The story of an old man, who has a visitor at his home.
| By the dim light of a transom window, an elderly man read something written in a book. The words—barely legible at this point—were familiar to the man, as he read it often. The book was of a terrible nature, describing dark fantasies and dangerous escapades into unknown lands with unknowable creatures whose screams and shrieks could leave even the strongest man without a stable mind, but nonetheless the old and tenuous man enjoyed this book, as was evident by the scratched cover and tattered spine from frequent use.
A knock at the door startled the elder, as he wasn’t expecting visitors—at this time, or any—except the coroner diagnosing his fetid demise. Nonetheless he opened the door, and to his surprise, there stood a tall, rugged man on his porch. The man at the door was large in stature and menacing in appearance. His overcoat was long and torn at the tails suggesting he wore it often, paired with his boots, which could not have been mistaken for anything other than a working man’s, were torn and tattered as well. His eyes gleamed with a light only displayed by those who have seen unnatural things and lived. He spoke:
“You sir!” He said with a terrible inflection “You must help me! There are... things in these woods!”
The house in which the elderly man lived was atop a small hill in a pine forest, hidden amongst the tall trees and verdant plains beyond them. The house was large, two stories tall with a tower on the East end and a small porch with 3 creaky stairs leading up to it on the North. The house was, to say the least, quite menacing, and the woods surrounding it were no help for that matter.
“What?” replied the elderly man “What things are in the woods?”
“Terrible things, making terrible noises! You must let me in!”
The man at the door was allowed to enter, and the elderly man prepared him a cup of tea and gave him a seat on an old and dusty chair, as were most things in this house old and dusty. They spoke about the woods and the man at the door described them as sounding like some tortured creature screaming for help that they cannot receive. The elderly man asked his name.
“Tobey,” He said “Tobey McKinneth”
“Really.” the elderly man replied, seeming to have some outside knowledge of this man.
After a short while there were noises from outside, and Tobey looked troubled. It sounded like a deer which had been tagged by a hunter, and was barely holding onto its own life. Like a distorted and almost maniacal scream let out in a feeble attempt to scare off predators, but this was no deer. The sound that echoed did not come from one direction–no, it came from all around, above and below, from each and every orifice that was in the presence of those two men. Tobey screamed:
“I will not be gotten by some beast, I won’t let you take me!”
He grabbed the elderly man and began pushing him towards the door.
“What are you doing? What have I done?” He asked with fleeting breath.
“You can be taken, you’re old, you’ve lived your life! Let the beast take you!”
The elderly man was pushed out of his house, and onto the small porch. The door was closed and locked behind him. Before Tobey knew it, the screaming from the woods had stopped, and when he opened the door, he was shocked to find there was no old man, and no trees. No porch and no steps, no door and no hill and no house to be found. He turned to look back to where he had opened the door and there was nothing. Nothing but the dirt and the wind to comfort him.