It was cold. That is one of the few things I remember about that night. The whistling of the wind pierced my ears, and my skin was past the point of numb. I had little to cover myself, only a t-shirt, jeans, and a light sweatshirt to aid the freezing temperature that the night brought on. It wasn’t snowing, but that was only because of the lack of moisture in the air.
I remember that I had a set purpose for where I was going, but I can’t recall where. I was following a beaten path through the woods outside of my house I had been down so many times before, but at some point I must have made a mistake and went down a different path. After going in the wrong direction for half an hour, I realized that the surroundings were different from what they should have been. That was when I decided I should turn back, but when I turned around, I noticed that the trail I had been following was no longer there.
This was when I started getting nervous. I hadn’t planned on being outside for very long, and it was already colder then I had expected. I remember turning around, and heading straight back from where I had came. Surely, I had though, that if I walk in a straight line then the path would appear again, and I would make it back home easily.
My body started to shiver. I was lost. I knew it. I knew for sure, because I stumbled upon a campsite I had never seen before. How deep did these woods go? I spent years going through these trees. I know every inch. How am I so inconceivably lost.
I don’t remember much of what I was thinking, but my thoughts must have been frantic. I sat down on one of the logs to the fire ring to try to collect my thoughts. It took all I had to think critically, and not psych myself out with images of freezing to death, or being kidnapped, or any of the million other scenarios my mind had to offer. After a few minutes, I decided to head off in the direction that I could best guess was home. I thought that if I just kept going straight long enough that I would eventually come across some for of shelter.
Another ten minutes of walking past. My body was starting to shake intensely. Uncontrollable. The night had gotten even worse. I saw the first flakes of snow start to fall, and began to lose hope quicker then before. I stopped when my eyes started to grow black around the edges, and placed my hand on a nearby tree to regain balance. The black edges grew, and I got dizzy. Very dizzy. I nearly passed out, but was able to hold on to consciousness for at least a few more moments.
It was resting up against the grand oak that I remember seeing the woman for the first time. A dark woman, she seemed to blur at the edges and have no definite end to her figure. While she was light skinned, everything about her seemed dark. Her clothes were all black. She spoke in a hushed tone.
“You seem to be in trouble, darling.” the figure said.
I didn’t have enough energy to respond, and I wasn’t nearly as cheerful about finding another person then I thought I would be. So slowly, I nodded. I looked up to meet her in the eyes. They were striking, a bright blue that seemed almost otherwordly. Furious, yet calming. Once I caught her gaze, it seemed impossible to look away.
“Well then, if you can manage it. Follow me. I will get you some help.” I looked up at her as she spoke, but I can’t remember her mouth actually moving.
When the woman set off in the opposite direction, I hesitated to follow. I didn’t really have a choice though, did I? The wind picked up. Each gust felt like a thousand needles stinging my face. My nose running. My lips cracking. My breath shortening, becoming more shallow. I was becoming hypothermic. When did it get this bad?
As I followed the mysterious woman, girl? She didn’t seem old enough to be called woman. I remember feeling as if eyes were watching me, from somewhere in the distance. Just out of my sight. Crazy, I told myself.
We arrived in another clearing, a few moments later. Another fire pit was here. This one was larger. I wondered how many of these things there were that I could have possibly missed. When the woman turned to me, she offered a hand, beckoning for me to place mine in hers. Again, I recall being hesitant, but figuring I was already too deep in this awful situation to make any other move.
Once my hand was in hers, I knew something unreal was happening. My body was already colder then I could have imagined it being, but when I touched her hand, it sent shock waves through my body. I tried to speak, but all of my words were slurred together now. If I hadn’t been panicking before, I was now. The woman smiled a wicked smile, and without moving her hands from mine, the fire pit burst in to flame, roaring, cackling. This did nothing, however, to make me any warmer. The woman’s grip set my whole body to stone.
The last thing I remember before my mind slipped into unconsciousness was three more shadowy figures, all dressed in the same black clothes, the same faded edges, the same supernatural look to them, stepping out from the forest into the clearing. The woman let go of my hand, and my eyes went blank. I don’t even remember falling to the ground.
Those were the last events of my life outside of this room. It is dark, lit only dimly by a light source from which I cannot locate. There seems to be no doors, no windows, no exit. There is a small bed, and a table along with a pen and paper. Food and water come every once in awhile after I have fallen asleep. I have tried to fake falling asleep, to see how the nourishment comes, but every time I have tried I have been left hungry.
I am writing this letter because I have been a prisoner in this room for fifty-two days. I am unsure if it will ever reach someone, but if it does.. my name is Blake Cruz, tell my family I am sorry. Tonight, is my last night as a prisoner.