I don’t know how long we have been out here anymore around this campfire, it’s always night in this forsaken forest. we hardly get any sleep cause we hear and see them out there in the shadows constantly watching us, with their gleaming red eyes and their smiling blood stained white teeth that you could still make out even in all the darkness that surrounded them, Sometimes they would all strangely smile all at once, when we would make mistakes that could cause us to fall into the darkness.
If we saw the mistake and found a way to correct it, they would just begin to laugh and after a while go back to just watching us, like they were wondering how long we would struggle in our hopelessness. Waiting for us to make a mistake and let our campfire die, so they could descend on me and Dora, we are the only two left, there were eight of us, but now we are the only ones left.
They can’t step into the light that’s the only thing that holds them at bay and cuts through the darkness that was like a thick fog or vaccum, never illuminating more than a few feet around the fire that was made and would cut through the night sky, like a batman signal. We once threw a touch through the darkness, it disappeared into the darkness, we could see it from the sky though like a beam of light in the sky, till it eventually died. For a moment though while it was on, it felt like there was another group of people in this hell, and for once we were the ones laughing.
This was hell, we always had to make sure we had wood to burn so we always took turns picking up the wood around the camp, and in twos with touches when we had picked up all the ones around the camp. We lost some of us to what we called the “dark thoughts”, they would claim to see loved ones in the darkness calling to them and no matter how much we would keep them away from the darkness, they would eventually find ways to escape from us, and the last thing we would hear from them were their screams, but by then there was no way to save them.
Their screams would be heard all around us and not in a particular direction. One of us, John had gone off on his own probably thinking he could find his way out of the forest with three of our touches, for days the things in the darkness just kept smiling, we could see the beam of his light moving through the sky, then one day they just starting laughing and then the light went out and we heard his screams all around us, like he was never really far from the campsite.
Gathering wood and keeping the fire going was exhausting, especially when our numbers began to reduce, but it was good to keep busy, to keep the dark thoughts away, I thought and to stop thinking about where we are. Maybe it was because we were always in fear but we were never hungry or thirsty in this forest, all we needed was sleep.
Some days they would just move around us laughing, waiting for us to let our guard down or from exhaustion allow the fire die, or lose our minds which had happened once and walk into the darkness to be torn asunder. Like I said we had been eight when we first appeared here now it was just me and Dora. I had begun to suffer from episodes of dark thoughts, were I would see friends and family calling me to enter into the darkness every time I would snap out of it, I would find myself moving a step closer and closer each time from the campfire towards the darkness. But thankfully it only happened when I was keeping watch of the fire while Dora slept, so I never told her because I didn’t want her to worry, I thought if I just kept busy I wouldn’t have time for dark thoughts. This was a very big mistake.
Keeping the fire going was getting harder, we had to start moving farther away from the campfire, finding our way back was always more difficult cause we could only see the camp fire from the sky, we had to make sure we took enough torches, remembering our paths and routes each time we had to go out, it felt like a suicide mission each time. We would try to bring back as much wood as possible to keep us from having to go out there for as long as possible. All the while they would watch us with their red eyes and blood stain teeth smiling at us, as we would set out to find wood.
Once we had been out so long gathering wood, our last touch almost died on us, I had pressed timid Dora who was reluctant to keep going, she had kept telling us to go back. But I keep persuading her that the more we could gather the longer we wouldn’t have to come back here, which would silence her and make her keep moving. But I was not thinking straight or maybe it was the dark thoughts, I thought I still had one more touch with me when I was on my last one. By the time I realised the grave I was digging us into, we had to start running dropping the wood we had gathered as we ran. The touch slowly going out, they began to laugh, we barely made it back, making it by the skin of our teeth and without any firewood. Today was a complete failure we spend the next day running back and forth grabbing what we could to feed the campfire.
It was like any other day as Dora slept, I kept watch making sure to feed the fire it funny how after how long we had been here, I still was afraid of this things that just stared at us, only smiling and laughing when they thought they would gets us, we were really hunter and prey.
We all had different ways of coping with this place, mine was keeping busy while Dora just seemed to be getting quieter and quieter, to the point where she did not speak anymore. I was worried about her but how could I really help her when I was trying to keep it together myself. Now these things just kept smiling now but I didn’t care anymore.
On the 11th day after our slim escape from our touch almost dying while we were gathering wood, I collapsed right next to the fire after putting more wood into the fire. I was awake but I couldn’t move my body at all, I look at Dora, she was just smiling weirdly. I expected her to come and check on me but she just kept looking on for hours smiling as the fire began to die. The darkness encroaching on us and the things in the darkness moving closer and closer. I mean she could see me, I kept trying to call to her by groaning as loud as I could, but nothing. Their red eyes and white teeth moving closer and closer.
The darkness moving in closer to our camp as I tried to move and groaned louder to try and get Dora to add more wood to the camp fire, as the fire grew smaller and smaller, Dora just kept moving closer and closer with the fire till, it was just a small diameter around me and Dora. That’s when I realised what had happened.
I was the only one who had made it out of the forest that time, Dora had died. She couldn’t keep up and her touch had died, I had blocked it out on my head or maybe it was just a new development of my dark thoughts, pretending she was still alive, in my insane self I never slept once keeping watch for us both, we it was the others turn to keep watch I had finally worn my body out. The light from the fire was now only on me now and they had completely surrounded me, their red eyes glaring as they laughed with their teeths out.
The hunter had finally caught its prey, the fire went out and my screams was heard.