“Come on, man, help me out a little here,” Nancy grunted and shifted Robbie’s weight on her shoulder. They had been walking a few feet when Robbie seemed to have gotten worse, putting most of his weight onto his friend. Walking in the woods at night was hard enough, but adding another person slowed Nancy down significantly. She also was holding onto the phone in front of them, lighting the way, and another on Robbie, making sure he was still with her.
“I—can’t do this—alone,” she said through gritted teeth, shuffling through the dead leaves. Suddenly her foot caught a branch, sending both of them crashing to the ground. Nancy groaned and turned over on her back. Both phones were still working, one pointed at the tree tops, and the other at Robbie. Glancing over at him, Nancy could tell he was getting worse. Even with his back to her, she could tell he was curled up into himself, shaking.
“Ok,” Nancy breathed. “We’re going to take a break.”
Robbie’s phone, which was in her hand pointed up, lit up. Nancy quickly looked at the message but her hope faded even quicker when she realized what it said.
“Never mind, we can’t take a break. Phone’s at 10%. We’ve got to keep moving.” She sat up and looked over. Robbie was still shaking.
“I know you’re hurting, I know you’re scared.” She pulled her legs to her chest and stared into the surrounding darkness. “I’m scared too. But we’ve got to get out of these woods. We’ve got to get away from that… creature.” She paused.
“I saw it, you know. That thing. Well, not all of it because it was dark but I saw its eyes. Those eyes. They were so red, so cold and unforgiving…it’s from Hell. It must be. What other place could produce something so horrible?”
“It’s not Hell.”
Nancy turned. Robbie was still curled up away from her but he had stopped shaking. He spoke again a bit louder this time.
“It’s from someplace worse.”
“What do you mean? What’s worse than Hell?”
Robbie turned and uttered a single word as the light on him went out and his eyes glowed red.
Without enough time to scream, Nancy swung the other phone around but Robbie was gone. Something rustled the leaves beside her, and Nancy moved the light again but nothing was there. Scrambling to her feet, she stood off running, one thought coursing through her mind.
Robbie is the creature Robbie is the creature Robbie is the creature
Through her stomping on the leaves, she heard something again behind her and stopped to move the light around before taking off again. Nancy forced her thoughts to slow down. What did she have to do now? Get to the road, that’s still a good plan. It didn’t like light. That’s why it disappeared in the moon light and Robbie came out. And she still had one working light. Ok, she could do this, she had a plan and—
“Nancy…” A voice seemed to circle around her, floating in the dark. “You know how this will end…”
Nancy kept running, occasionally swinging the light around her to keep the creature away. She tried to block it out but it was like the voice was inside her head. No matter what she did, it kept coming back, slithering in her mind, invading her thoughts.
“Stop running…” She chocked back a sob. It sounded just like Robbie but like he was speaking through a tin can with blood coming from his mouth. “Nancy…you know how this ends…”
Nancy torn on, trying to block the inhuman chuckle now reverberating through the trees, to no avail. It got louder the more she ran, when suddenly her foot caught a tree root, and she went crashing to the ground. Flipping onto her back, Nancy frantically swung her phone around, writhing in the dirt and dead leaves. All around her she can hear the creature—Robbie—circling, keeping just out of the light.
Suddenly the dreaded 10% notification popped up, and Nancy’s heart sank even lower. Scrambling to her feet, she decided to run for it, just try and get to the road as quick as possible, be damned the creature.
But as soon as Nancy’s hand left the ground, something flew by her, grabbing her legs and sweeping them out from under her. She crashed back to the ground, sending a spear of pain through her entire body, but managed to crawl to a large oak tree and pressed her back against it. Chest rising and falling rapidly, Nancy could only display the light of her phone in front of her and wait. Quickly though she realized the forest was quiet. No shuffling of the leaves, no twigs snapping under immense force. It was silent except for her panting.
She could only see her jeans, torn and filthy, in the light. She thought back to the beginning of the night. Was that really just today? Had she really been joking with Robbie, teasing him, just hours ago? Now she was alone, in the forest, in the dark, with a creature that was her best friend somewhere close by.
Nancy stared at what she could see in the light.
Then it went dark.