The Black Forest. A dark, cold forest in Germania, filled with eerie pines and firs that seem to cover the sky with their dark green needles, making it so only bits of light shine through. The ground is moist and is covered in delicate moss. Many hills and ridges make the forest’s paths a difficult trek. Fog covers the sky just below the treetops, giving the area an even further unsettling feel. Many dare not step foot in the forest, for some say it is haunted. Others see no threat of walking the forest’s many paths, those, however, have never returned.
Anita Stone was a daring child. One who loved to explore and venture far into the distance. Her father had told her several times, over and over, to never step foot inside the forest; the Black Forest. He explained that the forest was haunted and that ghouls roamed the depths of the woods. This story frightened the girl, for a time. The girl grew up, however, and slowly began pushing herself to explore the forest her father had spoken of. Finally, after many attempts, she stepped into the dark, mysterious land.
Anita crept into the ever-going abyss, slowly climbing the several obstacles that blocked the path. Step by step she ventured further and further into the void, where the light seemed to fade into the far-out horizon.
“Anita! Anita!” the girl’s father had yelled in a frightened voice.
The child did not want to leave the abyss of the forest and refused to respond to her father’s deafening cries. Anita’s heart pounded guiltily as she heard her father’s echoing yells, however, she felt as if there were a magnet in the forest that pushed her to go further. And further, and further did she go.
She stepped daringly through the forest, her gaze traveling among the scenery of the forestry that surrounded her. It wasn’t what she had thought it would be, the dark canopies above covered most of the light sending a slight chill down her spine. She wasn’t too fond of the dark, especially being alone in a place filled with such mysterious myths and stories. Her pace quickened as she continued traversing through the mystical woods. Her attention turned to the ground as she walked, her eyes admiring the beautifully smooth grey stones as she continued. She loved new things and going on adventures, but something about this made her feel uncomfortable and uneasy - unsure, she resumed her trek.
“What is this?” the girl spoke softly as she looked up from the soil below her, trying to focus her eyes to depict what the large object in the distance was. Anita walked towards it slowly, withholding attention from all, but the mass.
When she reached the object, her eyes stared at its sight in confusion and slight amazement. The object was a cobblestone home small in size and had moss growing atop it, the appearance causing Anita to become curious. The thought of not knowing the home’s secrets killed her inside, she needed to know, her curiosity was just too much to handle - she needed to know. Anita was drawn to the home, a sort of unnatural pull gripping onto her mind, a sort of psychic drive that she was unable to control. It was as if a superior being had taken an extraordinary hold upon her, moving her closer and closer to the home, slowly. The girl hadn’t even noticed, her mind focused on the mystery of the abode, ignoring all outside thoughts. Anita found her way to the old wooden door that created an entrance into the home, gazing up at the fixture with a slight hesitance. She took a deep breath, creaking open the door. She was met with darkness, with only a sliver of light shining through a hole in the roof. She looked around the small home, the darkness causing her heart to pound a bit faster. Another small chill traveled down her spine as she stepped further into the cold, dark cabin.
She looked around with curiosity and fear. She tilted her head as she walked over to the old, dusty furniture that littered the open room. She lightly swept her fingers along an old, rickety table that still held bowls atop it as if whoever lived there had just disappeared. Anita turned her gaze to the other side of the house, walking slowly over to a stone fireplace that sat against the wall. Its old and dusty structure made it known that it hadn’t been used in years. She moved her hand slowly towards it, laying her hand softly upon the cold stones. Her fingers tickled in delight, though the coldness of the rock brought a sense of darkness with it - her inner conscience could feel the horrid past of this place, similar to that of an unlit candle. Once made to bring light to the darkness, though the black overwhelmed it and took over. This place had a strong feeling of discomfort, a feeling as if someone was watching you, a feeling of a preexisting agony, a feeling of an archaic mourn.
Her eyebrows raised as curiosity began to fill her, looking at a small, dusty book that was buried deep in the fireplace. She bent down and reached her hand towards the book, taking hold of it and standing back up. She twisted the old book in her small hands, gazing upon it with more curiosity. The binding of the many pages and the dusty, crusted papers that lay slightly visible at the seams gave Anita the hint it was an old journal. “Perhaps the previous owner,” she thought to herself as she continued to stare at the small book. She unwrapped the dark string draped over the leather-bound journal, flipping through a few pages when she immediately stopped. Her eyes widened and her heart skipped a beat. She stared at one of the pages as her body stood there stunned.
My name is Ada Stone. Someone has trapped me in this place. I am scared. The only light that shines in the darkness of this abode is the candlelight that is lit on the table beside me. It is cold, I think I may be freezing to death. Something is coming. Lord, if you can hear me, let me be free, let me be free. If anyone finds this journal, tell my daughter, Anita, I love her. She is everything that makes my life bright. But now I must go, and I wish a wonderful life ahead of you, Anita. Goodbye.
