My name is Alissa and I did not want any of this to happened. I am not a very ‘social-butterfly’ of a person. In fact, I prefer the company of books over people on any normal day. But tonight was different.
My two best friends, Kalie and Lexus, had been invited to a party being hosted by a couple of the popular kids and wanted me to tag along. I never did like parties, they always seemed too… noisy for my taste. Even so, stuff was fun when Kalie and Lexus were around, so I decided to go. What did I have to lose?
Everything was going great at first. We chilled and drank soda, Lexus made jokes as usual, we danced a little. But a party full of teenagers was nothing if not crazy, and as it got later into the night, people started bringing out cases of beer and other alcoholic drinks.
Pretty soon kids started drinking until they threw up or blacked out. Everyone was a little buzzed, except for me. I’ve heard stories about innocent people being assaulted after accidentally chugging down drugged drinks and I was not taking any chances.
Eventually our little group migrated into a bigger one with 5 other kids, including one of the hosts, Henry.
“We should play a game!” A dark haired girl suggested, giggling and leaning against another girl’s shoulder.
A grin grew on Henry’s face. “Have… have ya guys heard… of the Seeker?” He asked, stuttering through the question.
The group broke out into incoherent murmurs, some excited about playing a game, others nervous because they knew of The Seeker. I was one of those people.
The Seeker is a character from an old myth, a spooky story six year olds tell at slumber parties. The Story goes that The Seeker was once a handsome man with a wife and a child. His wife was a part of a cult that experimented with bringing the dead back to life. Everyday, he and his child would play Hide and Seek in the woods. It was their favorite game.
The child was excellent at hiding, almost as if they could become invisible, so the father had to focus on listening to every little noise in hopes of catching them. One day, he was finishing up some work and told his child to go ahead into the woods and find a spot to hide. That was a mistake.
It took him hours of searching, but eventually he found his child dead. They say there was no claw marks, bruises, or anything to indicate with had happened, just that the child had no pulse and they were not breathing. Stricken with grief, he carried his child back to the village to give them a proper burial.
The mother, although not very fond of the child, wanted to see her husband smile once again, and so she took the body and attempted to reanimate the child. It worked at first, the child was back and the pair continued to play their game. Slowly, the mother started to notice the child acting strange.
They would have full on conversations with no one at all, and when ever someone would ask about it the child would insist that there was someone. The mother started waking up to the child standing beside they, never speaking a word, only watching. When she attempted to ask the child what they were doing, the child would respond with, “They want to wake up too, Mama.”
Frightened out of her mind, the woman lead the child back into the woods and told them not to follow her back, to never return home. The child obeyed and that was the last anyone ever saw them.
The Story divides into many different endings at that point. In one version, the man takes his own life out of deep sorrow, in another he kills his wife for getting rid of the child. No matter what though the man’s fate is always the same; He seeks his missing child.
I always thought the story was awfully sad. The man lost his only child twice and is doomed to an endless search in order to find them. I used to hope he found them before he died.
“The game’s just hide’n’seek inda dark,” a blonde boy slurred, waving his hand around in odd gestures, “But It’s fun.”
It took some coaxing, but eventually everyone agreed to play and we went outside. We left the safety of the backyard and headed towards the nearby woods to start the game.
The game itself was simple: All the players would say a chant to invite the The Seeker to play, then it was just a matter of surviving till daylight. If he finds you then you have to leave the woods immediately. I am not sure what happens to the people who don’t.
Once we stood at the edge of the woods, we held hands in a circle and began to chant.
“Father, father, let’s play the game
Father, father, It’s the same
Without a spark of light
With the animals at night
No sound I shall make
If so, my life you shall take
Father, father, I’ll hide from you
Father, Father, as long as you find me too”
And so the game began, everyone splitting up to find a hiding spot. I checked my phone first: 12:34. I would have to hide for at least six hours.
Dead leaves and broken sticks crunched loudly under my feet as I walked through the woods. It was so dark that I had to keep waving my arms around so I would not run into a tree. A sense of dread filled my stomach, my skin breaking out in goosebumps despite the fact I was wearing a jacket.
Eventually I came across a tree I thought was sturdy enough and climbed it. My plan was to stay up there as long as I could or until the sun rose, that way if someone was coming I could see them.
I held my breathe as I heard leaves crunching nearby, as if someone was running past. The sound stopped only to be replaced by the ‘clunk‘ of rocks hitting bark. This process continued for a while before whatever made the noise started leaving, the crunching slowly getting farther.
I sighed and clung to the tree, unwillingly to leave its safety. There must have been a bird’s nest in the tree because the next think I know my hand nudges something in the branches. Before I could stopped it, it tumbles to the ground, land with a soft ‘thunk‘.
The sound of leaves crunching returns as fast as if it had never left, stopping right in front of the tree. I close my eyes, praying for the creature to go away. The branches started to shake with the weight of the creature and I hold my breathe once again.
Soon I can feel something watching me from the dark, waiting patiently like a predator that knows its prey can not escape. The creature moves close enough for me to feel the heat radiating off of it. It’s breathe sounded ragged, like it was exhausted, and it kept making quiet growling noises almost as if it was a feral beast.
I whimpered as its hands ran across my face, gentle before they stopped abruptly. The creature growled and backed away, “Not… child…” it spoke with its raspy voice. Slowly, I cracked open my eyes expecting to see it long gone, but it was still there.
Despite the dark, I could make out some features. The creature was vaguely humanoid and wrapped in a mangy cloak, covering up most of its body. It’s face was covered completely by a dark mask, lifted up slightly so that its mouth lined with sharp yellow peeked out. The most unsettling part was the many wispy limbs of darkness that flowed from it, clinging. to anything it could find.
I choked back a scream as I watched the creature use the dark limbs to swing out the tree and leave. As soon as it was gone, I scrambled out the tree, running towards the edge of the woods to get away.
I stood nearby as the police questioned the other kids that played the game last night. Or, the ones that made it back. Only half of us made it back, the other half, including Lexus and Kalie, the police had found dead in the woods this morning, two covered in claw marks and torn open and the other two spotless but no pulse.
I turned my head towards the woods, and I swore I saw it, The Seeker. It looked at me with its messed up, crooked grin, before it turned away, leaving to find its child.