Cabin in the Woods
By: Wayne Brown
I can still remember when I found that little place that was all my own hidden in that large trek of forest just off of Highway 61. It was my little sanctuary; the place I went when I needed to be alone with my thoughts and write. It was a small cabin with just enough room to sleep, eat, and work; a perfect little place isolated from all of mankind hidden in those peaceful trees where the sunlight would shine through in long, leaning beams highlighted with the dust and haze in the air which it cut through on its path to the forest floor.
I had owned the little cabin for years and attributed much of my success as a writer to the quiet solitude of its surroundings. I was at peace there away from the world and totally immersed in my own imagination. I was able to create that writing style which had brought me fame and paid the bills on a regular basis. The little cabin was not only a joy; it had become an integral part of my life as a writer.
All that changed two years ago on a quiet, dark, cloudless night in October. I had spent an entire week at the cabin and finished the last few chapters of a book with due date to my publisher. I was feeling a strong sense of accomplishment and pride in the work that I had turned out in the past few days. Normally I would have left the cabin by midday and made my way back to the city. On this occasion, I was so close to finishing and so embroiled in the work at hand. I paid little attention to the time. The afternoon wore on as wrote like a madman on crack. I could see the finish line and raced toward it as I tapped away at my laptop keyboard.
The book I was writing was a novel built around the story of a band of werewolves who lived on the forest fringe of a large city. These were people who had found each other over time and were fighting to survive as they wrestled the curse which had befallen them, a curse which came upon them during the full of the moon and made them thirst for the taste of raw human flesh. The animal within them surfaced making them howl and prowl the edges of the city in their lust for flesh. The subject was new to me as was the storyline. I was not the Stephen King type but my publisher convinced me that I needed to expand my circle of readers. This type of writing, he was convinced, would do it for me.
I had completed a great deal of research on the subject of werewolves learning more that I ever wanted to know of the subject. I approached the subject almost tongue in cheek not really believing such a twist of animal and man could actually exist. My research soon caused me to question my perspective. The more I read, the more I learned of the people who did believe, who had almost died at the hands of such a beast. I read of the experiences, the horrifying scenes of carnage in places where the beast had struck some victim unaware of the dangers that lay nearby. I saw the photos, the teeth and claw marks on the bodies, the damage…nothing about the grisly rendering appeared humanly capable. No, this was the work of a super-beast.
I guess you could say that in my research, I quickly became a believer. My book also took on new dimensions as I began to write from the very depths of that belief and awareness. My research had paid off but in the process had moved a subject from a place of absurdity in my brain to a place of fear in my heart.
As I finished my closing lines for the final chapter, I glanced at the clock and realized that it was much later that I had thought. Dark had fallen and I had planned to get back to the city by early afternoon. I would have people expecting me as I had told them I would be there. I was already late. I knew I just needed to pack up and get back and that is what I did.
The cabin was a little over a mile from the main highway connecting with it via a well-worn path through the forest. A road had never been built due to the expense of removing all the trees and clearing the ground. I had left the car in a patch of trees near the highway. This was my normal mode of operation and honestly I always looked forward to the walk to the cabin as I packed my supplies and laptop on my back. The trip back was always much lighter with only my laptop and a few dirty socks in the backpack. That was the case on the October night as I locked the cabin door around 8 PM in the evening.
I had never walked the path at night. This would be my first experience at picking my way in the dark but the moon was full offering some light even in the cover of the forest. I felt sure that I could navigate the path. I locked the cabin door and looked around one last time to make sure that everything was in order and nothing was left outside. I was off on my journey to the city. As I turned and walked off into the trees a lone coyote howled in the distance, at least I thought it was a coyote. I remember thinking that I had never noticed coyotes howling out here before. Then I dropped it and focused on following the trail.
As I plodded along the path I was soon overcome with the awareness of how quiet the forest is on a moonlight night. Other than the recent coyote’s howl, I was surrounded by total stillness, total calm. The only sounds my ears registered were the sound of my shoes rasping on the path and the rhythm of my own breathing as I kept the pace along the path rather brisk. Though the cabin was a quiet atmosphere, it did not rival this solitude of the forest.
