Short Story Submissions

Short stories CW [Violence, body horror, manipulation] 
The Silent Dead Forest by Khushleen Kooner 

Jake tripped and fell, somehow a branch had stabbed him, it had seemed as if it was sharpened
and placed there on purpose. -What had happened to him to lead up to this point? You may be
wondering, well reader you better be prepared for what might come next, reader. The paths that
Jake walks on, alas there are many twists and turns.-

On Wednesday morning Three best pals, Anais, Hunter & Jake, were waiting outside of the main
school doors, talking about this viral social media trend, it was where they would go into the
woods and summon a spirit, known to be very aggressive towards humans, especially teenagers.
How to start it? Simple, they would need to go into a dark misty forest at exactly 3:00 AM and
mutter a chant. -But alas what they had missed in the instructions was that the spot where they
were going to do the ritual needed to have a pair of trees, both in the shape of an X.-.

Meanwhile in school
Anais came into the classroom, her light brown hair shining in the daylight, accompanied by her
cheerful smile. She sat down by one of the girls, always on time, has the answers to everyone's
questions, and so on. "Hey Leah," She said, Leah, the bright redhead with glasses looked up, and
looked around the room to see who or what had said her name and called out to her, she caught
Anais looking at her, "Who me?" she asked, "Yeah you," Anais answered back. Leah thought it
might be a chance to become friends with someone popular and cool, "Yeah what is it?" she
replied, " I want you to come with Hunter, Jake, & me, and do this trend," Showing the redhead
the video, 'That's gotta be fake,' Leah thought, now fiddling with her round-framed rose gold
glasses, 'I mean summoning ghosts and ghouls is like so last year, everyone now is just making
up dances and that's becoming trendy, Anais's idea is so childish,' She then noticed that Anais
had left and the bell had rung, 'How long had I been thinking?' then from behind her, Anais had
spooked her, "BOO!" Leah almost screamed, "Okay, so I see why you don't wanna go, you're
scared," Anais laughed, "No I'm not!" She yelled back, "Okay to prove that it ain't true that
you're not a lil' scaredy cat you have to come with us," She spat out the word "You" like it was a
cuss word, "I'll only go with," there was a slight pause, "But only if you stop being rude to me,"
another pause, and then finally Anais broke the silence, "Okay, deal. Meet me at the Basketball
court, after school," "Okay, what do I need to bring?" "Nothing, just maybe your bag," Anais
looked at her bag suspiciously, "We're going to Subway an hour before," "That's fine by me,"
"See you soon" Anais singsonged, and went on her way to another class.

"Hey man, wazzup?" A brunette teenage boy came into the cafeteria, with his lunch tray, and sat
down at a table, "Yo dawg, what's poppin'" replied a short blonde-haired teenage boy, giving the
other guy a handshake, or what they called, 'Dabbing them up' as soon as the blonde said 'What's
poppin'" Anais came into the room with her bag, and bright cheerful smile, "Don't mind me just
watchin'" She sat down with them, "Yo team," "Sup," the blonde replied, "Jake," Anais snapped,
"Huh, what?" the brunette had responded, "So y'all know Leah right," She asked, "Uh, yeah.."
Asked Jake in response, Hunter's phone rang, "Wait I gotta take this call. Can this wait for like
two minutes?" Said the blonde, he was doing what seemed to be a 'Please face' towards Anais,
his brown eyes wide open, "Fine, but don't start teasing random girls, Hunter. I hate being the
one to help you after you get your arse beat in a fight," '''Ight that's fair man," Hunter then
walked out of the cafeteria and started talking on his phone, when he came back Anais had told
them everything that had happened with her and Leah. "Man, what?" Asked Jake, "Is she gonna
pay for the ride, from there and back?" Anais shrugged "I dunno, but I wanna pull a lil' prank on
her," "Don'tcha think that's a little bit far Ana?" asked Hunter, "Dude we're just gonna be
ditching her and then BOOM we're back. It's not like we're gonna be leaving Leah there for the
rest of her dumb life" "You do you man, I gotta go anyways, got practice. Bro if Coach sees or
hears any of this Imma get cut, like for real this time," Said Hunter, "Go to practice looser,
Basketball's not even that cool," that was Jake with that stupid comeback, "Man forget you, an'
you Ana I see ya laughin'" "Bro just go already, what are you doing here wasting your precious
time," baby talked Jake, "Bye," said Anais, "Later haters,".

"Hey Anais," the redhead was now fiddling with her hair, "What," she groaned, "You said we
were going to get something to eat, right?" Leah had emphasized the word 'right' "Ugh, Jake
let's go to Subway first," she seemed as if she was getting very tired. After they ate they went to a
park and messed around for a bit, and then it was time for what they had thought would be a
happy moment -Turned into a living nightmare -.

