by Gayle Goh, age 11
It was a dark and stormy night. The raindrops splattered
down on my head relentlessly as lightning flashed in the dark sky.
The tall trees cast ominous shadows onto the grass as the wind howled and
shrieked through their branches. Chelsea and I were still trying
to find our way out of the forest. It was Chelsea’s idea to go ‘exploring’
in the forest. As far as I could remember, she had always been the bold
one. She had been the one to announce through the loudspeaker that
teachers sucked. She had been the one to throw her lunch tray into the
principal’s back when he wasn’t looking. And she had been the one
who had rung the fire alarm ‘for the fun of it’. But crazy as she was,
I still hadn’t gotten over the fact that she had accepted the dare she
had been given to trek through the forest with me.
“Robyn, I’m sorry!” Chelsea yelled over the sound of the rain pelting down and the trees swaying in the wind. “I shouldn’t have done this.”
“It’s okay.” I shouted back at her.
I would have said something worse, but she looked at me with that pair of melting brown eyes that she knows I give in to. I just couldn’t bear to scold her. Maybe when we got out of this whole stinking mess I’ll scold her.
I was freezing, not to mention starving. The rain was getting heavier, pelting down mercilessly. I never knew the rain could be so forceful. The wind was getting stronger…screaming shrilly around us like a maniacal banshee.
Chelsea and I still didn’t have a clue where we were and we could hardly see where we were going. The only thing that helped us to see was the occasional flash of lightning and the moon that was mostly covered by the tops of trees.
Chelsea and I were terrified now, as this was the time that a person, from the U.S. had been eaten alive by wolves. Every step I took I expected a wolf to jump in front of me, growling. My eyes were scanning the forest like a security camera in the world’s richest museum.
Suddenly, I saw a dark figure rise before us. It loomed over us like a skyscraper. A flash of lightning lit up the sky and I saw a glimpse of the figure’s face. It was gruesome, too horrible to describe. Half his face had been ripped away, exposing the white bone in his face. He no longer had any lips…they had been torn and eaten by a set of sharp teeth. He had been blinded…his right eye missing from his socket. The rest of his body was torn and bleeding.
I started running away, but crashed into Chelsea, who was frozen. We both, fell to the ground and, awkwardly, tried to untangle ourselves.
I turned around in time to see a hand reaching down at me. Just as the hand touched my neck, an eerie howling echoed through the forest. The man quickly straightened and as he did, took several steps back. I glanced behind the man and my eyes stopped on a pair of eyes that seemed to smile at the sight of his victim…and some new fresh flesh right behind him. They were eyes that belonged to a full grown, bloodthirsty wolf. It advanced towards the man and began ripping at him. I sat there petrified, as if I was in a trance.
“C’mon Robyn, let’s get out of here!” Chelsea said, as she pulled on my jumper.
I jumped up and started sprinting away from the wolf with Chelsea.
A hungry pack of wolves, without warning, appeared in front of us. Chelsea and I halted and slowly stepped back. My heart was a drum beating loudly.
I heard a growling noise behind me and saw another pack of hungry wolves. Their mouths showing their sharp teeth with saliva and blood dripping from them.
Chelsea and I were back-to-back now and terrified. They were the sharks and we were their prey. We had no chance against these wild animals. We were done for.
I looked past the wolves and saw the man, lying dead on the ground, with no skin showing, only blood. Blood. The thing that I feared most. I had a broken record player in my head repeating that word. Blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. I quickly looked away before I threw up. My heart was now, a drum roll, waiting for something terrible to happen.
The wolves were in a circle around us growling and never taking their eyes off us. They started closing in on us, taking each step, almost in unison.
The largest wolf lunged at me and brought me to the ground. I felt its claws scrape against my face, drawing blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. I heard Chelsea being brought down by another wolf as she screamed and struggled in vain. Oh God.
I felt another wolf bite my foot. I shook my foot fiercely, trying to get the wolf off, but all the energy drained out of my foot and it became numb.
Soon, I was covered with wolves ripping at my layers of clothing. I started screaming; hoping someone would hear us and come to the rescue. The wolves stopped ripping at my clothes for a second, but then continued shredding my clothes, tearing them away.
I saw the biggest wolf lick its lips and it was then that I saw bits of my life flash through my mind. Memories. I wondered if I’d ever think about them again.
Six years old: Running through the grass smiling as I looked with wonder at my new tricycle. A tricycle. That seemed so far away from the fate that lay before me.
Nine years old: Crying at my mom, screaming at her, “Don’t go mom! Dad didn’t mean it, he didn’t! He was just drunk and angry. Mom!” But it was no use. She left, didn’t she? Everyone left. And now I was leaving this world.
Ten years old: “I hate you! I hate you and everything that has to do with you! You drove her away! You and your beer! I hate you and I will forever!” Dad looking at me through broken eyes. “Stop it, sweetheart, stop it.” I wondered how he would take the news that the two most important people in his life had left him.
Twelve years old: Laughing, joking with my friends. Looking incredulously into Chelsea’s eyes when she suggested the trip to the forest. The stupid trip to the forest. Now I’ll never have the chance to joke with anyone again.
I have always wondered what happened to people when they died. Whether they would go to heaven, if there was such a place. I sincerely hoped there wasn’t. I had never been baptized or saved. Now I wished I had been. Because if Jesus Christ was real, I’ll be going straight to hell. I guess I’ll have the chance to find out if there is such a place. And I’m scared.
I looked into the wolf’ s eyes for a second. Those were the same cruel eyes that had killed the man, not even giving him a chance to scream. I didn’t take my eyes off the wolf. I wondered if the wolf could read my mind. If he could, he would know what I felt…which was a terrifying numbness that was spreading throughout my body. I realized that these last seconds that I was spending looking into the wolf’s eyes would probably be my last.
The wolf clamped its jaw around my arm. Warm blood spurted out. Blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. Strange, I didn’t feel anything. But I was screaming. Screaming like a madman. I felt the wolf’s teeth pierce into my neck, which seemed so vulnerable. The last sound I heard was Chelsea screaming, “I’m sorry, Robyn! Robyn! You’ll always be my best friend! I’m sorry! I…”
And then everything…everything went blank…
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