Lost in the Woods- August 26th, 2011

***Note*** I’ve noticed that we’ve had a rather large amount of stories that have gone unfinished lately.  Everyone gets busy (it is a Friday, after all) and we aren’t able to complete the story.  If this doesn’t bother anyone else, I’ll leave it alone, but I thought I would bring the idea of finishing the stories up for discussion.  Does anyone have any ideas for completing these poor little misfits?  Does this bother anyone but me?  Leave your opinions and ideas in the comments and we’ll see what we can come up with 🙂  Thanks!

First line provided by @WritersDigest:

START: Mike & Tom were lost in the woods.

It started to drizzle as dusk approach.  The sun was beginning to set.  Soon it would be pitch black.

“You were supposed to bring a compass, you idiot.” said Tom.

“Yeah, like it’ll be any help reminding me about it now.” Mike answered back as he went down another path, “How was I supposed to know all the crackers I left on the ground would get eaten.” Mike said, “I thought you were bringing the compass!” exclaimed Mike, “I guess we’ll just keep walking.”

 “Seriously, how old are we, seven?!?” exclaimed Tom, “We’re twelve; we can handle this without crackers.”

“Besides,” said Mike, “I was too excited.  I know I saw that old abandoned house around here somewhere.”

They walked for three hours only to find themselves back where they started.

“You remember that movie, the Blair Witch Project?” Mike whispered lowly and Tom fell silent.

They walked for another half hour.  The sky turned grey and the trees seemed to grow taller.

Tom pulled out his flashlight and switched it on. “Oh, no,” he moaned. “It needs batteries.”

Mike replied, “Well at least we could use it as a weapon if needed.”

“I hope I don’t have to hit anything with this flashlight.” replied Tom, “Do you know where we are?”

“That bush looks familiar.  We may be near that abandoned house I saw earlier!” exclaimed Mike with excitement.

“And just what was so great about this old house that you wanted us to traipse out here in the dark to look at it?” asked Tom.

“I thought I saw a face in the window,” said Mike.

“Do you think it was a ghost?” asked Tom.

“It looked spooky,” replied Mike, “And who knows what we might find in there, maybe buried treasure?”

The cold evening air in the woods was giving them chills and the only shelter they had was the abandoned house.

“Well, I hope we find the house just to get a little warmer.  And the trees are starting to freak me out.” admitted Tom.

They heard twigs breaking in the distance.  Tom turned around and looked into the darkness.

‘Trespassers will be shot & eaten’ the sign on the old house read.  

“Must be Second Amendment foodies.” quipped Tom.

“Ha ha,” Mike said, rolling his eyes, “You’re hilarious.”

“At least I’m not talking about ghosts and treasure.” Tom retorted

“Maybe it’s not so abandoned,” said Mike, “Maybe the face I saw wasn’t a ghost, but the current resident.”

As they approached the house, they heard a door slam shut inside.

“Maybe we should just get out of here.” whispered Tom.

“Nothing here is gingerbread nor do I see two little kids stopping by.  So, I say let’s see if they have a phone.” said Tom.  “I think I can hear T.V.  Sounds like American Idol. “Tom noted. 

His friend beamed, “They can’t be that bad.  Let’s knock!”

Mike stepped up and knocked on the door.  The house was silent.  He knocked again.

“I thought you said you heard the TV?” Mike said.  

Tom tilted his head and listened again, “I did. They must’ve turned it off.” Tom whispered a prayer for a phone, “I’m so hungry. Take out sounds much better than squirrel, muskrat or some other critter.”

He heard the shuffling of feet approaching the other side of the door.  Tom felt as though he had just run a 100 meter dash.  He nearly froze when he saw the door knob begin to turn.

Mike didn’t seem to share his friend’s unease, “Oh thank god, we are so lost, if we could just use the phone…” Mike stopped short.

The door swung open.  Mike and Tom were greeted by a fragrance that reminded them of college days and a thin, long-haired man, dressed in a khaki shorts and no shirt.  In his hand was a beer which he took a sip of before he slurred, “Yes?”

Mike finally found his voice again, which was more than Tom could do.

“Phone?” He squeaked.

“Ain’t got one.” The man slurred.

“Well can you point us to a gas station or highway patrol?” asked Mike.

“Naw”, he replied, “Ain’t never had no use for them.  What the hell is wrong with kids these days?” the man grumbled, “can’t you read?” He gestured towards the sign with his thumb.

Just then, though Tom still couldn’t speak, his stomach spoke for him with a loud growl, followed by an awkward silence.

“Sounds like you boys hungry.” The man said with a smile, “I just made a fresh pot of squirrel stew if you boys interested.”

The man’s quick change in attitude made Tom even more nervous, but Mike was already nodding his head.

“Thanks!” Mike said, “Obviously we interrupted a medicinal session here, but our choices are take a chance in the wild or beg for shelter.”

Tom put a hand over his mouth. The thought of squirrel stew made him sick.  As they entered the old run-down house, they quickly noticed that the inside was worse than the dilapidated exterior.  And there was some rotten stench, stronger than the aroma of squirrel stew.

“Don’t mind the dust, had to fire the maid.” The long-haired beer guy chuckled. Tom noted how his mouth laughed but his eyes didn’t.

