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The Oak Tree Brotherhood

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The trail on which I found myself on was over grown with foliage, hampering my progress through dark, infected woods. As I rounded a bend, a large, ominous clearing lay before me. I was astonished to find a ghastly, pale man fixed to a great oak tree by a single scimitar in the middle of his chest. All around the tree lay other corpses, each with a wound in their chests, in different states of decomposition. As I stood gaping, open-mouthed with horror, blood slowly trickled out of the man with the sword in his body onto his now paralyzed hand from the fresh wound on his breast. I quickly recovered from my initial shock, and focused my attentions on the sword.
You must know, I am not delusional or mad, nor am I of the superstitious types who see omens regularly. I do not hear inanimate objects whispering in my ear, or fancy that I am possessed by demons. I do not look around wildly at the slightest disturbance.



My senses are acute, if not overly so, and I am perfectly aware of my surroundings, and can comprehend everyday life. I tell you, I am perfectly sane. But that sword stirred something deep within my very soul. It was calling me - nay - imploring me to put it to good use.

I kneeled down on the damp earth, and wrenched the blade from the dead man’s bloody wound. As I caressed the warm, wet blade in my arms, I felt power surge through my veins, and my body quivered with delight. I hid the sword in my overcoat, retraced my steps through the forbidding boscage, and stepped into town. The full moon filled the place with an eerie, glowing light, and the town was almost deserted, saving the few merchants and businessman closing up for the day, and the mothers hurrying their children into their homes, away from the ghastly, pale light of the full moon. I licked my lips with anticipation, and clenched my hand tighter around the scimitar. It was the perfect night for a massacre.

I patiently crouched behind a tree at the edge of the forest for the better part of an hour until the town seemed deserted, and then waited another hour to allow my victims to enjoy a momentary slumber before their demise. The wait was agonizing, but feeling a slight pity for my victims, I gifted them an additional hour to prance about in their merry, pathetic dreams. You tell me - would an insane man have done this? Would a madman restrain himself for so long, when the act is so near? But I hid behind that tree, until not a sound was to be heard, except for the chirp of crickets and the occasional howl of the wolf, and as the clock struck one, I stepped out from my hiding place.
The blade of my sword gleamed in the moonlight as I freed it from the congested pouch in my greatcoat, and I chuckled softly to myself as I swiftly walked in the shadows to the rich part of town – for the sword could only touch the noblest and best of people, and went to the nearest house in that area. It was a beautiful house, with numerous rooms – each for a different occupant. There must be children, I thought eagerly, and servants, and the parents, and perhaps a friend or distant relative staying with them. I walked down the stone pathway leading to the house, admiring the garden surrounding it.
When I reached the front door, I instinctively knew that the spare key was underneath the thick leaves of a plant next to the entrance, and after acquiring it, silently let myself in. The maids and servants must be the first to go, I thought to myself, and entered the little room behind the kitchen where they slept. I did not expect killing to be so easy! With a swift, clean slit across their throats, they were dead. It is a shame, I thought, that it had to be done so quickly. I reentered the hall, and prepared myself for the next assassination.
I rapidly climbed up the grand staircase, and entered the first room to my left. I slipped into the room, and on a giant four-poster bed, found an old, grey-haired man sleeping soundly in his bed. I sighed discontentedly – his time was near anyway, but it must be done. I quickly slit his throat, and walked out of the room. At this point I was wrought with disappointment. The servants and the old man – they did not deserve to die by my noble blade. I fervently hoped for better victims, and continued on.

The room in the center was my next destination. I entered without trouble, and was delighted to find three young children, lying side by side on their bed. In silence, I entered the space between the headboard of the bed and the wall, in order to position myself better. I slit the throats of all three children, watching with fascination as the blood drained from their faces, and they became a deathly pale color. My hands started to shake from the excitement, and I looked lovingly at my sword and calmed myself before I entered the next and last room.

The door to this room creaked noisily, and the two people on the bed, the parents of the children stirred. I, however, did not mind, as I knew they would soon fall back into a deep sleep. I quietly entered the room and cut a quick incision across their throats. I softly stepped out the door, went down the stairs, and walked out of the front door. Only after I was a safe distance away did I allow myself to feel a small amount of the joy and pride that had risen up within me. I felt invincible, and I started to welcome this new feeling of invulnerability.

I amazed even myself at the swiftness and perfection I exhibited that night. The art of murder came effortlessly to me, as if I was born to kill, and to kill with the glorious sword I now held in my hand. The extermination of each household took about ten minutes, and each of the seventeen houses that I raided held roughly around eight inhabitants. The entire act was concluded in three hours, and by the time the clock struck four, I was finished with the last house. I reentered the town, and sat down on a bench to give both my mind and body some time to rest and reflect.

As soon as I sat down, my mind seemed to erupt, and the sensations that I disallowed myself to feel or acknowledge before came back with full force. The past three hours had been like a dream, and now the reality of the entire thing hit me. I had killed! Killed! Not one person, not two, but over one hundred and forty people! I trembled with ecstasy as I gave in to the feelings that were overpowering me. I felt like I could challenge even god himself – after all, I had destroyed what he had created. But then, rushing through my thoughts with even greater force, entered the idea that, what if anyone else were to have this feeling? What if someone else was out there, at this very moment, to steal my precious sword from me, and experience a night like this one? I could not and would not let that happen. The sword was mine, these feelings were mine, and only I deserved them. I grew more and more agitated and frantic with these thoughts, and soon came up with a resolution.

