“‘You guys, I don’t think this is a good idea.’ I hate the dark. And the woods.”
Editor’s note: This wonderfully creepy story contains violent imagery that may be disturbing to younger readers.
“You guys, I don’t think this is a good idea.” I hate the dark. And the woods.
“Don’t be so stuck-up, Mae,” Dillan says. “It’s the last week of camp. We’ve got to do something fun before we leave.”
My friends woke me up in the middle of the night. They told me that one of our camp counselors, Aubrey, had snuck out of our cabin and that we needed to follow her.
“It’s none of our business. Let’s just stay here,” I told them. Yet they insisted, practically dragging me out of bed.
“Maybe Mae is right,” Chris says, holding out his flashlight over his feet.
“Shut up, Chris.” Dillan turns, flashing his light in Chris’ face.
We spend the next five minutes looking left and right for Aubrey. I’m not sure what they think we’re going to find out. Aubrey plays the guitar and has a peanut allergy. I doubt she has much to hide.
It’s too quiet. We all walk slowly, afraid that if we put too much weight on the ground, it’ll snap beneath us. Suddenly, there’s a squishing noise behind us. We all immediately turn around to face Imani, who’s lifted up her right foot and is gagging.
“I stepped on something…” she says, covering her mouth. I hear a loud, relieved sigh from Chris.
We walk for another ten minutes before Imani says she’s getting bored.
“If we don’t find her in five minutes, we can go back to the campsite. Okay?” Chris says.
The rest of us nod. Suddenly, there’s a light that starts flickering.
“You guys…?” I say, beginning to shake. We stop and look around. Chris lets out a loud sigh.
“It’s just my flashlight. I think it’s dying,” he says.
Dillan rolls his eyes. “You know what? Let’s just go back to the cabin.”
“Finally,” I say, a smile appearing on my face. We start walking back in the direction of the campsite. It seems like it got even darker outside. In a flash, we hear another squishing noise. I don’t think Imani stepped in something this time.
The hairs on the back of my neck stick up.
“What was that?” Imani whispers. I let out a shaky breath.
“Do not say anything,” I utter, barely loud enough to be a whisper. I turn around, slowly.
“Mae – ” Chris begins. I raise my hand to shut him up. I walk towards the continuous squelching, kneeling down to hide myself behind a bush.
“Oh my God.” I shoot up almost immediately. “We have to leave right now,” I whisper.
“Why? What is it?” Dillan asks.
I shake my head in response, a tear slipping down my cheek. Dillan shoves me aside, peeking behind the bush. More tears escape my eyes. He doesn’t say anything, but I can tell I’m not the only one who sees it, because Dillan starts breathing heavily.
Next thing I know, I’m crying hysterically. I shove my hand against my mouth to stop myself from making noise.
“Aubrey…” Dillan says, facing the rest of us. He’s crying, too. “Do any of you have your phones?”
Chris and Imani haven’t seen what we saw, so they are visibly confused, but they check their pockets anyway.
“No,” Imani says. Chris shakes his head, too.
I need to calm down. I squeeze my eyes shut, but no matter – I can’t get the image of her limp body out of my head. Her blonde hair was bright red as she lay in a pool of her own blood.
Aubrey was stabbed.
“She needs help,” I say quietly. “Someone call for help!” I yell, snapping to my senses.
There we were. Four teenagers standing before their dead camp counselor, screaming for help.
Let’s just say this is not how I would spend my summer.