Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
I want to start by stating that this story starts out like most. My friend and I decided to spend our summer break in a cabin that his father owned on the outskirts of a large forest. We figured it’d be fun. There was a lake nearby that you could walk to and it was an all around different environment than the city. We figured we deserved some down time after finishing up our college exams. Some time fishing and swimming in the lake and some fresh air would do us some good.
Frankie and I have been friends since we were really young and although we grew apart personality-wise we’ve always stayed in touch. Frankie is your classic outgoing likable guy. He has tons of friends and everyone likes him. He is confident, charismatic, charming….. everything I’m not. In fact, we have almost complete opposite personalities. I’m shy and I don’t have that many friends. I’m willing to admit that I’m a bit odd. I don’t like sports like most other guys. I like art. That in itself isn’t what makes me odd it’s more the subject matter of my pieces that makes people feel uncomfortable around me. And no, no I don’t draw pornography. I draw and design monsters, anything from zombies to aliens. Now a lot of people like my art but that’s because they don’t know me on a personal level. Most of my friends and family dislike my subject matter. They think it has a negative influence on my mind, that it’s unnatural for someone to think about these things so often. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sort of monster hunting freak or cultist; I just like monsters. I like the feeling of false fear like a lot of other people. Of course it’s fun to feel chills up your spine……. when it’s fake. I once asked Frankie why he still wanted to be my friend and he simply said: “You’re interesting, unlike most people”. That’s what I’ve always admired about him. He’s very accepting of all people, even me. He isn’t like everyone else who tries to change me. I’m his friend, flaws and all.
When we first arrived at the cabin it was like something out of a dream. It was huge, had lots of windows, wood furnishings; the works. We didn’t waste any time either. We immediately set our things down and made our way down to the lake. The sun was still high enough up in the sky to where we thought we could make it back before dark. I of course brought my sketch book hoping to get some inspiration while I was down there and Frankie just brought his fishing pole with a small bag of bait. It wasn’t very hard to find our way down and it took us about thirty minutes altogether to get from the cabin to the lake. We sat there for a good while talking about random things like music and girls(Frankie did most of the talking, no surprise there). After a few hours we both were silent just enjoying the sounds of the lake and birds, the wind too. I sat and drew the Creature from the Black Lagoon while he fished. After a couple hours the sun began to go down. So we packed up our things and started to head back to the cabin. About five minutes into the walk back I realized I had forgotten a packet of professional grade art pens back at the dock so I told Frankie to keep going and that I’d catch up with him later. Frankie seemed somewhat reluctant since it was beginning to get dark and it was my first time out at the cabin. He made a joke about having to call the forest rangers if I got lost. We both laughed and then parted ways. It didn’t take me long to get to the dock but once there I noticed something peculiar. I slowly inched toward the dock looking closely at the ground. There were sets of muddy wet footprints going from the end of the dock to the forest area beyond. It looked almost as though someone or rather something crawled out from the water onto the dock then into the woods where Frankie and I had gone. I stood there for what felt like eternity then grabbed my pens and quickly began walking back. I said before that I liked the feeling chills down my spine when I knew it was fake. This was not how I felt in that instant. I was more then a little scared. The only thing I could do was convince myself that there was a logical explanation, one that didn’t include lake monsters or murders lurking in the forest. I clutched my pens tightly and looked around carefully making sure I was alone as I quickly followed the path back. It was then that I began to hear movements all around the pathway, leaves and bushes rustling, twigs breaking…….. footsteps, the dripping of water.
I ran. I ran all the way back to the cabin and I shut and locked the door behind me then began pulling down all the blinds. I fidgeted uncomfortably looking around at all the windows and doors waiting for something to happen. I jumped when I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I relaxed a little when I realized it was Frankie. He had a look mixed with confusion and concern. At first I didn’t speak at all, I could hardly catch my breath. But I explained what happened and Frankie gave a disbelieving smile, “You’ve been watching too many monster movies, it’s probably just otters or raccoons. They have been known to clean their hands in lakes and streams, that’s probably what you saw and heard,” he said nonchalantly. I felt both relieved and stupid. I figured that I was just overreacting, falling victim to an overactive imagination, one that just so happens to like monsters. So I forgot about it. We ate dinner, watched some tv then went to bed.
