Frightful Nights Teen Writing Winning Entry

Forest Eyes

By Alexandra O. - Grade 8

A thick fog wreathed around the tall, dark, trunks of the trees that loomed above the wet forest floor. A thin layer of twilight was able to seep through the branches and cloudiness, barely being able to illuminate the surroundings. The ground was marshy and damp, covered in flourishing green plants, bracken, and the withering dead brown and orange leaves that had fallen from the bare branches high above.

Rain, the muggy scent of it hanging still and heavy mixed into the other aromas of the forest. Occasionally, a rustle could be heard among the thick plants or a lone bird’s call or flapping of wings would sound overhead, but it was eerily quiet otherwise. Only the slight flash of sickly orange could be detected, moving swiftly and seeming to weave around tree trunks and plants. There was no way to define what it really was because of how fluidly it moved throughout the dim atmosphere, but it somehow made no disturbance in the woods.

In a tangle of bushes, whose branches overlapped and stuck out fiercely, ripped red fabric was caught, seeming to have been dragged through it. Another type of red, but this time, a liquid, was stained bright against the dull green of the plants. The acrid smell of something rotting emanated from the collection of leaves and bushes, but they were so thickly packed that it was impossible to see what they were covering.

Random items were strewn across the ground, a wallet, a phone with a shattered screen, a chipped silver key, and a camera, whose parts were broken and driven into the wet earth. The orange flickering hovered for a moment, steadying itself over the disorderly scene. Its body was a drape of thin almost transparent black veil that encased its bright, dark citrus colored eyes with no other discernible features. The eyes, transfixed and unblinking, bulged out from the veil. Tiny ink colored pupils darted, scanning the ground, until they rested on the red stained bushes.

The creature lurched forward and floated into the mass of red stained leaves, settling underneath the vegetation. There was a tiny rustle against the leaves before the screams started. Blood-curdling, throat-tearing screeches echoed and bounced throughout the hazy, lonesome forest, the strained sound reaching the tops of the trees. The red stains on the leaves slowly spread until it dripped onto the bracken covered floor. The sound rang on for a few minutes straining, pleading for help with no results and eventually started to weaken and become softer and softer as time dragged on.

After the agonizing screams had completely faded away, life in the wilderness continued as it always did, unbothered and mostly silent, nothing taking notice to what was hidden in its depths.