“What’s that sound?”
Matthew looked around, and then looked at his friend, Violet. They’d both abruptly stopped walking, and were now standing completely still in the middle of the trail. Matthew was leaning forward slightly, straining to listen.
“It sounds like singing,” he whispered, “Who would be out singing in the middle of the forest at night?”
“Who would be walking in the forest in the middle of the night,” Violet mumbled in response. He rolled his eyes at her.
“C’mon Violet, let’s go see what it is, someone could be lost out here.” He tugged on the girl’s sleeve. She recoiled, shaking her head.
“No, Matthew! Absolutely not!” She protested. “You’re crazy! What about this makes you think someone’s lost out here? We shouldn’t even be out here! It’s late, it’s cold outside, and none of this is a good idea!”
“You’re the one who agreed to it,” he shot back, crossing his arms stubbornly, “And if you won’t come with me, fine! I’ll go by myself. Some friend you are.”
Matthew began to storm off in the direction of where the singing had been coming from. The girl stayed behind, mumbling bitterly to herself.
“You do that then, see if I care. You’re out of your mind-”
When she looked up again, Matthew was completely gone. It had only been maybe a minute or so since he’d marched off, she should still be able to see him at least. As she looked around, however, there wasn’t a single trace of him. There wasn’t even the sound of him walking anywhere in the distance, or any sounds at all. The trail was suddenly eerily quiet. Violet felt chills rise all over her body as she looked around the immediate area. She stood frozen, listening.
A sweet, gentle hum filled the air again, along with the very faint sound of a music box somewhere very far away. The tune was comforting, but Violet’s stomach continued to churn and she started to tremble. Still, she didn’t say a word, and didn’t move a muscle. She fixed her gaze on the path in front of her, watching and waiting. And that’s when she saw it.
It was a girl with short, layered blonde hair. She was wearing a silvery white and crimson colored Victorian dress, a glittering crown to match sitting high on her head. As she got closer, Violet could see that she had blood splattered on her face, hands and clothing. Her face was pale and gaunt, with dead looking, glassy gray eyes surrounded by deep shadows, her lips dark and a little swollen looking. She was the one doing the humming, her voice high and sweet, contradictory to her alarming appearance. Violet wanted to turn and start running, but she found herself unable to. The world around the two girls seemed to be warping and getting duller as the humming got louder and louder. Violet became unable to take her eyes off the strange girl. Slowly, Violet’s panic completely drained from her body, and she felt herself relaxing.
“Ah, he mentioned that he brought a friend,” said the girl softly, smiling a little. “I was not expecting this, however.”
“Where’s Matthew?” Violet managed, the sound of her voice thick and awkward. She felt kind of numb all over, and it felt like she was getting increasingly more tired and weak.
“Resting,” the girl replied, “He’ll be fine.”
“Wh-what do you mean he’ll be fine? Is he hurt?” Violet felt a pang of anxiety go off in her chest.
“He’ll be fine,” she said again. “No need to worry.”
The girl turned her back to Violet and motioned for her to follow. Involuntarily, Violet moved forward to be next to this girl, and they started up the path. The humming continued to grow in Violet’s ears, the trees around them seeming to sway unnaturally. It almost looked like everything was stretched upward, as if it was being pulled towards the sky. Everything felt like it was dragging by, and it made Violet feel like she was dreaming almost.
“What’s your name?” The girl asked.
“Violet,” she replied, “What’s yours?”
“My name is Annalise Spirell.” Annalise smiled. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Where is Matthew?” Violet asked again, forcing herself to focus. “What have you done with him?”
Annalise didn’t answer the question. The path before them seemed to get longer and longer, and time seemed to be moving slower and slower with every step Violet took. Her limbs felt heavy, as if they were made out of lead. She felt as if she might just collapse, starting to sway on her feet and stumble. Annalise looped a bloodstained arm through hers, steading her.
“We’re almost there, it’s off this trial a little ways.”
Annalise led Violet carefully off the trail, where the forest got thicker, and the trees closer together. Annalise’s humming was so loud now that Violet felt as if her brain was expanding against her skull. Her vision was starting to blur and colors were dancing in front of her eyes. Her heart was pounding so hard that she thought it was going to explode at any moment.
“Here we are,” Annalise said finally. Violet stopped dead in her tracks.
There was blood everywhere, dripping from lower tree branches and filling footprints in the soft ground. In the center of the little area was an ax, lodged in a tree stump. What surrounded it, however, was what had Violet frozen in absolute terror.
She couldn’t tell how many of them there were, but there were bodies surrounding the stump. Some were recent and still profusely bleeding, while others showed various stages of decay. Every single one was missing its head. Violet didn’t dare look up to confirm what was really making blood drip from the tree branches.
“You wanted to know what happened. I thought it best to show you,” Annalise said simply.
Violet could take no more of what she was seeing and finally collapsed, face down on the dirt, letting swirling, inky darkness consume her.
*The following is a broadcasting excerpt, put out a week after Violet and Matthew were reported missing*
“On Monday evening, on October 3rd, two teenagers went missing in the woods near Whitewater, Violet Tyler and her friend Matthew Collins. We’ve just been informed that both were found. Unfortunately, Matthew Collins has passed away from serious injury. Violet Tyler was found near him, and was hospitalized, found to be in a coma. Doctors have concluded that she suffered a very sudden heart attack, and she is not expected to survive. These two are part of the many that have disappeared over the years during the month of October in various places across the world under the same mysterious circumstances. May God be with you all.”
Annalise Elizabeth Spirell was born on October 21st, 1820. She was the only daughter of Richard and Adeline Spirell. Annalise was a beautiful, loved child from the very moment she was born. As she grew up, she expressed interest in music, so she enrolled in singing lessons and played piano. Her childhood was sheltered, but happy. Annalise didn’t have many friends, but when she was sixteen she made friends with Alexander and Veronica Warren, both of whom she loved very much. The three of them were very close, and the depth of Annalise’s love for them cannot be described in words.
On the night of October 21st, 1837, Annalise’s seventeenth birthday, she and Alexander went for a walk in the woods right outside the Spirell’s home. After both had been gone for over four hours, Adeline went looking for her daughter and found her brutally murdered in the woods outside the home. She’d been decapitated. Alexander was nowhere to be found, and immediately assumed to be the killer.
Annalise’s angry spirit awakened days later and managed to somehow reattach her head. It took her six months to gain strength, but once she did, she started luring people into the forest to experience the same thing she did. Now, as she is strongest in the month of her death, she travels various forests and continues to try and satisfy her angry soul.
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