Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta woods. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta woods. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 8 de febrero de 2017

Strange place

   The woods outside the small town of Iris, were a very lonely place almost all year round. Not a soul dared to cross through it to get anymore, no matter if it came from outside or inside the small town. People would rather cross the lake by boat to reach the village or simply take the main road that made a big detour around the woods. After so much time of this prohibition having settled in in the minds of the people, they simply didn’t think about it anymore and saw it as one of those things of nature.

 But it wasn’t exactly nature, which barred everything living from the woods. It was possibly the opposite, something dark and sneaky that didn’t wanted for people to penetrate the place were it lived. No birds crossed over those woods or even built nests on those trees. All animals, from bears to butterflies, avoided that patch of the world as if it was something automatic and not something they could do something about. Nature had nothing to do with that chilling place, not at all.

 On Iris, people loved life. It was such a strange thing for first visitors because one would think that living with a certain fear for so long would be quite a marking experience but it wasn’t at all. Children there loved to play all day long and the adults were kind people that loved to greet new souls to their community. They welcomed strangers as if they were a gift sent by the heavens and would also celebrate for an entire day if a new citizen was born inside the boundaries of Iris.

The festivities there were always something to behold: they put small flags of many colors over every doorway in town and they would sing beautiful old songs all day long, celebrating life. They also cooked the best food, especially fish, when a newborn entered their community. They also cooked some sweets that were specially made according to the tastes of the person being celebrated, meaning it was also done in birthdays, which were always a very grand occasion in town.

 The best part though, was the fact that people seemed to be having the time of their lives every single day. It didn’t matter if they were selling products in the markets, fishing on the lake, running around town or cooking lunch for their family, people in Iris always had a helping hand for everyone and big smile to top that with. All traders loved to visit, as they felt doing business there was more like being on a vacation were everyone is very kind to you. The name was famous in the region and the fact that the woods were so close, was baffling to so many curious people.

 They couldn’t understand how those people in Iris could be so happy. After all, those tall dark trees and that frozen wind had a presence that was not easy to ignore when one would travel through the main road towards Iris. People from the small town had moved the trail further away from the forest, many times during their history, but the woods seemed to catch up every time they did that. So every time a particular part of the road felt colder and simply strange, they rebuilt the road further away from that place.

 That work was normally done in a few days and it was something that needed to be done every year. But even so, the people from Iris that worked on the road weren’t even a bit worried about that. Every year, their town kept being pushed away from the rest of the civilized world. When the road was first created, the journey to the nearest town could be achieved in about 10 hours. With all the changes on the road, Iris was now located 12 hours away from civilization and it kept moving away.

 The route through the lake, by boat, was used my traders mostly. And that road was also altered every few years do to the fact that the dark woods seemed to be conquering the opposite side of the lake, little by little, and people now have to change courses a little bit which also made the trip a little bit longer than before. But people just did what had to be done and they tried not to think too much about it because there was nothing they could do, or at least that was the general opinion.

 A couple of experts in biology and other fields had studied the woods from the outside. Of course, most of these people came from other towns and they would go to Iris at least once to study the forest from there. The problem was that they were the only people not to be welcome in town, asked very politely to leave after spending one night in town. People usually agreed to do it in order for them no to cause any sort of unpleasant mood among the normally chilled population of Iris.

 Not many findings had been done by the very few experts that found the dark woods to be a fascinating anomaly in nature. The fact that no life could be detected there was strange enough, no matter if it was on the trees, the soil, the air or even the water that existed in the form of puddles. But even stranger was the fact that every single person that got too close to the forest, and lived to tell the story, would always tell others about a presence that was strong among those trees. There was something there but no one could really say what it was, if it was something at all.

 Of course, the people of Iris were not very big on any of those stories. The few people from town that had grown any interest in the woods, no matter how fleeting, would be asked to live the village and never come back. That seemed a little bit too hard but the fact remained that Iris was not a town where being curious was rewarded in any way. They lived a quiet peaceful life between a lake, some mountains and the main road; they didn’t really need to ask the world for anything else.