That night I had a dream, or at least I hope it was a dream. In this dream there was a creature standing at the end of my bed staring at me. I think it was looking at me anyways; I couldn’t seem to find its eyes. There were two hollowed out sockets where the eyes probably would have gone. It was covered head to toe in hair-like, algae-like substance. Its entire neck was hidden in the substance as it draped over its huge broad shoulders. It leaned over placing a boney, sopping wet hand on the end of my bed, the tips stained a dirty black. Its fingernails were chipped and overgrown, scratching against the bedpost as it made it’s way to the corner of the mattress. The floor made a sloshing sound with each step as it slowly made it’s way closer to me. I wanted to scream, run, or hide but I was frozen in place. I didn’t make so much as a peep as it leaned it’s massive body over my face. Water dripped from its body onto my face and arms accompanied by a few tiny black water beetles that squirmed when they landed on the bed. It opened its mouth, which had no lips just a set of teeth that were uneven, yellowed and stained black. I watched as water drip from its jaw followed by one of its black stained teeth landing right in the middle of my chest. It leaned its face inches from mine and it was then I noticed the unbearable stench of tobacco. It made me feel sick to my stomach. Everything went silent, the only sounds were that of it’s labored breathing and my own heartbeat. My eyes widened and I felt cold, scared. I could hardly contain my fear any longer. The room started spinning and my vision grew cloudy and dim. My own breathing became shaky and uneven. Within seconds my eyes rolled back into my head and I was unconscious yet again. But I could have sworn that in those last fleeting moments I heard the words “You’re mine, boy” slip coarsely from its throat like a puff of smoke.
I woke up in a cold sweat that morning. I stumbled out of bed and sat against the wall trying to calm myself down. It was just a really bad dream, just a dream, just a dream. It had to be a dream, a result of too many monster movies, right? Once I had calmed down a little I went to the bathroom and took a shower before going to the kitchen to get some breakfast. Frankie was already downstairs making himself some eggs and bacon from what I could smell, and honestly eggs and bacon sounded pretty good right about then. The sun was a comforting sight as I reached the kitchen table. When Frankie noticed me he gave me a quick smirk before asking, “See anything spooky this morning?” I frowned slightly. I knew he was joking but the memory of what happened that night was too fresh in my mind to ignore completely. I shrugged and managed to pull a quick smile before picking up my drawing pad to help distract me. Frankie gave a dissatisfied expression as if he were hoping that joke would be funnier then went back to his eggs and bacon, “You want some?” he asked. I answered eagerly to try and lighten the mood, “YES, finally! I thought you’d never ask! I was about to starve to death over here!” We both laughed and began poking fun at one another back and forth. It was almost as if things had gone back to normal. In my absentmindedness I had drawn something I hoped I would never have to see again. I didn’t notice until I was almost completely finished with the sketch. Those two empty sockets that haunted my dreams. I immediately shut the book and put it aside uncomfortably. How in the world could I draw that without even realizing it? Art isn’t a thoughtless process; you have to know what you are drawing in order to actually draw it properly. So… why did I want to draw it? My eyes drifted slightly over to my hand noticing something even more alarming. The tips of my fingers held a yellowish tinge accompanied by small black stains in between my index and middle finger. At first I thought it was just ink but none of my pens were leaking at all. How in the world did my fingers get like that? Thankfully Frankie had finished the eggs and bacon before my thoughts could develop any further.
Once we finished eating Frankie suggested that we go to the lake and do some more fishing and maybe even go swimming. I was reluctant but I wanted to do anything in my power to forget my fears so I eventually agreed. I put on my bathing suit and tried the wash the black stains off my fingers in vain. It wouldn’t come off. I don’t know how but I managed to convince myself it was just ink and that I had probably overlooked a pen. I mean it made enough sense, right? I grabbed my sketchpad out of habit, which was sitting open to a blank page on the kitchen table. I shrugged; figured Frankie had probably looked at it while I was getting dressed. I honestly wasn’t planning on doing any swimming but it’d be easier to refuse Frankie’s encouragements at the lake than at the cabin. We both headed down to the lake once we had gathered our things. Frankie seemed at ease in the outdoors but I kept an eye out for anything peculiar. I couldn’t ignore the nagging feeling that something was wrong.
