“That’s silly, demons and monsters don’t exist!”
Three teenagers of around seventeen years of age were walking home from school. One of them, the one who had just exclaimed his disbelief of demons and monsters, wore a plain white T-shirt along with jeans and his backpack slung over one shoulder. He had dirty blonde hair along with blue eyes, and seemed the oldest of the three.
“Yeah they do, I think I saw one!” Another boy responded to him. This boy was a little bit shorter than his friend. He had dark brown hair and beaming blue eyes, and was dressed in black pants and a gray sweater. “Don’t pretend you don’t believe in them just because it’s a scary thought, Luke”
“Yes Ethan, it’s a scary thought! So I’d rather just ignore it and think about happier things!” The final member of their trio piped up. She was an inch or two shorter than Ethan and had curly blonde hair that fell a bit past her shoulders. She was dressed in an outfit of mostly green and browns, which went with her green eyes.
“But Penny!” Ethan responded to her, “It may be scary, but it’s interesting!” Ethan had always been interested in the existence of demons. Not that he wanted to mess with them, he just found it interesting that a creature could live and stalk around the city with over half the population not believing in their existence. “I want to learn more about them!”
The three of them continued chatting while moving onward, walking a path parallel to the forest. The trees were various shades of yellow and red, it was quite beautiful; autumn in the forest was a breathtaking sight to behold. They continued their conversation about demons and creatures as they made their way towards their houses.
“How can you say they’re real when you’ve never talked with any of them?” Luke asked a bit arrogantly, “How do you know they can even talk?”
“Well I’ve never met one,” Ethan started.
“And I hope you never do! They might hurt you!” Penny interrupted, concern in her voice.
“Yeah well I think I saw one once. He was near the forest, I was walking to the store.” Ethan continued.
Penny let out a small gasp of horror, “What was it doing? Did it kill someone?”
“No, I don’t really know” Ethan thought back at the memory, “I only saw him for a few seconds because I darted behind a building. He was in all black, as in pants, hoodie, and I think gloves. He turned for a second, that’s when I ran, and I saw his face.”
Luke and Penny were silent, holding their breaths in anticipation of what the demon’s face looked like.
“But I think he was wearing a mask or something. I didn’t see too well because he was a little faraway” Ethan continued, Luke was a bit disappointed, Penny was relieved. “It was a blue mask though, with some black on it. I liked the way it looked actually, a few days ago I made my own mask; I was bored and didn’t have anything else to do really.”
“But what about the demon? Did it chase after you because you saw it?” Penny questioned frightfully.
“No, after a few minutes hiding behind the building I went out from behind it and he was gone. I think he went into the forest.” Ethan looked towards the dense trees.
“Well remind me not to go into the forest anytime soon.” Penny shuddered and moved farther from the forest.
“Y’know I think I have a demon story of my own.” Luke informed, looking at the forest for a moment and then looking towards the road. “Well, it’s not exactly mine”
“What is it?” Ethan asked, intrigued and turning his attention to Luke.
“Well you know how that one guy died last week? And our parents told us it was because he had a heart condition and died of a heart attack?” The two others nodded, Luke continued “Weeeeeell” His tone dropped to one which someone might hear when campers were telling eerie ghost stories, “I heard it wasn’t a heart attack that killed him, far from it”
“Was it a demon who did it?” Ethan asked, refusing to let his rising fear quake his voice.
“Possibly, my parents wouldn’t let me read about it because they told me that ‘You shouldn’t be interested in how our neighbor died, that won’t bring him back.’” Luke imitated his parent’s voices in a slightly nagging tone, “But I think they were just hiding it from me because it was a bloody death!”
“Just because they don’t want you to read about death doesn’t mean it was sinister!” Penny informed him, not liking the idea that someone was brutally murdered by a demon in their own town.
“Yeah well, you know that one guy in our class, the guy umm, what’s his name, kinda short, wears glasses-” Luke thought for a moment.
“Jonathan?” Ethan guessed.
“Yeah him, he told me that his friend, or a friend of his friend’s or something, lives right next to the house of the dude who got killed. He said he heard things on the night before he died.”
“What . . . What kind of things?” Ethan asked, his voice betraying him and shaking slightly with fear.
“Well he heard something like breaking glass, and then muffled shouts or something, and then laughter.” Luke paused for them to comment, but they remained silent. “But it wasn’t normal laughter, it was crazy laughter. He tried to repeat it but all he said was something like ‘kukuku’ or something like that; very demon-like in my opinion!”