 That of course included the answers that so few had asked for but that no one was apparently willing to give. The only possible way to get a proper answer was to enter the woods themselves but even among people from other parts of the world, that was a crazy idea. All studies qualifies that place as dangerous and unstable, because of the road thing, so why would anyone try to enter to find answers to questions that no one really is begging for? One thing is wondering, the other is demanding an answer.

 Only a handful of people had done that, demand an answer from the forest. And the fact was that none of them remained to tell others why they asked themselves that dreadful question. That is because all of them, a group of ten or less, had walked into the forest and had never returned. When that happened, no one really asked for an explanation or for their bodies to be buried or anything like that. Not even their families wanted to know anything more that what was a fact.

 Those people were part of the mystery of the woods and every time of them had entered the forest, it seemed that year was one of especially big growth for that space as such. Trees seemed to get thicker trunks and the cold air seemed to become even colder. It was a very scary thing to think about and that was probably why people just kept ignoring those facts and the conversation over all. They didn’t want to confront the reality of the situation they faced every day, so they compensate it with joy and optimism, as they didn’t have anything else to go for them.


 In about twenty years, a young woman will realize a very dreadful fact that people in Iris will again accept as one of those things that happen and no one can do anything about it. She will reveal to her people that the road will be cut off because they won’t be able to push it further away from the woods. The trees will grow on the trail and the town of Iris will be cut off from civilization, same from the lakeside. They will be prisoners of the forest. And one day, they will all disappear because of it. And even then, they won’t say a word because that’s they way they are.

martes, 17 de mayo de 2016

Weird woods

   The majestic tree, various meters tall, fell to the ground causing a tremor. Only animals realized what had happened, as there were no people in the vicinity. The tree had fallen because it was rotten from the inside and couldn’t hold any longer. It started breaking from the roots up and finally, one very clear morning, it fell causing various birds to fly away scared. The movement on the ground caused by the tree was felt everywhere in the woods and the animals knew exactly what had happened.

 In time, the tree got covered in moss and, when time came for people to arrive to the region, they couldn’t conclude how much time it had passed since that tree had fallen. The explorers loved that forest because it was relatively easier to go through than any jungle in the other end of the world or maybe a very far away forest, locate in the middle of many mountains or something like that.

 The explorers discovered some new flowers and plants and also new bugs, which wasn’t something difficult in such conditions. The place was very humid and animals were all over the place, even among a think haze that covered the entire forest. The team of explorers installed a small camp in a clearing and decided to stay there for more time than anticipated because the forest showed promise and they wanted to bring back lots of new data. It would help them tremendously at work.

 The following day to them arriving, the haze had grown thicker and the trees seemed to be much more numerous, they seemed to be everywhere. Not that the forest didn’t have lots of trees but it just seemed like many more had grown overnight. The leader of the team decided to do maps of the area in order to be able to explore it more efficiently. He spent the whole day doing drawings of the area around their camp.

 During the night, it was difficult to see anything and not even flashlights seemed to penetrate the darkness of the forest. Strangely, it was a very quiet place after dark and that made them a little bit uneasy. It wasn’t very common to find a forest where no bugs or small mammals made sounds or cries of any type. It made their nights even more alone, more filled with tension and insecurities.

 They were already planning to go back to the city, even if they had decided days ago to stay a full month in the forest. The plans had not changed but it was good to talk about what they were going to do afterwards. They were only five people but they all felt a little strange in that place, in that situation. The forest had something about it that they couldn’t explain and it didn’t really made them feel good. That night, it was difficult for them to sleep.

 The next day, it was as if the volume had been raised again. However, when they decided to use the maps their leader had done to explore the forest, they realized they were useless. The trees were not where the map said they were and now there were also big boulders covered in moss a little bit everywhere and they covered large paths inside the forest, making it very difficult to walk around and explore. Something was very wrong with that place but they couldn’t really say what.

