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Rated: E · Fiction · Supernatural · #2317709
Lucas asks the boy "Now tell me what the hell is going on out there. Who are you?
The flames dance, casting a warm glow over the faces of the family gathered around. It's a serene evening, with the stars twinkling overhead and the sounds of nature softly humming in the background. Everyone is seated on makeshift logs or camping chairs, wrapped in blankets to ward off the evening chill. The atmosphere is filled with a sense of comfort. There's a mixture of laughter and quiet conversation as they share stories and reminisce about times gone by.

Dad: Remember the time we went camping in the mountains and got caught in that unexpected rainstorm?

Mom: Oh, how could I forget! We were all soaked to the bone, but it turned into one of our most memorable trips.

Grandpa: And who could forget the time we tried to cook over an open fire and ended up burning the marshmallows to a crisp?

Grandma: Those were the days, weren't they?

Dad glanced around the circle, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "Hey, Kevin, why don't you share one of your famous campfire stories? You always know how to spin a tale that keeps us on the edge of our seats."

Kevin, the oldest sibling of the family, grinned nervously but nodded. "You sure Dad? I wouldn't want to embarrass myself"

Dad: "Haha son, go right ahead."

Suddenly the wind picked up, blowing the smoke right into Kevin's face. Kevin laughed, coughing a bit as he waved away the smoke with one hand. "The smoke always liked me more, I guess that's my cue," he joked. He moved his hair out of his eyes and began.

         It was April 1953, A normal morning for Lucas and his girlfriend Ashley. They lived in a Cabin several miles off the highway in the forest of Rock Creek. Both of them 20 years old and just now seeing the world. Lucas and Ashley were adventurers at heart, always seeking out new experiences and thrills to make their lives more exciting. The cabin in Rock Creek was their haven, a place where they could escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

On that fateful April morning, the sun was just starting to peek through the trees, casting dappled light on the forest floor. Lucas stood outside the cabin, taking in a deep breath of fresh air as he gazed out at the towering pines surrounding them. Ashley emerged from the cabin behind him, a smile tugging at her lips as she watched him.

"Good morning," she said, wrapping her arms around his waist from behind.

"Good morning, my love," Lucas replied, turning to plant a soft kiss on her forehead. "I was thinking we could go for a hike today. Maybe explore that trail we found last week."

Ashley's eyes lit up with excitement. "Yes

Let's do it! I love discovering new paths with you." She hurried back inside to prepare a backpack with some water, snacks, and a map, while Lucas fetched their hiking boots from the cabin.

As they set off on the trail, the forest enveloped them in a symphony of bird songs and rustling leaves. The air was crisp and filled with the earthy scent of pine needles. Lucas held Ashley's hand as they walked down the path.

They chatted and laughed as they meandered along the trail, stopping now and then to admire a particularly stunning view or investigate an interesting plant or rock formation. Hours passed in blissful companionship until they realized the sun was beginning its descent towards the horizon.

"We should start heading back soon," Lucas said, glancing up at the sky painted in hues of orange and pink.

Ashley nodded. "I wish we could stay out here forever."

"Babe we live out here," Lucas said jokingly.

As they turned to head back towards the cabin, a sudden rustling in the bushes ahead caught their attention. Lucas and Ashley froze, exchanging a wary glance. The forest fell silent around them, the birdsong fading into a tense hush.

Then, as if emerging from a dream, a massive bear lumbered into view. Its fur glistened in the fading sunlight, and its dark eyes fixed on the two of them standing frozen on the trail. Fear gripped their hearts as they realized they were mere steps away from a wild predator.

Lucas instinctively reached for Ashley's hand, his mind racing for a plan. With a quick nod towards a nearby cluster of boulders, they wordlessly agreed to seek refuge there. They moved swiftly but silently, the bear's heavy footsteps echoing behind them.

Heart pounding in their chests, they crouched behind the boulders, their breath coming in ragged gasps. The bear's shadow passed over them as it sniffed...

Dad: excuse me but was it a black or brown bear bec-

Grandma: Oh son shut up and let him continue

Kevin: Dad it was black, anyways.

The bear's shadow passed over them as it sniffed the air, its massive form blocking out the last rays of sunlight. Lucas and Ashley held their breath, willing their bodies to remain perfectly still. The forest seemed to hold its breath along with them, the tension thick in the air.

Suddenly, the bear let out a loud snort and turned away from the boulders, its attention drawn to something deeper in the woods. Lucas and Ashley exchanged a look of relief but knew they couldn't risk moving just yet. They stayed huddled behind the boulders, listening intently as the bear's footsteps grew fainter and finally faded into the distance.

