Stick to the path.
That’s what all the signs said.
To his left, to his right- Danger. Stick to the path.
Rory wondered what they all meant, what they were there for. As far as he was aware, the woods near his house were just that- woods. Well, as far as he was aware. He had gone in to investigate further. Just because, last night, he could’ve sworn he’d heard someone shouting “help!” deep down in the forest. Perhaps the person was injured. Climbing a tree and fell- simple enough. Of course, there was always the other option. Rory did not like to think about that. It was as he’d been leaving that he thought about it. He’d lived in the house on his own for three months. Moved in December just gone. He planned to not tell anyone where he was going. The villagers would try and stop him- still, they’d have a hard job. He had been told countless times why they felt the way they did.
They were all over fifty years old. Had they been there their entire lives, warning people to stay out? It was stupid, but it was closer to the truth than Rory had come so far. It was only as he was opening the door, about to walk off, that he considered the other option.
Throughout his time living in the house, he’d had repeated warnings from all the townspeople: ‘Don’t go into the wood.’ ‘Stick to the path.’ ‘Be ready.’ He had often wondered what the villagers were talking about. Today, he hoped to find out. Rory was extremely keen to get out of the woods before sunset. What-? How did that happen? A mist suddenly seemed to have fallen across the path, an eerie sense of instance. Rory looked down at his watch. Nine PM? How did it get that late already? He’d left the house at ten in the morning…and that only felt like a few minutes ago. How could eleven hours have passed in the space of five minutes? Rory decided to turn and head home. He spun on his heels and began to walk, quickly, back down the path. And that’s when he realised his house wasn’t there anymore. This wasn’t the way he had come in. The path back to the moors was literally…gone. Where was he? How had the time passed like that-? And what was that faint breathing he could feel, pressing down on the back of his neck…?
Owen (Year 8)