The fog was thickening as the Gargantuas made their way down the worn, dark road.
“We passed this sign twice!” Dominique yelled from the back. There were many signs down the pitch black road before them. Their mother was a nervous wreck in the passenger’s seat, but she tried her hardest not to make it obvious. Up ahead they could see nothing around them except what was ahead being lit up by the shining headlights. All the way down the road were bright yellow reflecting signs. The signs weren’t much of a help at all. The only signs they had seen so far read “Beware of falling boulders.” As it was they were already scared by the steep hill of rocks next to them. A confirmation that one could possibly tumble down the massive hill was very unsettling.
“Turn on the G.P.S Joe,” their mother, Theresa, anxiously ordered Joe, their father.
“It wouldn’t be of any use, there’s trees all around us that will block the signal,” he responded. After finally rolling over Bull’s Bridge and passing the vast waterfalls and mountains, they finally made it to the right road.
“Hurry up Daddy! I have to pee!” Christina shouted from under the floral patterned, green blanket. The rocks crunched under the tires as they pulled over the bridge to the rock covered driveway. Below the bridge they heard the crashing of water in the brook. They pulled into the driveway and Christina thrust the car door open and hopped out making a plop when her feet hit the mud that covered every inch of the ground. They trudged with their heavy snow boots making disgusted groans at the squishy mud beneath them.
“Where’s the key?” Theresa asked Joe.
“That’s funny. It’s already open.” he skeptically responded. He slowly opened the door and then hesitantly put one foot into the rustic, colonial threshold.
“Maybe the care taker left it open for us.” He took a peek inside only to see a crackling, blazing fire with fresh logs and all of the lights and T.V on. “Gigi?!” With that yell for the caretaker began the long night ahead, for as Joe yelled everything went pitch black.
“AHHHH!” shrieked all four little girls. The Gargantuas blindly shuffled altogether as if glued together by some strong, physical force.
“What do we do Daddy?!” Nicole worriedly questioned.
“Just keep walking and stay close.”
“I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” she responded. Walking and tripping through the two hundred year old house they grew more and more afraid.
“I still have to pee!”
“NOOO CHRISTINA!” they all groaned. Still gripping onto one another for dear life they dragged themselves to the bathroom, knocking into a few counters, tables and chairs on the way. Once they made it to the bathroom, and they thought Christina was done, they began walking again only to hear, “WAIT! I have to wash my hands first!”
“Oh just come!” they all yelled, too nervous to care. Then they all made their way again through the mud covered driveway and piled back into the car. Joe put the keys in the ignition and the car began rurring but slowly died out. Then, sniffing in the air, they smelled something funny.
“NICOLE!” they all screamed! “Not now!”
“That wasn’t me! Look out the windows!” Everybody in the car slowly turned their heads only to see puffs and puffs of smoke filling the air.
“Get out of the car!” Joe screamed. In a hurry they grabbed their most valuable items and, of course, their cell phones, and without sight they sprinted yet again into the colonial house. With only the crackling fire to be their light and warmth they sat around the living room close together deciding what they were going to do next.
“This is the scariest event to ever happen to me.” Christina murmured, nearly in tears.
“We just have to stay close to each other and it won’t seem as scary.”
Then fell silence, but not for long, for on the far side of the room they heard the sound of paper floating down from an unknown source.
“What was that?!” Dominique whispered through gasping breaths.
“Wait here.” Joe said, slowly rising from the couch. Walking toward the fire, their only source of light in the room, he found a match on a shelf above the fireplace and lit it as a way to guide him through the darkness to search for the source of the mysterious noise. Lying on the floor near the door to the library he saw a photo flipped on its front. He flipped it over only to see an old photograph. On the photograph was a family of farmers on the old landscape of this land.
“Where did this come from?” Joe asked. He carefully carried the old picture to his family and showed them.
“That’s the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.” said Nicole.
“That’s the original family that lived in this house.” Theresa said.
“Okay, but where did it come from?” asked little Christina. “It couldn’t have just fallen from midair.”
“Never mind the picture. It could’ve just fallen from the shelf,” Joe exclaimed. “Let’s just try and make our way towards the road and find some help.” Using only a tiny match and their little knowledge of the land they tried their best to move towards the road.
“Ouch!” Christina cried, treading through a patch of thorns.
“I could’ve sworn the road was this way.” Dominique pondered aloud.