Everything seemed normal once we got to the dock. The sun was out, the sky was bright blue, the lake looked inviting. Perhaps it was all in my imagination. Frankie was ecstatic when he saw the lake. He hurriedly placed his gear down, took off his shirt and jumped in. He swam around with a huge grin on his face looking up at me from the water, “Come on in! The water feels great, just the right temperature! I’ll race you to the middle and back!” he motioned for me to join him but I hesitated. I was still uneasy despite how normal everything seemed. “Maybe in a little bit, I have some ideas I want to draw out first,” I lied. Frankie tried a few more times to convince me but ended up swimming alone out where it was deeper. I sat down and opened my drawing pad, flipping the pages to find the last unused page. Once I got to the page I froze. There was a picture already there……. that hadn’t been there before. I didn’t draw it. I know Frankie didn’t draw it. There was no way he could; I was holding my drawing pad the entire way to the lake. I stared at it feeling a chill run down my spine. It was a picture of a boy sitting on the dock looking at a large book much like mine but there was a giant dark figure behind him. I noticed a large shadow begin to slowly cover my book and me. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I couldn’t hear the singing of the birds anymore but I could hear Frankie yelling my name. He was swinging his hands in the air and yelling about something. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying but I think I already knew. Water dripped onto my drawing pad and my shirt. The smell of tobacco filled the air. My eyes were beginning to water in fear as I slowly gazed up to see those empty sockets staring straight back at me.
My eyes widened in fear. I tried to run but it grabbed my leg and yanked me down. I grabbed at the edge of the dock but it pulled me with such force that I couldn’t help but let go. It began to drag me into the forest. I screamed, commanded it let me go but it didn’t even look back at me. I could hear what seemed to be slurred mumbling coming from its mouth. It yanked me along forcefully as I grabbed at anything I could. I scrapped at the ground till my hands and arms were covered in dirt, cuts, and bruises but it made no difference. I continued screaming hoping someone would hear me but no such luck. Suddenly a small shack came into view. It looked as if it had been abandoned for decades. I was surprised it was even still standing; it looked as if it could fall apart at any moment. It stopped at an old storm cellar, which it opened with its free hand. It dropped my leg and I immediately tried to run but within seconds it grabbed my shoulder and threw me down into the cellar. I fell down the stairs and hit my head hard on the floor. I sat there staring at the ceiling as the world spun. I heard the creature laugh with a scratchy, breathy voice as it slammed the doors shut. I was out cold within minutes.
I don’t know how long I was out but by the time I woke up it was dark. My head was throbbing and I could feel a warm substance trickle down the side of my face into my hair. I tried to sit up but that made me feel even worse. Everything kept moving and I couldn’t keep my balance. My wrist hurt badly, probably landed on it wrong when I was thrown in here. The room was filled with lit candles so I could see but not very well. I jumped slightly when I heard glass break from the floor above me. I could hear yelling and more glass breaking. My head was beginning to feel better so I sat up and turned my head up towards the ceiling. There was more than one voice, three to be exact. One was hoarse and angry, the other two sounded slightly younger, a man and a woman. Suddenly I began to hear screaming. I noticed a discoloration in a small section of the floorboards above me. I felt a drop of warm liquid fall on my cheek. I went to wipe it away and looked at my hand to see what it was. I was horrified to see the red liquid smeared across my hand and I quickly crawled out of the way of further drops. I needed to get out of the cellar now! I was about to turn around when I noticed someone sitting at a table next to the sidewall. He looked pained, leaning his head against the tips of his fingers. He looked over at me with an expression filled with years of unhappiness. In the middle of the young man’s shirt was a large bullet wound surrounded by a damp bloodstain. There were speckles of blood on his face and shoulder. His hair and eyes were as black as coal and his skin as white as paper. He looked very similar to me except, he wore clothing that looked as if they were from the 1900s. He had on a white button up shirt with brown long pants accompanied with thin suspenders and black dress shoes. “He put me here after he shot me, his own son. That was before he decided to dump my body in the lake,” he fiddled with his hands for a moment before speaking again, “He was always so disappointed in me, he blamed his smoking and drinking on me, like I was the reason. But I think he was just lonely, afraid I’d leave him behind like my mother did. She died when I was young and he was never the same again.” He looked up at the ceiling with a glare so cold it could freeze a person’s soul, “I guess maybe he thought he’d make me stay. After all you can’t leave if you’re dead, now can you? But I would have loved to see the look on his face when he fell in too and was too drunk to save himself.”
