The Forest Beast
Short Story / Written 10/03 / Rated PG

This was a spooky short story I wrote for a class. I'm normally not a big scary story fan, but I think I wrote this around Halloween ;)

Three hooded figures raced through the misty woods just outside of their small town. It was a chilly October night and they were out late like they usually were. The moon was hidden behind several dark clouds that hovered ominously over the remote small town.

The leader was carrying a large flashlight that dimly lit their way as they ran and the other two followed in a straight path behind the first. She had strictly told them that only one flashlight would be allowed on their venture, and she would be the one in charge of it. The only sounds heard were their short, puffing breaths and the crinkle of dried fallen leaves beneath their feet.

After what seemed like an eternity, the trio stopped running to catch their breath. The leader quickly brushed the flashlight's beam over the other two to make sure they were still with her. Her male and female companions winced at the sudden bright light that invaded the otherwise pitch black forest.

"Are we almost there yet?" the female follower asked breathlessly. "My lungs are stinging and I've got a stitch in my side."

"Keep moving, Emily." said the leader as she returned the beam to the veiled path. "You know these parts are dangerous at night."

"Isn't that just a legend, though?" asked the male of the group. "I mean... they only made that up to scare kids."

"You haven't seen what I have, Pete." said the leader as she shone her light on his face again causing him to close his eyes and step back. "Believe me... it is no tale."

With that, she began to run again and the others were obliged to follow as she had the only source of light. The two struggled and stumbled to keep up with her as she glided through the trees with incredible ease as though she had been there many times before.

The other two tried desperately to remember why they were here in the first place... Tala was always trying to get them to go into the forest at night with her. She'd go all the time, but they'd never go with her. There were stories about these woods. Scary stories that were probably fictitious, but still worthy of caution were known by every school-aged child in their small town.

She bet them that she had seen the beast of the forest and Pete was quick to doubt her. So they made a bet, and here they were running to the point where they could barely take it anymore. Just as Pete and Emily were about to beg for another break, the light from the flashlight suddenly flickered and went out as they came to a halt.

"Who's there?" whispered the Emily apprehensively, "Why did you turn the light out?"

There was no answer.

"Tala, where'd you go?" asked the boy as he began to feel around blindly in the dark. "But you're still here, Emily?"

Emily replied with a slight squeak that indicated she was too frightened to speak.

"Tala?" called Pete as he called for the girl with the flashlight. "What happened? Why did you turn the light off? If this is some kind of prank to make us believe your little story..."

A low inhuman moan cut him off and he could feel Emily cling to his arm. "What's there?" she whispered shakily.

"What's there?" he voiced for her as he collected his courage and tried to be the brave one. "This isn't funny, Tal. You're scaring Emily." He stretched his free arm out in front of him and tried to feel around for their other friend.

Emily squeaked again and tightened her grip on his arm, "Pete, look!" she gasped as his eyes caught two others; two silver eyes were glowing back at them. Pete froze and watched the two eyes with mounting fright and curiosity at the same time. He thought about telling Emily to stay still, but he figured she wasn't going anywhere.

The eyes stared at them, unblinking an ominous. Glowing as if they, themselves could have lighted the forest path that dark night. Pete and Emily stared at the eyes in wonder, completely having forgotten about their friend with the flashlight.

Finally, the boy grew impatient with the eyes. "What do you want?" he asked them. "Are you the spooky beast who's come to scare us out of these 'haunted' woods?"

"Pete, knock it off." Warned Emily in a voice so soft he could barely make it out. "I'm scared."

Pete growled. She had done it this time. After months of trying to lure them into the forest at night to scare Emily, Tala had finally succeeded. She was obviously behind this and he wasn't going to let her get away so easily. He shook Emily off his arm to make a grab for the figure that belonged to the glowing eyes.

Emily screamed and the eyes blinked. Pete lost them in the darkness and began to look around frantically to see where they had gone. He had just turned back towards Emily when he saw them again, this time right in front of him, he could see into them, glowing like silver flares in the black sky and he felt his bones go cold. His whole body froze as they eyes moved so close he thought they would swallow him.

Just when he thought he was sure to die, he heard the low growl and chuckle of an unnatural demonic voice as the eyes lit up the fangy grin of the creature that was now inches from his face, "I told you it was no tale."

His face froze in realization and he heard no more.