An Unforgivable Sin

An Unforgivable Sin

A Story by Sarah J Dhue

One of the stories I wrote and submitted to the 2020 #ShareYourScare contest.


            I hiked up the steep hill behind my girlfriend, huffing and puffing.  Not only was it a humid day, but my leg had been bothering me since I’d woken up that morning.  I couldn’t help but wonder what she was carrying in her backpack, the way she pranced up the path, almost carefree.  It surely wasn’t extra water bottles, which I’d had the sense to pack.

            I stopped walking, leaning on a tree to catch my breath, bending over to grip my leg.  The muscle felt like it was balled up into a knot; one of the worst Charlie horses I’d ever had, and I was out in the middle of the woods hiking.  But I couldn’t say, “No,” to Celia.

            “Hurry up, slowpoke!” she shouted down from the top of the hill, sticking her tongue out at me.

            “On my way!” I yelled weakly, waving and standing upright to continue my trek up the hill.  By the time I reached where she stood, I was doing my best not to scream.  My leg was only getting worse; usually walking and stretching help with leg cramps, but I guessed not today.

            “So good of you to join me,” she giggled, then noticed the wince of pain on my face.  “Is your leg still bothering you?”

            “Yes,” I replied in a strained tone, nodding.

            “Poor Benjamin,” she said, pushing out her lower lip in a mock pout.  She quickly was smiling again.  “Well, you’re in luck.  Nature calls, so I’m going to find a spot off the path with no poison ivy or brambles.  You did bring hand sanitizer, right?”

            “Yeah, I did.”  I nodded again.

            “Great!  Well, you sit down on that stump and rest your leg.  I’ll be back!”  She shrugged off her backpack and pulled out a small travel pack of tissues, disappearing into the trees.

            “Don’t go too far!” I said after her, sitting down on a weathered stump and removing my backpack.  As I sat it down, it bumped into hers, causing it to tip over on the uneven ground, spilling some of its contents onto the ground.

            “Crap!” I bent down, gathering up the fallen items and brushing the dirt off of them before putting them in the bag when I froze.  Amongst the spilled hiking gear was a small rag doll that looked just like me: the face was similar, as was the hair, even the clothes he was wearing.  But that wasn’t what had given me pause.  It had been the large sewing needle stuck in the doll’s right leg.

I felt a lump form in my throat as I stared at the doll.  I never had been superstitious, but it was uncanny how much it resembled me and that it had a needle in its leg.  I tried to shrug it off as a joke, but Celia had pretended not to know that my leg was hurting until I’d mentioned it earlier that morning.

“Benjamin?” I jumped, almost falling over, dropping the doll.  I had been so entranced by it that I hadn’t heard Celia walking through the trees on her way back.  She took a few steps toward me and the packs, and I instinctively scooted away.  Celia knelt and picked up the doll, shaking her head and clucking her tongue.  “Well, this won’t do,” she said quietly, looking up at me.

“Celia, it isn’t what it looks like.  Your bag, it fell over and-” I stopped short as she knelt, reaching into her bag.  When she stood again, she held the doll in one hand and her Swiss army knife in the other.  My eyes widened, and I shook my head in horror, knowing full well that I was superstitious now, even if I never had been before.

“Naughty, naughty Benjamin.  Sticking his nose into other people’s things,” she said evenly, unfolding a small blade of the Swiss army knife.

“Celia, why?” I gasped as she held the blade up to the doll’s neck, and I suddenly felt a cold pressure against my Adam’s apple.  “Why the leg?” I choked out.

She smiled sweetly, “I wanted to see how far you’d walk for me.  And you did well.  However, going through a lady’s things…  Now that’s an unforgivable sin.”  Her face turned blank, her eyes burning into me.

“No!  Wait!” I cried, struggling to stand, but the pain in my leg had only intensified, and I was finding it hard to breathe.

Celia drew the blade across the doll’s throat, spilling stuffing onto the path.

© 2020 Sarah J Dhue

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Added on October 3, 2020
Last Updated on October 3, 2020
Tags: Sarah J Dhue, Dhue, horror, spooky, story, hiking, woods, forest, sin, share your scare, 2020


Sarah J Dhue
Sarah J Dhue

In the author's lair, IL

I am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author, as well as a photographer & graphic designer, currently going to school for web design. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My f.. more..


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