“It’s not far down.”
Kelly peered out the window as they turned off the paved road, mud splashing up around the tires as they landed in a puddle collecting at the mouth of the dirt road. The trees that enveloped them gave her a faint feeling of unease, so she focused her attention back on Carl.
“How far is it, exactly, eh?” she asked, smiling weakly. “Because I could have sworn we went five miles in last time – no sign of a house or a turn-off or anything.”
“Not far,” he replied with an easy smile. She settled back in her seat, then turned around again to make sure Sarah and Roger were following. Headlights bobbed behind them, jogged up and down by the raw road. Reassured, she turned round again, and they sat in silence for another minute before she tried to make conversation again.
“Who’s been driving you into town, then?”
“I mean, you don’t have a car…who’s been driving you up to town?”
Carl shrugged. “I walk. Healthier, you know.”
Trees rose into the darkness on all sides; the car rocked over another pothole (or whatever; she preferred to think pothole) in the aging dirt road. It only seemed to be getting rougher. Narrower, too, it seemed, like the trees were closing in. Kelly shifted uncomfortably in the silence.
“Why did you wait so long to show us out here? There’s like, nobody here, we could’ve been having mad parties all this time.”
“It wasn’t the right time.” Kelly glances at Carl, uncertain what to make of this answer, and he grinned at her – a joke. His eyes shone oddly green from the dashboard lights. “Seriously, I thought you guys could find it on your own. It’s the only house on the road.” He chuckled low in his chest, almost mockingly. Kelly frowned.
“Well, it must be a hell of a place to find –“
“We’re almost here.” Carl slammed the gas.
Sarah and Roger started as Kelly’s car jumped forward in front of them and started careening down the rough road, jogging up and down dangerously. Sarah leaned forward over the wheel.
“What the fuck are they doing?”
“Dunno. Maybe you should follow them,” Roger suggested, frowning, watching as they disappeared around an s-bend in the road.
“Like fuck I’m doing that. We’ll crash into a fucking tree.” Her pocket buzzed. She slipped out her phone.
Kelly T 10:36 6/2/10
smthng rong w/ carl help!!!
“Shit.” Sarah tossed her phone to Roger and sped up, but immediately slowed down again to navigate the sharp s-bend. The phone buzzed again in Roger’s hand.
Kelly T 10:37 6/2/10
GO BACK DONT GET OUT OF CAR GO BACK
“Sarah-“ Roger started. Sarah shrieked and slammed on the brakes, throwing the car into park.
“Kelly! Shit! Kelly!” Kelly’s car was half off the road, the hood folded around a sturdy tree. The full moon overhead just barely illuminated the scene through the thick trees. Carl was struggling with the passenger door, trying to get it open. Sarah jumped out, running to help.
Roger hesitated only a moment, glancing between the phone and Kelly’s car, Kelly’s last text feeling imprinted before his eyes. Then Sarah screamed; a dark liquid splattered across the windshield. He unbuckled his seatbelt, scrambling into the driver’s seat and slamming the door shut, throwing the car in reverse.
The journey back out seemed to take much longer, even though he was going twice the speed they had coming in. After awhile he slowed, afraid he had somehow gotten lost on the dirt road in his panic. A shadow moved in his mirror, became a shape – tall, tall, striding towards him slowly, the eyes bright red pinpricks too far apart – and he hit the gas again.
He watched as the thing started falling back, and laughed in a sudden rush of triumph and panic, fear pumping adrenaline as he pushed the truck harder. He watched the red orbs fade into the forest, eyes glued on his rear-view. Too late, he saw the spur of bedrock leaping out of the darkness in front of him, the smile of triumph on his face turning to a scream of horror.
Remains found on a hiking path entering the State Forest from ——- were positively identified as those of three missing college students, Sarah F———, Roger S——-, and Kelly T——.
The remains were discovered near cars belonging to F—— and T——-. According to authorities, it appeared the three attempted to drive down the hiking path and crashed. Alcohol was likely involved.
Although the remains were discovered last Wednesday, it took some time to identify the remains due to their condition; authorities state they were fed on by one or more wild animals. In a grisly twist, it appears the feeding may have occurred while the victims were still alive. Animal control is currently advising all hikers to take extra caution until the animals in question are found, stating the teeth marks found on the remains were “too large to have been made by a native animal.”
With the help of amandaandsuch