The Threshold

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This is a random thing that I wrote last year when I was on holdiay and couldn't sleep. I wrote it at about half one in the morning so don't moan at me if it's shocking :P.

Enjoy, comment and vote, Josie x.

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   When we were younger, our parents always told us never to go in to the woods. Actually, they said never to pass the first tree, the start of the woods. We always listened, were good kids, up until two days ago.

   It all started with a simple game of 'Dares', around the camp fire. Tandie, James, Kelly, Mi-Mi, Angie, Tray, Lucas and I were all camping in a field by the woods. We sat roasting huge, squishy marshmallows over the camp fire (as you have to on when camping), and drinking cans of beer.

   "I dare you toooo...hmm, ummm, I dare you to snog Kelly." I told Tray. He shrugged his shoulders and stood up. Bending down in front of Kelly, Tray snogged her, passionately. She snogged him back, enjoying every second of it, and then pulled back after a few minutes, grinning. I cheered and then the others soon joined in.

Tandie then turned to me and said "I dare you and James to go into the woods an-"

"Woah! I ain't gettin' pulled into this." James protested.

"Pft" I said standing up. I extended a hand to James and said "Come on, Jamesy, let's go."

"Hun, I ain't finished yet." Tandie said, crossing her legs. "You have to go into the woods and call out the 'supposed' lost kids name. Then you have to wait for five minutes and see what happens." Tandie smiled, proudly, then took a swig from her can.

   The whole 'calling out the lost kids name' thing is supposed to get Fearne's - the lost kid's - ghost to appear and shriek eerily. People have also claimed to see other figures near by.

   James sighed, took a long swig of his can and took my, still extended, hand. We took a keyring torch and headed towards the forest, away from the protection of the field, the light of the fire and the safety of our friends. We padded across the muddy field, wobbling about and falling over a couple of times bringing the other down with us.

"Halley Berry?" James asked me.

"Mmm?" I replied, looking towards him and seeing a pale blur staring back at me. Okay, maybe the alcohol wasn't the best idea.

"How can you be so cool about this?"

"Because, Jamesy, I don't believe in ghosts. And, my friend, all of the people that have claimed to see ghosts and ghoulies are either nutcases, attention seekers or both." I replied, stumbling and nearly falling. James caught my arm and stopped me from landing in the mess on the floor. I thanked him and gave his hand a re-assuring squeeze before smiling up at him, it was painful on my neck (he was, like, six foot four while I was, only, a measly five foot two). He smiled back and kissed me on the cheek, lightly. I stopped walking, holding him back, and hugged him. James hugged me tightly and kissed me on the lips, hesitating to pull away.

   Did I forget to mention that James and I are an item? Well, we've been together for a year and a half. We got together when we were in year ten. We're the perfect couple - or so we've been told - we like the same things, have the same friends (we've all been friends since year five), and get on well with each others family. We're like cheese and crackers, we're good together.

   We continued to walk to the forest, swinging our hands back and forth. As we neared it, James started to hang back. I slowed down to his speed and squeezed his hand. "Jamesy, it's okay, all we have to do is call out Fearne's name and wait for a few minutes. No biggy. And, just remember, I'll be there with you." I said, leaning my head against his arm.

"I know, babes, it's just...I've heard that...that it's no ghost kid in there, let's just put it that way." James said as we came to the threshold of the woods.

"What else have you heard?" I asked, coming to a halt.

"Well, I've heard that there's these...like, deformed...creatures in there that hang about by the edge of the wood." I looked at him, warily, hating what he was telling me but making my mind up not to believe it.

"What else?" I asked.

"Well, they wait for kids to get in arms reach and then they..." James put his hands in front of him and clapped them together, loudly, "snatch them up. They're never seen again." A loud rustle came from the trees and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. My whipped round to meet trees and bushes in the dark.

   I took a deep breath and a step towards the trees. James stayed back and said "Hall, I don't think you should get any closer." James got a little closer to me and wrapped an arm around my waist. He pulled me towards him and started kissing me, stroking the small of my back with his cold hands, making goose bums appear along my arms and the back of my neck.

I pulled away, grinned at him and said "They're just stories, stories that I don't believe in." I stepped away from him and stood just a few inches from the first tree. I edged closer and said "Ya' comin', Jamesy?" Putting my hand out. James slowly put his hand towards mine. As his fingers brushed, mine I felt something slide around my waist. I turned to see an arm sticking out of the bushes. I grabbed James' hand and tried to get out of the arms strong hold. It locked tighter around my waist and pulled me backwards, into the woods. I tried to pull away, my breath quickening and James' grip tightening. As James pulled harder, the arm fought back, pulling me into the darkness. My hand slid out of James' and I was hauled into the woods. I screamed out "James! James! JAMES!" But James didn't enter the woods to save me. I felt a pang at my heart when I realised that her believed in the stories too much to come and save me.

   A tear rolled down my cheek as I started kicking and screaming. I heard James shouting "Halley! Halley, I'll get help!" My captors other hand flung round and punched me in the jaw. I whimpered and stopped struggling.

"Good girl, Halley." They said in a deep voice, the voice sounding like venom as it left their lips. I turned my head, trying to see their face, when my face was pushed down, my chin hitting my chest. I groaned and started to struggle again. I was punched again, much harder this time. I cried out in pain before blacking out.

   When I came to, I looked around, trying to get my bearings. I could see nothing; black. I then tried to move but couldn't. My hands were bound behind my back and something kept my legs to my chest. I groaned, annoyed that I was unable to find any clue as to where I was.

   "Finally awake then. He must have hit you pretty hard." A male voice said. I looked around, searching for the person that was speaking to me. "Over here, on your left." The voice said. I looked and saw a patch that was coloured darker.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Reece, you?" He answered.

"Halley. Hey, how long have I been out?"

"Like, two days."

"Shoot. How long have you been here?"

"Week?" Reece said, unsure himself.

"Oh."

"So, how'd you get here?"

"Oh, ummm,"

"Ya' don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

"No, s'okay. Well...when we were younger our parents always told us never to go into the woods. Actually, they said never to pass the first tree, the start of the woods. We always listened, were good kids, up until two days ago..."

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