The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. I stared out my window, unable to pull my eyes from the sight. A candle was burning, there was no mistake about that.
My family and I lived within view of the old, abandoned cabin. Despite begging for a different room for years, my window stared straight at the creepy cabin. There were many different rumors about what happened there – an old man who was killed, an old witch coven, a woman murdering her own children, and the most recent rumor, the gateway to hell.
I never believed any rumors. They were all farfetched and strange… but I still hated looking at that cabin every day. I often kept my blinds shut so I didn’t have to see it, but tonight, of all nights, it was too damn hot to keep my window closed.
The cabin was abandoned. It was definitely abandoned. There had been no sign of life in years. I recoiled from the window when I saw a shadow pass by the burning flame. “What the hell?” I muttered, finally tearing my eyes away.
I hurriedly shut my blinds, resigning myself to sleeping in the heat rather than staring at the candle all night. I felt an insatiable urge to go up there. I had to check it out. But, I wasn’t stupid… I’ve seen horror movies. I would go check it out in the morning when the sun was bright and nothing could hide under the cover of the moon.
Sleep did not come easy. My mind was racing, conjuring ideas of what was happening in that old cabin. The most reasonable explanation was that someone broke in and was doing something there, like some teenagers hooking up. But that also felt unbelievable… no one ever trespassed. Everyone was too afraid of the old cabin.
I knew my family wouldn’t be awake for a few hours after the sun rose, and as soon as light spilled into our house I raced out of bed, threw on some jeans and a shirt, and flew out the front door.
Going up to an abandoned cabin on your own first thing in the morning probably wasn’t my smartest move, but I had to know if I was losing my mind or if someone really was at the cabin last night. My body seemed to pull me there, I had a strange urge that I had to go. I had to see what was happening in the cabin.
The shrubbery was thick. No one had travelled the path between our houses in a long time. I vaguely remember my mother taking me down this path when I was younger – when the path was clear and safe. Now, the trees were dense and weeds covered the splintered cobblestone path. I pushed past the thick vines and emerged in the overgrown front yard leading to the old cabin.
My heart skipped a beat as I slowly made my way to the front door. It was hanging off its hinge, creaking slowly as the wind rushed past. The entire area felt eerie and unnatural. Something did happen here in the past, I could feel it in my bones. My eyes scanned the broken porch, familiarity settling in my mind. I felt like I’d been here before.
I carefully navigated the rotting steps and bypassed the creaking door. There was no light within the cabin – sunlight didn’t even breach the fractured windows. I moved carefully, not only afraid that I would fall through the floor but also terrified that I would alert someone that I was inside.
I could feel my heartbeat in my ears. I refused to believe in fairytales or witchcraft, so why was I so afraid? Why did my hair stand on end and my body tremble? I slowly peeked around the corner leading to the dilapidated living area. Old furniture had been covered with white sheets and a layer of dust coated every inch of the room, so thick that I could feel it in my lungs. I could see a candle sitting in the window and my heart started beating faster.
Slowly, I approached the candle, my eyes still darting around the room. I felt like someone was watching me, but there was no sign of life anywhere. As soon as I drew close enough I knew what I had seen during the night wasn’t a hallucination. Warmth still emitted from the candle and fresh wax had dried onto the crumbling windowsill.
Wind brushed past my face, blowing my blonde hair to the side. I was standing at the only window in the room, which was still intact and closed. My breathing grew laboured as the temperature plummeted, fog escaping my mouth with each shallow breath. Something flickered in my peripheral vision, moving quickly out of view.
I internally swore, cursing myself for being so stupidly curious. Goosebumps rose on my arms as I slowly turned, a scream never had the chance to escape as the white figure embraced me.
A familiar and yet terrifying snarl echoed in my ears as my vision blackened. “Welcome home.”
Home. I had forgotten. I was born here, intended to be a sacrifice. Firstborn blood to initiate a ritual. My mother… adopted mother took me. She stopped the ritual from occurring when I was a child. I felt blood trickle down my body as I lay motionless on the ground. Relief flooded my body as the darkness grew closer. My task was complete. My sole reason for existing was coming to fruition. The dark days were about to begin.