This story was written for Sadje’s What do you see challenge, click on the link to see the post:
He’d been wandering through the woods for hours now and was beginning to feel the full heft of the backpack on his shoulders. His stomach grumbled and called out for sustenance, the acid churning as he recalled the meagre breakfast he’d had such a long time ago. The campsite should have been around here somewhere but he’d passed up the opportunity to ask the few people that he’d encountered. Now he had to admit that he was lost.
The fog had descended before nightfall, initially, gossamer threads illuminate by the light of the setting sun had become a dense mist that had made the isolation of being lost in the woods feel even more foreboding.
Why did he decide to take that shortcut through the woods? If he’d kept to the road he would have probably been there by now, warm and cosy in his tent.
Just then, he saw a light in the distance, a beacon of hope. He scrambled through the trees and found a path heading straight to this golden beam.
Stumbling over the last few steps, he saw the wooden house nestled in a clearing, it looked derelict and empty but the light from the upper window shone brightly like the morning sun.
Desperation took hold and he didn’t even stop to think what type of person would choose to live in such a secluded location.
As he opened the door, the sight of row upon row of empty backpacks lining the hallway made him realise he’d made the biggest mistake of his life.
The door behind him swung shut and he heard a click of the lock.
The shining light from upstairs suddenly extinguished and he was alone, the sound of his quickening breaths echoed through the silent blackness.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25th May 2020
I have also included the following Word Prompts: