Dreams into Nightmares : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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Smoke emanates from the campfire as the burning wood crackles and sends embers dancing into the night sky. The point in the trip has come, where only the sound of the fire and the forest can be heard. 5 individuals sit around the illuminated fire pit, some making out constellations in the inky, black sky, others staring into the fire, possibly dozing off. Their spirits become in-tune with the forest, feeling but not noticing the slight shift in wind. They hear the crickets chirp, singing songs that slowly push them deeper and deeper into a sense of ease, or rather into a slowly closing grasp. As they fall into the hypnosis of the forest, the group fails to notice the activity in the area slowly fading out, until it is almost completely silent save for the crackling fire. Their thoughts swirl, feeling enlightened by the stillness of the night. They are brought crashing back to the real world by a vocal outburst akin to a long, wrathful yowl. They quickly look around on high alert, but remain silent while all thinking the same thing. “A bobcat? Coyote? Mountain lion?”. As their anxiety escalates, they hear a branch snap. Their heads all pivot to the south, where the snap came from. A few moments pass, and then another snap, then another, growing closer and closer. Their breathes increase rapidly, as a long skinny leg breaches the curtain of shadows wrapping the tree line. A hoof touches down slowly. “A deer?” One of the campers thinks, slowly assuaging his fear. A skinless, exposed snout peeks out of the darkness, leaning closer out of the tree line. The skull of a deer leans out of the dark. As another skinny, hoofed-leg steps down. The creature slowly raises out of a low crouch, rising to a standing position, revealing a grotesque midsection of blood, chunks of missing fur, and exposed muscle. As it stands on it’s hind legs, it lifts it’s head and tastes the night air. The travelers are slowly given the tiniest glimpse of hope upon noting that the creature seemingly only has black holes where eyes should be. This hope dies out quickly as it’s head locks directly upon them.