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The Music in the Woods

the music in the woods


Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

Thursday, 26th March 2020

There is an old monastery not far from my home in a quiet part of the country. It sits among a ten acre forest where it looms ominously over the local flora. I am writing this because of what I saw there tonight. The pale mannequin roaming in the forest. I should be excused in my panicked state, but I find this the best definition of what I saw. It was around 8 o’clock when I began my usual walk out in the forest of the monastery. There is a nature walk there which I have walked routinely for the last 3 years. It is November now, and it has grown colder and darker in the last few weeks. It had never occurred to me to change the time of my run, but that is besides the point. The walk follows a track around in a circle, passes the Stations of the Cross in the first part, passes through the thickest of the forestation in the middle, then the path winds around to the higher ground which runs parallel to the initial walk and leads back out to face the rear of the monastery. I passed through the Stations solemnly, being respectful of the etched stones but feeling all the while frightened of their countenance. The face of Christ being etched so inhumanly, looking as though it were frozen in a tremendous terror. Having finally passed through the Crucifixion, I braced myself for the darkness of the thick woods ahead. The smell of damp foliage was thick in my nostrils as soon as I entered the pitch black woods. A few minutes into this, I distinctly heard what could be described as a high-pitched moan.

I stood for a moment, allowing my heart time to still. Upon closer inspection, the moaning turned to a low sob. It sounded like a woman’s sobs, but with an eerie, false intonation, like a man imitating a woman’s sobs. The sobbing grew louder until, all of a sudden, a quick patter of footsteps started up. It had the beat of footsteps, but with the high-pitch clacking of heels … or hooves. It was coming further down the path, towards me. It took every morsel of courage in me to duck into a dip to my left, off the path. I knelt there, huddled in the undergrowth for what felt like hours, when finally, the running ceased, and a figure stood on the path mere feet from me. What little I could make out from the pale moonlight caused my stomach to clench and freeze, and my eyes to stare unblinkingly. It was a long narrow figure of a person. A mask of the most feminine qualities, milk-pale, bone china skin, gaudy blue eyeliner over pitch black eye hollows and a petite set of pursed lips, painted as on some paramore in a fresco. What terrified me most was the figure’s ridiculous height, standing at what was easily seven feet tall, with limbs of such inordinate length as to make even the branches of the woods seem comparatively small. The figure wore a cloak which masked every inch of its limbs and hung loose about these tiny feminine hands. It danced about the path unpredictably with jerked, painful looking motions. When it spoke, its childlike voice spooked me so I couldn’t breathe. “He doesn’t mean it, He never did. Of course it hurt him, it’s much too big”. The creepy guttural voice destroyed me, I was frozen in terror. Then it looked me straight in the eyes and said; “Don’t you hear the wonderful sounds?”

I was frozen in disbelief, All this time it was aware of my presence. “I..I…I”. I choked before it screamed in a gruff male voice “STOP! What you will see in me tonight will open your eyes to yourself.”. I ran. I ran as fast as I possibly could. The trees around me thickened and the darkness was closing in, trying to swallow me for the figure. I made it out of the heavy forest, sparing a single moment to glance back. The figure was following with frantic speed, it’s arms flailing in all directions. I ran for the monastery and slammed into the heavy wooden door. With all of my adrenaline induced strength, I pushed up the old metal latch, ran inside and slammed the door behind me.

The smell of incense and burning wax was pleasant as I walked to meet the aisles entry way. The church was alight with the yellow flames of more than a hundred tea lights. Looking forward to the altar, I saw the most heinous of sights, there lay a body, drawn across the altar, legs spread wide. It was clearly a young male. There were rivulets of fresh blood running down each thigh. The blood spilled down the steps from the altar and pooled in the aisles around the pews. I ran to the altar, the door to the vestry was at the back wall so I felt it right to run this way. Upon exiting the blind spot where the perpendicular aisle intersected and led to seats on the left and right, it was to the left that I saw it. A figure hunched over, eating something, it’s breathing inhumane, its broad shoulders huge against the candlelight. Then it stopped, and slowly turned its head. It was clearly a man, but with a face so horribly disfigured. His body was covered in blood and the hot metallic smell made me gag. I broke free from my trance and ran for the door finding it locked. Before I knew it, he was upon me. I ran back the way I had come. It was at this godforsaken moment that I suddenly slipped on the setting blood and cracked my head off the marble floor. Then all was black.