They went into the woods, it was damp and the ground was mushy -Perfect for a ritual- they
walked for a couple of minutes, "Okay team, so now we gotta mutter this chant or whatever"
Hunter told them. It was dead silent in those woods, if a twig snapped anywhere, you could've
heard it, if a Moose was shot dead you could've heard it, "So I'll go first, Hunter will go second,
Jake will go third and then last but not least …Leah… Will go… Last" all of them nodded at the
same time. They all took turns whispering the chant, eyes closed, when they opened their eyes
and looked around, nothing. They tried two more times, -Again- nothing. When they head back
into the car, they hear faint whispers outside, Hunter stepped out of the car, walks around it, and
gets back in, "Nothin's out there" he tells them, it happens again, but this time it sounded like
someone -Or something- saying "NO GO AWAY,". As if it were a sign of something that was
going to happen, sooner or later. Jake started or at least tried to start the car, but it wouldn't.
"GET OUT," the voice screeched, "Hunter, call someone to get us outta this crazy place," Jake
was now gripping the steering wheel very tightly, and his voice was very shaky -Normally
happens when he gets nervous or scared- "Alrighty then, lemme see if this dumb place got any
service outside," he (Hunter) stepped out of the car, tried to call someone -But where they were
Reader, sadly there was no service or WIFI, so they had nobody to help them or get them out of
there- "Nope, nothing," he shook his head in disbelief, "So what are we gonna do now?" yawned
Anais, "Maybe we could look for someone or something to help us?" suggested Leah, "Yeah we
should do that, good idea Leah," replied Jake, Leah smiled with pride, 'Finally they now think
I'm cool like them and not just some dork.' she thought. "Uh, I'll go towards the path," Anais
muttered, "'Kay Imma go towards the lake by the abandoned highway," Hunter said, fiddling
with his phone, "I'll try to find someone to try and help us get outta here" now Jake had released
his grip off of the steering wheel and was much calmer, "I'm going to stay here, and watch the
car," said Leah, "Alright team, leggo," Anais, Hunter, and Jake all headed out into the creepy
foggy forest, on their paths… Alone.

"Owww" Whimpered Anais, she had tripped over a root that had somehow grown over the path.
"This path must have been used a really long time ago," She thought to herself, noticing that it
had grass and plants all over it. "BETTER KEEP MOVING," A voice whispered, she noticed that
it was the voice from earlier. "Be quiet you" Anais snapped. Nothing unusual happened after that
-But there was going to.-.

"It's getting dark" Hunter whispered, walking on the bridge that went over the lake, he wondered
if the rest of his friends were okay. "Wow, my eyes look blue in the reflection of the lake," looking
into the lake, he had seen that his eyes were a bright crystal blue colour. He was about to
continue walking, but he stopped when he heard a voice from behind, "TURN AROUND," It
said. "Wha? Who said that?" He was about to turn around when suddenly everything went blank.
"HELP ME!" He yelled, after that everything went back to silence.

"HUNTER!" Jake shouted. "WHERE ARE YOU?!" He looked almost everywhere for Hunter, but
he was nowhere to be seen. "ANAIS!" He yelled. "WHERE ARE YOU?!" Jake ran towards the
lake, there he found Anais, but she wasn't acting like usual. "ANA COME BACK!" He exclaimed.
She turned around, her eyes a bright blue like crystals, and not her normal light brown eyes. She
had some dark greenish muck around her face. "YO, WHAT HAPPENED?!" He shouted. She
charged at him at full speed. She was not Anais, there was someone -Or something- else that has
taken control of her. Jake bolted toward the parked car and got in.

"We gotta go now," He said, now shaking with fear, Leah didn't respond. "Leah?" He
called. Jake glanced into the rearview mirror, there he saw Leah, but she had a sharp object
stabbed into her abdomen, her glasses broken, her bright red hair a mess, like burning flames.
Jake started the car -this time it had worked- and sped off out of the forest to the Police station,
leaving a trail of smoke from the car. Once there Jake told them everything. "
Okay, nice joke kid," One of them had said, "Yo this ain't a joke dawg," Jake said bringing them
to his car, "Alright tell me everything again, clearly" He put an emphasis on the word "Clearly"
as if what Jake had told him was nonsense. Jake repeated the story and got asked some more
questions. They called his parents and made him go home.

