It was dark.
I sat up abruptly and started crawling on my hands and knees. My hands frantically searched the rocks and dirt beneath me.
My fingertips brushed cool metal.
I flicked it on and swung the dim beam around.
There were trees as far as the eye could see.
Where am I?
A rustling and a flickering movement to my left caught my attention and I swirled around, shining the beam in the direction the movement came from.
Just more trees.
It's just in your imagination, I repeated this to myself over and over while trying to calm my fluttering heartbeat.
I gathered what was left of my courage before I started forward. The crunching of gravel beneath my feet was eerily loud. It echoed, bouncing off the tree trunks, making me feel isolated.
Up ahead my flashlight shined on a red cylindrical object.
It looked like a farming silo.
I swung my flashlight left and right before approaching it.
A flash of white caught my eye and I began hyperventilating.
Once I was calm, I realized the white was a scrap of paper. Sighing, I stepped forward and retrieved the paper.
A circle with a sloppily drawn red 'X' was depicted on the paper along with hastily written words beneath the picture. It read, "Always Watches, No Eyes."
Another noise made me jump out of my skin and I pivoted on my heels, the light bouncing off the trees as I spun in a circle, trying to figure out the source of the noise.
Again, nothing was there.
I need to get out of here.
But more importantly, what eye-less creature is watching me?
I pocketed the note and moved away from the silo and back onto the gravel and dirt path I'd been following.
To my right a cluster of trees packed tightly together prevented me from choosing that direction. To my left, the path continued and I started that way.
I tried walking softer, now aware of something following me, but again my footsteps were oddly loud.
Could the being that's watching me hear me? I turned abruptly and saw a silhouette in the distance.
I figured it best to keep going forward so I turned back around and quickened my pace.
The screech of a nearby owl made me break into a jog. A jagged looking tree loomed ahead. I slowed and made my way towards it.
Another flash of white and I realized there was another note taped to the tree, only this one had something different on it.
Just the words, "It Came From The Forest."
What did? This just keeps getting more and more confusing.
I pocketed that note and spun in a slow circle, surveying my surroundings, trying to figure out where to go next.
A tingling sensation shot up my spine and I noticed a break in the trees. I dashed for it, fearing there was something behind me. I chose to fast-walk along the narrow path, not looking back, however tempted I may be, until I came to an opening. My light shined on a brick building.
I walked that way, shining the beam on anything that moved; the grass swaying in the breeze, the tree branches, and another figure loomed in the distance.
I quickly closed the distance between myself and the building. I got inside and looked around. The floor was made from tiles. To my right was a hallway and I chose to go there. It wound around until it opened into a room.
A chair sat in the corner, but I paid it no mind. Another note was taped to the wall. Who put these here, I thought as I snatched it from its perch on the tile wall.
In crooked letters, it read, "Don't Look Or It Takes You."
Why do all these notes look like they were written in a rush?
I stuffed that note into my pocket like I did the other two.
I peered out into the hall to my left. Nothing there. I started that way, but I had an eerie feeling of being watched and I ignorantly turned around.
What did I see?
Something terrifying. Something no man should ever have to face. There he was, the tall man in the suit, nearly reaching the cieling.
Tentacles snaked their way along the wall he leaned against. His face was featureless and white. And I could have sworn I saw the shadow of a smile spread across the blank of his face.
The only color on him was the striking red of his tie.
I choked on my screams before I clumsily turned and bolted out the way I'd come, nearly missing his outstretched arm I hadn't realized was reaching for me in my utter shock and fear.
I had felt… hypnotized by his presence.
I shivered and, fearing he'd follow, I quickly jogged over to the septic tanks scattered before me.
A familiar white flashed and I dashed for the note.
No longer wanting to pace myself, I ripped it off and continued forward. I read it as I walked through another cut in the clumped trees.
Poorly drawn trees surrounded a figure similar to the one I'd just encountered. It looked as though a child had drawn it.
My light shined against a rusted truck with a wooden trailer hitched on the back. I crept towards the flash. Another note. It was on the back of the trailer.
I grabbed it and dashed behind the small building sitting adjacent to the truck. I sank to my knees and smoothed out the crumpled note on my leg.
The letters were written largely and hurriedly it looked like.
You? I'm the one who's in trouble I sneered at the note and stuffed into my pocket. It would be full before too long if there were many more of these notes. I got to my feet and dusted myself off. I realized then, that I was empty handed. The darkness was intensified by my fear and I ran my hands over the ground beneath me. Maybe I'd dropped it in my haste?
No, nowhere near here. I turned around and retraced my steps. I saw a glint of metal on the ground in front of the building where I saw the eerie man. I inched forward and finally my hand grasped the frigid handle and lifted it off the ground.
As soon as I flicked the beam on, I froze. Terror glued me to where I stood. My voice again was choked in my throat and nothing escaped my lips except my pathetic whimpers.
The man stood before me, towering over me. He stayed still at first, then his tentacles started creeping out of his back, extending until they reached nearly twenty feet. Maybe my fear was making my brain over exaggerate things?
The tentacles creeped forward, wrapping around my waist, legs, and arms. I could feel the slimy appendages slicing my skin, blood oozing from the slits.
That creepy, menacing smile spread across his face. Can it really be called a face.
This time, his mouth opened, revealing rows of sharp teeth. His tongue lolled out the side, which was spattered with blood.
His hold on me tightened and I ran out of air the tighter he squeezed.
His mouth opened wider. Despite his slow movements, he was quick when it came to devouring. His teeth clamped down on me, tearing into the flesh of my scalp and he yanked it off, revealing the top of my skull. I thought he'd torture me, tear me limb from limb, rip my flesh off slowly. But like I said, he was quick.
He swallowed me whole.