“Very demonic indeed . . .” Ethan paused, letting this new information run through his head.
“I think we should just stop being interested in this subject!” Penny exclaimed frightfully, “Maybe the demons won’t like it, and maybe they’ll try to kill us because we know too much!” She scooted closer to Ethan, walking slightly faster.
“Hey, we’re only in high school, what harm could we do to them?” Ethan reassured, “I don’t think they’d see us as much of a threat. Now, if we were adults with guns, that’s another story.”
“I guess so . . .” She stared off into the distance; they were nearing her house “Okay guys gotta go, seeya tomorrow!” She branched off from the sidewalk and towards her house, waving at them before turning away.
They waved back, and then continued onward.
“Dude, she’s cute, you should ask her out” Luke deadpanned.
“W-what!? How and why did you change the subject from killer demons to that!?” Ethan exclaimed in shock, and a touch of embarrassment.
“Well I think she likes you” Luke nudged him in the arm, “And I have a feeling that you like her as well!”
“Huh!? What!? I uhh-!” Ethan looked for words, blushing slightly. “Well if you think she’s cute then why don’t YOU ask her out!?”
“Weeeell I would,” Luke laughed, “But then you’d get jealous!”
Ethan was silent, not knowing how to respond to that.
“Ha,” Luke laughed and prodded him in the shoulder, walking a bit faster, and then off the trail towards his own house, “Later dude!”
Ethan waved goodbye to him, still a little stunned, and then walked onward towards his own house. He looked at the trees, and then noticed a large gap between them; a path. It looked like not many people used it, or tended it; it was almost not recognizable as a path itself.
He thought for a moment, it was a Friday and he didn’t have any homework, if the path was long then it wouldn’t affect his vacant schedule much. He walked off of the sidewalk and onto the path.
Almost immediately he was glad that he had chosen to walk it. The surrounding trees were beautiful, the red and yellow hues of the foliage were magnificent and really gave one that ‘fall is here’ feeling. Squirrels and small creatures chittered and scampered in the branches, looking around for food.
As he looked around, a cloud covering the sun moved and light poured over the trees and shined down. Ethan covered his eyes momentarily, and then noticed something in the dead leaves on the ground; something glimmered. He stopped and looked over, wondering what in the forest could possibly shine like that did.
Ethan walked over and looked down at the object, still not seeing exactly what it was; he nudged it with his foot. Seeing what it was, he grew more confused. It was an empty wineglass. But, out here in the forest?
He looked up, wondering where it came from. Ethan grew curious as he saw a large boulder ahead of him. It looked like it had been split in two by some powerful force of nature long ago, and a crack ran down the middle. A smaller rock covered part of the crack on the ground, and something was dripping out from behind it.
His curiosity compelling him, Ethan walked forward and crouched down, a stale but unpleasant smell was coming from the rock; well, behind the rock. He reached down and pushed it to the side with a little trouble, and then looked at what was behind it. The crack grew much wider as it neared the ground, into a small compartment-like space. There were items down there.
There were quite a few items as well, including a half empty bottle of what looked like wine, a burlap sack covered in old stains, and the source of the dripping and smell; a large bloodied knife. Ethan backed up a little in surprise, not knowing what he had stumbled upon, and quite frankly, he didn’t want to know. He was about to cover up the crack with a rock and forget about it, when something else caused his curiosity to grow.
Lying near the back of the small compartment was a large book. In the shadows, it was hard to see the details on it, but somehow Ethan knew that there was something odd about it. He reached in, careful not to touch the bloody knife, and grabbed it. When he pulled it out, he was certain there was something special about it.
The old tome seemed ancient; its cover was a faded dark blue of some sort of skin or leather. Inscribed on its cover there were odd symbols and designs in silver, surrounded by what appeared to be burn marks. His interest escalating rapidly, he opened up the book. Careful not to rip the thin, yellowing pages, he turned the pages delicately and steadily.
The text seemed to be in a different language, one of which he’d never seen before. It didn’t seem to be English of course; or Japanese, or Arabic, Danish, Russian, or anything really. However, in the margins next to the odd text, someone had written notes there. This language was different than the one used, it seemed to be in Latin. He assumed that these notes must be translations of the odd text.
Ethan kept looking through the different pages, despite not being able to understand them. He only stopped when then a gust of wind shook through the trees, catching his attention. Quickly, he pushed the rock back into place, covering up the compartment and all the items it held.
Ethan stood up and walked back to the path, continuing onward towards home, the ancient tome in his arms.