The Vanishing Path

The Vanishing Path

A Story by LittleOddBall
"

Three Trick-or-Treaters stumble upon a mysterious path into a dark patch of woods.

"

Shriveled leaves that littered the road remained completely still, and the full moon shone brightly down on the quiet suburbs of Belton. Homeowners had decorated their yards, erecting cauldrons, headstones, and even skeletons that would laugh and scream at passers-by. Children and parents alike roamed the streets in their costumes, skipping from house to house in search of new bounty to fill their bulging bags.


One group of trick-or-treaters was quite successful in their haul. Their leader, Jake, held up a fistful of candy in triumph, smiling widely as he imagined stuffing the sweets down his mouth later on. “Vis is the vest Halloveen ever!” he proclaimed to his friends, adopting the popular Dracula accent as he exposed his fake fangs and pulled at his cloak with a flourish.


“Yep,” replied Carl from behind his costume: a simple white sheet with two cut-out holes for his eyes. “Dr. Klaus even gave us candy instead of toothpaste this time!”


“Where do we go next?” asked Brenda as she readjusted her over-sized crone’s hat for the umpteenth time. “We’ve been to every house already.” Her small broom dragged behind her as she struggled to keep pace with the boys.


The night suddenly dimmed as the children turned around a corner. A dark cloud had moved and covered part of the moon. The suburbs became darker, illuminated only by the lights from nearby houses and the occasional Lamppost.


Jake suddenly stopped. He turned and stared at the other side of the street, towards a thick growth of trees. The trees were a familiar undeveloped landmark in Belton, part of the old forest that once stood in the suburbs. “Guys,” hissed Jake, his eyes still fixed on the trees, “Look at that!” he pointed at the branches.


Carl and Brenda turned towards that direction. Brenda gasped and dropped her broom, while Carl slipped out of his ghost costume and squinted through his glasses. “What is that?”


Floating above the branches, two small ovals glowed brightly. It was deep red in color and was perfectly still amongst the darkness of the trees. It winked in and out of existence, as though they were the blinking eyes of some creature.


Suddenly, the glowing red orbs blinked once more, and disappeared, just as the moon shone brightly again.


Jake dropped his bag of candy, and rushed towards the trees. Carl followed close behind him, while Brenda didn’t move at all. “Hey, guys, come back!” she shouted, “We’re not supposed to go near that place!”


Jake and Carl ignored her. They reached the trees and looked up at the branches. The moonlight now illuminated the trees, but they saw nothing. Whatever was on the branches, it was gone now. They tried to see behind the trees, but couldn't do so past the huge trunks, packed close together. It was impossible to see into the growth, let alone get in.


Brenda held her black robe and twisted it in her hands. She felt very nervous and uneasy as the boys stayed at the other side. “If you two don’t come back here, I’m telling your moms!” she shouted.


Jake and Carl turned their heads and scowled at Brenda. She glared at them, and crossed her arms and tapped her foot. Sighing, they walked back towards the street and rejoined her, mumbling to each other.


Brenda gave a sigh of relief; they were safe.


“What do you think that was?” asked Jake as he picked up his candy bag, “Do you think it was a bird?”


“Haven’t you heard the stories?” asked Carl excitedly, glancing at the trees again and again, “I heard that place is haunted!”


“By Ghosts?” whispered Brenda, clutching her robes tightly now.


“No!” he replied, obviously enjoying the moment, “They say that there’s a monster in those trees, a small one that looks like a bird and a cat mashed together, with huge glowing eyes!” he pulled at his own eyelids, making them wider. He suddenly lowered his voice, dropping it to a whisper. “Sometimes, the monster would lure people into the trees, and they just… vanish.”


Brenda shivered, while Jake remained unimpressed. “What a load of baloney!” he said, pointing at the trees. “Look, there’s no way you can get past those trees! How can you just vanish in there? Besides, it’s only a small patch of the old woods, barely the size of our houses! How can anyone be lost in there?


Another cloud passed under the moon, and the streets plunged into darkness. At the same time, the trees rustled loudly, and the few leaves that stuck to the branches fell off.


But there was no wind.


Jake, Carl and Brenda turned towards the thick growth of trees. A small opening now appeared, showing a neat and clear path into the darkness. At the entrance, the red ovals reappeared, blinking slowly and deliberately as it watched the children.


Jake’s hairs on the back of his neck stood on ends as fear crept up his heart. Brenda’s breathing had quickened, and she gasped for air. They both took several steps back, their candy laid forgotten on the ground.


Carl, though, took several steps forward.


“Carl!” hissed Jake. He moved towards his friend and grabbing his shoulder, “Let’s get out of here.”


Carl didn’t respond. Instead, his eyes were fixed intently on the two glowing orbs. He looked dazed, and his eyes were glazed and hazy. He took a few more steps.


Jake and Brenda acted immediately. Brenda pulled at Carl’s shirt, while Jake moved in front of Carl, and began to push him away. “Come on, Carl. This isn’t funny!” he grunted. To his surprise, Carl continued to move forward, overpowering him and Brenda.


Jake turned back to look at the eyes again. He stared at the glowing eyes and it stared back, peering down into his soul.


Suddenly, Jake didn’t feel afraid anymore. In its place was now curiosity. What is that thing? Why do its eyes glow? His mind was suddenly filled with questions. They tumbled around his mind, and seared themselves firmly in him, driving him crazy. He had to know what that thing is, had to know where the path led to.


The rest was a daze. Jake only noticed that he was now walking alongside Carl. They were slowly approaching the path, but were being pulled away. He could vaguely hear Brenda behind them, shouting as she tried desperately to pull both boys away. Annoyed, he turned and pushed her roughly, and she fell onto the ground hard.