“Well, Dominique, now we’re in the middle of the woods someplace!” yelled Nicole.
“Can you light another match Joe? The other one blew out and we can’t see a thing.” The small flame flickered on and below them were leaves crunching. Theresa pointed the match towards the ground to check the ground below. She expected to see maybe leaves and a few bugs. What she saw made her heart stop beating and her knees go weak.
“J,” she could only mutter while trying to catch her breath. Joe responded quickly and walked slowly over to where Theresa was attempting to stand up; little did they know Christina was just behind them.
“Somebody died! Oh my goodness! A skeleton, a real skeleton!” Christina grabbed her dad around the waist and cried.
“What?!” shrieked Dominique and Nicole.
“It is nothing.” replied their dad. “Let’s just keep walking.”
On and on they walked. Finally, they saw a light shining at the end of the woods. They began walking faster and faster toward it. Suddenly, everyone fell and began tumbling into a ditch. Christina had just about enough of stress without crying about it. She let out a wale loud enough to waken people across the globe, broke down, and cried. The matches were their only source of sight and warmth and along with their serenity the flames died out and vanished leaving them sightless and blind in the pitch black woods.
“What do we do now Joe?” Theresa asked with a worried tone in her voice.
“Now, we find a way out of this hole.”
Digging and crawling into the steep sides of the ditch seemed hopeless to all of them. It was too muddy and wet to make it up the sides. After about an hour of trying they finally gave up. Everything was silent until they heard it again, that wretched sound of paper drifting in the starry, foggy sky.
“What was that?” somebody whispered in the darkness. They all asked that question although they already knew exactly what it was. The sound seemed to be approaching faster and faster and coming closer and closer.
“We can’t sit around here and wait to let what happened to the unknown skeleton happen to us.” Joe exclaimed between breaths of desperation. He reached into his pocket desperately searching for something that may be able to help them in this situation. He stuck his numb, cold hand into his left jacket pocket and dug and felt around it making sure he covered every last inch. When he found nothing but a mint he reached yet again into his right pocket this time. His eyes widened in surprise and he stood there motionless. He held the cold, hard, metal rectangular electronic in his frozen fingers in disbelief of what he’d obtained from his pocket. In his hand was the cell phone he had grabbed without thinking from the car when it began smoking.
“I think I may have something that can help.” Joe said in a hesitant tone afraid of what scolding he’d get for forgetting.
“Really?!” Nicole who firmly believed this whole situation was hopeless. “”What is it Daddy?!”
“I…” he hesitated. “I found my cell phone in my pocket.”
“You what?!” The whole family shouted in unison.
“I found my phone.” Everyone grew speechless because they could have called for help a long time ago before his phone lost service in the middle of the woods. However, they could still use it as light and that’s just what they did. Just before climbing out of the ditch using a strong tree root they had found under some leaves they stopped in their tracks after hearing the most horribly awful words at the most horrible of times.
“I have to pee again,” Christina very timidly muttered under her breath.
“Hold it in!” everybody else yelled together.
Once they finally crawled out of the ditch everyone plopped on the ground in exasperation. Using the dim light of the dying phone they stumbled and dragged themselves through bush after bush of thorns and burs. They tried anything to get away from the sound of the drifting paper following behind. Soon their dragging turned to speed walking then to jogging and then to a run because the noise they had heard in the house was within arms distance. Just then somebody tripped and flew heels over their head, stopping everybody dead in their tracks and tripping everybody else behind. Everybody began to groan and rubbed whatever had been hurt in their fall. Lying there hearing only the sounds of their heavy breathing and hearts beating twenty times faster than before, they began to worry. The noise stopped and they looked around. Joe, grasping his cell phone in his hand searched for the photo they saw in the house earlier and sure enough laying on the ground beside Theresa it was. Clearly the photo was no longer a coincidence being that it had followed them all the way through the woods.
“Something was following us for sure.” Dominique added.
“Whatever it was,” Nicole chimed in, “It wanted us out of that house and far off of the property.” After a long pause of silence Christina shouted out over joyously,
“Listen! I hear cars!”
“I hear it too!” somebody replied. “It’s coming from this direction".
Everybody sprinted in the direction of the car noises and they landed upon the same old colonial house they had started from. The car they heard was theirs still running from before and still smoking. In the distance, they heard the noise again moving slowly toward them.