It All Goes Dark
The soothing sounds of chirping crickets hypnotized me into a deep sleep. It was tranquil until it wasn't. The snapping of tree branches awakened me. They were in my campsite. Two of them. Maybe more. Cackles of wicked laughter ominously echoed off the towering cliffs surrounding my tent.
I thought I knew them. But not these people. The whistling winds of harrowing confusion changed their identities. Their words are garbled. Uncertainty swirls. They grab me and briefly restrain me with a deathlike grip. I break loose as they tear madly at my clothing.
I'm scared and there is no time to grab a flashlight. Fearfully, I race through the forest. I feel the menacing presence of more than one demon chasing me. They trip over obstacles I toss into their path. Several times I hide. But they outnumber me. They find me each time. I continue seeking safety.
I find an alcove inside a giant dead tree and ensconce myself in it. My breathing is heavy. I'm horrified these ghouls will hear my thumping heart. After some tormented silence, I look out around one of the corners into the vast void. Slowly. There is only blackness.
Maybe they have gone. I cautiously turn to look in the other direction. As I do, one of them is right there. Waiting. Staring at me. His grinning spectral face is partially illuminated from the light of the full moon shining through an opening in the trembling leaves.
I leap up and run. He lunges at me in a heinous attempt to tackle me. I make it to a formidable rock pile. I stop. And listen. There are three of them now. They have separated. They are hunting me like sinister beasts.
I recognize a new voice. Unlike the others. It is not distorted. He is a friend. I will be rescued from this jarring ordeal. He is close. I whisper out and let him know where I am. He crawls toward me.
I reach for his help. Then it happens. He doesn't extend his hand. He is yelling. I can't understand anything. His words have transitioned to white noise. Something changed my pal. It's at that moment I notice a stranger has entered with him. Right there. Everything turns icy cold. I am shivering.
I flee in a frenzy before he can subdue me. I sprint to the summit with my phone. Quietly, I try to call the police as I curl up under some bushes. There is no reception. No one will be coming to save me. I'm on my own. The chilling mayhem proceeds.
These men aren't human anymore. Something transformed all of them. They are like shapeshifters. It is terrifying. The noises are getting louder and closer. The sounds of a determined demonic rampage. They are fast approaching.
It is an agonizing long drop down from this plateau. I stand up and gaze over the edge into the abyss of the canyon. I could try to climb down the face of this massive cliff. It is dangerous. I don't have my equipment. And I need more time.
It will not be possible. The hourglass is empty. This perilous pack of wolves has found me. They surround me. I look down one last time upon the reflection of the glistening water of the river far below. It is peaceful at this witching hour. I close my eyes. It all goes dark.
Happy Halloween everyone!
This startling story of help is not coming is brought to you by that guy of supernatural suspense. That guy with thirteen black cats is Ron Blake and he can be found just beyond the corpse at firstname.lastname@example.org.