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In the back path of a set of apartment buildings, a little boy, with a dirty brown jacket and long silky hair that fell over his eyes, moved. A quiet lush green illuminated forest surrounded him; the mist hung in the air, clearly visible through the eerie moonlight. The boy had a solemn but curious look on his face, as if he was searching for a lost item. It was like a scene from a ghost movie. The boy entered a fence where grass grew from within the cement cracks and bushes surrounded the grounds, and in the center lay a cross. As the boy approached the cross, his face became pale with anxiety, as if some mysterious object was hidden within the grounds below. One of the boy’s toes touched the cross, and suddenly a white light erupted.
Jake woke up, sweating profusely and breathing heavily. He frantically looked next to him and his wife was still there, sleeping as peacefully as God. Jake tried to remember his dream but could not recall anything other than a looming dark cross.
Jake was your average just married young guy with dark brown hair and white skin with a degree in psychology. The memories of his childhood were still engrained in his mind, the fun he had playing various games and talking about various legends and secrets that were supposed to be true about this apartment complex. He also recalled moving to a bigger house in the suburbs when he turned 13; he remembered wanting to stay in the apartment, for he would miss all the fun times, and he ended up coming back after he got married.
Jake now stared out the window at the trees in the back just like he had when he was a child. The shapes of convoluted ghostly faces were embedded in the trees and Jake shuddered. Some faces were sad, some were solemn, and some were angry, looking like they were about to kill someone. Jake attempted to get back to sleep, twisting and turning and doing everything besides falling asleep. Vague memories from his childhood spontaneously flooded into his head; he then remembered hanging out in the pathway behind the apartment complex where the trees were. There was always something spooky about it. Jake then recalled a fenced off ground in the back where they dared each other to enter and step on a cross. Legend was that if you stepped on the cross you would be cursed. All of this seemed like childish nonsense to Jake, but he remembered his dream had something to do with a cross. Thoughts ran amuck in Jake’s head, as he lay awake till sunrise, when he got out of bed groggy and tired to get ready for work. At the dining table, where Jake and his wife, Kristen, were eating breakfast, Jake told his wife,
“I had the weirdest dream last night, but I can’t remember it.”
“Yeah. I thought I heard you tossing and turning.”
“Sorry about that. Anyways, something in the pathway behind the apartments was keeping me up. When I was a kid, we were scared for stepping on the cross in the supposedly haunted ground inside the fence back there. Pretty stupid, huh?”
“That’s interesting. Imagine if the supernatural were actually real.”
They both laughed that thought off, but Eric was hesitant in his laughter.
“Anyways, I don’t remember the place in my dream, but I felt as if I was drawn to it…”
“That doesn’t seem like you…”
“Yeah, who am I kidding? I feel fine.”
Jake laughed with an edge of false confidence and proceeded to finish his breakfast.
“See you later,” Kristen called, and he gave her a kiss as she left for work. Jake soon left for work, with the thought of the cross still lingering in the back of his mind, looming like a storm coming into the bay.
It was a calm day at work, nothing unusual except for one thing; Jake had received a phone call from an unknown number and a creepy voice that said “tonight” with heavy breathing, but Jake just ignored it, thinking it was just a notorious prank caller. He went home, ate dinner, watched a romantic movie with Kristen, and went to bed, hoping for better sleep than he had the night before.
Of course his plan for sleep did not go well. In the midst of his sleep, Jake awoke with a sudden jolt and rose to his feet. It was the dead of night; no one was outside. His face and his chest were moist with sweat and he felt as if someone had poured a steaming hot bucket of water on him. Jake, Jake, come to me, a creepy voice in his head rang, compelling him to go outside into the dark unknown. Shirtless, barefoot, and in his red and black plaid pajamas, Jake walked to the door, opened it, and walked around the set of apartments in the back path.
As he approached the fenced off area with the cross, the fog further condensed in the already shroudy moonlit air until Jake could not see two feet in front of him; the green bushes and trees loomed around. This atmosphere was perfect for a murderer to take his victim. The grass, trees, and bushes combined with the fog gave the area a green aura, an ancient smell.
Jake slowly opened the treacherous gate and slowly treaded to the area with the cross, where the cross lay perfectly and peacefully. The demonic evil in it lay hidden to the world outside.
All of a sudden, Jake gained his composure and snapped out of his delusional state. Where was he? Why was he about to step on the cross? Jake heard the same creepy voice he had heard on the phone whisper, “go on Jake, step on the cross.” Right in front of him laid the fears and legends of childhood. Jake stiffened up, too fearful to take a step in any direction. After pondering about the consequences of his next action, Jake decided that he had to conquer his fears once in for all. His feelings took a hold of him, and Jake stepped upon the morbid cross. Jake closed his fists and eyes and tensed up, awaiting an evil, but nothing happened. He decided this situation was nothing, but as soon as he opened his eyes he saw the ghost of the devil before him. His eyes were red and he possessed a red tail, white horns, and a menacing grin.
“Ah, I see you have finally disturbed me from my peace. I have been waiting over two centuries for you. You’re the first soul who actually stepped on this cross.”
Jake just stood, watching, frozen in place, like time had stopped. So the tales of his childhood were true. The cross was a sacred curse.
“Well, I guess it’s time to take your soul,” the devil cackled.
The ghost reached into Jake’s chest, his hand going through like a sharp knife through skin, and pulled out a golden circle, which lit up the dead night air. Jake collapsed to the ground with a thud and lay motionless, his eyes still wide with terror.
“Thank you Jake.”
The ghost snickered at Jake’s demise and disappeared into the night air.
Kristen had watched this entire scene, her mouth wide open, trembling with fear. She would have never believed in the supernatural in a million years, but now her disbelief was real; she had seen the entire thing, from Jake stepping on the cross to the devil diving back into the cross; when she saw Jake was gone, she looked outside and saw him in the back, and she immediately ran after him and hid behind the. She gasped for breath as she felt something enter her in a split second. It was probably just the fear sinking in. Finally, Kristen decided to go back to her apartment and let someone else discover her husband’s dead body; if she told anyone how he really died they would think she was crazy. The dead silent air surrounded Kristen as she walked back, shaking in fear, to her apartment.
The next morning, her husband was reported dead; an old lady who was walking through the path saw him lying behind the fence. The police came and investigated his murder, but found no answer. A few weeks later, at Jake’s funeral, Kristen’s eyes glowed red for a split second; the demon had possessed her after she had witnessed the soul reaping. Now she was to reap the next poor soul who stepped on the
; she was to continue the cycle.
Later, someone who was walking by the area found a message engrained in the grass with dirt that said:
"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it."