“There are things in this world we might never understand. One of them lives in the woods.”
I wrote this story for the following prompts.:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle — Lessen, Urgency, Maniac, Bushes, Road, Steep, Headlights, Scream, Impenetrable, Human. Lurk. Fickle,
Authorworld — Picture
Word of the Day — Disposal
Ragtag Daily Prompt – Whirlwind
Terror in the Trees
Even the most beautiful places can turn sinister in a heartbeat.
Erica love to drive along this stretch of Pine Road. The perfect rows of deep-brown pine tree trunks were mesmerising. The cave-like green boughs from the trees hugging overhead added to the majesty of the road by creating dappled light. Even the road’s white lines were vivid and adding to the picturesque feel. What could possibly bring the darkness of horror here?
All nightmares lurk after dark. This road was the darkest of them all with the moonlight blocked out by the branches.
There were streetlights, Erica groaned as she realised none were casting light. She decided to lesson her speed. The headlights were all she had at her disposal to breach the impenetrable darkness making caution a must.
Erica hated the abilities of the human imagination. The fickle mind could make out monsters lurking in the bushes beyond the trees. The smallest movement of a branch on the breeze felt like the arm of the giant monster reaching out to assail the car.
The urgency to be elsewhere, rose in her chest as she drove carefully through the tree cave.
“Calm down, you’re quite safe,” she told herself.
Headlights flashed in the rear-view mirror. Another vehicle coming from behind. The roar of the engine indicated it was speeding.
“Maniac! Slow down!” Erica shouted.
The car screeched across the white lines into the other lane and roared past.
Erica flinched, she was sure she heard a human scream as the car drew level.
Ahead blue flames rocketed from the exhaust. The blast of nitrous oxide was too much for the car. It swerved violently. Then a wheel bounced away.
Erica watched in horror as it vanished between two tree trunks in an explosion of earth and plant matter. The headlights lit up the tree canopy as the car leapt at a steep angle, and slammed down on its roof.
“Bloody hell!” Erica stopped her car and called the emergency services. “There’s been a car crash involving a single vehicle online drive beneath the tree canopy. The crash was severe get help fast!” Erica listened confirmed details and hung up.
Grabbing her first aid kit and torch, she climbed from the car and walked the few yards to the crash scene. The whole way she felt eyes watching her. Beings shadowing her every footstep from within the bushes. Erica rubbed her bare arms, her skin was crawling as if covered in insects. Despite the warmth of the day, Icy fingers clawed down her spine. A place of pure beauty had been transformed into a road of horrors this night.
The car had somehow managed to get between the pine trees that made up the avenue. The rhododendron beyond hadn’t been so lucky. The Amazonian flowering bush had been obliterated as it pole-vaulted the car onto its roof.
“Hello! Can you hear me?” Erica climbed through smashed branches and dropped to her knees. The smell of petrol was strong but thankfully the engine had cut out reducing the fire risk by a small amount. “Hello!”
A feminine scream split the air. It didn’t come from the cab.
“Damn these tinted windows!” Erica couldn’t see anything through the cracked glass. Rolling back on her heels she kicked the front passenger’s door glass out.
Inside, a man wearing jeans and a t-shirt was hanging from the seatbelt behind the wheel. His long unkempt hair hiding his face.
“Oh, no! Why is she in the boot?” Erica was hit by a wave of fear and uncertainty as the feeling of being caught in a murderous situation gripped her.
Climbing over the glass and debris into the car, she reached for a pulse on the driver’s neck. He was alive, but unconscious thanks to a collection of bleeding head wounds.
Erica couldn’t free him alone without risking his neck and spine further. Extracting herself from the car, she realised, she couldn’t get into the boot from outside.
She kicked the rear window out and climbed back in. The roof was caved right onto the back seat. “Shit! Hello, I’m going to get you out!” Erica felt for the seat release catches and began wrenching on them.
Terrified gasps and a scream came from within the boot space again.
Worse, the driver had woken up swearing and cursing.
Erica felt the catch break in her hand. With one final tug, she caused the seat to collapse onto the roof of the car.
The torchlight revealed a lady curled in a tight space. Her wrists were bound before her and the gag hung loose beneath her chin.
“Hey, the police and ambulance are coming. You’re safe —”
The driver thundered onto the roof having released himself. “Gah, that hurt!” He groaned as he crunched glass beneath him. Sensing Erica, he turned his head in a slow psychotic way a slow. His eyes lit up as if he’d seen a delicious steak.
Erica pulled on the lady in the boot trying to get her through the space between the seats. “Come on! Hurry! Hurry!”
“You’re going nowhere. Now, I have two beauties to play with.” The man hauled himself out of the wrecked car and vanished momentarily into the darkness.
Erica felt him grab her ankles and drag her out of the car.
She rolled and kicked him as hard as she could. “No! You let us go. The police are coming!”
“Haha! I’ll kill the police too!” The man reached for and hauled her up by the hair.
Erica slapped him for she was worth only to be driven into the rear wheel of the car. Her back burned from the impact as she stared into the drug-affected eyes of her captor. “You need serious help, buddy!”
The man slammed her into the car again, “I need —”
A large humanoid hand covered in ginger-brown hair reached out of the darkness.
It gripped the man’s shoulder and tore him away from Erica.
The man screamed in mortal fear.
Erica watched the nine-foot-tall hairy-being hoist the man above his head with ease. Although gorilla-like, the being appeared more human and upright. It left her gasping for air through near petrification.
The being let out a guttural roar as it whirlwind the man above its head before sending him flying across the woods. He slammed into a thick tree trunk with a sickening crack and collapsed into a broken heap.
Erica stood frozen as the being bent over the man.
It uttered something in an unknown language and grunted. Then it turned to face her.
“P-please, please don’t hurt me!” Erica said shaking and frozen beside the upturned car.
The being nodded and approached her. It towered above her like a hairy mountain.
Erica noted a pungent almost rotting smell hanging in its hair.
The being bent to look into her face, revealing its neanderthal-like facial features.
“Hi, I’m Erica. Please don’t hurt me,” she begged.
The being moved its mouth into something close to a smile. Raising a massive hand, it graced its fingers over her cheek and smoothed her hair. Then with a pat of its massive chest, it turned and vanished into the dark woods.
“W-was that a sasquatch?” asked a feminine voice breaking the silence.
Erica flinched. Remembering the lady in the boot, she turned to see her sitting inside the car despite her binds. “I think so. Are you okay?”
“Where’s the man? He grabbed me after the street races.”
Erica pointed to the heap below the tree. “I think he’s dead.”
Blue lights and sirens were coming to a stop on the road now.
Police and paramedics were soon swarming the area. The lady was freed and taken to hospital leaving Erica stood by her car.
“Can you tell me how the driver ended up twenty feet from his car and very dead? You did say he was behind the wheel when you arrived right?” Asked the attending police officer.
“That’s correct,” Erica said.
“Well? He didn’t get there with such bad back injuries on his own. What happened?”
Erica smiled, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!