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The Screaming In The Woods

The screaming in the woods


Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

At three A.M. I was awoken to an ear piercing scream coming from the woods. Waking up my husband, I ask him to listen to the sound, it persisted for several minutes. “It sounds like a mountain lion, it’s probably trying to lure in some bait, no one screams like that for that long. Try to go back to sleep, it’ll stop soon.” He rolled over and went back to sleep. Eventually the screaming did stop, however I couldn’t shake the feeling that something worse was going on. Eventually, I did find sleep again. The next morning we went out to the lake. The cabin we stayed at was something we both decided was a great place to spend our honeymoon. I thought, with both of us being shut in kind of people, that two weeks in the woods by ourselves would be heaven, it’s nice so far but the alleged mountain lion is, distressing to say the least. “How late did the wildlife keep you up?” My husband Thomas asked, no doubt looking for bags under my eyes.

“It didn’t last for long, but it made me pretty uncomfortable. Do you think it left?”

“Most likely, My guess is that it was probably marking territory, cats tend to get pretty pissy when other animals get on their turf. So long as we stay away from the foothills at night, we should be fine.”

After finishing up our chat about last night, we ended up talking about nothing for a couple hours, honestly it was pretty nice. However, I can’t stop myself from staring off into the woods. I think I was looking for something, but honestly I can’t be certain of what I hope to see. Time passed and the air grew cold as the sun dipped closer to the horizon. Thomas hugged me from behind and spoke into my ear. “Let’s get some food in us and turn in for the night, I got you something you might like.” When we got inside, he presented me with a small box in a red wrapping paper, topped with a small bow. I gasped dramatically “A rectangle! My favourite! Babe you always know just what to get me.” He laughed and responded smoothly. “You joke now but that very well may be your favourite rectangle you’ll ever have.” My interest piqued, I quickly tore away the wrapping paper to find inside a mint condition copy of an original printing Lovecraft book. “Oh my god how did you find this? This has to be nearly a hundred years old! Can I even read it without the spine falling apart?”

“Some rich asshole died and had a library that could rival the one in downtown Seattle, I may or may not have been friends with a relative of his during our college days, said relative hated the guy and said I could raid the library because he knew we loved to read.”

“So you’re saying-”

“It’s the genuine article, should be okay to read.”

“You’re the best!”

We kissed and then made dinner. A few hours pass and I’m finding myself having trouble attempting to sleep, maybe I was waiting for it to happen again, or maybe I was too excited to read my new book. Taking the latter option into account, I open it up and turn on the small bedside lamp. Thankfully my husband sleeps like a rock so I didn’t have to worry about waking him as I delved into a story written by a madman. However, as soon as I was no less than ten pages in, it started again. There was a bloodcurdling scream, as if someone’s bones had been shattered, I listened intently and tried my damndest to convince myself that it was just some cougar stating territory. After what seemed like an eternity it finally stopped. I only just noticed that I was standing at the window, when I looked down I could see my hands shaking violently. Whatever is out there, everything in my body is telling me that its dangerous. I didn’t sleep that night. When the sun rose, I hadn’t moved an inch in probably hours. I didn’t want to move as if any evidence that I was here would put me in danger. Tom eventually woke up. “Did you sleep at all?” He asked. I silently shook my head. He kept pushing. “Did you hear the mountain lions again?”

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“It was closer this time. I don’t know how much but I don’t like it.”

“I understand. Look, we’ve got the whole week booked and I’d hate to cut the honeymoon short so I’ll tell you what, we enjoy today and if you hear it again tonight, we’ll call the ranger station and they’ll be down within minutes.”

“Thank you, I really appreciate it.”

“Of course, as much as I love any reason to go somewhere, your comfort matters more, plus I also really don’t like predator cats, they can be real nasty customers. I don’t want to be near that especially if you’re right about it getting closer.”

