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That Old Cabin In The Woods

The inspiration behind my best campfire scary story

“The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window,” I began reciting my scary story to the group of friends, sitting around the campfire with me.

****

We are camping for the weekend in the national park, where we have been roaming the countryside for years, ever since we were old enough to walk. There are six of us and we usually camp out here at least once a month. One of our camping rituals is to see who an tell the scariest campfire story and tonight, it’s my turn to tell my favourite story, as we sit around our campfire relaxing after an amazing barbecue dinner.

Everyone is sitting silently waiting for my next words.

“Listen up my friends because this is a true story, one that happened to my Aunty and her daughter, who is only four years old.”

“Please don’t interrupt me with questions or you’ll spoil the story,” I look around at my group of friends to see they are all nodding in agreement.

“This is the story of my Aunt Ruby’s truth finding mission on what was happening in the woods, on the outskirts of our small town, Serene.”

****

The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window and nobody in the town of Serene could explain why.

Ruby Scott has lived in Serene all her life, even after her marriage to Sam and the birth of her four year old daughter, Sarah. Unfortunately Sam had left her a widow, dying within months of Sarah arriving in the world. A car accident that left Ruby and Sarah on their own.

Ruby had heard a rumour around town, others had also seen the candlelight in the old cabin over the last few nights, but nobody knew who lit the candle, or in fact, if they were still inside the cabin. Ruby made up her mind to find out.

As Ruby and Sarah woke on Sunday morning, Ruby asked her daughter if she’d like to take a wander through the woods, to the old cabin that had everyone in an uproar. She was sure it was nothing more than a homeless man squatting in the cabin, hence the candlelight seen in the last couple of nights.

Sarah told her mother that she knew who was using the cabin, as it was her friend Micky, who was living there now. She went on to explain that Micky needed somewhere to live and so she’d told him about the old cabin in the woods.

Ruby puzzled over her daughter’s comments as she made them bacon and eggs for breakfast.

“Sarah, are you talking about your imaginary best friend, Micky? The friend you’ve been telling me about for the last twelve months?”

“Yes mummy, but he’s not imaginary, he’s my real friend. I keep telling you that,” Sarah answered.

Ruby let the conversation drop, determined more than ever, to go and check out the old cabin and get to the bottom of both the rumours and her daughter’s imaginary friend.

It was only a ten minute walk for Ruby and Sarah, from their home to the old cabin. As the cabin come into view, Sarah took off at a run.

“Micky, Micky, my mummy wants to meet you,” Sarah called as she reached the cabin door.

Slowly the cabin door began to open, creaking and groaning, like in an old horror movie. Ruby was waiting for some larger than life monster to pounce on Sarah, but shook herself, telling herself not to be silly. This is real life, not some horror script.

As Ruby stepped up on the cabin’s rotted porch, careful where she placed her feet, she noticed a young boy of about eleven years of age, standing in the doorway.

Sarah rush to Micky and gave him a hug.

“See Mummy, Micky’s not imaginary at all.”

Ruby was happy to finally meet Sarah’s friend, she’d been going on and on about him throughout the last year, but really had thought that Micky was not real. She didn’t understand how an eleven year old child could be homeless and was determined to help him. He couldn’t stay in this old cabin on his own. She would take him home until she could find whoever he belonged to.

“Hello Micky, it’s nice to finally meet you. Why don’t we head back to our place and you can tell me your story,” Ruby said as she smiled at Micky.

“Yay, you can become my big brother Micky, now that Mummy has said you could live with us,” Sarah excitedly told her friend.

Ruby didn’t say anything, as that was not what she’d meant when inviting Micky home, but she’d deal with that at a later date. One step at a time and so it was that Micky moved in with Ruby and Sarah, while Ruby tried to find his family.

The days began to turn to weeks and Sarah and Micky were almost inseparable, except at night when everyone was asleep.

As to the rest of the town folk, they’d been relieved that the candlelight in the cabin was nothing more sinister, than a homeless boy looking for somewhere to live.

****

I looked around the campfire, at my friends as they began to boo my story. They didn’t think it was scary at all, but I was only just getting started, telling them to hold their horses and listen up.

****

Life in Serene began to look very different for its inhabitants over the coming weeks, and not in a good way. Oh no, it was not good at all.

First it was the brutal murder of sixteen year old Mary. On the night of the annual school dance, Mary had gone missing, only for her body to be found the next day in the old cabin. She had been stabbed numerous times and then decapitated, after she had died.

Serene was in shock! The towns folk had never seen a crime of this nature in their town before and it, understandably, devastated the people of Serene.

Mary was a good girl, she certainly didn’t deserve her fate.

