Kevin is standing on a muddy road, partially encroached by grass and weeds. His drenched clothes offer the only protection to deflect the steady downpour. In his hand is a long, metal flashlight. Kevin can’t remember what sequence of events ended with his isolation on this lonely, dark road. It looks a lot like the ‘Keep Out’ road, but he can’t be sure. He also cannot tell which way leads back to the cabin. Kevin turns around, and the light immediately lands on something that makes him scream a silent scream.
Standing in the center of the road is a very young woman. Her wet, blonde hair covers most of her face in stringy tendrils. She is wearing a white sundress that’s noticeably frayed at the bottom. Her bare feet press deeply into the soft mud as if she sprouted from the sodden earth. Bluish white skin gives her the appearance of something from which life has been extinguished. Kevin is paralyzed with fear before a sudden gust of wind sends a shudder through his entire body.
He turns around to run the other way. He may not know how to get back to the cabin, but he knows which way he needs to go now. Rounding a blind curve brings the sudden chill of facing the same girl he just tried to flee. His pallor now matches hers. The forest might be his only escape, but he only finds himself entangled in thorny vines. Kevin reenters the road to see if there is an opening further down.
The girl staggers toward him in a way that is oddly swift as her feet make slapping sounds on the soggy ground. Kevin instinctively backs away at a quickened pace, but she closes the gap effortlessly. Before he can spin around to run, she throws her arms around his neck and practically hangs from it.
As she looks up at him, her hair shifts, revealing a frightening visage. There is a familiarity about the girl that Kevin can’t quite connect to a particular time or place, but genuine terror shoots through him like lightning. Ice cold hands cling to the back of his neck with a steely grip.
Kevin is not sure why, but he slowly lifts the light and shines it on her face. The light illuminates an unnaturally pale cheek and one dark eye peeking from between a small opening in the shredded blonde curtain. Startled even more by her appearance, he flinches and drops the flashlight, which hits the ground with a silty splash. Her unearthly scream stabs the darkness as she digs her fingers into the back of his neck. The combination of Kevin reacting to the sonic assault and trying to remove her claws throws him off balance.
Kevin falls backward with the pale demon on top of him. His head crashes violently into the mud, which feels much harder than expected. The bright moon behind her conceals her face in shadows, but the image of her grayish-blue skin and evil eye is still clear in Kevin’s head. He feels around in the muck for the flashlight as he tries harder to pry her fingers from his neck. Her legs become a vice tightening on both sides of his waist.
The girl whispers something that doesn’t sound like human language. An acrid odor accompanies her breath. Kevin tries to scream but cannot make a sound, no matter how much he tries. He feels like he’s suffocating as tears mingle with the rain.
He grasps her waist in an attempt to push her off, but she quickly slides her hips down and nimbly wraps her legs around his while locking her feet at the ankles. Seizing both of her wrists, Kevin tries to pull them off his neck, but the rain makes it difficult for him to get a good grip. Her fingers burrow into his skin even more. He tries to cry out, but there is only silence. Kevin’s frustration mounts as more raindrops fall into his eyes. He wildly tries anything he can, even pulling her hair, to get her off of him. Some of it comes out in plugs, taking with it patches of her scalp.
A faint glow from the flashlight, off to the left, catches his eye. He manages to shift his body just enough to reach for it and firmly grasp the cylindrical salvation. Clutching the witch’s neck, he squeezes as hard as possible while beating her in the head with the flashlight. Kevin can barely see, but it looks like dark blood is running down her face. She removes one hand from his neck, and grabs his left arm with inhuman speed, pinning it and the flashlight to the ground. It feels empowering as he continues to choke her with the other hand. Then something inside her neck pops.
The light is angled so that it dimly lights her face again. Kevin is horrified when he sees that her eyes are not really dark in color. They are just holes in her skull with eyelids occasionally closing over them. What he thought was blood on her face are dark spider cracks in her skin. Suddenly, her face twists into an angry scowl as she releases Kevin’s neck and backhands him across the face. He releases her as well. The taste of blood is overwhelming.
He can’t tell if his vision is doubled because of the slap or the water in his eyes. The creature shifts her body weight closer to his chest and grabs the back of his head. Kevin sees an unusually large mouth open, but instead of hearing a scream, he helplessly watches as it covers his mouth and nose. Tears well up in his eyes as she sucks the air out of his lungs. She is suffocating him. His head feels like it is about to explode as pounding in his ears is the only audible sound.
I’m going to die out here… alone.
Kevin’s face feels like it is going completely numb. The pain in his chest is excruciating. He desperately needs to take a breath, but there is no way to inhale. Everything starts to fade away as stars fill the periphery of his vision. He experiences the same feeling of despair that he felt the last time he fell into the fog. His extremities go entirely numb. There is no longer any strength in his arms and legs to fight her off.
Who is she? Why would she do this to me?
A final thought materializes in his head.
The ones that look human are the most deadly.
Copyright 2020-2021 Darrell Winfrey