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One Night for Forever This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The woods were peaceful in the dead of the night. I knew better; something stalked me through the forest silently. The cold crept into my skin, making it crawl through my sweatshirt. I used to like to be out here in the night, where I could see nothing. It was always quiet… I could hear naught but my own thoughts. A cool breeze blew tonight as I crunched the leaves under my feet when I walked through the haunting dark.
My hair was knotted from lack of brushing, and my clothes were ripped from endless walking. My shoes had long since been gone, now I only had the bottoms of my feet to tread on. It didn’t matter. Soon I would be where I wanted to go. When I got there, I didn’t know what would be waiting for me. I was out of supplies; my water and food long spent… I needed to get there soon.
I heard a lonesome howl filled with pain peal through the night air. My head snapped up to the direction it had come from. Another howl sounded from my other side, and I looked around frantically. Wolves surrounded me on my sides…
They kept their distance; gliding among the trees, keeping quiet…They had already given me my warning. My heart pounded in my chest, they would not wait long to attack. Without thinking, I ran. I ran straight through the trees, with them following. I had to warn them. If the wolves got to them before I did… No, I couldn’t think of that.
I ran and ran, the wolves breathing down my neck; the forest quieter than before, if that was possible. Nothing wanted to attract their attention. Finally a small wooden cabin came into sight up ahead. I almost laughed in relief. My legs burned with exhaustion, and I think my feet were bleeding from the forest floor scraping them.
A light shone in the window, and I could make out a person standing there. I waved my arms in the air, hoping they would get the message. To my horror, the person dashed to the door, and swung it open with a bang. “No!” I cried, still waving my tired limbs. “Go back into the house! Go to the basement!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I grew closer and closer to the house, and they just stood there.
“Get in the house!” I screamed again. They didn’t move. I tried to run faster, and found that I couldn’t. Then I was at the door, but so were the wolves. I pushed my brother into the house, and slammed the door as I came in behind him. Howls shook the door frame. “Go down to the basement NOW, and take the others.” I yelled at him. He dashed off to the back of the cabin.
I ran around the cabin and secured the windows and the doors…He would be here soon. I was surprised that he wasn’t already. As I secured the last window, and latched the basement door with my family behind it I heard a scratch at the door. The sound of dark laughter filled the house.
“Go away!” I screamed. That just made him laugh harder. “I’m not inviting you in!” I yelled. His face appeared at the window to my right. I jumped. He smiled a cruel smile. “I don’t have to be invited. You have already invited me once.” Then he smashed the window open with his fist. Glass flew to my face, and cut my skin. I yelped and backed away. He used his bloody hands to pull himself through the window.
“Get out!” I yelled, grabbing a plate from the counter and hurling it at him. He laughed all over again. He walked over to me and grabbed my arm, pulling me down to the basement with him. There he glanced at my family. A pitiless smile bloomed on his terrible face. “Which of you is first?” He asked. My fist never connected with his face. The arm that he was holding was suddenly dangling at a weird angle by my side. Pain shocked a startled scream from me. He did the same to my other arm.
I watched him devour my family. Each scream shook the forest with sound. I could do nothing through the pain he had inflicted. As he finished eating, he turned to me. “I am disappointed Karly…” He told me, shaking his head. “I told you, you will relive this until you save them…” then he stood, “Let it begin again.” He said before I found myself back in the woods in the dark of the night.
Their deaths still in my mind, I ran to save them… but all the past failures flashed in my mind…I knew I would relive this night forever.



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