They came from the woods. As if they suddenly materialized. That’s why I was running mad and furious, through the woods shirt soaked in blood and axe in hand. I was lucky to still be alive.
Those things are swift and ungodly strong. One of my friends, Jim, was a big son of a bitch. We were gathering some firewood at the time. Then it appeared. A juggernaut of a shadowy thick figure, it had an oval head with two glowing slits where must be the eyes are. Its many jointed fingers curled around Jim and lifted him up with ease and literally bisected him down the middle. The poor bastard didn’t have any time to react. I could’ve been the next to be torn apart if I hadn’t acted.
For a split second, in the calm before the storm, I saw the two glowing slits grow wide and the glow intensifying, as if the thing was waking up. If I wasn’t so close to the Wake, I wouldn’t have noticed its face is concave. How could that be? I didn’t know how to feel. Should I laugh or freak out at the walking killer glowing spoon? I would’ve probably done both if it wasn’t for the light it emitted. The light had a force to it, as if it was trying to draw me in like a moth to a street lamp. However I managed to resist the lure of the light.
I swung the axe hard at the Wake’s head, wedging it in deep. It was like swinging at a bag of flour. There was no blood or crunch from bones, just dust pouring out of the wound. I didn’t wait to see if it was a fatal blow or not. I immediately swung it again and again until I finally decapitated the Wake. Before my eyes, the rest of the body crumbled to dust.
After the horrific incident, I hurried back to the campsite only to find the two mangled bodies of Leah and Morgan, both of their corpses hardly recognizable. I was trembling on the spot, throat tightening and eyes watering. I wanted to fall on my knees and cry. But there was no time to mourn. More of those things were showing up, trudging out of the dark confines of the woods. Maybe more, but I was limited by the few lanterns and the bonfire. And so I fled.
The whole entire time I was running I never looked back, out of fear, out of saddest. However, a tense warm feeling never left me like my sixth sense knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. Though I didn’t exactly know where I was blindly going. I believed if I stopped, I would drop dead on the spot. So I kept running, ignoring the scraps and bumps from tripping over an unforeseen log or head-on collisions on a tree.
Then by the grace of a god, I happened upon a brightly lit cabin. Not knowing what I was doing, I burst through the door and locked it behind me. All the life inside the cabin went quiet and focused their attention on the bloody stranger with an axe. There was a boy in a black hood, a guy in a Lakers cap and a freckled faced girl. They were all staring at me trying to process my sudden entry.
Freckle face reached for a nearby knife.
Lakers swore as he clumsily tripped over an unseen chair.
Black hood armed a double barrel shotgun lying on a couch he was next to.
I tried to approach them but Freckle face had it clear I was stepping on thin ice.
“Not an inch, buddy. Or I’ll pop a couple of slugs in you.” Black hood warned.
“Please, you have to listen to me.” I pleaded but the group seemed too reluctant to.
“Sure man, we’ll totally listen to you. When my back’s exposed, you’ll go ape shit and bury that axe in me.” Lakers sarcastically said.
“No please, there are things out there, Wakes, wandering in those woods right now. We all have to get out of here before it’s too late.”
“The hell do you mean “Wakes”?” Freckle face asked.
“We don’t have time for this.” But Black hood convinced me otherwise. “Alright… these Wakes are a towering bunch. They’re like living shadows with two glowing slits for eyes. Whenever you get close, they grow wide and bright. They draw you in and they tear you apart like a toy.”
“Who are you calling “living shadows”, you racist asshole?” Lakers shouted at me fiercely.
“He’s not being racist, dumbass!” Freckle face defeated Lakers on the spot.
“Sorry, but this all sounds like some messed up trip that went wrong in all places. Buddy, I don’t think we can believe you, right?” Black hood faced Freckle face.
Her eyes looked glazed and distance. “I do.”
I turned in time to see a wide eyed Wake bursting through the window. I slashed the hand off shot towards me before falling on my ass. A surprised Black hood blasted off two shells, one shot splintering the frame of the window and the other punching the Wake. Even though the Wake had an injury similar to a close ballistic testing, it continued to advance and climbed over the shattered window. Simultaneously while Black hood was slipping in some fresh shells, two more towering Wakes bust the front door open.
They should’ve listened to me, I thought to myself as a scrabbled to my feet. If my friends didn’t stand a chance neither would they.
As Black hood took aim and fired at the shadowy intruders, he barked at Lakers to find a weapon. After procuring a fire poker, he charged blindly at the enemy empowered by a battle cry. However, once he made eye contact with the widening eyes of a Wake, he surrendered all the fight in him before the torching beams. As if an invisible hand stopped him in his tracks and stripped him from his weapon and will. Drawn by the light, Lakers started to calmly walk towards the Wakes. Freckle face tried to break his friend’s trance. But a Wake stepped forward and back handed her, sending the girl flying through the remaining intact window.
I felt terrible leaving Black hood and Lakers behind for slaughter. Unlike my friends from before, there was no excuse here. I could have fought alongside Black hood instead of fleeing from the back door. His blood curling muffled screams echoed. The sense of guilt was now heavy like my insides was loaded with tons of lead. Tears began to streak down my face. My axe felt useless in the hands of a coward. Maybe that was why I went back.
There was a Wake looming over Freckle face. If it had a face, it would resemble somebody looking at road kill. Rather interesting, considering the kill didn’t know what it had done. I approached the Wake from the side as quietly as possible. However the Wake spotted me. I swung away only at empty space. The Wake slapped me across the face, probably knocking some teeth loose. I tumbled to the ground, tasting both dirt and blood in my mouth. I attempted to hack at the Wake’s ankle. The Wake caught it in time and threw my weapon into the night. Somehow, I hadn’t given up just yet. Even to the end when the Wake pinned me down, free hand ready to crush my face in like theirs. The Wake’s palm blinded and choked my senses and fingers coiled around my skull. All the while I feebly bashed at it with my, compared the Wake’s, small fists.
As the fingers tighten, I thought of nothing. Some say they see their life flash before their eyes. Some think of their regrets or decisions they’ve made in life. As there will be nothing left of me when the Wake’s done. I thought of nothing.
Suddenly, the Wake’s grip loosened and buried me in dust. It had disintegrated. Lying there still alive, spitting and pawing the foul dust off, I began to laugh like mad.
“I’m alive, ha ha ha ha, I’m still alive.” I softly whispered.
“I’m glad…” An almost ghostly voice uttered before collapsing.
It took me a second to collect myself and notice the injury Freckle face had sustained. She had a rather large shard of glass protruding from her stomach, staining the bottom of her shirt gory. From the house and the way I came from, Wakes began to show themselves, their twin beams bright and menacing. I hurried up, scooping Freckle face into my arms and ran once again.
My arms and legs were aching. I was running on fumes and driven by fear. I made it to a highway, don’t know where, and fell to my knees. I was tired. There was no escape. No matter how far I run. Those Wakes are unrelenting stalkers. One way or another, they will find me. I let the thoughts sink in and cried.
“What’s… your name?” Out of the blue she barely whispered to me.
I wiped away the tears. “Jason, my name is Jason.”
“Hm… I’m Sophia…” She wheezily coughed. “I should… have listened… to you.”
I paused for a moment. “Well, it’s too late now.”
Through the blanket of darkness, I could make out a faint smile. Sophia shakily pointed into the far off. “Is that a car, you think?”
Whatever it was, it was coming our way with two lights shining strong.
Credit To – Felix Night