I always liked to have a more secluded lifestyle, reclusive even.
It’s not that I have social anxiety or anything, I guess I’m just not a people person. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate other people, but I’d rather not be around them. I like solitude and quietness.
When an acquaintance offered to rent me his family’s mountain cabin for a few months, I agreed almost instantly.
The truth is, I’d been looking for an opportunity like this for a while now. Just a few months, out in the middle of nowhere to work on my poetry completely undisturbed. Unfortunately, I’d never found anything that fit my rather tight budget.
The cabin itself was located in a remote area of the Alps. There were some tourist spots nearby, but nothing within walking distance. The place was ideal for someone who wanted to be entirely on their own.
It sounded absolutely perfect.
I arrived at the cabin about a month ago. It was beautiful. I loved it the moment I set foot inside. While I settled in, I started a small fire to heat up the place.
For the first couple of days, I had a hard time writing anything worthwhile. All the lines I came up with didn’t feel right. Instead of brooding over my work, I decided to explore the outside area.
The snow-covered plains, the mountains, and the many forests painted a beautiful panorama. Out here things were different, untouched. I wandered around for hours and tried to absorb as much of nature’s beauty as I possibly could.
Work went well after this little trip outside. Nature had always been one of my prime inspirations.
From that day onward I’d often spend a good part of the day outside, going on extensive walks. Only when the sun started to set did I actually sit down and work on my poetry.
Many times I discovered the tracks of animals outside. Some were small, most likely left by rabbits, others were bigger, hinting at deer.
I rarely stumbled upon signs of other humans. There were a few lonely tracks here and there. They were most likely left by hikers or mountain climbers passing through the area. My acquaintance was right, I was completely alone out here.
That was until two weeks ago. I set out one day for another walk when I stumbled upon many new tracks. They were clearly human, but it had to be a whole group. Their tracks were chaotic, going here and there as if they were stumbling into one another. I frowned when I saw them and hoped that they were already gone and on their way.
As so often, luck wasn’t on my side.
It was a day later that I found more of the same tracks. They were as chaotic as before, but now they were much closer. Whoever they were, they seemed to linger around the area. Maybe they were camping out here for some reason. Once more I frowned. I went out here to get inspired not to see their stupid tracks all over the place. Worst of all, they didn’t seem to care about nature at all. They had almost left a clear path behind on their way through the woods. There were markings on some of the trees and branches, and twigs littered their path.
For the next couple of days, I found more and more signs of this ominous group. It was a bit strange though that I never saw any of them. I shrugged it off and decided it was best to ignore them.
When the noises started though, things took a turn for the worse.
When you live in a city, noises are a normal part of life. You know that it’s your neighbor or kids playing outside. Out here in the middle of nowhere, it was an entirely different story.
It was about eleven in the evening when the noise started. I sat at my desk with a mug of hot tea working on my latest poem. Suddenly I heard something outside. It was distant, but I could clearly make out voices outside.
I put my pen down and went to one of the windows. I racked it and listened, but I couldn’t understand a word. They were yelling and shouting. What the hell were they up to?
For a moment I thought about yelling out in the night, but then I decided it was better to lay low. The noise went on for a while longer before it thankfully died down.
The next day I realized that the group hadn’t been out in the woods alone as I’d thought. No, the moment I stepped outside, I saw the many chaotic tracks right in front and all around the cabinet. I couldn’t help but be crept out. Why had they come here? Had they watched me?
A bit unnerved I scanned the area and the woods around the cabin. Was someone nearby right now? I quickly went back inside.
I didn’t go for a walk that day. For the first time since I’d arrived, I realized that I was completely isolated. There was no one nearby at all.
For a moment I thought about calling the police, but what would I tell them? That I found a bunch of tracks outside in front of the cabin? Yeah right, they’d tell me to call them again if something actually happened. No way they’d come up here because of a few random tracks.
I was antsy all day, but when the sunset, I started to get more and more anxious. I tried to work, but the thought of someone watching the cabin made it almost impossible. Instead, I paced through the cabin, eyeing the area outside from the various windows. I saw nothing.
It was late in the evening when I heard the noise again. Once more I cracked the window and listened. There were steps outside, many of them as if the group was rushing through the snow. They were so close to the cabin! A few times I saw someone move outside, but it was too far away, hidden by the darkness of the night.
As I listened to their yells and shouts, it almost felt as if they were circling the cabin. Were they trying to find a way inside?
