I doubt that anyone could, nor even would read this. No one cares about me, and therefore no one would bother listening to my words. If there is someone who can read this- someone who can hear what could be my final words, then I would be grateful if you would listen.
Before all of this, I was an average village shepherd boy. I kept to myself and tended to my flock of sheep. Like any shepherd, the others saw me as some poor peasant that lived below them. It was as if I was one of the scabrous rats that scurried through the streets. Not like it mattered to me, though. I was content with my way of life. I lived in a house that I fashioned with old logs from the forest, and held together with plant fibers. This small hut sat atop the hill of a glade in the pine forest. Here is where I lived with countless sheep and my one black sheepdog, Max.
The sheep became friends to me, but that one dog was my family. Me and that lovely beast had been working alongside each other ever since we were young. We met when I was only three, and he was just a pup. He has been my partner ever since then. We’ve been ‘to hell and back,’ as they say. Through the hard times and the good ones, Max has been the only one who’s stayed with me, no matter what happened. He took care of me just as well as how I would take care of him.
One day, we were relaxing in the shade of a large pine. The sheep were grazing, and the afternoon sun was emitting a soothing heat. Max and I were taking a break from a hard day’s work. The dog was curled into a ball, and I was sitting, twirling my staff with thought. All I wanted to do was lay in the grass and wait for the day to end. However, there was something off about my surroundings. I could tell that something was wrong. I realized that the sheep had become frightened, and Max was already trying to keep them herded. I was about to help my dear friend with the work.
That one voice is when it started. I was confused as to why someone would wander by such a barren glade. The only visitors that I came by were either deer or bears. Despite this, I turned to find a withered old man. He stood before me, wearing tattered black peasant’s garb and using a crutch to walk. Sunken eyes stared at me, and a crooked smile made me shiver.
“H-H-Hello, sir,” I stuttered. “What brings you here? Are you lost?”
The old man cackled. “A little bit. I was trying to find my way to Whispering Peak Village. I am a very impatient man, you see, so I decided to trek through the forest. Alas, my impatience costed me my sense of direction. I cannot seem to find my way to the village. Perhaps you could help me?”
“I’m terribly sorry to hear that,” I said. “Of course I can help. Whispering Peak Village is only about an hour’s walk from here. Just keep to the east, and you shall find a trail. From there, you should find a signpost to help guide you the rest of the way. I would show you myself, but I’m afraid that Max and I must herd the sheep.”
“Thank you for your kindness, young one,” the old man replied. “Beg your pardon, but I seem to find myself curious. What is a boy like you doing all the way out here? Living in the forest with nothing but a dog and sheep could be very dangerous, y’know.”
This was the first time that I had heard such a question. I had never questioned my way of living until then. I had no troubles here. Bears, wolves, and other dangers were manageable. I had no brawn or weapons, but I was a clever boy. I could easily outwit the dumb beasts. Naturally, it also got very cold in winter, and blazing hot in summer, but I could still endure it. For a moment, I actually thought that I was invincible.
“You see, sir,” I finally answered, “I have to live in this glade for my sheep to graze. I have no parents, and I am too poor to afford a house in the village, so I live out here.”
“No family, eh?” Asked the old man. “Doesn’t it get lonely?”
“Of course not! I have the sheep, and Max is all the family I need. Now, then, would you like some food or water for your hike? I have a bit of bread to spare.”
“No, but thank you anyways. Thanks to that greedy baker, bread is expensive, so I would not wish to deprive you of your things. Before I leave, I must warn you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t you know? Young chaps like yourself have been disappearing. If your alone out here, then you could be an easy target. I will not hurt you, but you best be careful with who you trust. We wouldn’t want something bad to happen, would we?”
“No. Those poor souls. . .what an awful thing to do.”
“That being said, I shall be off. If I stay for much longer, then it would be dark. Goodbye, and be careful of the Black Dogs!”
Wait, what did he say? I thought to myself. Just like that, the man hobbled away before I could press him for more answers. I was about to go help Max, but I saw that he had already herded all of the sheep on his own. The dog was now racing over to meet me.
“A job well done, Max!” I called. “I’m sorry that I didn’t help.”
The dog barked as a response, and sat before me. I reached out and pet him.
“I wish I had something to reward you with,” I spoke to the beast. “I don’t have enough money for any toys or treats.”