 Ignoring the problem with the maps, they decided the best thing was to tie a red rope around their waists and tie the other end to another person who stayed in the camp. As they were five, that limited the number of people going to explore to two at a time. It was efficient at all because other two had to stay there, sitting, making sure the rope worked in order for their partners to come back.

 The fifth person would normally go around the camping site, without walking away, and check the place they had decided to settle in. As it was a natural clearing, it was very strange to see one and there must have been reasons for that. So it fell on the responsibility of one person to investigate why that space was a clearing and what type of bugs and plants grew there. That second day was very productive in that sense. Yet, it wasn’t much of a secret that they all wanted to go back home.

 But the job comes first and they needed to finish what they had started. That second night, they wrote down everything they had seen. The absence of sound in the night also became a thing inside the large tent were they did everything. They started to talk less and less, only writing and making very soft sounds. They hadn’t realized it until the moment they left the forest some days later.

 The third day, the forest again changed its configuration or that’s what it seemed. The most frequent bugs had also changed from one day to the other. The first day there were common worms and then the second there were blue caterpillars. On the third, there were large groups of butterflies that would for large groups on trees and on top large bushes that weren’t there before.

 Humidity was another thing that changed every single died. The third time was the one their knees and elbows hurt the most. It was almost as if they had transported to an actual jungle except for the fact that the weather was not that hot. It was just how humid it was and how tired everyone felt after working for so many hours in those conditions.

 The fourth day the most frequent bug they could find was beetles. And they were not only black but also green and blue and several other amazing colors. Some of them the ability to fly and it was frankly very scary to see them do that. The bushes had grown in number and several boulders that had cut off paths had disappeared or so it seemed. Everything was different each time and it was very challenging to get used to all that. But no one complained because that was their job.

 The fourth night, they shared a nice meal but didn’t say a word at all. They just had been compelled to share a moment with each other but they respected the forest so much they didn’t want to speak and then ruin the whole harmony that was going on. Also, they really didn’t feel as they could actually talk in a normal register. It fell difficult to talk, to scream even. Many of them secretly tried but it was as if nature had taken hold of their vocal chord for the moment and it wouldn’t let them go.

 Late that night, there was absolute silence until a single sound disturbed the whole moment: something had fallen very nearby, making the ground shake severely. Every member of the group woke up instantly and they all headed outside to check everything out with their flashlights. But it was useless. The haze was thick as always and nothing could be really seen beyond it. So the all went back inside but would barely sleep.

 The fifth day was their last. They were planning in walking to the edge of the forest until it was close to nightfall and then just walk to the place were they had entered the forest. Their cars were there as well as the people that took care of the national park were the forest was located. It was very far from the clearing they had chosen to stay in but if they started early, they could reach it easily by dawn.

 They looked for the fallen tree, the one they had heard the night before, but they never found it. Everything in the forest was calm and no tree appeared to have fallen. Humidity was not the same as the other days. It was almost exactly the opposite. The wind that blew through the tall trees was very dry, making their skins feel strange. They walked without stopping all day, not even for food. They hadn’t discussed it but no one was going to stay behind doing any more exploring. They had to leave.


 The walk lasted for several hours and they begun to be very worried about being able to come out of there. The park’s entrance was nowhere near them, the forest had shifted again. They walked to different directions for hours until, with the last lights of the day, they found what seemed like another clearing. Had they come back to the same spot again? No. There was a license plate in the ground. And beneath it, metal on the ground.

viernes, 6 de noviembre de 2015

Secret of the woods

   The last day they saw each other, they didn’t say a word. They just stared and finally left, each own his or hers on way. They were six people and they had all been there as the war had happened. They had been useful servants, slaves if you will. They had done everything they were ordered and even then the ones that ruled over that place had beaten them with sticks or solid rods. Everyone was cruel and sick during the war and the secret that they all shared was proof of that. When it happened, they all shared that moment but they never really spoke about it. First, because there was no time to do so and, second, because it was extremely hard for them to do it. The war then pressed on and reached its desired end; they were liberated one morning and found themselves to be free.