Upon coming to, I was greeted with both abominations standing at the altar before me. “Alas, he is awake” said the figure from the woods. There was another mannequin mask placed over the dead boy’s face. His arms had been strung up over his head to the rafters. Each mannequin stood at either side of the altar while the disfigured man sat on the altar. The candle light had halved now and the pew to which I was affixed had been placed in the centre of the aisle. “I am sure you have questions for us, and I am sure you want answers. I am afraid you can never truly know what we are. We come here every night to do our business and return to our lives. We understand that life is simply a set of dichotomies. Just as we are raised to identify right and wrong, good and evil, We live our lives in accordance with this deep nature. However, though these categories are binary, what they correspond to in life exist in super positions, forever changing but traceable. I am sure you have seen this yourself. This building we are in was honored as a house of god and the church, in the course of its history became the seat of all that was evil. Satanism was seen as the ultimate evil, now it is viewed as the antidote to the corruption of the Christian faith. I espouse no moral superiority, simply moral understanding. Appreciating this dichotomy, it becomes apparent that ‘good and evil’ boil down to mere opinion pieces. One hand washes the other. People do not appreciate the recurrent cycle of time and in their perceived moral understanding travel so far east that they end up west in the recurrent cyclic form of time, victims of their misunderstanding. By this philosophy, I understand that you fear us because you do not understand us. Yes, you fear our actions here, and I do not wish to divulge their purposes, save to say, my psyche fractured early in life, and in doing so has in fact set me free to a height where I am now untouchable. As we spoke of outside, You may now go to the woods and dance to the beautiful sounds that you have now been enlightened to hear”. I slowly stood up from the pew, my head was in excruciating pain. I exited the church and fled to my house. I locked all of my doors and windows, closed all my curtains and went to my attic, where I kept my rifle. They will come for me, there is no question of it, and though I could call the police, there is nothing to say that wasn’t the sergeant in the goat legs. Not only that. This house is too remote, this island too sparse. A deep fog has set in but I think, I think I see him slowly dancing, dancing through the fog.

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Sunday 29th March 2020


I don’t think that anyone will ever know what exactly happened in that house. And it will stay like that for some time. The papers that bore the headlines will curl and tan on a windowsill somewhere and we’ll all revert back to a semblance of normality. Even now as I write this, I can fully envision myself sitting on the back step of a house far from here, smoking a cigarette, frozen in awe of the view of the setting sun. But the darkness so soon follows the light, and just like the sun, I will fall again and again, into the darkest depths of my own personal hell. I had arrived to clear out my brother’s cottage in the country. As I drove out here, I had to pass the most ominous looking monastery I think I’ve ever seen. My brother’s cottage was along a narrow path through a forest that came out at an old clearing. It was an old house behind a crumbling stone wall just beyond the clearing. The green ivy of the forest had encroached a path along the east wall of the house and its foliage stained the old white pebble dashed walls. The wooden window frames were sun scorched and peeling in the direct sunlight overhead.

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It was just as I approached that I noticed a figure in the narrow front window of the old house. It was flitting back and forth quickly in the background of the frame. Be it instinct or what, I decided in that moment to collapse straight to the ground and begin a slow crawl toward the sill. Upon reaching the window I moved to a crouching position and slowly moved my vision into the darkness of the house. What I saw still gives me gooseflesh when I think about it. It was like a living doll. About 7 feet tall with long curly hair. The arms were of such an unnatural length under their black robe. Although in that moment I felt the most intense fear in my life, it was in that same moment that I heard the most beautiful music.

Credit : edf123

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