At times, the forest canopy became so thick that the moonlight was shutout. I would lose sight of the path and curse my stupidity for not remembering to pack a flashlight. I was a writer woefully unprepared for operating in survival mode. I swore to myself as I walked promising that I would not come back without better preparation in the future. As I passed into the darkened areas my pace was quickening unconsciously. Soon I was beginning to feel a bit winded and my breathing was labored. As I came to a break in the tree cover, I stopped for a rest near a large rock beside the trail. I felt myself panicking a bit and yet I really did not understand why.
My breathing slowed restoring the quiet of the forest around me. I began to contemplate moving on. Suddenly, there was a blood curdling howl so very close by. I was caught totally off guard and gave totally in to my instincts lunging off in a quick run down the darkened trail. Soon I was running full-out in my fear and stupidity. I looked back over my shoulder at times and thought I could hear the sounds of something running behind me. I just ran that much harder.
The tree root stretching across the path was something that I would have seen during the day and stepped over it. On this run through the night, I could barely see anything blinded by an unknown fear that seemed to be slowly catching up to me on my escape from its grasp. On this night, my right foot hit the root head on sending me airborne long enough to lose my footing and land solidly on a twisted left foot. I screamed out in pain as the tendons of my left leg stretched unmercifully under the strain of my body weight falling to the ground. In the process, my forehead had brushed against the bark of a tree trunk opening a large abrasion across my brow. Blood now trickled from the wound and my left ankle was now hurting like hell.
I lay still for a few moments regaining my senses. I must be at least halfway to the car by now. It couldn’t be much further. I could not stay here with my fear. I had to get to the light, to the open space. Suddenly, the pictures from my research popped into my mind. The blood, the carnage, the ripped throats of the victims; pieces of bodies scattered about like a sheet ripped apart in a storm. In that moment I knew the source of my fear. In that moment I knew the howling that I had heard was not that of a coyote. No, it was something much more evil and deadly. It was something that must have followed me here with cruel intentions. It was something well-accustomed to working the moonlit night. I trembled as my blood ran cold at the thought of what could happen in the next few seconds.
I fumbled around with my hands on the ground near the path until I finally located a strong piece of old dead tree branch. I broke limbs off of it until I fashioned a crutch of sorts which I then used to raise myself from the ground. Limping and leaning on the crutch, I continued on my journey along the path. At times I would stop and listen. The solitude continued although on my second stop to rest, I swear to this day that I could hear that creature breathing in the dark nearby.
After what seemed like hours on the trail dragging myself along in fear, I finally limped up to the car. I was overcome with relief as the journey along the trail had been the worst experience of my life. I looked at my watch. It was ten o’clock. It had taken two hours to transit the one mile distance. As I retrieved my keys to actuate the locks, there was a scurrying sound in the brush up on the high forest floor above then there was this shrieking howl like no man who ever lived has ever heard to tell about it. I quickly scrambled into the car and locked the doors. I jammed the key into the ignition and said a prayer that the engine would start. It roared to life on the first try.
I slammed the gear selector into the reverse position and backed out of the treed area, then yanked the transmission into drive and floored the accelerator in my attempt to get on the highway. I saw movement on my left darting through the trees, racing, rapid movement, super human movement. There was something there, I was sure of it.
As my tires left the gravel surface and bit into the asphalt of the highway, they screamed for traction as I held the accelerator pedal to the floor and steered the car like a madman. The beast came out of the woods on my left running at a blinding speed looking much like a wolf but far more muscular and large. It stood erect on its rear legs as it ran in a direction bent on heading off my path along the highway. The beast and the car collided at full speed with the blow shoving the car sideways for a distance as the impact of the beast was absorbed into it. The animal slammed into the driver’s door totally enveloping that side of the car and rolling partially upon the roof. I heard the metal of the roof began to crush under the weight. I held the throttle on the floor as the car regained momentum and hurled the beast along with it on its path down the highway.
The left rear passenger window shattered as one paw of the beast shoved its way through. Hearing the glass shatter, I turned my head quickly to the left to glance into the rear area of the passenger compartment. At that moment, the kicking paw extended through the broken window slashed against my left cheek drawing blood along two parallel lines angling down the side of the cheek. I winced and pulled away in fright but continue driving the car which now was careening almost out of control down the highway.