“If you think I’m staying here, you’re crazy!” Tom hissed at Mike.

Mike glared, “You gonna sleep outside?”

“Well we could check up on the next house for one thing,” Tom said scratching his head.

Everything about the guy smelled foul and Tom wondered if Mike was misled by his hunger.

Mike on the flip was thinking, “Sure hope Tom’s not falling for the bull. I’m just sweet talking the guy, buying us time.”

“But I heard this house is FILLED with zombies.” Tom worried.

“Then let’s go.” Mike panicked.

The timbers groaned in lively protest as they walked to the door.  It wouldn’t open. 

“Maybe, it’s locked.” Tom said.

“I hardly heard him insert the key.” said Mike.

As they paused and studied the door, Tom asked casually, “Do you think a bullet to the brain really works on zombies?”

They turned around and saw the house’s one occupant, now smiling with his eyes, but not his mouth. Tom shuddered.

“Hey, how’s it goin’?” Mike tried to be casual but his insides had just turned to glue.

They heard a sound like scattering rocks.  Mike stared at the trembling staircase. “He isn’t alone.”

As Tom suddenly remembered the M&Ms in his pocket and a Boy Scouts Jamboree camp session, he saw a ceiling high pile of books.  The air around them suddenly went cold.  Mike, who until now had been reasoning with his empty stomach, was beginning to panic, but he worked hard to not let it show.  He tried to take calming breaths, but his airway felt like it was closing down.  He wished for the millionth time that morning that he’d stayed in bed.

‘I should have realized before now that I’ve got to be the reasonable one here.‘ Tom thought to himself, ‘Now, how to get out?’

He quickly summed up the situation. Freaky zombie-like man?  Check.  Squeaking stairs? Check.  Invisible cold presence?  Check.  Oh, and the wind was picking up, howling shrilly though the leafless trees.

Meanwhile, the sound of footsteps coming down the staircase grew louder and ominous. The men’s eyes bulged in their sockets.  Suddenly, a crash sounded in a back room distracting the zombie.

“Psst.” A small voice called from behind the drapes. “This way.”

On the stairs was a pale-faced young woman with a nest of red hair. She stopped, winced in pain. The baby was due any minute.  Mike and Tom ran to the woman who disappeared through the trap door behind the floor to roof bookcase. The tunnel was lit by lanterns and they could hear the footsteps of the zombie above them.  Behind the drapes, Mike and Tom stood in what looked like the belly of a giant beast scooped out and turned into a room.  It was here they were met by a dwarf like man and a woman who smiles at them and apologized for the poor hospitality.  The stench of rotting flesh was pungent, almost unbearable.

“WHAT’S THAT SMELL?” Mike asked.

“Looks like we tripped over the rim of the universe into the depths of madness,” Tom said, “Someone’s having grave chow for dinner.”

THE END

Contributors to this week’s #storyfriday are (in order of appearance):

@WritersDigest @pixiesnstardust @One4TheBooks @AVChrista @VaChicklet @theepicwinner @MeMyselvesnI @Linds_1234 @IRLMorris @fogisbeautiful @TheChenaultGrp @origtracy @cupcakelayd @wildmudturtle @Eneh_Akpan @LiveWriteLove @NoelleMarchand

Minor editing (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) was done before this story was posted, to allow for easier reading.  No words were removed from or added to this story after its original posting on Twitter except where indicated with red and then only to promote continuity in the story.

Alright, I’ve caught up with the stories!  Great job everyone, see you tomorrow morning!

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4 thoughts on “Lost in the Woods- August 26th, 2011

  1. Yeah, it’s hanging.. Haha.. I had to hit the sack that’s why I failed to contribute more. And I think it’s not very cohesive it’s like jumping from one thought to another and one scene to another. (: Right now I can’t contribute to its ending (I’m @ work.. hehe) but will try to come up with something. (:

    Can’t they just end up somewhere like Alice in Wonderland? or to Narnia? ((: Just a thought.

    • That’s alright Debbie 🙂 I think we all expect a little lack of cohesion, simply because so many people do contribute so we end up with several different directions. This one actually wasn’t one of the worst 😉 I was just curious if anyone had any way for everyone to get together to try to finish the stories that got left with no ending. Or if anyone would even be interested 🙂 Like maybe use a different hashtag in Twitter and give everyone another opportunity to contribute if they chose to.

      • Guess the story got lost in the woods as well. =)
        The last paragraph sounds okay as an ending, it actually draws a picture of the dead-end situation.

        Here’s my piece for an ending…

        They heard an evil laugh and then darkness….and the boys are lost forever in the woods, too much for having an adventure.

        Tom felt himself shaking. “Tom, tom… wake up!” a voice called. Tom opened his eyes to see her mom beside his bed. “You were screaming so I checked on you. What happened?” his mom asked, looking at her son sweating and crying. “I had a bad dream. I was with Mike, we got lost in the woods. We went to this house with zombies. We wandered off without telling you or anyone. I’m sorry,” Tom recalled his dream and hugged his mom. “It’s okay, everything’s all right. You’re safe,” her mom comforted.

        Moral of the story: don’t wander in to the woods without a compass, a flashlight and stay away from old abandoned houses. Haha … On a serious note, for kids, don’t wander off without your parents’ consent.

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