I rushed to the front door, making sure it was locked and then checked all the windows. During all this time the frantic movement and the shouting outside continued.
Finally, I’d had it and called the cops. I told them exactly what was going on and that I was scared they might break into the cabin.
It was about half an hour later that I saw the distant headlights of the police car. As soon as the car got closer, the shouting stopped, and the footsteps turned into nothing more than a faint echo.
The annoyance of the two police officers was evident as soon as I opened the door. I could imagine they weren’t all too happy to be out here in the middle of the night. I invited them inside and poured each of them a cup of tea. They didn’t touch it at all.
I carefully explained to them what had happened. The two of them listened, and I could soon see that their annoyance shifted to concern.
After I’d finished I led them outside and with their flashlights they scanned the area. There were so many tracks here by now. It was almost as if all the snow around the cabin had been flattened.
I could hear one of them grumbling something about damned tourists before they told me they’d have a look around the area. I thanked them multiple times and returned back inside.
It was an hour or so later that the two of them returned. They told me they’d found nothing but more of the same tracks. They led in circles through the forest, but there was no hint of the group I’d described.
It was most likely a bunch of tourists trying to cause a bit of trouble. That type of thing had happened before. Most likely some college kids who were out here drinking and having a bit too much fun. Once someone calls the police though, they know it’s time to knock it off.
They told this was most likely the end of it. The group was most likely on their way and wouldn’t disturb me anymore. Before they left one of them handed me his number and told me to give him a ring should they be back.
Once again I thanked them, but somehow their words didn’t feel too reassuring. Somehow I felt as if they were just trying to convince me nothing was wrong, so they could finally get out of here. I was up for hours after they’d left. Only when morning came did I feel comfortable enough to go to sleep.
When I got up, I thought about packing my things and leaving. Then I told myself that this stay here had been something I’d looked forward to for years. Should I really let a bunch of stupid college kids ruin it for me? No, I decided to stay.
By now I wish I’d left. I really wish I had.
For the whole day, I went from window to window watching the woods outside. Eventually, I ventured out myself to have a look around the cabin. Who knows, maybe they were hiding nearby. The only thing I found was the tracks from last night. By now they were almost completely buried under the new snow.
I couldn’t even think of my work anymore. My mind was entirely absorbed by watching the area outside.
As day turned to night, I hoped that the police had been right. Time passed and soon midnight arrived without any noise. The police must have scared them off.
I’d finally calmed down and was about to heat up some tea when I heard something. It was the sound of footsteps in the snow. There were so many of them, as of dozens of people were out there. How big was this damned group?
I was about to call the police when something heavy hit the cabin. What the hell was going on out there? What were these assholes doing?
I rushed to one of the windows, but only caught a glimpse of someone staggering off into the darkness. I waited to see if they’d be back, but soon there was another loud bang from the other side of the cabin.
The shouts started again, or better the screams. They sounded… different now. Before they had seemed excited, but now they sounded agitated almost terrified.
For a moment I stood there, shivering. What the hell was going on out there?
Once more I heard loud screams, this time it was almost as if someone was calling for help. Where they trick to trick me?
I went to the window and saw something again. People were moving outside, but I couldn’t see it clearly. Their movement looked strange, almost as if they were stumbling through the snow.
Shit, I couldn’t see a thing in the darkness.
Finally, I opened the window and called out to whoever was out there.
“What’s going on? You alright out th…” I broke up as the source of the noise revealed itself and started moving towards me.
The phone slipped from my hands, and I stumbled backward. What was out there was indeed a group of people or something resembling one. There were too many legs, too many arms. It was a twisting, writhing mess of human limbs and bodies all entangled into one another. For a moment I saw stitches all over it, fusing bodies and limbs together into one giant abomination.
Then I saw the faces. Theirs were blind sewed shut and their mouths wide open. Once more they started screaming at me. No, those had never been screams of excitement, those were screams of pure terror. I was on the ground, staring at the window in front of me in sheer disbelief.
Moments later the group, no the thing, crashed against the wall of the cabin. A rain of glass exploded over me, and I saw dozens of arms reaching out for me.
“No! Leave me the fuck alone!” I screamed as I frantically crawled backward.
All the things heads turned right into my direction. Again the thing pressed itself against the small window opening. I saw hands clinging to the window frame, and the wall as the creature tried to push itself inside. The mouths opened once more screaming in terror again, and for the first time, I understood their words.