 Clara was the youngest of the group and the first one to leave that horrible place. She noticed, as she left in a truck filled with liberated people, how the surrounding forest was still dark and scary and how it had no life inside of it. It had been rendered lifeless by the atrocities of war. Eventually, Clara made it to the nearest town and there she desired to get to a port and then away from that forsaken continent. But she never got to do it because she had no money. She decided to work in the town, doing small chores all over. It was doing so that she met a nice young man, a baker, and she fell in love. They eventually married and had a very large and happy family. She was almost seventy years old when she received a phone call, one she never thought she would get.

 Robert, the youngest man, left in the following truck. Its destination was another place like the one he had come from, which made him sick. He vomited several times and made the soldiers think he was sick with something. They left him in a provisional hospital, not too far from there. He wasn’t sick, just nervous and scared. In the hospital, one of the doctors asked him for help, as nurses were very scarce. Eventually, Bob followed the medicine man to a big city in the south and there he paid Robert’s studies to become a doctor. The man turned to be a second father who loved Robert as his own son had died months earlier in battle. Bob turned himself into a great doctor, getting the call too after one of his lectures.

 The oldest was Irina, a woman that didn’t say a word and that left the place by foot. She was not that older but she had seen more of life than Clara and Robert. She was hunted by the violent deaths of her family, which she couldn’t forget. Feet bleeding, she collapsed and was rescued by a group of women, who nursed her back to health. They were also escaping violence, so she joined them. The group eventually settled in the east and became of the first feminist groups of the area. They were adamant in their convictions and Irina proved to be a real fighter. She did good things for women all over the region and was in a frail state when she got her call.

 Next was Alexander, who was the first one that talked publicly about the atrocities he had seen. He became a renowned writer after been able to travel abroad and reunite with his family. He was member of an aristocratic family who had disowned him but now that everything had change, they recognized him again and even more as his fame grew larger. Alexander published books about the war, all very successful. He did novels, and documentaries and short stories. He even sold his rights to make movies about the subject. By the time he was an older man, he was one of the richest persons on that side of the world. Privately, he had grown tired of the subject but as it was his life, he couldn’t drop it. His call caught him in the middle of the night.

 Marissa was the only one that had been transferred from a proper prison camp. She had seen other atrocities and when she was transferred she thought she would have a better life but she didn’t. After the liberation, she had to be institutionalized because of her mental state. She received shock therapy for several months and was even the subject of several dissertations about paranoia. She was finally released to a resting home when she was a woman in her forties. She had no skills and had been permanently damaged but that didn’t stop people at the home to make her clean floors and bathrooms, use her as many had used her before. Then, one morning, someone came and took her away.

 To complete the group, there was Louis. He had been a musician but after the war his fingers were not the same ones. He couldn’t play anything and he did not have any other skills. He tried finding a job as a waiter or as a chauffeur, but he would always ruin it by having awful breakdowns that involved hitting himself repeatedly. His guilt always showed itself to others, and it couldn’t be controlled. He was violent and unpredictable so, when one day he shot himself in the head, no one really made a fuss about it. So many people that had been liberated were committing suicide, so it wasn’t a real shock. When they called Louis, trying to locate him, the news hit hard and deep.

 The person who called was Clara. She had started to contact everyone else for one simple reason and that was because she had received a call by a state officer who was investigating the events that took place in that place in the woods all those years ago. They had identified her as a resident for some time, as well as some others. They wanted to talk to them in order to know exactly what went on there because there were these rumors and it was necessary to know if they were true. Clara just hung up, asking her husband never to pick it up again. When the government came to her doorstep, she chased them away.