It wasn't until the forest was cloaked in the shroud of night that Lucas and Ashley dared to emerge from their hiding spot. The stars above twinkled like guiding lights, leading them safely back to their cabin. Their hearts raced with a mixture of fear and curiosity as they ventured deeper into the labyrinth of trees, their senses alert for any sign of danger. The rustle of leaves and the distant hoot of an owl echoed through the night.

"We're lost, aren't we? it's getting cold," says Ashley.

"Yes, I'm not sure where we are, i thought we followed the path fully but we would have been back half an hour ago."

A small light flickering in the distance caught Ashley's eye, they quickly hurried to it to stumble upon a clearing in the forest. There was a massive stump in the middle that almost looked like a table, and various types and sized off very odd-looking chairs. They were all throne-like, some big, red, with horns, and some small, yellow, and pretty. The clearing was covered in blue flowers, the smell was intense and overpowered everything, in a good way. One thing was wrong though. It's dead silent, not a cricking chirp or an owl hooting. They could hear the blood rushing in their brain from the adrenaline rush of their night.

The eerie silence of the clearing sent shivers down Lucas and Ashley's spines as they cautiously stepped closer to examine the strange throne-like chairs. The flickering light that had drawn them in turned out to be a small lantern perched on a nearby tree stump, casting long shadows that danced eerily in the night.

Lucas reached out a hand to touch one of the chairs, its intricate carvings sending a chill through his fingertips. As he ran his fingers along the smooth wood, a sudden whisper seemed to drift through the clearing, barely audible yet undeniably present.
"Did you hear that?" Ashley whispered, her voice barely above a breath as she clutched Lucas's arm.
Lucas nodded, his heart hammering in his chest. "We're not alone here," he murmured, scanning the clearing for any sign of movement.

Suddenly figures start moving throughout the trees around the grove. Strange whispers filled their ears which slowly grew to screams that hurt making it feel as if their head was about to blow up. Then it was quiet...A little boy suddenly runs into the grove screaming in terror, his eyes wide with fear as he stumbles towards Lucas and Ashley. His clothes were torn, and there were scratches on his face and arms. Without a word, the boy collapsed at their feet, gasping for breath.

Lucas and Ashley knelt beside him, concern etched on their faces. "What's wrong? Are you okay?" Lucas asked, placing a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder.

The boy's eyes darted nervously around the clearing before settling on Lucas.

"Something bad's gonna happen to me." "They're coming," he whispered hoarsely. "The creatures of the forest...they're angry."

"What creatures? What did you see out there?" Lucas's tone was serious, his grip tightening on the boy's shoulder as he tried to assess the situation.

"What's your name? We need to know who you are so we can help you." Ashley's voice was soft, trying to soothe the boy's nerves as she spoke.

Suddenly, a thick mist descends, enveloping them in a shroud of eerie silence. Visibility diminishes, and they find themselves disoriented, unsure of which direction to take next. "They found us," the boy said. Lucas and Ashley's hearts started beating rapidly, "what the hell is going on here" Lucas exclaims to the boy.

The boy's eyes widen in fear as he struggles to find the words. "I... I don't know," he stammers, his voice barely above a whisper. "But they always come when the mist appears. We have to get out of here!"

Ashley grabs hold of the boy's hand, her grip firm as she tries to steady herself. "We need to stick together," she says, her voice trembling slightly. "Lucas, can you see anything? Which way should we go?"

Lucas squints through the thick mist, straining to make out any discernible shapes in the swirling fog. "I can't see a thing," he admits, frustration creeping into his voice. "But we can't stay here. We have to keep moving. "

"Follow me, i know the forest." The boy said and they did without hesitating.

As they stumble through the dense mist, their senses on high alert, they suddenly hear a low growl emanating from the shadows ahead. The hairs on the back of their necks stand on end as they realize they're not alone in the darkness.

Lucas pulls Ashley and the boy close without hesitation, urging them to move quickly. But their path is blocked by a wall of thick underbrush, and the growling draws closer with each passing moment. Lucas quickly pulls both of them to the first floor. "It's the bear," he said.

The boy's eyes widened in horror at the mention of the bear his breath catching in his throat "That's not a bear, that's 'Malum' and if you have already seen him then your life is over."

Ashley clutched Lucas's arm, her heart racing with fear as she tried to process the gravity of the situation. The growls grew louder, more menacing, echoing through the mist-shrouded forest.