Sarah had heard talk of Mary’s death and although she didn’t really understand the meaning of this, she kept asking Ruby questions. Ruby, on the other hand, did not want to give Sarah all the gory details, so attempted to change the subject each time Sarah wanted to talk about it.

Micky, on the other hand, seemed to have no interest at all in the murder.

Three days after Mary was found, a seven year old little boy went missing during broad daylight.

The child, Ravi, was playing in his front garden, when his mother realised he had gone silent for a little while. She went outside to check on him and he was nowhere to be found. She searched frantically, calling his name the entire time, but he had simply vanished.

Again Serene mustered together to search for Ravi, believing he couldn’t have gone far, but sadly Ravi too had been murdered and his body found in the old cabin in the woods.

Ravi’s murder was different to Mary’s, as he had been strangled and then hung from the rafters in the ceiling.

By now the town of Serene were beginning to panic. Who was killing off their children?

****

Again I paused and looked at my campfire buddies. Happy they were now hanging on my every word.

****

Serene was always a safe town, to the point that people did not feel the need to lock up, either their houses or cars, but that had now changed. Serene was in a state of terror and panic.

No sooner had Ravi been laid to rest, when another child vanished into thin air. This one was a four year old little boy, Simon.

This hit extra hard on Ruby because Simon was the same age as Sarah, and she could not imagine how she’d cope if Sarah went missing.

Again the towns people searched high and low for Simon. This time they searched the old cabin first, but Simon was nowhere to be found. The searchers took this as a sign of hope and believed he must just be lost somewhere.

Days passed and still there was no sign of little Simon. Until, that is, Ruby decided to recheck the old cabin and sure enough, she found Simon’s remains, brutally hacked into pieces and stuffed in the cupboard under the sink.

The town of Serene was now living in mortal terror, as they realised there was a serial killer living and hiding amongst them.

****

I laughed at the terror showing on the faces of everyone around the campfire.

“Still bored?” I asked them with a chuckle.

No one answered, so I continued with the grand finale of my scary story.

****

Serene put a curfew in place, in an endeavour to protect their young ones. All children must be home, behind locked doors, by the time the sky turned to night. No exceptions.

The curfew seemed to work, as all was quiet in the town over the next fortnight. On saying that, the town refused to lift the curfew.

Then on one cold and windy Tuesday lunchtime, a scream rang out at the far end of town. A blood curdling scream from Sibonne, a mother of three girls. She was screaming that her eleven year old daughter, Lorelei, had disappeared. Sibonne was inconsolable.

On hearing the news, Ruby raced into the woods, heading for the old cabin. Before running from her house, Ruby told Sarah she was to stay at home and to lock the door after she left.

As Ruby come into sight of the old cabin, she could hear a young girl screaming. She ran up onto the porch, flew in through the front door and froze. What greeted her eyes, was a horror she would never forget.

Tied to an old wooden dining table, lay Lorelei, who was screaming in absolute terror.

Standing at the end of the table, with a sharp meat cleaver in his hand, was Micky. He was calmly slicing off each of Lorelei’s toes, one by one. There was no expression on his face and he smiled at Ruby, as she stood frozen in shock.

“Hello Ruby, I’m glad you could join us. I was planning on a grand finale with Sarah to be honest, but I guess Lorelei can be my final kill, before I leave town and move on,” Micky calmly told Ruby.

Ruby, standing there in shock, appalled to find that her daughter’s imaginary friend, was actually the monster who had preyed on her town. Micky was their serial killer and as this realisation hit, Ruby fell away in a dead faint.

When she finally come to, Micky had already slit Lorelei’s wrists, allowing her to bleed to death and Micky was nowhere to be found.

Ruby knew that Micky had quietly left town, on the search of his next innocent township, to rein in with terror.

As bad as she felt for whatever town that would be, she was silently happy that there would be no more killings in her town and she still had her daughter. She could never voice the guilt she felt, because her daughter’s imaginary friend, had in fact been a cold blooded serial killer, by the time he was eleven years of age.

****

As I finished that final sentence, I looked around at my friends and was fascinated to witness the terror showing on their faces. Suddenly, as one mechanism, they all jumped up and started packing the camp up, at midnight mind you.

“I just remembered I promised mum I’d mow the lawn first thing in the morning, so I’ve got to go,” I heard someone mutter.

“Oh that’s right, I told my parents that I would stay home this weekend. I best head home,” another whispered.

“Oh come on guys, it wasn’t that scary! Come back and sit down. I promise I wasn’t talking about that old cabin just over there,” I chuckled.

But within the next ten minutes, I found myself alone and my tent was the only one left standing. I wonder if they’ll ever have the courage to camp here again!

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Originally posted on Medium 

Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in All Stories, Fiction, Horror

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