Rob and Alice arrive at a cabin in the woods for a romantic weekend break.
“Really, Rob. This IS my idea of a romantic summer’s night.” Sarcasm rose to the surface in Alice’s voice, as she nervously played with the blonde fringe hanging over her eyes.
“I’ve seen the movies. You know as well as I do what happens in these deserted cabins, in forests, miles away from anywhere.” She took a deep breath and continued, “People usually die.”
“We’re twenty minutes from town, ten if I break the speed limit and if anything happens, I will break the speed limit,” Rob told her with a reassuring smile on his face. The beam of the headlights lit up the cabin in front of them and also lit up his eyes. He rubbed a hand across his shaved head, still smiling and explained, “This isn’t a film Alice, it’s a holiday. We aren’t far away, but it’s quiet.”
"Mmmm," was Alices only reply.
“I’ll go and see if there are any lights inside,” Rob said and then pulled at his door handle. As an afterthought, he added, “I’ll leave the headlights on. I’ll be back now.”
“I’m not staying here on my own.” Alice stopped fiddling with her fringe and reached for her own door handle. She climbed out of the car, there was a splashing sound and her feet were immediately soaked,
as her sneakers sank into a mud puddle.
She lifted her feet out of the mud, making a sucking, squelching sound as she did so. She brushed her knee length skirt flat against her legs and let out a sigh when she felt the skirt was also wet.
“This is stupid, Rob.” She looked around into the dark tree-line behind her. “Can’t we just stay in a hotel?”
“You should’ve waited in the car like I said,” Rob laughed as he looked at her standing in the mud in the darkness.
Alice began to work her way through the mud, following Rob towards the cabin. There was a squelch with every step she took, she seemed to be in thicker mud than Rob..
Alice began to walk faster to make sure she would keep up, the cabin was now only a few metres in front of them.
She felt her foot catch on something beneath the mud and as soon as she did, she knew what was coming. The top of her body began to move forwards and her feet stayed put, the only direction for Alice was down.
She flailed her arms in a feeble attempt to stay upright and as she seen the muddy ground rise towards her, she called out Rob’s name.
Rob almost fell over himself, he began to laugh so hard. He just about seen as Alice went face down into the mud, the splash of her fall left a few drops of dirty water on his own face.
Almost doubled up laughing, he walked in her direction so he could help her up and take her inside to get cleaned up. He felt his own feet sinking into the mud now, it was definitely worse on the side where Alice walked.
He leaned forward to help Alice up, she was climbing out of the dirt mumbling to herself and cursing Rob.
He put his hand under her shoulder and pulled her to her feet and asked her if she was alright.
“Are you joking me? Am I alright?” Alice was shouting now, but Rob wasn’t interested in her complaints. He was looking over her shoulder into the darkness of the forest and whatever it was that moved there.
“I’ve only got one spare pair of jeans and no shoes, that’s right, no shoes. Not only that, but….”
Rob didn’t let her continue, he grabbed her around the waist and began to pull her towards the cabin; attempting to break into a run. He stumbled and fell in the mud, but he jumped straight back up and continued to pull at Alice, trying to make her hurry up.
“…underwear.” She continued while Rob pulled at her. “What are you doing now, trying to drown us both? Slow down, I’ll fall again.”
Rob continued to pull her. Whatever it was that had been in the trees was now in the mud. The squelching sound was getting louder as whatever it was got closer.
Alice span on the spot, stopped her complaints and asked Rob, “What’s that?”
Rob didn’t bother answering, he tugged at Alice and she stumbled and fell backwards into the mud. She could feel the slime of dirt embracing the tops of her legs and washing around her waist as she landed. She could also see a pair of something that resembled hands, but didn’t look quite right, come out of the darkness and just miss her as she fell.
She felt Rob tug at her jacket and this time she turned around and attempted to run through the ever deepening mud. She slipped, but she could feel the steps to the cabin as she reached her hands out in front of her. She began to crawl forwards, clinging to the wood, hoping she could pull herself faster than she could go on all fours.
Rob was doing the same next to her. Pulling himself, using the wood on the steps to get a grip so he could tug himself through the slime.
Alice watched him lose his grip and begin to slide backwards. She turned and looked behind them and saw one of the disfigured hands had a hold of Rob’s leg. A set of round, marble like eyes glowed out of the darkness and a mouth filled with sharp teeth appeared.
Alice let out a scream that echoed through the forest as she felt the other hand grab her own leg, and, like Rob, she began to slide, as she was dragged by whatever had a hold of her into the darkness.
The lights of the car lit up the wooden cabin that was in the woods, not far from the city.