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Playing hide and seek had always been a tradition for Cameron, a boy of five years, every night following the conclusion of dinner. Cameron had bright red hair, and was fair skinned, with several red freckles under both of his eyes. Tonight, he wore a green shirt with a pair of worn jeans, with splashes of spaghetti sauce on his legs from dropping a forkful of dinner on his lap.
Cameron lived in a fairly average home, which bordered the outskirts of a heavily wooded forest which was compiled of many acres of a rural Wisconsin town. It had been long said that those who did not want death must never go into this forest as it was home to a monster, but Cameron never had believed folk tales, and preferred to explore for himself, fearing nothing as most young boys tend to do.
Father was the mayor of the rural town, and mother stayed home to do daily chores, cook dinner, and whatever else was necessary to keep the home running. When not working, father enjoyed staying home and spending time with his family, or reading the newspaper. Following dinner, Cameron and him played hide-and-seek, Cameron’s favorite game. Cameron’s favorite places to hide were in the rustic barn that hadn’t been used in nearly half a century, as well as in the crawl space beneath the home. However, one place in which Cameron had yet to hide in was the neighboring forest. Cameron was quite aware of the legend that surrounded it, often hearing it from his classmates in his first grade class, but it didn’t scare him. Perhaps the monster was only a shadow someone saw long ago. Cameron recalled the time where he had awoken in the night, to see a waving shadow in his bedroom, only to find it was from the tree outside under the spotlight of the full moon.
Following dinner, as father promised, the two were going to play hide-and-seek.
“Okay buddy, go hide, but remember we can’t play long, because I will be leaving for the week on a trip,” said father.
“Okay,” said Cameron excitedly, scurrying off, while father covered his eyes and began counting.
Cameron dashed out the porch door, his feet pounding against the cold wooden floorboards, jumping down onto the gravel driveway. Hurriedly he ran around the tan home, to the back yard, where the grass was much greener, as the sun had hardly hit it. Cameron walked to the boundry, seeing a narrow pebble wall which rested on the ground, that marked the beginning of the uncharted territory. Cameron looked behind once more, hearing as his father was nearly down to ten seconds before he would begin searching. He looked back to face the forest, seeing only a few feet into it before it became much to dark to see ahead. Cameron walked over the pebbles, and entered the forest.
As he continued forward, the forest did in fact grow darker as he thought it would. Perhaps a good hiding spot would be near, but there were only trees. Rows and rows of tree after tree. Every few feet a small speckle of the red and purple dusk would shine through, lighting the way further into the forest, leading him further into obscurity.
Around Cameron, the night owls that co-existed together hooted. Cameron grew quite intrigued trying to find the birds that he was learning about at school. “An inquisitive mind is a healthy mind” was written on the wall in his classroom, so certainly father would approve of his absence for a short while.
In the green depths of the forest, with soft moss cushioning his feet, Cameron walked, stepping over fallen branches, and rocks, following the sound of the hooting owls buried within the depths of the darkening forest.
By the time, Cameron had even realized how long he had been gone, and that father would be most upset with him, sending him into a panic. Where was he? How did he get back home? The owls had led him into the uncharted depths of the forest, and he was truly alone as the owls had even flown off. Cameron sat, his back leaning against a tall, moss covered tree, trying to figure out a plan of how to get home. Cameron looked to the green cloud layer of tree leaves, wishing to know what time it was. Certainly it was past eight, as it was nearly black, with only a small sliver of purple protruding through the leaves. Without a doubt, the sun had gone to awake the hibernating twilight for the night.
“Hello?” called Cameron into nothing.
Nothing responded, not even an insect.
“Is anyone there?” inquired Cameron.
Once again there was nothing.
Cameron remained at the tree base, brushing the green grass between his fingertips. He looked as far as he could see, but the forest remained with rows and rows of trees slowly vanishing after several hundred feet. However out of nowhere, a large land mass disrupted the pattern of trees, it was light grey and protruding from a hill. Perhaps something would be in there that could help him.
Cameron pushed himself off of the moist ground, wiping the back of his skinny legs from the loose grass, and began forward, walking towards the grey mass. Cameron was excited, finally he had found something that did not follow the pattern of the forest, something that could be noticed from father if he were to come looking in the forest. Father would eventually come without a doubt as there were only so many places where he could hide. Father would come; he had to.
By the time Cameron had finally reached the grey mass, it was black out. Cameron could barely see anything apart from the slivers of ground illuminated from the hovering full moon that had slipped past the treetops. Cameron stood, staring at the grey mass. There was a rather large hole, about three times larger than Cameron both in width and height.
“What could this lead to?” pondered Cameron, looking inquisitively at the hole, “Only one way to find out,” said Cameron aloud.
Slowly Cameron entered the cave, seeing a torch hanging on the wall. He fallowed the wall, ensuring he did not go past the narrow path of light along the wall. There was a loud sound coming from deeper in the cave, it sounded like breathing. Cameron was most intrigued but also very cautious ensuring that he would not make a sound.
The sound grew louder, and deeper as Cameron continued forth into the cave, before finally he reached a large open area in the cave. Inside, there was an old, damaged clothing dresser, as well as a pile of ripped clothing spewed around the room. The shirt looked quite familiar to Cameron, and he examined it for a closer look, however just as he looked up, he saw the source of the loud sound. It was an enormous thing, thankfully in a deep state of slumber. Cameron crept forward, trying to drag his feet on the soil floor. As he came nearer, the full realization of what this thing was came to Cameron. It was a large dog. It had pointed ears, and a shabby auburn coat, that looked very matte, and un-kept.
“Puppy!” shrieked Cameron excitedly, dashing towards the enormous creature.
However this was no dog, but Cameron did not know any better.
Cameron sat next to the sleeping wolf, examining it closely. It was still sleeping, but the breathing had subdued slightly. Cameron looked at the wolf, petting its auburn hair.
“Your hair is just like fathers! Perhaps I can bring you home and you can be my pet!” said Cameron to the non-coherent wolf.
Cameron glanced down, and saw a rather shiny object on the wolf’s leg. It was a watch that’s band had been stretched and bended as if it were rubber. The light reflected in the gold coating, pairing with the auburn hair quite nicely.
“That’s father’s watch, it’s bad to steal. Bad puppy, bad puppy,” said Cameron, trying to pry the tightly bound watch off the leg of the wolf. However suddenly it’s eye opened, and it squinted angrily, snarling at him.
“Father will be most upset with you,” said Cameron not realizing the danger he was in, “Hey, you have father’s eyes!” exclaimed Cameron.
Suddenly, the wolf sat up, still snarling at Cameron. Its eyes turned a shade of red; the mouth of the wolf opened to, exposing his white teeth.
“What nice teeth you have though, the dentist would be pleased,” said Cameron jokingly.
Before Cameron could ever comprehend in his lifetime, the wolf suddenly leaped towards him, nearly crushing him to the ground. Cameron could not breathe. The last thing Cameron ever saw were the wolf’s eyes, the eyes of father. Without another second, the wolf lunged once again, and Cameron released a final scream; a scream that would echo in the obscure forest for eternity.