I parked the truck off of the side of the road as I normally do on nights I decided to go hunting before the season ends. I grabbed my camel back tossed it on my shoulders and took off in a direction I saw fit to go.
For a while it had seemed that the longer I trucked along windy trails and dead trees the more my lungs felt heavier than normal during winter. Almost as if the air had tasted different somehow.
Still moving, searching for that perfect kill, I would peer down every now and again to look at my watch, seeing that time was moving more lethargic than it felt. I looked up to see the sun was squatting just behind the horizon which should have meant the time was 430 pm but my watch had read 12 pm. It didn’t make sense that the darkness was coming so fast but time was moving so slow.
At some point just before the darkness consumed the daylight I casually heard the sound a small girl laugh, giggle maybe even playfully laugh. It sent shivers down my spine as I spun around to see a small girl disappear into the darkness.
I grabbed my flashlight “click” looked around to see the forest standing still, no wind, no movement, no sway of the tree canopies or even the snow shifting. I took a couple min to gather my bearings. As I stood in silence breathing deeply as I could, I then heard just behind me an exhale. Spinning around I a small girl just out of view. The harder I listen I pick up on what I can vaguely hear, “Come and play, come to play, you time has come to an end, I want to wear your face.” Without hesitation I bolt the opposite direction as fast as I could dropping my rifle not thinking for a second I could have shot her blank in the face out of fear.
As I ran feeling the pressure of the snow under my boots I couldn’t make myself stop. There was something about what I saw that had caused my mind to force me to run.
As I darted in between trees “snap” I fall to the ground blood warms my shivering ankle. Pain rips through my nervous system at an alarming rate. Letting out a shrill cry, my echoes were silenced by the dead darkness that clamped its way over me as my flashlight flicked on and off.
My heart was racing, my blood was pumping heavily through my veins, my arteries, it sent my body into chaos.
Then I heard the same breath behind me but I feared to look back. Covering my ears with the palms of my hands. I felt the words creep into my ear lobes, “Please come play with me.” Getting louder and louder.
I cried out, “Stop, please leave me alone, go away.” But the silence deafened my ears with giggling and singing.
All of a sudden without warning I opened my eyes after having shut them for so long to deal with the pain and with one final flicker of light from my light, there she was in plain sight, red hair, green eyes white skin, scars gapped around her mouth to form a frown from her lips, with a raised hand-held with machete…
“Please, come play with me, I’m so lonely, I need a new face.”