Oh, the town of Silver Crossing…Oh?… You’ve never heard of us?… I’m not surprised. You see, our little town can’t be found on Google maps. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it doesn’t exist… The people from there don’t exist… Or at least they don’t now. It used to be a self-sufficient little community that survived off the land and gave great hospitality to outsiders. Stuck in our ways and traditionally stubborn, with family at the heart of our core beliefs. We were not uneducated or living in tribes. We lived and thrived just like any other small town. We looked like your average small town. With small mom-and-pop diners, a movie theater, local stores, barbershops, drug stores, inns, and more. Now it’s just a shell of its former self. A tattered and scarred waste of space in a vast open wilderness.
How did we end up like this? It all started when little Thomas Anderson went missing…
News of Tommy’s disappearance spread like wildfire and the entire town banded together to try and help in some way. I happened to be friends with his dad, Michael, so the news hit me pretty hard as well. I spent the next week along with the search parties looking for Tommy in those dense foggy woods. Nothing. Absolutely nothing…
After the second week, people were starting to lose hope. After the third week, everybody, except me and his parents, had sadly given up. Halfway into week three, I tried to convince Michael and Sandra, the mother, that Tommy was gone. Sandra went into a deep depression and had given up. Michael however, looked day and night for Tommy.
One night, Michael didn’t come back. Sandra was so depressed that she didn’t even notice and I chalked it up to him camping out in the woods. He would come back…but he didn’t. When Sandra finally noticed, it had been another full day and even I knew something had to be wrong. He never had stayed out this long. Not even for a camping trip. That and Sandra said he didn’t pack any camping gear so he couldn’t have planned on camping out there.
Yet again, the town went on another search, this time just a little shorter, and they finally called it at almost three weeks. He had probably been killed by a bear or a wolf and eaten. Tommy as well…or at least that’s what the townsfolk chalked it up to.
Two weeks later and I go to visit Sandra and see how she’s doing and I notice she seems…different. She’s talking to herself out on her back porch and just staring into the woods. Blank. Emotionless. I ask what she’s doing and she tells me that she has good news. She said she had heard Tommy’s voice call out to her from the woods last night. She heard him coming closer and closer, but when she tried to get near the sound, the sheriff’s car had pulled up into her driveway and spooked Tommy away.
“I cursed him for all he’s worth for making me lose my boy a second time,” she said rocking back and forth on her porch while recounting the story to me, “I don’t care if he was coming to check on me or not. He spooked Tommy away. Maybe Tommy thinks he’s in trouble now and too scared to return. All that matters is that I know he’s out there and that he wants to come home. I’ll keep searching, but he’ll come back to me…I just know it.”
I left her house shortly afterward and spoke to the sheriff. He told me that he tried to visit Sandra, but when he pulled into the driveway, she came from behind the house screeching and yelling at him, calling him names, and telling him to leave.
“I did come to visit her but that wasn’t my only reason for heading to her house last night. I came to let her know that a couple of people around town had separate but similar reports of a boy that sounded like Tommy screaming in the woods but those who had heard would not investigate themselves and had only reported it to me. I’d come to let her know that I had sent some officers out to investigate but that I wanted to inform her of the situation.” He said as he paused and sighed, “Crazy woman wouldn’t even let me get a word out before she chased me off. I tried to calm her down but she only got worse. I could have brought her in but I had no real reason to and she had every right to tell me to leave. I did come unannounced and at a bad time…but I’ve never known her to be that erratic.”
Later that night, Sandra must have followed the voice, because she went missing too.
That was the last straw for the town. Something had to be done. Instead of another search, the sheriff put out a curfew and some strict rules on traveling and hunting or anything outdoorsy. That didn’t stop the people who felt they could follow their own rules. Especially kids and younger adults. Eventually, one after another, more and more people went missing. All of the strange reports around the town of the woods had similar details. The most common of these was that those who heard the voices reported that the voices they heard belonged to the ones who went missing and that the voices always were cries of distress or that person calling out for another person. They never sounded normal. Like they were the last screams that person had ever made.
I had abandoned my own house near the woods and sought refuge in the center of town where my other friend Kenneth lives. Kenneth and I had stocked up on food and supplies to last us for…however long we needed to really. We had no clue what was happening to the town, as did none of the surviving people. Not even people trying to travel away from the town could survive. Sarah Miller had come back up one of the roads one day all bloodied and disheveled. She and her boyfriend Josh had tried to escape the town but were ambushed by whatever was in the woods. She had somehow escaped but Josh had been killed. When she was questioned about the thing in the woods, all she could say before she died of exhaustion was… “It’s… h… hungry”
It had been two and a half months since the disappearance of little Tommy Anderson, and now the only people left in this god-forsaken town were me, Kenneth, Paul the sheriff, and two of his officers, Mark and Emily. We all gathered in the same building and boarded the windows as well as barricading the entrances. Paul thought he had seen it prowling near the building one night and decided that he and his officers were gonna sneak up on it through the fog and blast it to pieces with whatever guns and ammo they had left. Hesitantly, Kenneth and I decided we were done hiding too and wanted to take our town back.
Worst mistake we could have made….
By the time we had made it out of the building and toward where we thought it was, it had disappeared. Emily was the first to go. When she spotted it coming out of the fog at her, she screamed and was immediately quelled by the beast. None of us had gotten a clear sighting of what this beast still was yet. Only that it was large and moved unnaturally quick. Kenneth and I weren’t stupid. As soon as it took Paul and Mark, we took the chance to bolt. We got as far as the edge of town before Kenneth was taken.
The last thing I remember was his shrill voice saying “RUN STEPHEN! RUN!” as he was pulled into the thick fog. And run I did. I ran as fast as I could into the forest. I found the nearest tree I could climb and climbed as high as I could, trying to vanish in the thick pine needles.
It must have worked because when the beast came looking, it couldn’t find me. It must have a terrible sense of smell because it didn’t detect my scent. I spent the remainder of the night listening to the sound of snapping branches and crunching leaves under its feet as it skulked about, all the while producing a wide variety of voices from the helpless victims it had consumed. Some voices overlapped like this thing had more than one mouth.
It must not like sunlight because the moment the sun greeted the misty fog swimming through the dense trees, the beast fled and the forest became quiet. It took me nearly an hour to gather the courage to leave the comfort of my tree, but I did.
I quickly and quietly made my way to the nearest river where I happened to stumble upon a person who was doing a bit of recreational fishing in his boat. He took me in and sailed as quick as he could back to his town some miles away. Thankfully his town was far enough away that I felt safer…for now
I am writing this so that if the same thing happens to this town, that maybe I can leave some evidence behind for the next traveler or passerby.
And to whoever reads this, please heed my warning. Go back to whatever place you came from and travel by day only. If the fog rolls in and you start to hear voices coming from the forest, It may be too late. Those aren’t cries of help coming from people in need. Even the children. I know it sounds terrible but don’t be the hero. Those are the cries of a predator…A charade… A charade of shrill distress prowling the forest…The beast of Silver Crossing.
Credit : KorbinVazzana25
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