As 'Malum' emerged from the shadows, his massive form casting a terrifying silhouette in the mist, Lucas, Ashley, and the boy braced themselves for the worst. The creature's fur was as black as midnight, and its eyes glowed a malevolent red in the darkness. Its growls reverberated through the clearing, causing the very ground beneath their feet to tremble.

In a moment of desperation, Lucas remembered the lantern they had found earlier. With trembling hands, he fumbled for it and managed to light it with a flicker of hope. The lantern cast a warm glow around them, pushing back the oppressive darkness just enough for them to see 'Malum' more clearly.

But what they saw next left them frozen in terror. 'Malum' wasn't alone. Behind him, a pack of shadowy figures emerged from the mist, their eyes gleaming with a wicked light. They moved with an eerie grace, surrounding Lucas, Ashley, and the boy in Darkness, Lucas then threw the lamp at them, Breaking out a fire to scare the creatures away.

As the flames leaped and crackled, casting flickering shadows that danced across the clearing, the creatures recoiled, hissing and snarling in fury. The fire seemed to repel them, forcing them to retreat into the darkness from whence they came.

Lucas, Ashley, and the boy watched in awe and relief as the creatures slunk away, their forms melting into the shadows until they were nothing more than fleeting glimpses of darkness among the trees.

"We need to get out of here," Ashley said, her voice trembling with adrenaline as she clung to Lucas's arm.

Lucas nodded, his gaze scanning the clearing for any sign of danger. "Agreed. Let's find a way back to the trail and get back into our damn cabin! Ashley try and call 911, we can not allow this fire to consume the forest. Tell them we saw it from our cabin."

Ashley pulls out her phone and dials, "UGH no service!"

"Keep trying while we're running, let's go now!" Lucas replied. She keeps dialing while they're running through the dark forest, avoiding trees and trying not to trip over barely visible sticks and brush.

"911 what's your emergency?"

"Hello, Hi, Yes, Hurry to the Rock Creek Forest, South by Coyote and Bobcat Ln, A fire has started and it's spreading quickly! My name is Ashley Thompson and I live with my boyfriend Lucas Wilson in an complete off-grid cabin out here."

"Yes ma'am thank you, Please try and stay calm. We have tracked your location and fire emergency services already left two minutes ago from a report of a fire. Cover your mouth and noses with cloth and stay where you are, we will have you in safety soon.

"Thank you" beep beep beep* "damn it I lost services again" Ashley shouted.

"It's okay we're almost back to the cabin. is everyone okay?"

The 3 of them run back into the cabin, Lucas encourages the boy to sit on their couch. With a sense of anger, confusion, and disbelief in what he just witnessed, Lucas asks the boy "Now tell me what the hell is going on out there. Who are you? What were those demons we saw? Who the fuck is Malum? "What the fuck do you mean our life is over if we have already seen the bear? ANSWER ME."

The boy's eyes darted nervously around the room, his hands trembling as he struggled to find the right words. "I... I've been watching you through the trees for a year now," he began, his voice barely above a whisper. "Every day, I've watched your activities, your lives. I know nothing else but the forest."

He paused, his gaze flickering to the flickering flames of the fire before continuing. "A couple of times in my life, I've seen other people, but I never knew what to do. The creatures told me when I was young that the other humans were bad and to stay away. But now I know... it's the creatures that are bad. The "Fey Folk", they call themselves. A group of Banshee, Hags, Glaistigs, Drows, Red Caps, Jinn's, and the remaining Krause left in the world. All of them have been banished here, far from humans by even higher powers for acts too evil and sinister that put the order of nature out of balance."

His voice grew stronger, fueled by anger and determination. "Malum... he's the ruler of the creatures, a Jinn. He's powerful and dangerous. If he's seen you, then..." He trailed off, the weight of his words hanging heavy in the air.

"But why?" Lucas pressed, his voice tinged with frustration. "Why is Malum after us? What does he want?"
"We have been here for years now and never experienced anything unusual and sure nothing like that while taking a walk," said Ashley.

The boy's eyes widened as he looked at Lucas and Ashley, a mix of fear and pity in his gaze. "Ghosts, demons, all spirits, the afterlife, its all real, and it's true all of them need the energy to thrive. Malum is drawn to powerful energy. Your presence here must have awakened something within the forest, something that caught his attention. He seeks to absorb that energy, to grow stronger and more malevolent with each encounter. You are in grave danger as long as you remain in this Forest. You shouldn't have come to this part of the forest."

"So you mean to tell me that all those urban legends and ghost stories. demonic possessions and haunted houses are real? I mean couldn't it have been animals or something right?" Ashley says in a serious tone but unsure.

