It has been a while since you have been back home. After spending almost the entire summer at camp, everything looks almost dreamlike from being gone for so long. You let out a long sigh as you enter your house. You certainly missed all your friends from camp; after all, your hometown friends are not as willing to listen to you and your troubles.
“Hey, Sweetie, how was camp?” a familiar voice calls to you and captures you in a loving hug.
“Hey Mom, I missed you. It was great—probably the best year ever, actually,” you say, grinning to her. Your stomach then speaks for you, telling your mom what you are thinking.
“Well, I see that you haven’t changed at all since you left,” she laughs. “Go wash up; I made your favorite.”
You stride into the kitchen and wash your hands. Looking up, you glance out at the wooded area by your house.
“Wha- what … was that?” you murmur to yourself, as you see something slide behind a tree; it seemed as if it were trying to hide from you. Was someone watching you; and if so, why?
“_____________? Are you alright?” you mother inquires, an alarmed tone lacing her typically calm voice.
"How long had I been standing there", you think. Your mother hurries over to you, placing her hand on your forehead.
“Oh my, you seem to have a fever, ____________. Do you want me to get you some soup and some ginger ale?” she says with a worried look in her eye.
“Maybe that person I saw was a hallucination triggered by my fever,” you think, trying to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. “No, (favorite food) is fine—actually it’s perfect.” However, as soon as the words leave your mouth, you feel ready to vomit.
Later that night, you begin to dream as you lay in bed. You were hiking along an unfamiliar trail, admiring the evergreen foliage and flowers around you. The petite flowers were a deep, yet electrifying hue of purple. Suddenly, the sun began to fall below the trees; as if it could not wait to trap you in the darkness of the woods. Your head swiveled around in desperation searching for somebody, anybody. You had to get away, you had to move; now. Your legs start moving faster and faster—hell, you did not even realize you could run that quickly! Your breath came in short, ragged breathes as you begin to slow, exhausted at your pace. You notice a disturbance in the forest, a white note pasted onto a nearby tree.
“A piece of paper?” you questioned aloud, However, your voice was weak, you subconsciously know you need to stay quiet. You notice black markings on the page, which your eyes soon register as letters despite the darkness; still, you cannot instantly make all of them out.
“Rea…d…y…. ready…. or …… no…t... not… Ready or not?” you whisper. While you did not understand the words, your subconscious seems to know exactly what it means, as you suddenly begin sprinting again. As you run, you notice another piece of paper on a tree.
“Who the hell is leaving notes everywhere?” you thought. “And why am I so afraid?”
You held up the note, trying to make out the letters, “d…o…. yo…u…not…w…ant…. to…play? Play? What’s going on?” you breathe. You take off once more. Minutes later, your foot catches on a root, tripping and you slamming you into the ground. A thud sounds through the darkness
"Your cute when you’re afraid, you know that" a thousand voices whisper in your head, laughing and mocking you. Your body begins to shake uncontrollably. You try to get up and run again, but the “root” wraps around your ankle. You fall once again, as the voices hiss, "now now, none of that, you don’t want to get hurt do you?" you hear the voices again. Your eyes fill with tears and you try to scream, but no sound comes out. Suddenly, you hear what sounds like static on the radio or television. You curl your head into your knees, griping it as if you were in a lot of pain—however, since you are dreaming, you cannot feel pain. A white figure steps out from behind a tree; a moment later, you wish more than anything that you hadn’t looked at its face, or rather the lack thereof. There was no facial features, only what looked like a cloth mask or something. There was no indentations of a nose, mouth, eyes, or ears where there should have been; there was only a white piece of cloth. He looks like one of those manikins that people use to make clothes on, or like a scarecrow wearing a black suit. As he saunters over to you, your breathing quickens. He reaches down and places his hand on your head, eliciting a scream from you.
You bolt up out of bed, gasping for air. You put your head in between your knees to try to calm yourself down and began telling yourself over and over, “It was just a dream, just a dream, just a little night mare.” You then notice that the TV had turned to static while you slept. You stir from your bed just to retrieve some water; then return to bed.