.
I saw a little pond filled with dark murky water and a little closer to me was a fallen tree. I crouched down behind the tree and looked about myself hoping to see the monsters before they were upon me. And then…..There it was. One of the beasts was standing at the edge of the pond staring back at me. I’m not sure whether it was deciding how it was going to eat me or if it hadn’t seen me yet. But it was motionless. It had form of body I had never seen before it had eyes the size of saucers, it had two arms coming out of the front of its chest and another four coming out of the normal place that a dog would have them. The head was covered in horns like that of a bull only many more horns. The beast sat completely still until it seemed to see something, it perked up and my guess is that it stood to be at least as tall as I. I am not a particularly tall man but I am average height.
I glanced around the woods stealthily to try and catch a glimpse of what the monster might have saw. When looked back to the pond to gaze upon the beast it was no longer there. I stood up quickly and began turning in circles holding my lantern and club high. Then out of seemingly nowhere the beast landed on me tearing clawing at my chest. I beat it over the head with my club all the while screaming profantities I’m not proud of. Then it opened its mouth and I new what the man had been speaking off when he had said “Teeth, so many teeth”. I was fighting for my life and for justice I felt it in my heart that if this foul monster was going to be the end of me I would be the end of it as well. I kept pound away on its head and it kept biting and scratching me and screaming, oh how it screamed. I closed my eyes and just kept pounding and pounding away until……. Everything stopped. When I opened my eyes I found myself here in this desert plane.
The beast was dead. I thought that perhaps I was too and that this new place was some sort of hell. But I now know the true nature of this realm. I do not know how I have learned the true nature but I wish had not. For this place is one of no return. I offer one bit of advice to you , stay out of the woods.