“This was my mother’s journal. My father said she died during my birthing. What is this place?” she spoke in a fearful voice as her hands remained clasped around the book’s frame. Her body shook slightly, re-reading the same words her mother had written over and over. Her eyes began to blur as water flooded her vision, a few tears escaping her eyes as they traveled down her cheeks and landing on the pages of the book.
Anita jumped up in fright when the door slammed shut. Her heart quickened its pace as she began to breathe heavily. She stood there terrified, unable to move her body as chills ran down her spine. After a moment she regained her ability to move, running towards the door with her heart pounding hard against her chest. More tears ran down her cheeks as her small frame began to shake, attempting to open the locked door. She began pushing the door and beating on it, in hopes that it would open, but the door did not budge. She began to cry, trying to open the door with all of her might as her heart pounded even faster. “What is happening?” the girl exclaimed with a fearful voice, tears running down her face like a river.
She lost all hope that the door would open, her pounding on the door coming to a stop as she turned so her back was against the wooden frame. She slid down, curling up on the ground as she cried harder. Her mind raced in thoughts that she’d be trapped and that she’d suffer the same fate as her mother. Her crying eventually came to ease, allowing her to stand up and face her surroundings. She let out a sniffle, walking slowly towards the old table, and sat down in a creaky chair, lighting the small candle that laid atop the table. She sniffled, taking the journal and opened it shakily, her gaze staring upon the empty page beside her mother’s writing. She took the small ink pen that was planted inside the journal, shakily moving her hand closer to the paper and beginning to write as a few tears ran down her face.
I learned that my mother had not died during my birthing, but in this god-awful home in this forest. My father had lied to me about her, why would he do such a thing. To protect me? From what? What is this place? I have so many questions I want answers to, however, if my fate is any at all like my mother’s, I will never have them answered. Why did I step foot inside this forest? My father told me to never venture into this place. Before this journal was exposed to me, I saw no harm in exploration.
Anita’s eyes began to fill with more tears when she heard the sound of footsteps become louder. She quickly blew out the candle and covered her mouth to keep quiet. Her heart pounded fast and hard against her chest as she sat there terrified. The footsteps grew louder as the creature outside walked closer towards the home. Anita’s body began to shake as more tears ran down her face. She scanned the room in hopes of a place to hide, or in the best case a place to escape. Her eyes lit up as she found a crack in the floorboards as if there were something underneath them. Her heart was pounding heavily, but she felt greatly relieved that there might a place to hide from the creature outside. She got up and ran towards the floorboards, her small body shaking as she quickly ripped up the old planks. She unknowingly released a smile as she saw a small cavity beneath the floorboards that was just big enough to conceal her. Her heart pounded so heavily and fast she could hear it in her head, however, she couldn’t feel the amount of fear she was in from the adrenaline pumping through her. She got into the small pit, taking the floorboards and covering herself quickly. She sat there against the cold ground, breathing heavily as she attempted to listen for the creature coming. She looked down, not realizing how shaky her body had become.
The door flung open as the creature made an entrance into the home, causing Anita’s heart to skip a beat. Step by step it searched the enclosure. Anita could smell its sharp foul breath as it moved around the home. It passed near the floorboards in which Anita hid, and she gained a partial glimpse of it. Her body began to quiver more as she glanced up at the cracks of the floorboards, pleading in her mind that the creature wouldn’t find her. She clasped her hands over her mouth and nose, attempting to hide her sharp and rapid breaths. As it passed by, she saw two legs, indicating it was a human, not a creature. Partly relieved, she then nearly let out a blood-curdling scream, staring at what she thought was a human with wide, scared eyes. The only explanation for what she saw, was that it was the spawn of pure darkness. Anita’s skin turned pale as she stared up at the creature’s true form. More tears ran down her face as she continued to stare at the dark creature.
After several minutes of the creature roaming, it turned around and left the home, leaving Anita alone with her fears and thoughts. She felt the greatest amount of relief she had ever felt, her heart slowing down in pace as she quickly pushed up the floorboards and crawled out of the crevice. She noticed that the light that was once shining through the roof was no longer shining there, meaning the sun has set and the day had turned to night. She crept open the door fearfully, slowly peeking her head outside and glancing around the pitch-black forest. Fog had moved in and covered the night sky with a grayish coat of vapor. The moonlight shined through just enough to barely light the ground.
“I’ve lost my way!” the girl thought with terror. “Which way do I go? I cannot stay here, what if it comes back”.
Anita’s heart began to race again when she had realized she lost her way. She began to track where she thought she had walked as tears streamed down her face, tracing each step through the forest. Slowly she stepped into the night and began to walk, where she never found her way.
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