As he neared the path, he could now make out the creature’s shape. It looked like a cat, but it also had a beak… Strangely, it looked beautiful, and Jake felt like nothing more than to go up it and hold it in his arms.


 As he went closer to take a closer look, the creature backed away, enticing him to walk further down.


Wait… Something’s wrong…


Jake heard Brenda crying behind him, and he felt a lot more uneasy. His senses began to return as he mind clumsily grasped at Brenda’s voice. He tried to focus on her, forcing the maddening curiosity away. Carl was right beside him, and he was beginning to stir as well. They were still marching towards the path, but with great reluctance.


Jake and Carl could hear the beast’s hiss in frustration. It was an ugly sound, and it sent chills up their spines. Immediately, the spell was broken, and they both stopped just as their feet touched the dirt path.


There was a sudden sense of urgency, and the boys turned and tried to scramble out of the path. They heard the creature hiss again, and then saw the moon as it reappeared and shone on the street.


They looked at Brenda as she widened her eyes in horror. It was the last thing they saw of the outside before the trees moved and closed off the path, shutting them in.


It was pitch-black and completely silent. Jake could neither see nor hear anything at all. He raised his hand to his face and splayed his fingers, but he couldn’t see them at all. His heart hammered wildly against his chest, and his ears pounded as he turned and tried to see something.


He bumped against something hard, and he realized that it was Carl’s shoulder. He grabbed at it and held on tightly, felling Carl do the same. He felt slightly comforted now, and opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. 


He tried again, this time screaming the words out. 

Still nothing.


Slowly, he became aware of the path beneath his feet, and it began as to stretch on and on in the darkness, without any end in sight.


Jake wanted to stand there and wait. Maybe they could wait for the trees to open again, and they could step out. But something else compelled him to move, to walk down this strange path.


He tugged at Carl’s shoulder, and took the first few steps. At first, he felt Carl resist, but then they both began to walk. The whole thing felt surreal, like a bad dream.


They walked on for what felt like hours. Jake’s feet ached, and his hand was stiff from holding onto Carl’s shoulder tightly, but he didn’t dare loosen his grip or pace. The path has to end somewhere. He thought desperately. There has to be an exit.


Suddenly, he stumbled as his hand dropped onto his side. He stopped panicked as he realized he had lost Carl. He swung his hands wildly around, searching for his invisible friend, his heart accelerating. He felt his feet touch something on the ground, and he picked it up immediately. They felt like Carl’s glasses.


Carl had vanished.


Jake’s heart screamed at his mind, and his mind screamed at his feet. He dropped the glasses and ran back up the path, back to where they had come from.


Oh God, Jake thought as he ran. Please, I want to get out. Please, God. Just let me out of he-


© 2010 LittleOddBall



Author's Note

LittleOddBall
This story isn't very polished. But I hope that it's creepy enough and that you'll all enjoy it.
I'd appreciate it if someone could point out some of the more serious grammatical mistakes I've made. That would be extremely helpful, cause grammar Check doesn't work well.
Update to Version 1.1 (Fixed some Grammar issues. Thanks goes to LillithVain for the help!)

My Review

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Featured Review

It was indeed creepy enough that I enjoyed it. I like the characters a lot and your writing flows very well. I don't really have anything too negative to say. I would watch for sections like this though...

"Slowly, he became aware of the path beneath his feet, and it suddenly became visible to him. It began as to stretch on and on in the darkness, without any end in sight. "

The adverbs are pretty packed together here and it can get kind of confusing to your reader.

:)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

If you want, I can go through the rest of it for you when I get more time. Sorry if I over analyzed you a little. I can get like that when I'm focused on something. Also sorry for the misspellings, I'm on my phone and it has one of those tiny little touch keypads. (Also why I had to leave my comment in three sections as well).

Take Care,
LV

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


Grammar because you asked...
-Homeowners had decorated their yards, erecting cauldrons, headstones and even skeletons that would laugh and scream at passers-by **there should be a comma after headstones.

-“Vis is the vest Halloveen ever!” He proclaimed **He proclaimed is still part of the sentence and doesn't start a new sentence so the H in he doesn't need to be capitalized. You do this particular thing a lot throughout the story. You might want to go through and check the rest of the dialog for it.

Examples: “Yep,” Replied Carl ***Replied is still a part of this sentence regardless of the fact that there is dialog in the sentence. It doesn't need a capitol letter.

“Where do we go next?” Asked Brenda as she readjusted her over-sized crone’s hat for the umpteenth time, “We’ve been to every house already.” ** Here you've done the same again with the word asked, except when the sentence ends after the word time you have a comma instead of a period. As an example it should look more like this:

“Where do we go next?” asked Brenda as she readjusted her over-sized crone’s hat for the umpteenth time. “We’ve been to every house already.”

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It was indeed creepy enough that I enjoyed it. I like the characters a lot and your writing flows very well. I don't really have anything too negative to say. I would watch for sections like this though...

"Slowly, he became aware of the path beneath his feet, and it suddenly became visible to him. It began as to stretch on and on in the darkness, without any end in sight. "

The adverbs are pretty packed together here and it can get kind of confusing to your reader.

:)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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3 Reviews
Added on September 6, 2010
Last Updated on September 6, 2010
Tags: Halloween, Darkness, Vanishing, Path
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Author

LittleOddBall
LittleOddBall

About
Hi, I'm a guy who's trying his hands at writing again after a three-year-spell. I like to learn new things all the time, and am a fan of speculative fiction. Epic Fantasies, Sci-Fi, Alternate History.. more..

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