 For her, it was too much. Her children and husband didn’t understand, but for Clara it was all a disaster. She was an older woman now, someone who had already done what she had to do, and someone that was already planning to come to terms with her existence as a human being. Clara was almost ready to meet her maker and she had no intention to face the human justice. That was when she had the idea to track all of the people that had been there with her, in those basements with rooms with no windows or proper lighting. She looked for them and after some time she had called them all. They had all agreed to meet, no questions asked, in the town where she lived.

 It was fun, at least for a while, to see how different everyone was. Clara had been a housewife all of her life so she did an effort to look good. She was the one who picked up Clara and, with the help of her husband, nursed her back to a better health in order to be more aware of the world. But Marissa was gone and would rather play with the dogs than talk to those people she didn’t know anymore. Bob and Alex looked fantastic. They were all so dapper and successful in their respective fields. But once there, once they got all together, they went back to being young and simple. Irina walked slow and needed to be waited and helped. But her demeanor was strong and resilient, having struggled all of her life for others. They reunited and, once again, just stared.

 But those empty looks turned into tears and hugs and kisses. They had never done that while at the woods, they had never shared a moment of love because love had been outlawed. They only law, the only real thing there was violence and cruelty and they had been poisoned by it. They talked about their lives and about how everything had changed but had stayed the same in some parts. They also spoke about Louis and Marissa was the first one to smile when hearing his name. She had helped him once and they were the only friends in existence in that awful place. They went there and the cold wind that greeted them made all the memories come back.


 The place was now a museum with a park. A young woman came to them as asked if they wanted to take a tour of the place but they told her they knew it too well. They each told the story of how they had gotten there and how they had gotten out of it. They also confessed to have helped to the killing of several people, including children. The place was used as a testing site for several weapons: biological, chemical and radioactive.  They also tortured them with other experiments and them, who were prisoners, were made to watch and help. If they didn’t, they died. So they did. That place had been hell and now they had liberated themselves from it, in order to leave it there forever.

domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

The mansion by the woods

   The mansion had been deserted for years. No one had seen what was inside, not even the children that crossed under the broken fence and used the front gardens as a place to play the sport of their preference. They had even broken some of the remaining windows, which were not many, but never dared to enter the building to grab their belongings. They knew that the place was haunted or something worse. When they played, they could sometimes hear someone slamming the windows and punching the walls or something like that. It was very scary and they always left when that happened. For them, it meant that the spirits had been having an especially awful day and they didn’t want to have anything to do with that. They just left and wouldn’t go in for a few days.

 Curious people had also come around but never past the fence that still went all around the property. Somehow, adults felt something else than the children or were frightened easier. The thing was that every adult that came in contact with the fence started screaming and left in a huff. The truth was they instantly saw the way they would die in the future. No one knew if it was an accurate prediction but no one really wanted to find out anything about that. They just felt they had to leave urgently after seeing that and just did. Even the children saw and heard more. Adults just wanted to get the hell out before something scarier presented itself or something like that. With time, no inhabitant of the nearby town would go near the mansion, only crazies from other towns.

 Despite its fame, the mansion was not in such a horrible state, not as one would imagine. The place was falling apart in some areas but the rest looked as beautiful as always, with a mixture of different tones of marble that looked beautiful, especially in the summer. The gardens were, of course, all dead because no one was taking care of them but one could see the past beauty just by taking a stroll. Well, if anyone took a stroll around the place. The place did not looked like the typical dark haunted house. It was a very beautiful place that had fallen into disgrace and no one really knew why. Very few people remain that remember what had happened there.

 The people of the town had always been very apprehensive to anyone that wanted to live in the woods or too far from the main municipality. The mansion was constructed over a hundred years ago and even then people watched it, from afar, with disdain. They thought that only crazy people that shouldn’t be trusted would decide to live in such a place. After all, the mansion was in the margin of the forest. No one lived there and the people of the town even tried to stop the construction arguing that it was a national park. But the forest wasn’t so the mansion was built there without any modifications to its initial design.