We switched topics and started talking about other things, eventually we got dressed and had breakfast. Out of the things we did to enjoy our time, I still couldn’t stop thinking about the screaming. I needed to know what it was, I was convinced that it had to have been something else. As time passed I stared into the forest, almost daring something to happen, but I realized that all I was doing was wasting the happiest week of my life for a nuisance that can be ignored with a set of earplugs. As the sun set over the foothills I let my racing thoughts slow into a more relaxed state. I’m really glad I came here, even if I have to deal with stupid shit. “Hey honey what’d you think of the book so far?” Tom asked me, breaking me from my train of thought. “It’s fantastic, I love it.” We talked more and eventually it grew late. We tried to sleep, but again I found myself waiting for what I knew I was going to hear.
Like clockwork, it began again. A blood curdling scream rang out and I left the bed. I knew it wasn’t some animal, it couldn’t be. I threw on some clothes and grabbed the emergency rifle over the fireplace, placed by the owners in case the wildlife got too close. I’m going to find whatever this damn thing is and make sure it doesn’t bother me again. I took a flashlight and made my way into the woods. Making sure I was going the right way, I followed the screams deeper in. Nothing in this world could have prepared me for the source. Stood about ten feet away was almost a man, but too tall. It was nearly eight feet tall and had long arms that almost touched the ground. The stark white leathery skin encased this grotesque creature as I slowly scanned up. The hollow eyes stared directly into my soul as it bent back. When the things enormous hands were placed on the ground behind it for support. Its chest opened up into a giant gaping mouth as it let out the same screams I had been hearing the past nights.

I ran all the way back to the cabin, not stopping for a second. When I got inside I flipped the lights on and shook my husband violently. “Mae what the hell?” I didn’t even give him time to think as I started grabbing clothing and shoving it into a bag. “Get in the car.”

“What? Wh-”

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“Now!” I admit I did feel bad for screaming but he knew I would never raise my voice like that unless it was a life or death scenario. He stopped asking questions and just threw on a pair of pants as he worked his way to the door. I grabbed the book and my keys as I made my way to the car. As soon as I was in I peeled out nearly faster than the car could handle. “So are you gonna tell me why we didn’t call the ranger and why you’re currently breaking every speed law in the country? Tom finally asked. “Because I sincerely doubt that a ranger would know what to do with whatever I saw.”

“Wait you went out there?! Why?”

“Because I knew it wasn’t an animal, and I was right.”

“I’m gonna pretend you aren’t scaring the shit out of me and instead move on to my next question. What about our stuff?”

“We can go back in the morning, but right now we’re going somewhere safe”

The rest of the drive was silent as I looked for a hotel, when we found one I quickly checked in, nearly as soon as my head touched the pillow I fell asleep from pure exhaustion. When we drove back in the morning, Tom decided to press again. “So are you gonna tell me what you saw out there?”

“Would you even believe me?”

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“Honestly I don’t know but it would be nice to have some idea why you practically tried to kill us on the drive away.”

“Just imagine if slenderman was a streaker.”

“I beg your pardon?”

We shared a laugh and my nerves finally settled a little. Unfortunately it was short lived because as soon as we pulled in. All my fears were vindicated. The door to the cabin was ripped off its hinges, the blinds were all torn down and everything inside was ransacked. I stayed still and silent as the creature from the night before could be seen tearing the cabin apart from the inside. Tom whispered. “Is that it?’ I nodded. “I’m gonna drive away very slowly, In five minutes I want you to call the ranger station and tell them a bear got in.” He nodded, silently agreeing. As I backed up slowly I thanked my lucky stars that the driveway was made of dirt and not gravel. Several minutes passed as I made my way back up the path driving significantly slower than last night. The call was made and the rangers said they’d check the area out and call us when it’s safe. An hour passes and we get the all clear. When we made it, one man in the group came out to greet us. “Good to see you two, the bear seems to have left but weirdly enough it didn’t take any food, not common but you definitely got lucky. Seems like it was having a bad day, how come you two were out when it came?” I was quick to respond. “We were on a hike, we thought it would’ve been fine to not lock up but I guess we were wrong. You guys gave us the all clear though, any idea why something came out?”

“If we could control the animals, we wouldn’t need to work here, unfortunately they can just be unpredictable sometimes.”

He said it with certainty but I could tell he was a little confused himself. After we finished talking we got the clear to grab our things and go. After calling the owners we rented the cabin from, we eventually got a refund. Not wanting to waste the rest of our week, we elected to stay at the hotel and get a bunch of junk food. The rest of the day was much more relaxing knowing that the previous night was scary, we got out okay. Four hours later, I lost all hope, as I was awakened by the most blood curdling scream I had ever heard. “Tom?” I cried out quietly. A hand under the covers grabbed mine. “I hear it too.”

Credit: Mistress Morgan

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