Don’t Turn Around

My rushed attempt at a scary story for my writing club meeting. I can write about almost anything but horror is not my strong suit.

Don’t Turn Around
By. S. F. Wheeler

At Tulk’s privet school, located near the edge of lake Tulk, there was a story that the older kids loved to tell all the freshmen. They called all the freshmen to the outdoor auditorium and told them the tale of the lake crawlers: slimy, half fish half human creatures that crawl around the edge of lake Tulk and kill any one who looks at them.

Most of the freshmen hid their fear. It wasn’t like these creatures could possibly be real. Soon after the tale was told, the older kids would say that to become a ‘real’ student of Tulk’s privet school the freshmen had to go threw an initiation. This was a prank they played every year, one which I had the privilege of being part of.

They would send the freshmen into the woods near the lake to stay an entire night alone and try to scare them. There were ten freshmen this year and all of them agreed to the initiation. Being so far from civilization there was no light pollution so it was nearly pitch black by seven o’clock.

The older kids decided to give the freshmen some advice before they left them. “Whatever you do, if you hear the sound of footsteps and dripping water or if you here someone calling to you… Don’t turn around.” they said. “Don’t. Turn. Around.”

“So we all know this is fake right.” one freshmen said. “They’re probably just going to jump out at us.”

“We only have to last a night.” I said. “So lets make a fire or something, I can’t see a thing.”

It was midnight now, the freshmen were huddled around the little fire and nothing had popped out at them. I figured the older kids would have put on a costume or something and tried to scare us by now. But I guess not.

I don’t remember falling asleep but I was awoken by a scream. I can’t say it didn’t scare me even though I knew it was just the older kids trying to scare us. There were nine freshmen now. One of them was missing.

Our fire had died down to glowing embers so we couldn’t see much. We did see shadows moving threw the woods. They looked perfectly human. I looked around again and there were eight of us. Then a pair of green, scaly, webbed hands grabbed another freshmen. Seven left. As she screamed for help we all backed up and let the creature take her. She continued to scream for help until she was abruptly cut off. We heard a rustle and turned around to see another missing. Six. So they would pick us off one by one huh.

“Run!” one of the freshmen yelled before being dragged into the woods. Five.

Everyone scattered after that.

I ran away from the lake in the direction I thought the school was in. There were three boys with me. When I heard running footsteps behind us, I turned to see who it was. There was no one there. I heard the foot steps again, this time they sounded like they were slapping down in the mud. But the ground was dry. I heard a voice too, calling for help. I turned again and searched frantically for the source of the sound. But every time I turned the sound came from somewhere else.

I heard a scream and decided to just run like hell. Now there were four. The sound of footsteps followed us. I still couldn’t see any monsters but one of the boys behind me fell and was dragged on his stomach into the woods. Three. I ran faster, leaving the two boys behind. I heard a scream then someone yelling for me to help. Two. Then another scream as the boy cursed at me. One.

When I finally burst out in the field behind the school I seen a group of older students. I thought they would laugh at me but instead they all steered off with dropped jaws. Finally I realized why. The entire school was missing. Like it had never even been there to begin with. Two of the older kids were wearing monster gloves and holding masks. So they had been out there.

“What’s going on?” I asked them. They all turned at the exact same time with the same eery look and in perfect unison they all said “You shouldn’t have turned around.”

“What why not?” I asked. “It was just you guys. What are you trying to pull?”

“He’s waiting for you now. You’ll never get away.” they said together. It was beginning to creep me out now. They sounded like the same person.

A shout for help sent me spinning around to see an older student running and stumbling towards us. “Help me!” he cried.

“It’s too late for you now.” the group said. “He will get you. There is no escape.”

“I didn’t turn around, I swear.” the boy said pleading with them. We all turned toward the woods at the sound of dripping water. it was so loud that it echoed even though it shouldn’t. “Please help!” the boy cried. The dripping water grew louder and louder until the boy was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the woods.

I hadn’t seen what got him. It didn’t look like anything was there. But there was no way he dragged himself like that. Something was defiantly out there.

“We have to go. Where’s the city from here?” I asked.

“There is no escape.” the group said. “He will get you soon. We told you not to turn around.”

In a panic, I ran as fast as I could toward the dirt road. The tree branches tore at my clothes as I ran but I didn’t dear slow down. I could see the road and a light off in the distance. A car. They could help me. They could get me out of here.

As the car came into view I was almost at the road. Then… a cold wet hand wrapped around my ankle and sent me headfirst to the forest floor. I screamed for help but the car passed by without noticing me. With it’s lights gone I was sent into the pitch black once more.

Unexpectedly my ankle was released. I scrambled up and ran off down the road. I wasn’t looking back. Not this time.

“Wait up!” someone called after me. “Help.”

I turned around. I knew I was the only one left and yet… I turned around.

The End

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