"No pact animals in this forest look like that," says Lucas gripping her hand. "How would we know not to go there? That's ridiculous."

The boy shook his head solemnly. "There are forces in this world far beyond what most people can comprehend. The Fey Folk are ancient beings and you sure have no power or any idea of how to stop them. They feed on fear, on darkness, on the energy of the living. Malum is just one of many creatures that lurk in the shadows, waiting for their chance to strike," He scuffs. "I didn't think other people were actually this ignorant to spirits like they told me."

"We need to find a way to protect ourselves," Lucas said, his voice firm with determination. "We can't just sit here and wait for them to come back. We need a plan."
Suddenly, as if in response to Lucas's determination, the atmosphere shifted drastically. Objects began knocking themselves over, and everything in the vicinity shook violently. The air crackled with an unsettling energy, sending shivers down their spines.
His voice rising above the chaos, the boy's eyes widened in alarm. "This is not good! Malum's presence is growing stronger. He's coming for you, and he's not alone! I'm really sorry about this.."

The boy ran out of the cabin, slamming the door on his way out. Lucas and Ashley looked out the window to see him run back into the forest. All alone.

"I'm so fucking confused baby what's going on!!" she says while crying and panicking. "It's okay, we're gonna be okay

As Ashley trembled with fear and confusion, Lucas wrapped his arms around her, trying to offer some comfort amidst the chaos. "We need to stay calm and think this through," he said, his voice steady despite the turmoil raging around them. "Whatever happens, we'll face it together."
Ashley nodded, wiping away her tears as she tried to regain her composure. "You're right," she said, her voice trembling slightly. "We can't let fear control us. We have to find a way to fight back, to protect ourselves."

Lucas glanced around the cabin, his mind racing with possibilities. "First things first, we need to fortify this place," he said, his tone determined. "We'll barricade the doors and windows, make it as difficult as possible for Malum and his minions to get in."
As they hastily gathered whatever furniture they could find to block the entrances, the air crackled with a sense of impending danger. Outside, the forest seemed to come alive with malevolent energy, the shadows twisting and writhing with unseen forces.

"We need weapons," Ashley said, her voice urgent as she scanned the room for anything they could use to defend themselves. "Something to fight back with if they come for us."

Lucas nodded, his gaze falling on the fireplace where a set of iron fireplace tools sat nearby. "These will have to do," he said, picking up the poker and brandishing it like a makeshift weapon. "We'll use whatever we can find to protect ourselves."

Suddenly, a loud crash echoed through the cabin as the front door burst open, splintering from its hinges. Lucas and Ashley spun around to see Malum standing in the doorway.
"Get back!" Lucas shouted, lunging forward with the fireplace poker held high. But Malum was too quick, swatting Lucas aside with a powerful swipe of his clawed hand.

Ashley screamed as she watched Lucas crumple to the floor, blood oozing from a massive gash in his stomach. She scrambled backward, her heart pounding in her chest as she tried to put some distance between herself and the creature.

But Malum was relentless, his gaze fixed on Ashley as he advanced into the cabin. She looked around frantically, searching for anything she could use to defend herself.

Then, her eyes fell on the lantern sitting on the table nearby, its flame flickering in the darkness. With a surge of determination, Ashley grabbed hold of it and hurled it towards Malum, the flames bursting to life as they engulfed him and the cabin in a fiery blaze.

Frantically trying to escape, a Hag jumps onto her, All of them burning in the flames...

As the flames consumed the cabin, the sounds of sirens and lights flashing red and blue pulled near the burning house. "Get those hoses on the fire, now!" the fire chief barked, his voice cutting through the chaos as he directed his crew. "We need to contain this blaze before it spreads any further!"

An officer spotted the boy amongst the trees and ran after him, the boy didn't know if he should run or stay. His home was burning to the ground and that hurt him. "Are you hurt? what's your name son?" The officer picks the boy up and takes him to an ambulance that's prepped for the injured.

While the boy is sitting on the bed getting ashes whipped from his face, wrapped in a blanket. He says "My name is Malum, I've lived in the forest my entire life. What's your name?"

-The End

The family around the fire gave a round of applause while Kevin sat back down in his chair and took a drink of water. "Made that off my head, what do you think?"

Mom: Oh it was lovely my child, but Malum? Did he possess the boy?

Kevin: All of ya'll can sleep on that question. He says sarcastically with a smile.

Grandpa and Grandma: Smores anyone?

-3633 words
Written for "Merit Badge Magic
© Copyright 2024 Kevster (kiwi.juice.420 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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