Chapter one

Chapter one

A Chapter by some nobody called maddie

The playground lay in the woods.
Nobody in the town trusted the woods. The trees were looming and dark masses of shadow, and vines crawled up every trunk. Go too deep, and you won't be able to see your feet in front of you. Wild animals lurked behind every bush, but not just your friendly squirrels and chipmunks.
Something else lurked, too. No one was quite sure what.
Why the playground was put in the woods in the first place was a mystery, and whoever put it there was still anonymous. The adults never went to the playground, they knew better, but the children were lured by the macabre unknown of it. It became a sort of challenge; a go-to-the playground-in-the-woods-or-you’re-a-wimp type thing. If the parents knew, they would surely put an end to it, but the parents didn’t know. Kids were too afraid to admit that they had done the forbidden, or at least had been forced to do it.

But the children began disappearing, hostage to the woods. Entranced by the creaky swings and rusted slide, and lost in the thick, dark trees.
The little girl stood at the edge of the woods, shaking and terrified. The schoolchildren told nothing but horror stories about the forest, and she thought of the endless possible terrors that could lay in it.
One of the older boys gave her a push, jeering. She shrieked as she stumbled and fell deeper in, pigtails flying.
The boy laughed. “Scared, are you? Oh yes you are. I can see it on your face, you scaredy-cat. Now go in there, get us the swing, and come right on back here. It ain’t that hard, we’ve done it all before.”
“We want that swing, girl.” One of his buddies added.
She stayed still, trembling.

The boy narrowed his eyebrows. 

“What’d you say, girl?” He cupped a hand to his ear, as if he was hard of hearing.

Her voice was no more than a whisper when she repeated.

“N-No. Momma says that some other younguns went missing, one of ‘em from my school, an’ she don’t want me going in there.” She pointed to the woods.
He put on a high pitched, mocking voice, “My momma don’t want me in there, some other younguns went missing, boo-hoo-hoo.” He knelt down next to the girl. “Listen. I don’t give a flying f**k what your momma says, you go in there, you get us the damn swing or your gonna regret it bad.” He slapped her, his hand leaving a burning pink mark on her face. She began to sob, and all of the kid’s friends started pushing her in. She continued crying, wet, wailing tears, and realized that the boys were no longer with her-when she looked around it was dark. She didn’t know which way out, and it was dark.
The girl was afraid of the dark.

She turned and decided blindly that she was facing the way out, she had to be. She took off tearing through the woods, through the darkness, not caring whether she got the swing or not. As long as she got out. Even after what felt to her like hours of running, it was as if she had never moved.

And then she heard the steady crrrrreeeaaak. Creeeeeaaaaak. Crrrrreeeeeaak of an old swing set. 

The children that had gone into the woods and made it out claimed that the playground was the only area of the forest that wasn’t dark. Knowing she didn’t have much better a choice, the girl tentatively approached the playground. 

It was, as told, old and rusty, and everything seemed to creak with age. The playground roundabout spun slowly as the wind blew, making a constant screech. The girl was too young to realize that the wind was in no way powerful enough to make the roundabout move, nevermind spin in the slow, lazy circles it was spinning in now.
She walked over to the roundabout and sat down on it, tears still leaking down her face. It was said that the playground was in the center of the forest. I’ll never make it out of here, she thought, and cried harder.
“Hi, Gabrielle. Why're you crying?”
Gabrielle looked up, startled and nearly fell off the roundabout. Then she saw the child’s face, round and heavily freckled. It was the boy from school.
“Treyton? What are you doing here?! E’ryone back in town thinks you’re lost! Or dead!”
Treyton shrugged and pushed his glasses up higher on his face. He smiled, but his smile seemed...wrong.
“Well, good news is I’m not, right?”
“Yeah…” Gabrielle stopped crying for a second. “Wait, Treyton, we could help each other get outta here! We might be able to get ourselves un-lost!”

Treyton smiled funny again. “Why should we?”
She gaped at him. “You lost your mind, boy? ‘Why should we?’ Because we could get ourselves killed or...or worse.!”

He shrugged again. He didn’t seem to do much but shrug and give Gabrielle that weird grin. “It’s quite nice here, in the shadow garden. Once they let you in.”
Gabreille was getting nervous again and the waterworks started up. “Treyton, what are you talking about?”

Treyton’s shoulders lifted and fell. The shrugging was starting to freak her out. 

  “It’s not too bad, once you’re in.”
“What do you mean?!” She shrieked. “Stop it! You’re scaring me!” 

“I am?” He stared at her, eyes unfocused, as if he was drunk. For a split second he seemed...transparent. As if he had glitched. “Apologies.”

Treyton had always been the smartest in class. His vocabulary was superior to that of the other soon-to-be second graders. He aced all the tests and knew all the answers. A little bit of a teacher’s pet, quiet kid. He had only talked to Gabby a bit, but even though he still had the same brains and speech, something about him seemed off.

She dropped her gaze. The look on his face was making her uneasy.

“What’s ‘they’?” she asked nervously.

“Oh, nothing you need to worry about.” He said airily, almost absent mindedly. That was it. End of discussion. He reached down and picked up a shrapnel of corroded metal from the slide. He inspected it and turned it in his hand, like it was a rare specimen.

“Careful with that,” she spoke cautiously, for she wasn’t sure if Treyton would get creepy again, and she didn’t want it to happen. “Momma says if you cut yo’self on somethin’ rusted, you’ll get tet-nuss.”

“Tetanus? Hmm, I suppose so. Let’s test it out!”

Treyton took the shard and sliced the back of his hand.

“TREYTON!” Gabrielle screeched, “What are you doing?! Oh, you’ve gone crazy, ain’t you! Bein’ lost out in the woods drove you nuts! We need to get you outta here! What if you get tet-nuss? Or bleed out? What then? SOMEBODY HELP!”

“Nobody can hear you from here,” Treyton explained calmly. “And don’t worry about me. I’m fine, see?”

Gabrielle peered over at his hand and stumbled backwards in surprise and fright. He was right; the cut wasn’t very deep, neither was it bleeding much, but the blood wasn’t red.

It was black.

“Treyton...what happen’d to you?” She was breathing quickly, shocked and scared.

“They did this to me!” He grinned cheerily. Gabby was mortified

“Who...who is they, Treyton?” She was still crying. The schoolchildren always called her ‘crybaby’ back home.

“The ones who murdered me!” He said in the same joyful tone. His head was beginning to twitch and flicker, back and forth, transparent and visible, like some out-of-order machine. “I think you’d get along with us very well, don’t you? You could try tetanus too!” His eyes flashed and his grin turned to a leer.

Gabrielle staggered back, eyes wide and terrified. “...No…” Her voice was a hoarse whisper.

“Yes, you must mean?” Treyton’s head twitched

“...No…” She shook her head vigorously. She tried to run back into the woods, blinded by fear, but the playground seemed to block her in. The swings were now moving up and down with gusto and the roundabout was spinning wildly. 

“Ohhhh yes,” he said, eyes closed and nodding. “Yes.”
He drove the shrapnel into her throat before she could scream.

Nobody would’ve heard her anyways.

“Welcome, Gabrielle,” he whispered, and his voice was no longer his, no longer human, something else entirely. “To the Shadow Children.”

And even though her heart had taken its final beat, she opened her eyes and smiled.

© 2021 some nobody called maddie

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Added on February 23, 2021
Last Updated on February 23, 2021


some nobody called maddie
some nobody called maddie

just a teen aspiring writer wanting to know if my writings trash or not more..