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Legends of the Lost
Rachel and Leah just got home from a long day on the lake. It was a smoldering hot summer day- you know, the kind where no matter what everything on your body is sticky and your head feels sweaty, but the drops are invisible. They decided they would have a couple cigarettes to chill out so they went on a walk. About a mile from the house, they found a corn field with a hilltop and a single tree at the back.
“I kind of wanna go up there,” Leah said.
“I’m down, let’s do it,” Rachel said with a smirk. They both took cautious steps on the way up considering the area was surrounded in thorn bushes.
“Rachel! I’m starting to think this was a bad idea,” Leah said picking burrs and thorns out of her hair.
“Yeah, I’m feeling the same way. I have scrapes all over my legs. We’re already this far though, so we should just keep moving.”
They kept moving with cigarettes burning in their hands. Soon enough, the glow of the cigarettes was all they could see.
“Dude, why do you have a coffee cup?” Rachel asked.
“I’m putting my cigarette in it. I’m not littering dude, that’s not cool,” Leah answered.
“You’re so weird. It’s getting late though, we should probably head back.”
“I think I know a shortcut.”
“Are you sure? Dude, I don’t want to get lost.”
“Positive, just follow me.”
The girls veered left of the corn field into the woods. It got later and later, but they still weren’t home.
“Leah! Just admit it! We’re lost,” Rachel said breathless.
“We’re not! What time is it? Check your phone.”
“It died like an hour ago when I was trying to find out where the he** we are!”
“Fine, I’ll check mine.” Leah pulled out her phone and immediately dropped it on the ground. “S***!”
“I dropped my phone. Grab your lighter and help me find it.”
Twigs cracked and the leaves started rustling behind them. The cracks got closer and closer until the girls sprinted away. They were in a desperate panic. Rachel slipped and fell flat on her face. Leah didn’t even notice and kept going about fifty feet until she realized Rachel wasn’t there. Leah ran around a tree and stopped to listen. No rustling. No running, nothing.
“Rachel?” Leah whispered. No answer. She felt her lungs twist in knots. “Rachel! Rachel!” Still, no one answered. She was alone and in a panic so she ran in the direction of what she thought was the corn field, but really. All while running she called for Rachel. Suddenly, Leah stopped dead in her tracks. Literally. Through the already silent and black forest, there was a greater darkness and a greater silence. It was the death of two best friends.
I was just leaving the doctor’s office when I stepped on a crumpled up piece of newspaper. The front page held two girls that looked to be in their teens. I recognized them from my coffee shop; they would always come in together on Wednesdays after school. They’d study together with small cups of pumpkin spice lattes.
I opened the newspaper more to see that the front page said, “Missing Girls.” I read more, “Two girls went missing on Friday, June 26th. They were last seen walking North down Pine Street.” I felt my jaw drop and my stomach twist. Those poor girls. I brushed off my thoughts and headed home.
My stomach began to ache and my head got dizzy. I found out I was pregnant today. I live in a small apartment on the East side of Brooksville. I live alone with my cat, Pepper. Soon, that’s going to change.
I followed my daily routine- fed my cat and turned on the TV. The news was on, but it was weather. I heated up some leftovers from the night before when I heard Brooksville’s name come up. I dropped everything and moved to the couch to turn up the volume.
“Two local teen girls were reported missing late last night. Leah Albert and Rachel Blackman were last seen walking down Pine Street away from their house. If you or anyone has information on their whereabouts please call-“I turned the TV off.
The next day, I opened the shop and Officer Belman was waiting at the door. “Hello, Officer,” I said, “Come for some early morning coffee?”
“Yeah, I think so,” his voice was low and raspy, “I actually came here to ask you a few questions, Laura.”
I opened the door and he followed. “What kind of questions?” I asked.
“Just about some of your customers. You’re not in any kind of trouble; we’re asking all the shops here in town.”
I poured two cups of coffee and we sat down at one of the tables. “Alright, hit me.”
“Have you noticed anyone out of the ordinary come in? Very shy or antisocial? Someone that recently moved here and doesn’t know a lot of people?”
“No, not really. If anyone would’ve just moved I would’ve heard of it by now. Everyone comes here to talk about town gossip. Why are you asking this, Officer?”
“Those two girls who went missing? Well we found one of them. Leah Albert. She was alive when we found her-“
“That’s great news!-“
“BUT, she died on the way to the hospital. She was covered in bite marks so deep you could see the bone. She lost too much blood before we could help her.”
