I was asleep against a fairly large tree, until a series of cracking woke me up. When I was half awake another crack, followed by another, and another. A small creature possibly? Another series of cracks and movements sent me to my feet and towards the bush with my flashlight.
A small voice giggled.
"Hey who's out there?" A small child walked out she looked no older then eleven, she shone her own light in my face blinding me for a moment.
"Hello, Have you seen buck?" she asked steering her light towards the ground where dog paw prints were firmly imprinted into the earth, they looked a few hours old.
I rubbed my eyes and looked around.
"No I'm sorry I have not, what are you doing out so late?"
"Looking for buck" the girl said calling out her dog's name.
"Where are your parents?" I asked, examining the girl with my flashlight. A large white jacket, sandals, Red skirt and her hair was long and black.
"At home, sleeping I guess" she sounded unsure of what she was saying, possibly lying for she looked like she had been out for a while and I do not mean a few hours I mean a few days.
"Are you lost?" I asked she looked away and nodded.
"I swear I just came in here to look for buck, but it started to get dark, and everything looked the same, so i started running because there are bears and wolves and wild animals in the woods..." The girl fell to her knees in tears her flashlight beside her.
"Hey, hey c'mon now it's ok..." i said trying to comfort her as much as I could.
"Could you take me home?" she asked.
I couldn’t say no, my makeshift tent had only enough room for me, but if i said yes I risk losing my current location. It really was a hard choice but I ended up saying yes and walking her out of the woods.
We reached her house, all lights on, two silhouette frantically running around behind closed curtains, cries and telephones ringing. I knocked at the door.
A mother, mid-thirties answered, her hair was a mess, she looked so concerned and frustrated with a baby in her left arm and a telephone against her ear and shoulder, the baby reached up crying.
"Emily!!" the mother said dropping the phone. An older man ran up, his grey hairs shone through the black ones and he leaned down giving his daughter a hug and lifting her up. Her mother started crying and thanked me over and over. Just as I was leaving I heard the girl speak.
"Hey Vivian...” she said from the stairs I turned around and she raised her hand signing out something.
The door slammed shut before she finished what a way to leave people hanging. I never brought my flashlight for whatever reason and had to find my way back in the dark. Emily wasn’t kidding when she said the dark was scary and I begin to hear the voices again.
And so I did, blindly through the woods, until I fell upon my camp site. It was destroyed, my makeshift tent was ripped down, my water jug and supply of food was also gone and my book was open some pages ripped out. I picked up the still lit flashlight and shone it at the book and in it was a zero with an X through it and the word WATCHING written in blood.