Chuck Wendig‘s back on the case, and challenged us to come up with a real life (non-fiction) spooky tale today, so something that really happened to us. My really spooky tales, where something happened that I can’t explain why I did what I did, and if I hadn’t the consequences would have been dire, are either too difficult to tell without revealing more of my past than I want to, or you’ve already read it, fictionalised as The Fatal Decision. So I’ll just have to embellish this event from Summer Camp instead. The memory is hazy anyway; after all, it was a long time ago. It’s about 750 words.
Two weeks to the end of camp, and six counsellors had the evening off – unusual, and I can’t remember why, but who needs to know, anyway?
“Let’s go into town.”
“Let’s go to a movie!”
Mostly they were city people, so getting away from the peace and quiet of our idyllic lakeside park, with woodland in the background, everything you needed to get city kids lost and first-timers thoroughly spooked. We were grown up, though. We didn’t get spooked by trees scratching at windowpanes. Even if it had been that darn fool Jake who went round to the little kids’ cabin and scratched his fingers on the glass just when we girls had finally got them settled.
“Hey, that new cool flick, The Omen, is on!”
Thanks, Jake. I really don’t want to see that – I’ve heard the rumours.
“Yeah, that sounds great!”
No it doesn’t.
“Yeah, that’s awesome.”
We didn’t use ‘awesome’ then, but whatever we did say is lost in the mists of time. Unlike what happened after.
We piled into two cars, one was the camp boss’s daughter’s station wagon, and the other was Charlie’s pick-up. I got the passenger seat in the saloon. It’s scary when you usually drive on the left and you sit in a left-hand drive car with no steering wheel in front of you. I stopped myself hitting the brakes regularly although, seriously, Lori was a good driver. Unlike Charlie. Well, he may have been good, but he was more interested in showing off to Claudette.
We piled into the mall, hit the movie theater, screamed in all the screamy bits. I shut my eyes when the glass fell. Little was I to know that within five years a friend of mine would have been killed while he held a sheet of plate glass for a friend. Yeah, just like that film.
Remember the Omen? Remember Gregory Peck’s eyes, and the black dogs that hunted him? Green eyes. I can’t remember whether those were Peck’s or the dogs.
By the time we got back to camp it was past eleven. Not exactly late, but it’s late at camp.
We dropped nurse Judi off at the little hospital and Lori drove up the hill and parked the car.
A scream split the air.
We dashed down the track again, to where Judi stood, shivering, but apologising when she saw us.
“It’s okay,” she said, “sorry, really sorry. I just saw something dash into the woods down there, and y’know, it looked like one of those darn dogs. I’m okay, really.”
“You want I should stay?” asked Lori.
“Oh no, it’s okay. Just imagination, I’m fine.”
Judi would be fine. She’s a nurse. She’s got kids she looks after. Had a spate of heat exhaustion cases earlier in the summer, and then there was the hepatitis C scare when we all had to go and have jabs. Judi doesn’t scare easy. She’ll be fine.
Lori and I went back, meeting Charlie and Claudette on the way. We explained what happened and they turned back with us.
“Just a dog, eh? Haven’t seen any around all summer.”
“Just a dog.”
The way Charlie said it was, oh, so sinister. You’d think he’d take it steady, what with all of us spooked already.
“Maybe it was one of those golden labradors, or whatever,” Claudette said, taking Charlie’s arm. Lori and I exchanged glances. Charlie had a good reason to keep the tension up.
We could hear it padding after us, just inside the tree-line. Well, not so much padding, but panting.
It had a very loud pant.
I turned to check it out. Yes, it was a dog. Big, black and just like the ones in the movie.
We all walked a little faster, considering this dog.
“Well, we’ll leave you here,” Charlie said, peeling off to go down to the cottage he shared with Jeff, the lifeguard.
Lori said something pithy about Charlie and Claudette once they were out of earshot, but broke off as she looked towards them.
“Oh, god, look!”
I looked. It was bounding through the trees, leaping the fallen branches, silent as an owl, save for the panting. I could almost hear the slobber dripping from its lips.
It stopped. It turned to look at us. I swear it had green eyes, just like the ones in the film. With light catching them just so. Great gleaming eyes of pure evil.
It left the trail it was on, and started after us.
© J M Pett 2016
Picture of The Omen hellhound from wikia.com