“That’s terrible. Officer, why are you telling me this?’
“Laura, Leah had one of your coffee cups with her when we found her. It had your finger prints on it, but I assume that’s from you handing it to her or one of your customers.”
My heart sank. “Officer, you have to believe me. I didn’t do it. I haven’t seen those girls since school ended.”
“I do believe you, but I’m going to have to make routine visits to check on you and your customers.”
“That’s absolutely fine by me.”
He grabbed his things and left without another word. I didn’t do it. I know I didn’t.
That night, I called my best friend Michael and told him everything that happened. He wanted to help me, but I don’t normally like working with other people. I agreed to the idea anyway. He wanted to meet at the library the next day. He said he might know more because he read something once about a story that fit in with what I had said. He’s a book nerd.
The next day, Michael and I met. He had a few books and articles picked out. “Hey Laura!” He said peaking his eyes above his glasses.
“Hey, Michael, what’s all of this?” I asked.
“Books, articles… INFO! Duh.”
“Well, what do you have?”
“Alright, I did some research and it might freak you out so be prepared. This town dates back all the way to the witch trials. There is a tale that this ‘witch’ became pregnant from a man of the colony. He denied it though so she was condemned to death. She ran into the woods and hid until she had her child. It was a baby boy with the same eyes as his father. She gave the boy her blessing and brought it back to town to show them all that it was the man’s son. When she stepped foot into the colony they began to chase her and eventually killed her. They took her child and threw it deep into the forest for the wolves to eat. Instead, a real witch found him. She took him under her arm and experimented on him. She gave him immortality and now the boy still lives within one of the forests here in town. Legend says that he kills anyone that comes near his home.”
“So you’re saying some demonic psycho son that’s like five hundred years old is behind all of this?”
“HAHAHA. You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!”
“Laura! Shut up! It’s true! I’m telling you!
“So what do you plan on doing about it?” My lips quivered holding back more laughter.
“I’m not sure, but I’ll think of something.”
We went back to the coffee shop and ate lunch. I turned on one of the TVs and Brooksville was on again. Another teenager was missing. I felt Michael’s eyes stare into my soul saying “I told you so”.
“Shut up, Michael. I already know what you’re going to say,” I interrupted.
We decided to go check out the place where everyone was going missing. It probably wasn’t the best idea of ours, but we still went for it. When we got there it was one-thirty-seven PM. Nothing was freaking us out yet, but I’m sure the farther we got, the more nervous we would get. We began walking through the corn field and I pictured Leah and Rachel walking through. They were smiling and having a good time, then everything got dark and there were screams. I shook it off.
I felt my stomach twist and my head begin to pound. The baby was hurting me.
“Leah, are you okay?” Michael asked.
I must not have realized how my face looked. Michael didn’t know about the baby, yet. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
There was garbage almost everywhere in the corn field. You could tell the Farmer didn’t come out there a lot. There were footprints dug into the dirt underneath us. They were small, almost a child’s footprint. Michael walked ahead of me towards the tree on the top of the hill. I thought I heard someone behind me, but it was just the wind. By the time we got to the top of the hill it was four. Time was ticking until it got dark. We looked around and nothing out of the ordinary was happening around us.
“Michael, we should head back. It’s going to get dark soon,” I suggested.
“Yeah, you’re right. You lead the way, I’ll follow up behind.”
We walked down the hill towards the corn when there was a light behind us. I felt the hair on my neck become porcupine quills. I turned around to see that it was a flashlight in the forest.
“Hello?” Michael said.
“Michael, shush! Let’s just keep moving.”
I turned around and walked faster towards the corn field. I heard him behind me. By that time it was six and getting darker. I was getting paranoid and began to jog lightly. Michael kept a steady walk though and refused to jog with me. I thought I saw eyes staring at me from the corn, but it had to have been my imagination. Suddenly, an ear of corn was tossed in the air and my hair stuck straight up. I sprinted towards the road and didn’t look back. I didn’t know if Michael was following and at that point, I didn’t care. My heart was racing and my head was pounding. I saw the street and I was home safe.
“Michael, we made it. We’re okay.” I turned around and Michael was gone. “Michael! Michael!” I began to panic. I looked at my watch and it said seven. The sun was setting and the sky was a deep orange. “Michael! Please answer me!” I pulled out my phone and called him. I heard his ringtone, the Star Wars theme song, coming from inside the corn. He must have dropped it.