The smell of the beast bled through the broken rear window. Blood from its injuries rolled down the windshield. It smelled of wildness and evil that I had never experienced. It smelled of testosterone, or at least how I imagined testosterone would smell. It smelled of strength, blinding strength. Then it suddenly fell away from the car and onto the road surface. Thinking it dead, I brought car to a stop and quickly looked back down the road only to realize that I had not killed or injured it sufficiently. It was up and moving in my direction again. I again floored the throttle and drove out of sight at all the speed that I could squeeze out of the car.
That was two years ago. I never told the story to anyone. I took the car to a self-service carwash and cleaned it up. I then told my friends that I had been involved in an unfortunate accident while returning from the cabin. I told them that I had swerved to avoid a deer that was crossing the road only to have the deer impact with the car and injury me in the process. It was a viable story and never questioned.
Since that time, things have changed for me. I have gone through some physical changes that I cannot explain. I am now a slave to the lunar cycle and live in dread of the coming of the full moon in each cycle. I am not totally aware of what happens to me but my research on werewolves and the experience that I suffered in the woods gives me a fairly good idea. I think my situation gets worse with each cycle of the moon and I feel certain that soon I will create a great amount of carnage and possibly hurt some of those people around me in the process. Given that awareness, I still cannot muster the courage to destroy myself and leave this world.
Six months ago, I sold my apartment in the city and moved to the cabin here in the forest. I continue to write novels and have become a recognized writer on the subject of fictional werewolves and the horrors associated with them. My writing has steadily improved making that first novel look like the work of a novice. Much of what I write hits the best-seller lists and sometimes goes all the way to the top. I am said to have the most imaginative mind of all fictional horror writers. By all accounts, I should be in the pinnacle of my career yet that is not the case.
My curse dealt to me by the scratch on my cheek continues to grow within my body. I am slowly maturing into a super-beast driven to rage with the full of the moon. I find myself thirsting for the smell of human flesh; overcome with the desire to tear into it with my teeth. I cannot bear to imagine how this will end. Surely, I am already killing on some level during my transformations. My memory is blank but at times there are stories I hear that have a familiar ring. I have removed myself from my circle of friends and avoid family as much as possible especially in the full moon cycle.
I currently spend my days working on a way to contain myself. I am converting the small shed in back of the cabin to restrain myself. I have reinforced the interior with a steel rebar cage and I am now installing a set of metal rings and chains which I will use to entrap myself in the cage. My plan is to move to the cage as the full-moon cycle approaches and restrain myself until it passes and allows me to return to a somewhat normal existence. I purposely put no food or water in the shed as I have no plan to nourish the beast. If a lack of water or food should be responsible for its death then I do not want to remove that possibility. I cannot kill the beast but I am willing to let it die.
The cabin has become my sanctuary and now it will be my prison of sorts. There is no cure for my curse other than isolation and restraint. If my restraint plan does not work, I am sure to be lurking about in these woods in search of human flesh.
© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.
OTHER HALLOWEEN LINKS FOR YOU!
Below is a list of links with Halloween style stories by some fellow Hubbers and a few more by me as well. Enjoy!
http://hubpages.com/hub/Witches-Just-Wanna-Have-Fun a fun poem by ladyjane1
http://hubpages.com/hub/When-Evil-Comes a short-story by akirchner
http://hubpages.com/hub/a-scary-love-story by SilentReed
http://hubpages.com/hub/House-On-The-Hill a short-story by Nellieanna http://hubpages.com/hub/Halloween-the-roots-bole-and-fruit by MartieCoetser http://hubpages.com/hub/Cheap-and-Creative-Halloween-Decorations by angel115707
http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Covens-Dance a poem by poetvix
http://hubpages.com/hub/no-title-yet a death poem by writinginalaska
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Quit-Smoking-for-Halloween a smoking tale by Austinstar.
http://hubpages.com/hub/A-DUNGEON-HELL a poem by Wayne Brown http://hubpages.com/hub/DEATH-CLOCK a poem by Wayne Brown http://hubpages.com/hub/DEVILS-SWAMP a poem by Wayne Brown http://hubpages.com/hub/DEATH-WAKE a poem by Wayne Brown http://hubpages.com/hub/Boogie-Man a true account by Wayne Brown
http://hubpages.com/hub/RALWUS-DREAMS a poem by Wayne Brown
http://hubpages.com/hub/CURSE-OF-THE-HAG a poem by Wayne Brown
http://hubpages.com/hub/WOLF-MOON a poem by Wayne Brown