Max simply barked in a friendly manner. I thought it was love and understanding, but when I look back on it now, I see that it was just the blind loyalty of a pet. Regardless, I appreciated his company and willingness to stay with me. Unlike several friends and family with whom I’ve met, he never abandoned me.
After a long while of the usual work, the sun had set, and a starry night sky had clouded the glade with a veil of black. I had already lit a fire, and was laying down with Max. The crackling flames were peaceful, and faintly glowed in the darkness. It was nice to relax with my friend. With Max already fast asleep, I soon let slumber claim myself. Pleasant dreams of a rushing stream and large oak trees played within my sleeping head. However, the peace did not last long.
Whilst I was still in my dreams, I heard faint footsteps. They were heavy, but slow. I looked here and there, but I realized that the sound was in the real world. Hastily pinching myself awake, I saw the night sky and the dying fire. Max had his head up, and his ears pricked.
“What is it, Max?” I asked. “Is there a bear? A wolf?”
Despite m asking, I knew that this was no wolf. It was something big. The footsteps were heavy and slow, like a bear’s. Nobody knows what kind of beings could be wandering a pine forest, though. It could’ve been anything. For all I knew, it could’ve been a sasquatch.
Max suddenly sprung to his feet and began barking. The fur on his back was raised, and his ears flattened. I had never seen him act so savagely. The sight of his primitive nature was one that shocked me. I was afraid that something far worst than a forest beast had come to our camp. I picked up my staff, and waited for something to happen. Only shadows could be seen, though.
“H-Hello?” I asked with breathless words. “Wh-Who’s there? Show yourself!”
Then I saw them. Two masculine figures, both wearing dark robes, had stepped into the scene. I did not know who they were, but my heart began to race, and my lungs were hyperventilating. The words ‘black dogs’ rang inside my head. Fear was making me shake and quiver. I felt as if I was staring into the eyes of a heartless monster.
The sheep were already scurrying away, and Max was frothing at the mouth. I wanted to turn and flee, but something stopped me. My entire body was paralyzed.
“Who are you?” I whimpered.
The two figures got closer. Both were fixated on me, as if I were some kind of diamond in the rough of animals. One reached out a gloved hand, getting closer and closer to me…
Suddenly, Max leaped at the figure and sank his fangs into the supposed enemy’s arm. Crimson blood splattered onto the grass. I broke from my trance and turned to run. Alas, I only ran five feet before a third figure stopped me. As this man grasped me by the arm, holding it as if he were going to break it, I realized how many of these shady figures there was. They crept from the brush, and snuck around the fleeing sheep. I knew that there was less, but it felt like there were thousands of them. They all got near to me, closing in on their target. I was the fawn that was being hunted by this pack of dark wolves. All I could do was struggle and cry for help. There was no way out. The Black Dogs were everywhere.
I could not bare to look at this. Part of me knew what it was. When I did glance, my own heart dropped. Max had fallen to the ground. He continued to lay there, completely motionless. I heard him choke and gasp, suffocating on his own blood. My only family was dying in the slowest possible way, and all I could do was cry and scream. This is what I did as they dragged me into the dark forest. . .
When I woke up, I was in a small square cage. The roof was too low for me to even stand, and the space between the walls was shorter than myself. I did not care, though. I had lost my only friend. I saw him lose his life, and all I could do was watch. While I was trying to run away, he was fighting them all alone. These dark beings had dragged me away from my home, and left me in this prison that I was now trapped in.
I looked outside the steel bars of my prison. I was in a dark chamber, where chains hung from the wall, and bones were scattered across the floor. One claw-footed altar stood at the center, stained with dark crimson residue. I was alone. Waiting here for whatever fate would befall me.
This was my prison for countless days. The same dark figures would come into the chamber, then preach their loyalty to Satan and his dark thralls. In doing so, they took bits and pieces of myself. They sacrificed my hand, to mock the hand of god. They sacrificed my eye, so that I would be able to see hell for myself. They sacrificed my tongue, so that twisted angels could communicate with it. They sacrificed my right leg, so that I could not run away. I did not care about it, though. I would’ve let them tear every limb fro my body if it meant getting Max back. Sadly, death was a one-way route for any living being.
For what felt like eternity, this was my life. I was torn apart, then thrown in a cage to bleed and rot. I write this biography with a stolen quill, and use my own blood as the ink. This is all I can do. This is who I have become. I am a toy for naughty children to tear apart, and this is where I stay. All I can do is wait for these demons to drag my cursed soul to hell. But until then, I am forced to stay here, and watch my own blood drip from the altar.