I charged inside the corn to find his phone. It was on the ground about twenty feet from the opening. He had followed me that far, where did he go? “Michael!” No matter how loud I shouted, there was no answer. I walked deeper into the corn and on the ground I saw blood. It was bright against the pale corn stalks. “Michael! Michael! If this is a joke, it’s totally not funny!” I heard the leaves rustle behind me, but I couldn’t see who was there. “Michael?”
All of a sudden, a little boy, no older than seven years old, walked through the corn in front of me. At that point, I knew Michael wasn’t coming back. The little boy stared at me, but kept a distance about twenty feet from me. Suddenly, my stomach gave me a huge punch and I felt nauseous. Something was crawling out of my stomach to escape and it didn’t feel good.
“What is your name?” I asked grabbing at my stomach. No answer. “Are you lost?” Still no answer. He began walking towards me. Soon enough, he was less than five feet from where I stood. Then…everything went black. I don’t remember what happened, but I remember waking up in the street. I checked my watch and it said six AM. I checked my pockets for my phone, but it wasn’t there. I walked down the road towards Brooksville and it never seemed to end. Eventually I made it to town and even to my apartment. When I got inside, everything seemed normal. Almost as if nothing ever happened.
I picked up the phone to call Michael, but all I got was his answering machine. I turned on the TV and the news was on showing the corn field where I last saw Michael. I turned it up.
“Police found body of Michael Ingle, twenty-four year old of Brooksville. He was killed late last night and left in this very corn field. Investigators are searching for clues.”
I felt my eyes swell and the tears rush. Michael was dead, and I didn’t even know it. I called Officer Belman to tell him everything that happened and he immediately came over to my apartment.
“Officer, I’m telling the truth. We went out there to look for any sign of the boy, but I got scared and ran. When I went back there, the boy was waiting for me. I promise you. I’m telling the truth!” I said.
“Alright, alright. I believe you. What I don’t believe is that a little boy is capable of killing a grown man,” he answered.
“I’m not sure, but I know that if you go in to those corn fields, you’ll die, too. Those investigators are in danger, also.”
We picked up our things and went straight to the corn field. When we got there, cars were parked on the side of the street, equipment were scattered. No one was there.
“Officer, where is everyone?” I asked.
“Maybe they went for a break or a tiny walk,” he answered uneasily.
We stepped inside the corn field and heard rustling all around us, but no matter what we said, there was no answer. I told him to follow me and I took him to where I first saw the boy. We stood there waiting for something to happen, but I wasn’t so sure that I wanted anything to happen. It began to get dark when I heard the star wars theme song coming from the corn. Michael’s cell phone. Officer Belman looked around to see where it was coming from. Then, there was rustling in the corn and ten feet from Officer Belman stood the little boy.
“Hello there, son,” Officer said, but the little boy kept quiet.
“Officer,” I whispered, “Don’t talk to him. He won’t answer.”
“Did you try already?”
Then, almost as fast as the boy appeared, he disappeared.
“Where did he go?” Officer Belman asked.
“I’m not sure, but I think I want to get out of here.”
We began heading back towards the road when the rustling got louder all around us. I began noticing clothes lying around between corn stalks and started moving faster. I turned around to make sure Officer Belman was still following me because I hadn’t done that with Michael, but Officer wasn’t behind me. I didn’t see him anywhere. I started to panic. The pain in my stomach grew worse and I fell to the ground in pain. I turned my head to the right and began to vomit all over the ground. When I looked up I saw the little boy standing over me. This time, he had a mouth covered in blood.
“What do you want from me?!” I screamed.
All the little boy did was point at my stomach and my vision went dark. I woke up in a hospital a few days later. There were baskets full of “get well” cards surrounding my bedside. A nurse came in.
“Nurse? What happened?” I asked.
“Oh! Good, you’re awake. Take some of that medicine sitting there,” she answered.
“No, tell me what happened first! The little boy! Officer Belman! What’s going on?!”
“Miss, you need your rest.”
“Tell me right now!” I slammed my fist down on the bed.
“Alright, calm down. The paramedics found you three days ago lying in the street with bite marks all over your stomach. You hadn’t lost enough blood to die, but the bites were so deep that your child was in fatal condition. They took you here and had you checked out. By the time they got you stitched up for an ultrasound…well, I’m really sorry.”
“Sorry? Sorry for what?”
“Honey, your baby didn’t make it. We had a C-Section done for you and it was taken out. I’m so sorry.”
I felt my mouth quiver. My baby was dead. He killed my baby. That little boy killed my child. Why?