Lurking in the woods I

Lurking in the woods I

There was a group of teenagers who set out travelling in a car early one morning at 5am before the sun was out. It was still dark and the young guys left so early because they wanted to arrive at their destination before 1pm. In the car were four guys. They were all wide awake and sharing jokes whilst zooming down the empty road, that is, up until 6am when nobody was laughing anymore.

The driver in the car had noticed a figure up ahead by the side of the road. As he got closer it became apparent that it was an elderly-looking woman in a dark long gown. She was waving down the car. The driver started to slow down but the other guys objected to him stopping for the old lady. He insisted however on pulling over because it was ‘his car and his decision’. When he pulled over to the side of the road, the old lady smiled and asked if she could be taken to a nearby hospital. On seeing the old lady’s face they all saw that she was bleeding from the head and her clothes were stained with blood.

Everyone in the car decided that picking up the old lady wasn’t a good idea so the driver apologized to the old lady and put his foot on the accelerator. To their surprise their car wasn’t not moving but it was making screeching noises. As the guys looked to the side of the car they saw that the old lady had her hand on the side mirror. She didn’t look like she had the strength to do it but she was actually keeping the car at a stand still. Simultaneously the car window came down automatically and the old lady stuck her head through to the horror of the teenagers and shouted:

‘ THE MOMENT YOU CROSS ME A THIRD TIME YOU WILL SURELY DIE!’

All the while the driver was still accelerating but the car was going nowhere fast until the old lady released her hand from the car. The car sped off into the dark and all the guys in the car were left in a cold sweat, cursing and panicking. They could hear an eerie but distant cackle which was supposedly from the old lady they left behind. The guy in the front seat wanted to go back home. The two guys at the back kept arguing about myths and legends being fact or fiction. Only the driver remained completely silent, being the one whom the old lady appeared to be staring at when she uttered the dreaded curse.

As the guys continued on their journey they noticed a similar looking old lady by the side of the road waving down the car. On passing the lady they realized the lady looked exactly like the one they had passed earlier. The panicking got worse in the car but only the driver continued to remain silent…nervous but silent. He eventually stopped the car in the middle of the road and broke down in tears. The other guys were bemused at his display and asked what was wrong. The driver composed himself and made an unexpected revelation:

‘The woman we passed twice is the same lady that I ran over last night. It was an accident… I swear. She died and I had to get rid of the body…I mean, I don’t want to go to jail. I didn’t know what else to do. I freaked out. Look guys, If I keep going further I’ll pass the lady a third time and I don’t want to die. You guys are going to have to find your way.’

The guys looked puzzled and thought that he was joking about getting jilted. They were in the middle of nowhere and there wasn’t a vehicle in sight for the last half hour. The driver wasn’t willing to drive back either because he risked meeting the old lady again. The driver insisted that the other guys hitch a ride and to also confirm if they saw old lady along the way. They did exactly that after getting on a bus soon after. By the time they reached their destination hours later they called the driver and reported that the old lady was not seen.. The driver was content and confirmed that he was on his way to meet them up in 2 hours.

However, 6 hours later the driver didn’t show up. By the time it was evening the other guys had no choice but to get a bus back home. He wasn’t picking up any of the calls the guys had tried making to his mobile phone. On their way back they noticed the driver’s car parked by the side of the road. They quickly alerted the bus driver to drop them off. They approached the car slowly and called out the driver’s name. The car doors were unlocked and the car key was left in the ignition but he wasn’t inside. They tried reaching him on his mobile phone again and they were startled when they heard a faint ringtone close by.

After they searched the front and back seats of the car they went on to check around the car and the nearby roadside. But somehow the ringtone sounded louder when they stood close to the back of the car. One of the guys suggested to check the boot…

Low and behold the driver was found…

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…dead. His eyes were glazed open

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…with a horror-stricken expression

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…because he was not alone –

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…Clutching his left arm

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…was a dead old lady

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…with an unsettling smile.



22 thoughts on “Lurking in the woods I” by jollof (@jollof213)

  1. Nice story!

    I didn’t enjoy the speak though – it read like a ‘once upon a time’ story (maybe that was intentional). There was a barrier between the reader and your characters…I did not get to feel them or know them, and then decide maybe I liked them or not.

    I enjoyed the story though. I like how you ended it.

  2. I enjoyed the story…Like the way it ended too…Well done…$ß.

  3. Its a good story.
    I think it will make for a better read if you showed more and develop your characters more

  4. spooky, and yes I do agree, develop the characters more.

    it was a nice one.

  5. These days nothing is worse than starting your story with “there”. Next time, go straight to the story. It would’ve been notches more suspenseful that way.

    1. Ok, Myne. Thanks for the tip.

  6. I like the style of the first paragraph.
    A nice story.

  7. Don’t like. just doesn’t…’appeal’ to me.
    over simplistic; dubious use of grammar…
    first line; ‘a group who…’ shouldn’t that be ‘ a group that?’
    maybe I’m being finicky but I couldn’t help noticing…
    Nice effort :)

  8. The end was my favourite part…hehehe I like d “unsettling smile”.
    It was a simple story told in a simple way too, but for some reason I liked it…I guess less is more sometimes!

  9. Thank you so much everyone for all the compliments and positive criticisms. The story was intended to be something reminiscent of Tales by Moonlight, hence the ‘once upon a time’ feel to it. I get the vibe, however, that it’s become old-fashioned, lol. I also wanted to keep the story short and to-the-point so developing my characters was never going to happen – point taken though for future projects. Apologies for lapses in grammar – guilty as charged. As for the ending, this story is far from over…

    1. no apologies, this is your thing based on imagination and inspiration. well done keep writing because you are getting better.

  10. A promising yarn, but avoid using “guys” as part of author’s prose. Embedded in dialogue is OK. My question though is why this frightened individual would tell his pals to leave him in the middle of nowhere. Like he was not scared or was asking for it.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the use of ‘guys’. About the frightened individual, he was actually scared of meeting the old lady a third time – if he went any further he may have risked seeing her and if he went back he also risked seeing her. His best bet was to wait for the phone confirmation from his friend. What would YOU do? :)

  11. @jollof213, I liked the story; I especially liked the suspense at the parts where they’re scared of meeting the old woman the third time, and when they come across the abandoned car. Well done.

    1. Thank you Tola. Glad you enjoyed the read!

  12. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    i like it. i like the message too, we must face our mistakes and make restitution where possible. a few other points available on request

    1. Thanks @nicolebassey . Do share your other points – I’m all ears :)

  13. Me likey. But what’s with the X X X …u sha want to kill us with suspense.

  14. The eyes of the words of the picture…..
    It goes places.

  15. spooky, but god story

  16. Hmmm. Fantastic opening. Really enjoyed it.

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