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Cabin Fever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I could hear a man breathing, slow and steady. The sound was enough to stir me from my slumber. I opened my eyes carefully, but my attempts to see were futile.

Unlike in the city, there were no lights to illuminate the night around my vacation home. It was a gloomy night, and the woods could be so dark. The sharp objects that had filled my sight in the day were replaced now by ominous figures that blended into the darkness.

Another sound to my right. What is it? Who is it? There can’t be anyone out there; there can’t be anyone in here. It is impossible.

I was choking on fear, and I could only imagine how blue my face had become. My brain couldn’t compute this silence, and I was left with a ringing in my ears. Without any reference to time, I stared at the ceiling for what felt like hours.

My body tingled, and curiosity called me to action. Slowly I slipped a foot off the bed and searched for the floor. It was colder than I expected. The bed creaked and the floor cracked as my body stiffened from the shock. All was lost now – he was aware of my consciousness.

I had no choice but to thrust my body out of bed. I could hear him react with lightning speed through the house. Was he running? No, he was going to finish the job.

I ran across the room, or at least I attempted to. There isn’t a whole lot of successful running in the dark. I bruised my legs on the furniture, and I scraped my chest on the mantle. Even in the absence of light, there was no mistaking the blood that now ran down my torso.

I had to keep going. What had tormented me as a child was now here. It would be different this time though. The sounds were so close, I could feel him. I had to do something before he did. It was time to act.

I reached for the fire poker. I didn’t even think about what I did next. I had trained myself – I was prepared. There was a satisfying thud, and I knew it was over. I dropped the poker, and found the light switch that had previously eluded me. I needed to see what I had accomplished, whom I had defeated. But with the flick of the switch, I could see no reason to celebrate … only a broken mirror, and my own bloody reflection.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 67 comments. Post your own now!

HereSheIsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 7:26 pm
Suspenseful with a nice twist ending that's got some interesting possibilities attached
ScienceSpiritThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:28 am
To me, this brilliant story suggests that often what we are most afraid of is ourselves, our thoughts and imagination.
CianaBThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm
The ending is so unexpected. This piece of writing created so much suspense. It's almost like a page from a real mystery book. Feel free to check out my work as well. I would really appreciate it.
whiterose said...
Apr. 28, 2012 at 11:57 am
This story is full of suspense...I love it.  I didn't expect the end to be like that.  Great job!!  Can you check out some of my work?
ScienceLover said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I remember when I first read this! This piece is what originally got me on TeenInk four years ago.

Still to this day, this piece is amazing and keeps the reader reading.

otherpoet said...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:55 pm
Wow this was so full of suspense! I could feel my heart race as I read this. Super job!
aaetha said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm
Beautiful description, and the plot is both intruiguing and gives the reader a lot to think about.  A little confusing, but it made sense once I thought things out.  The anticlimactic ending actually works to the benefit of the story in this case, leaving you with a sense of 'what happens next?'  Overall, I love the piece :)
BadGirl said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm
WOW I loved the ending!
sunriseusnset said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm
Woah, breathatking ending. Great job!
Kzehr said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:58 am
beautiful piece, scared me senseless
LASwan said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Chilling, thrilling, all-consuming! Perfect horror tale, short enough to raise the blood pressure. Mind checking out some of my works?
Victoria.S said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I understand this completely. It was a fantastic piece, and close to Halloween time. Very eerie! Keep up the good work, you have a fantastic talent to share! :)


RaindanceMaggie said...
Oct. 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm
i just read it three times. i still don't get it. really discriptive but i still don't get ehat your discribing.
. said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm
I don't get it. What was tormenting the protagonist as a child? What does the title have to do with the story? Why did the protagonist think that it was impossible for someone to enter the cabin? Where does the intruder go? This story has very vivid lines, but it clearly lacks a denoument.
aaetha replied...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

As far as I can tell, the protagonist has 'cabin fever', meaning that they are very paranoid, and believe that they hear a man in the same place they are.  What tormented them as a child was more paranoia, and possibly nightmares.  However, when they turn on the light, they find that there was nobody there and that they had attacked their own reflection in the mirror.

This is just my take on things from how I read it, but it seems to make sense. 

citylightsgirl93 said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm
this was really good! it made me wonder who they were afraid of from their childhood. good job!
qui133 said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 11:57 am
broken mirrors and fire pokers...your writting has the uality of a lurid dream.
springdance said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm
Great story! I know how everything looks and sounds different at night, in the dark. You really captured fear.
MysteryHeart said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 11:05 am
that was soooooo GOOD
LASwan said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm
Everyone knows this feeling of misplaced paranoia, and you nialed it perfectly. Mind taking a look at my works?
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