This is a stand-alone story from the Tales from the Woods series. (See the excerpt after the description.)
Want to know more about what happens in Bear Wood? The Woods gives you another glimpse at the horrors that live within. Will this little girl and her siblings make it out alive? Find out in this Tales from the Woods story. $0.99
I lie here, crying at first and then sobbing; now quiet and wondering. Will I die? I think my brothers and sisters are dead already.
The trees are so tall, or at least they seem to be from where I am. I can see vines growing up some of the trees, and I wonder how far out we are. I can’t see the sun, though I know it’s daylight. It may be starting to rain; I feel a drop every so often.
I wonder where our mother is. What day is it? She went on a weekend trip with her boyfriend, leaving on Friday, to be back on Sunday night. She left our oldest sister and brother in charge. She’d never done this before, but decided that since I now knew the dangers of the woods we would be safe. Mom never even worked outside the home because she said she had to protect us, so leaving us was a big deal for her; her first time getting away.
Now I lie here wondering if she had actually been telling us the truth. The things she said hadn’t made sense at the time. They hadn’t seemed real, somehow.
But now I know the truth.
“You must never go into the woods, and I will tell you why. Bad things happen to boys and girls and men and women when they enter the woods, and they aren’t usually seen alive again. Sometimes, though, someone will live to tell the rest of us about it.”
I remember asking if they told on the bad people who had hurt them, but she said no. She said they hadn’t known who had hurt them.
“A boy escaped once, and said they had cut him and starved him. And they had hit him. Sure enough, when the doctor checked him out, he had been beaten and cut and was malnourished.”
I wasn’t sure I believed her. Who would do that to a person?
“One day Mrs. Cambridge got too close. Someone grabbed her and dragged her deep into the woods. He had her way with her, and beat her up, but she did actually escape. It took her two days to find her way out of the woods.”
The neighbors said Mrs. Cambridge hurt herself to make it look like someone else had done it. That she was cheating on her husband and had gotten pregnant, and she didn’t want to get caught. Then she told everyone the baby was born premature ‘cause it had only been six months since the incident. My mother said the neighbors were lying.
“Tell that to all the people who went into the woods and never came out. Tell that to all their families who still miss them.”