The next day, Jake got ready and headed back into the woods, he saw a trail of dark green slime.
Determined to find his lost friends, Jake followed it. In the distance he saw Hunter, he was just
about to call out to his friend but then he stopped. "He's acting like how Anais was yesterday…"
He thought. Hunter looked up towards the clear blue sky, then to his left and started to talk to
someone -Or something- but there was nothing there. Hunter spun around and dashed towards
Jake. Jake attempted to run away, but the fear paralyzed the boy. He wasn't even touched by the
possessed teenager, Jake had only heard the wind that came by when Hunter ran past him.
"Whew." Jake let out a sigh of relief. -But what had made Hunter run? You may be wondering, to
find out is to keep reading.- Jake turned around in the direction that he had run towards, there
was a bright blue light coming out of the sky, and Jake jogged to it,(This was the part where the
story started off.) he tripped. "Owwwiee," He winced. "What? Why would someone leave a
sharpened branch here?" He took the twig out of the wound, and tossed it aside, "Man up, Jake.
Don't be a lil' wuss," He limped towards his destination, and there he saw something that would
change his world…Forever.

There he saw Anais, her brown hair tangled, her brown eyes wide open, her face blank, she was
lying on the ground, her body was all twisted, her limbs bent in ways they shouldn't be. Her body
was motionless. "HUNTER!" Jake shouted. "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!" He was now out
of breath. Something snapped, and Jake spun his head around towards the noise, "Hunter, I know
it's not you, snap outta it dude," The blue-eyed boy came closer, "Hey bro, cmon fight" he said,
"This ain't you." Hunter came closer and took a swing at Jake. "Alright if this is how you wanna
go" Jake took off his jacket. "Leggo," Even though his left leg was injured he still fought. "JOIN
ME, JAKE!" Hunter screeched, he sounded like those voices from the day before. "Hunter if
you're in there, I just wanna let you know that you were a great friend, not only that you were like
an older brother to me, my best bud, my best bro, you're awesome," Jake paused, "BUT I WON'T
JOIN WHATEVER POSSESSED YOU!" A green slimy hand had instantly grown onto Hunter's
right arm and picked up Jake off of the ground, by the neck, choking him, "Hunter!" Jake
coughed "Hunter! Please don't do this!" Hunter stopped. "Wha- What is this?" The green hand
had disappeared and his eyes turned back to his normally brown eyes, "Oh my lord!" Hunter
exclaimed. "Jake I'm sorry, I didn't mean it!" He cried. "I know you didn't man." Jake tried to
fight back the tears but they kept flooding his eyes until he couldn't help but cry, Hunter started
to cry as well. "I'm just glad you're back dawg!" "Yeah man, me too." "Let's go home." Hunter
nodded. They got back into the car and drove off.

The end…

Or was it?
Untitled Short Story by Lily Flebotte 

You are running, darting around pines and through bushes, no longer mindful of the knife-like branches that lacerate feeble flesh. How did this happen? Everything was flawlessly mundane, just the way you prefer it. Who would have thought that running into a stranger would amount to this? Mutilated piles of flesh and broken bone that had once contained the people most precious to you.


You're running for your life, and it’s chasing, never slowing, matching your pace even as your chest begins to ache and your breath comes in short gasps. It’s toying with you. You realize, not capturing you, despite the fact you're exhausted and it hasn’t even broken a sweat. Your eyes widen with panic and you attempt to redouble your efforts, thorns and branches grabbing at your already bruised skin. It feels like you have been running for hours, your body at its breaking point, and bruised throat throbbing with every gasping breath. You hear a chuckle behind you, close, and arms wrap themselves around your body, feeling like chains, a hand reaches up to grasp your throat, body freezing in terror as it speaks,


“Such a shame darling,” its honeyed voice coos.“Your lovely skin is marred." The hand around your throat tightens briefly, and you nearly sob from the spike of agony that shoots through your abused throat.

“Doesn’t that hurt Darling? I can make the pain go away for you.”

Its words cause you to break into sobs, the strain too much to handle.

“I’m sorry for hurting you darling,” it whispers the hand now gently caressing your throat and jaw. “But if you had just behaved like I said I wouldn’t have had to do that.”

For a second you almost believed it, that this was all your fault for running away from it, its silver tongue sweet and manipulative. You, however, knew better, the words it spoke were nothing but a ploy to get you to depend on it and to doubt yourself.


It spins you around and looks deep into your eyes, its gaze greedy and endless, sucking you dry.


“I love you so much. You know that right? That’s why I had to remove them. They were monopolizing you, especially that boy he was trying to take you away from me! His revolting self didn’t even deserve to view you in his gaze! You understand right? I did it all for you!”

It screamed, voice twisting into a desperate tone you never had heard before, its hands tightening around your wrists, the excruciating feeling racking through you. Your head dizzy from all the pain and your vision fading, you see its face above you, a sadistic smile on its face. Ever since you caught its all-consuming gaze, your fate was sealed, you were doomed to be trapped, caged in by soft caresses and sickly-sweet words. From the very beginning, you were stuck, it always got what it wanted and it wanted to own you.


As you fade away into unconsciousness, it speaks one last time, the words spoken with a twisted obsession.


“Don’t forget, we are in love.”