I ran wildly into the forest once again, through the towering trees and the sharp thorns of the shrubs. I stumbled more than once, but exactly how many times, I cannot tell you. I ran hysterically, paying no attention to the scratches on my arms and face, wildly slapping a tree or other obstacle blocking my path, thinking it to be someone who desired to steal my sword and kill with it. The animals of the forests became my enemies, their sounds and bright eyes taunting me, daring me to fail and not reach my destination.
I ran blindly on, never lessening my pace, never stopping to breathe, and going deeper into the ominous woods. And finally, at last, I arrived at my terminus.

The great oak tree was still standing there, proud and menacing. The corpses that lay around the tree were glaring at me, challenging me to come and join them, and join their brotherhood. I walked around the tree, stupefied, and noticed a space between two of the corpses, just large enough for my body. I knew what I had to do. I sat down, with my back to the tree, and as the sun shone its first rays upon the world, I plunged the knife through my heart, where it belonged. The circle was complete. I had joined their brotherhood, and my sword and I were safe.



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This article has 19 comments. Post your own!

RaniS said...
today at 2:18 pm:
I would like to commend you for successfully achieving the Poe feel, and praise you for your originality. Great plot; I really enjoyed it--despite one or two grammatical errors.
 
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BookNerd35This 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...
yesterday at 9:45 pm:
Amazing! It reminded me so much of Poe (one of my favorite writer.) This was very entertaining and was like many of the stories I write (not on the site however.) Great job! 5 stars!
 
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AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis 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...
Apr. 26 at 8:36 am:
Wow! Creepy! I love this story! It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and I loved the writing style. It was wonderful! This is going to leave me thinking and pondering thoughout the whole week.
 
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dragonsandthreeThis 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...
Apr. 25 at 10:02 pm:
Wow! This was really good. I don't usually read things like this, but I think that this is really good. It's visual, and the words flowed smoothly. 5 stars.
 
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KealliiRayceneThis 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...
Apr. 25 at 8:27 pm:
GreatGreat!! I am so reminded of Tell-Tale heart!! You rocked it!!
 
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guardianofthestarsThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 25 at 3:53 pm:
This was very good. I could really see the style of Poe in it.  The details and imagery was very good and the wording was even better.  5 stars!!
 
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WhenItRains21This 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...
Apr. 3 at 9:30 pm:
Not only was this absolutely great, it read just like a Poe short story! Congratulations on becoming my new favorite person. :P
I especially loved the "You must know, I am not delusional or mad" and the part about the overly acute sense. Great discriptions, and a wonderfully horrific story!
 
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E.J.MathewsThis 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...
Apr. 1 at 11:49 am:
This was very good. It carried a really dark mood, and reminded me a lot about The Tell Tale Heart. The imagery was fantastic, and your vocabulary magnificent. Great job!
 
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royalujjwa4This 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...
Mar. 30 at 9:55 pm:
Amazing!! u really are gifted, keep it up!
 
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holly1999This 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...
Mar. 30 at 7:07 pm:
Wow, this is brilliant. Your description and imagery is really good. Very well written, you're and amazing writer. :)
 
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theloverofbooksThis 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...
Mar. 30 at 4:34 pm:
Wow, this story was excellent. The way you captured the narrator's voice was haunting; I loved how he kept insisting that he was sane. Your diction is great, and your writing style really draws in the reader. I love your use of the word "fancy;" it is really underused in today's society and I think it would be so funny to bring it back. :) Great tale!
 
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LexusMarieThis 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...
Mar. 30 at 12:43 am:
I just wanted to tell you what a spectacular writer you are! This is such a great read.. I am so glad that I came across this! I look forward to reading more of your wonderful, wonderful work! You've got talent. Keep it up. c:
 
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BorderlineGenius777This 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...
Mar. 29 at 11:38 pm:
Lordy, what a good read. Excellent work my friend, keep it up!
 
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carolinestarrThis 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...
Mar. 29 at 9:53 pm:
OH MY GOSH. This is just incredible. I can't stand it. This is truly something else. Kudos on writing a horror story that really makes the reader feel like they are the main character. As many times as I have tried, horror/mystery is just not something I can write. This is fantastic! :)
 
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Aciey2014This 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...
Mar. 28 at 10:43 pm:
Loved your story! I felt as It it took me to a whole other place. The imagry was on point and I just love the way you write! Good Job. Also, please consider reading my short story "Survive". I'm sure that you'd love it.
 
dagnytaggartThis 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. replied...
Mar. 29 at 12:57 am :
I did read your story - it was pretty awesome. And thank you so much for the praise! (I'm blushing) =)
 
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readaholicThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 28 at 7:19 pm:
W. O. W. This is INCREDIBLE!  Your imagery and storytelling is amazing!  This story is just SO GOOD.  Very much deserving of being in the magazine!  Really, this is awesome!!!
 
dagnytaggartThis 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. replied...
Mar. 28 at 8:12 pm :
Thank you so much!
 
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VivianReads34 said...
Mar. 28 at 10:36 am:
This story gave me goosebumps, I love how you explored his emotions!
 
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