Disclaimer: I did not make up any of the characters. They were real people
Joshua Leonard jerked his eyes open to find darkness pressing in on him. Four days ago he would've panicked because of the such intensity of blackness. But now, after being lost in the Black Hill woods for four days, he was used to it.
Josh set up in the tent, listening to the weird assortment of sounds echoing around the tent. He pulled the camouflage sleeping bag up around him as if it would protect him in some way. He was afraid to move a muscle, afraid it would make some sound that would alert whatever was outside, afraid that whatever was making those sounds would hurt him in some way.
It's just my imagination, he thought quickly. He slowly moved his head around to glance at his two partners, Michael and Heather. They were sleeping peacefully, a small snore coming from Michael every few seconds. He wished that he too was still asleep, unaware of the sounds coming from outside the tent.
Suddenly, he heard the giggles and shrieks of kids echo around him. He pulled his legs in close to him, his heart beating so loudly against his ribs he was sure the sound of it would wake Michael and Heather up.
"Oh God, oh God," he whispered under his breath. He slowly reached over and tapped on Heather's shoulder. He didn't want to be alone. He felt like a young child again, once again feeling the kind of fear he had of the stories his cousin told him about the monster under his bed. Except this situation was more serious. This was real.
Josh gasped as a loud cackle filled the short lived silence. He had to think, had to do something. But he couldn't. His mind was frozen. Only five words kept repeating itself in his head. I don't want to die, I don't want to die.
Another sound soon joined with the others. The sound of twigs breaking under the weight of something. Footsteps maybe?
All of a sudden a loud scream erupted from all around the tent. The walls of the tent were being pushed in, as if someone was beating them from the outside. Josh started to breathe quickly, not sure of what to do. He started shaking Heather harder but she remained asleep.
As the screams got louder and the beatings became more vicious, Josh leapt out of the tent and started to run wildly through the woods. The branches of trees scraped his legs and his face but he didn't notice the pain for he was too focused on getting away. He could hear the footsteps getting closer and closer behind him. The screams getting louder and louder. The children's yells around him sounded more afraid all the time.
He broke loose of the trees and ran out into a clearing. He looked around rapidly and saw something rush by him, just a blur. The cackle sounded right up to his face. Something hot grasped his arm tightly and he screamed as he felt a slash of something sharp across his face.
Josh fell to the ground in fear. Tears streamed down his face and he could feel the sharp bitter taste of blood on his lips. Another cackle right above him and the grip on his arm got tighter. He felt as if all the skin on his shoulder was torn off in a matter of seconds. He didn't know what to do. He felt frozen to the ground and helpless to do anything.
Josh threw out his arm blindly, trying to hurt the creature in any possible way. Although he was sure he was going to hit it, he felt nothing.
"GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!"
In a sudden twist and change of moves, he felt his jaw being broken. More blood rushed down his face and fell in drops on his chest. His arm and face were on fire. He screamed loudly. The screams of the kids and the cackles from this creature, the witch if that was what it was, was almost unbearable now. The loudness of it all pounded down on his ears and yet he could still see nothing for fear of opening his eyes.
Josh saw flashes in his mind of all his family and friends. He knew he was going to die and screamed again in pain as one of the branches cut into his knee. He was being ripped to shreds painfully. And yet he still hadn't died. He wanted to die, he wanted the pain to end.
Suddenly, he screamed again and twitched around wildly in the creature's arms. He had had his tongue ripped out of his mouth and blood was flowing freely out between his lips. He felt more slashes above and below his mouth and felt his teeth being removed.
The creature dropped him on the ground and he jerked around in anguish. He opened his eyes wide enough to see his teeth and tongue be put into a bundle of sticks and a piece of his shirt. He had never felt so much pain or fear in his life.
"Kill me!" he mouthed. He could no longer speak without teeth or tongue. He coughed up more blood and closed his eyes tightly. He wanted the suffering to be over.
He thought of Heather and Michael. Even though for a couple days he had been angry at them for getting them lost, he now wanted them to be as okay as possible. He hoped with all his might that this wouldn't be there end. No one deserved this kind of pain and torture.
Light beat in through his eyelids and he opened them to the beginnings of morning. He heard Michael and Heather shouting out his name. He looked around for the witch but there was nothing to there. Now that he noticed it, the kid's screams and the cackles were even gone.
Josh gasped in pain again as he heard Heather's shouts for him get louder. If they found him they would probably die of fear. They would do everything they could to try to keep him alive but Josh didn't want to live anymore. He was in too much pain.
Quickly, Josh got up on his knees and threw the bundle with his teeth and tongue in it over towards the bushes. He crawled towards the sound of water until he reached the stream that they had crossed countless times. He grabbed a shark branch off the ground and held it to his chest, over his heart.
I love you mom. I love you dad. God, please forgive me for doing this, he thought looking down at the water. He wanted to scream out again in pain but he couldn't let Heather or Michael find him before he did it.
Taking a deep breath, which would also be his last, he shoved the branch into his hard as fast and as hard as he could. He felt the life being torn away from him, all the suffering suddenly gone.
His body fell over the side of the bank and into the stream. Joshua Leonard was never heard from again.