 Things were strange even from the start. Not only many workers left the building site because they had claimed they had seen creatures coming in from the forest, but also the place remained empty for at least ten years before a family finally came in to live there. People were very displeased by this and agreed in a town meeting that no one would ever help those people, not by selling food or supplies or helping them out of the region. But that meeting proved useless because the people of the mansion would ever come to them. The only time they would come in contact with those people would be when their cars crossed the small town to go from or into the mansion. Everyone fell silent when that happened, as if a hearse had just passed before them.

 The family that lived in the mansion was said to be one of the richest in the country They owned various oil fields and mines all over the country. And somehow, they had chosen such a lost region to come and live. No one knew if that arrangement would be permanent or only through the summer but asking would mean that they cared for them and that wasn’t what they had agreed on. The family did not even realize of the antagonist reaction of the people on town. The truth was that, for them, the mansion was a small piece of paradise that was only for them. They could have built it anywhere else in the country but the grandfather of the lady of the house had loved this region when young so they went for it.

 There was a father, a mother, two little girls and the youngest, which was a strange little boy. Even people in town knew he was strange because some of the people that worked in the house would often come into town and as they had never promised to deny them any service, they would talk to them even if they were there for only a few minutes. The one who talked the most was the gardener and it was them who had told the people about the youngest boy who would never leave the house and was always in a room for only their parents to see him. The girls had a nanny and they would often spend time with the cook but the boy would never join them. They believed him to be around five years old.

 The family came and went all summers, even staying a little bit more some years. They would never get any visitors but would rather stay inside much of the time. The girls would play a lot around the gardens and where the only members of the family that had an actual exchange with the rest of the staff. The two girls were eight and twelve years old and they would always play together. They would hold hands and skip around the gardens in order to smell the flowers or follow insects or just play around. They were cheerful children and, according to the people that worked in the mansion, no one else but them actually smiled. The father was absent and the mother was always melancholic.

 Then, they stopped coming for some years and returned three years later. It was the last time people saw the girls, who were already grown up. They were very beautiful ladies and it was said that the eldest was about to marry to a well renowned banker. It was on their last visit that they decided to visit the town and greet many of its inhabitants. No one asked anything, of course, but they were all mesmerized when seeing the two women. They had nothing uncommon physically or anything but they just felt strange, like something was off about them but no one really knew what it was. After that visit, they would never come back to town or to the mansion. Only her mother would come and her father, but only some times.

 It was obvious that the man of the house had never liked the mansion or whatever it meant for him. Since the beginning, he would come and go so many times that people ignored his car after a while. People thought it was because of work but the truth was, according to the gardener that the man couldn’t stand to be in that mansion or in the presence of his wife. Somehow, and all staff agreed on this, he hated his wife and couldn’t even look at her. No one had ever seen them being nice to each other, not holding hands or sharing a nice moment. No, the woman was always crying or pacing around the house and the man would just leave and escape everything that tied him there.

 Then, one particularly hot summer, there was an explosion in the mansion that could be heard for many kilometers. Apparently it had been originated in the kitchen. The only casualty was the lady of the house. Every person in the vicinity was shocked to hear this but no one was able to go to her funeral. She was buried over night behind the house and that event marked the time when everyone left the mansion and its slow decay began. Some children now say that the tombstone in honor of the woman can still be seen but no adult had ever come that close to check by themselves. Everything had happened so fast that only years later people would start to remember and question: And the boy?


 Where was the little boy that the staff had sworn had always been kept in his room, only contacted by his parents? When the family left the mansion, no one ever saw a child with them and the gardener remembered clearly he only saw the girls and their father leave. So naturally, many people assumed the kid was still in the mansion. People would come to “rescue” him but then the visions started and no adult ever returned to the mansion. Only children that claim that the sounds where sometimes too much to bear. Some even confessed to have seen a face in the windows. But they didn’t saw a child, rather something much stranger and scarier. Something like the devil himself, they said.