His expression became somber again filled with it’s own loneliness and regret, “I was about to get married to the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Her smile could melt the very surface of Neptune it was so warm. She was my sun, the light of my life…. and he killed her too.” Suddenly there were large footsteps coming from the upper floor. He looked at me seriously, “You shouldn’t be here. You need to get out of here while you still can! He’ll kill you just like he did my fiancé and me. You need to wake up now!” He said. His voice was fading and so was everything else. Everything was dark and my head began to throb. I could hear a familiar voice in the distance. It became louder and louder until I opened my eyes once more, “Nick! Nick! Wake up! Oh my god!” My head was throbbing and I tried to make sense of what was around me. There was light streaming in from the open cellar doors. From what I could tell it was evening from the orange pale color of the light brightening the room. Frankie was crouched next to me shaking my shoulders. He looked around frantically and tried to get me to sit up. “We need to go now! Can you walk?” he asked me. I nodded tiredly. There was no way I was staying in there any longer than I had to regardless of my throbbing head. Once he had gotten me to my feet I stumbled slightly but was able to keep my balance. Suddenly we heard loud footsteps coming from upstairs. Immediately Frankie began pulling me to the top of the cellar stairs and out into the forest. Once there I guess adrenaline began to kick in because I felt well enough to walk and run on my own. We both began to run. I looked back to catch a glimpse of the young man I had seen in my dreams standing in front of the house watching us leave. We ran for our lives but with my injury I found it hard to keep up with Frankie who disappeared in the foliage in front of me. Once I arrived at the cabin Frankie was nowhere to be found. I called out his name but got no response. I stumbled around the side of the cabin where the garage was only to find that it was empty. No car. I felt my heart drop. I could suddenly hear the sloshy footsteps inching closer from the forest beyond, coming from the direction of the old shack. I backed up desperately as I saw the grim figure edge out of the forest towards me. Its head twitched slightly as it tried to form a sick twisted smile, “F-O-U-N-D Y-O-U,” it wheezed heavily.
Out of nowhere I hear a car horn approaching from the driveway. Frankie pulled up the car with a screech and shouted out the window, “GET IN!” I jumped in and we sped away, away from that creepy shack, away from the ghosts, and we kept driving all the way until we reached the city where we visited a hospital and a police station. We of course did not mention anything about eyeless creatures and ghosts. We told them there was a crazy man that stalked us and attacked us who lived in the shack nearby. They visited the area, didn’t find any man or creature but due to the age of the shack they deemed it unsafe for the public and had it torn down. They also did a search of the cabin for any clues and found a peculiar item in my room. Hidden in the covers of my bed they found a small black stained tooth, which they kept as the one and only evidence they ever found that anything had ever been to or around our cabin. During the investigation Frankie and I did go back to gather our belongings. We were both uneasy at first but figured it’d be all right with a group of armed police there with us. Nothing out of the ordinary happened while we were there; I’m hoping that the destruction of the shack made creature, spirit, whatever it was move on as well as the people he killed. It took me ages to gain the nerve to open my drawing pad again. To my surprise all pictures of the creature were gone along with the black and yellow stains that had been on my fingers. It took a while for me to get back into drawing but hey at least I’ll have good material to work with now.
Credit To – Gelid