I could only watch as the thing continued its struggle more and more. Arms reached inside, pushing, twisting, ripping skin and flesh apart as the thing desperately tried to get inside. Then it suddenly stopped moving. Moments later it let out another bloodcurdling scream before it rushed off into the darkness.
I don’t know how long I sat on the floor. I was so utterly terrified that I just couldn’t move.
When I finally got to my feet, my legs were weak and shaky. I’d barely taken a few steps before they gave way. What the fuck had this thing been? How the hell can something like that even exist?
For long minutes I lay on the floor, shaking, as the images of the abomination haunted my mind again and again. And its screams.
Oh dear god, what the hell was this?
When I got up, I was nervous and restless. I had to walk through the cabin to keep the panic at bay. Every once in a while I scanned the window for any signs of the creature, but it was gone. If for good, I couldn’t tell.
After a while, I started questioning myself. Had, no, could this even be real? Maybe I was suffering from cabin fever or whatever people out here get. What if my paranoia had conjured up this twisted creature? As I turned around to the window though, I saw the proof right there.
The pieces of glass on the floor, the broken window and the scratches all over the cabin wall.
At this point, I remembered my phone. I looked around in confusion before I saw it right below the window. I took a step towards it but then froze. What if that thing was still around? No, it had run off, I told myself. Once more I anxiously listened for noises outside. All was quiet.
I rushed forward, closed my hands around the phone and almost threw myself back.
“Oh thank god,” I said out loud when I saw it was still working.
It was right at this time that I heard the sound of distant steps again.
I dialed the cops right away and told them that something out here was after me. I must’ve sounded like a total nutcase. They asked me if it was those college kids again. Instead of answering, I pleaded with them to come out here and save me. They told me to calm down, to stay indoors and that they’d be here as quick as possible.
Waiting was pure torture. I listened to every sound. Even the snow falling from the roof was enough to send another surge of panic into my brain. I still couldn’t stand still. Once more I paced through the cabin.
Where the hell are they? What takes them so long? Goddamnit! When I checked my phone, I saw that it hadn’t even been half an hour yet, but to me, it had felt like an eternity. Shit, can’t they hurry up? What if that thing comes back?
Those steps outside, they were getting closer. They weren’t those of multiple legs. They weren’t frantic and chaotic. No, they were slow and deliberate. Oh please tell me it’s the police, please.
Suddenly I heard something on the wall of the cabin again. It was as if something metallic was slowly scratched alongside the wall outside.
I almost flipped out when I heard it. This was not normal. I cowered in fear at the sound and closed my eyes. Make it go away, please make this thing go away.
I was ripped from my terror by a knock on one of the intact windows of the cabin. The police, they finally made it! When I turned towards the window though, the blood froze in my veins.
Two huge, yellow eyes were staring at me, and long bony fingers were still knocking against the class. This was no police. This was no human. It was a giant, hulking figure that leaned down to look into the cabin. When I saw its face, I was reminded of the masks of plague doctors, but it was no mask. It was a grown together mess of skin, flesh, and bone.
For a moment the creatures head moved away, and I saw that it was holding something long and thin in his hand. Was that a… giant needle?
Suddenly I heard a car driving up to the cabin. In an instant, the giant figure crooked its head at the source of the noise and with heavy steps it walked into the direction of the police car.
Moments later the frantic sway of the headlights reached the front windows of the cabin. I stumbled forward as I heard the screams of the two police officers.
Gunshots cut through the night, followed by the crunching of metal as the giant figure peeled the two men from the car. In horror, I watched as it scooped them up in his hand. I waited for it to crush them, but instead, it smiled and brought the needle to its mouth. Moments later it pushed it into the flesh of the first man.
When the screams of agony and terror reached my ears, the figure started to giggle. It was a high-pitched distorted sound. For a moment the terrible face turned and smiled towards me. Then it quietly walked off into the woods, sewing the two men in its grasp to one another.
This was an hour ago.
Since then I started writing this all out to keep myself from giving into utter despair. This was supposed to be a little getaway to work on my poetry, but it had turned into an absolute nightmare. Countless times I thought to make run for it, but that thing is still out there. I can still hear its steps as it circles the cabin. There’s still the screams of the two police officers.
I know that this damned monstrosity is teasing me. Preying on me. Watching me.
The thing is still long, and before it’s over, I know that this thing will be back.