by Mizti Danielson-Kaslik,
Black Forest hot chocolate
As night drew closer over the moors, it came to me that I would either need to find an adventure in the next few minutes or return to my room at The Raven Inn back in Ravenoak Village for the night. I had to find the cabin soon. All the maps the villagers had presented me with suggested that the it was around here, but it’d be very hard to see once the darkness of the autumn night had completed corrupted this place. A harsh cry of a bird emanated all around, ricocheting against the hard stone of the rocky surrounding mountainsides. Darkness was drawing in closer as the wind began to die down and the copper leaves on the trees grew still with no breeze to move them. From what I had been told, I didn’t want to be on the moors after darkness as I may become one of the death statistics of Ravenoak and indeed there was something unsettling about the moors as a strange cry seemed to hang on in the air, though there was no sound other than that of the bird. Perhaps it was that the silence was uncomfortable. By now, the sun disappeared completely behind the hills and the clouds vanished, though no stars corrupted the darkness of the sky. The call of the bird sounded again, splitting the air as a mirror shattering upon the floor. Perhaps I should turn back, come back in the daylight. I didn’t like this place. Nothing good could come of my being here and I could barely see anything. But all the murders had happened in the hours of darkness, if there was going to be any movement from the cabin, it would be as midnight approached. A final call sounded as the white moon emerged from behind the mountainside and held itself proudly in the inky blackness of the sky. The call seemed to die away before it was complete. And then there was nothing. Simple silence. Undisrupted and pure. It was as if the sound had shattered against the lake ahead of me and become the tiniest ripple upon the dark opaque surface of the large body of water below. The lake seemed to stop in motion, as if caught in time, as the pure light of the full noon shone upon the facet. The water appeared endlessly deep with a thick black swirling mist swimming a few meters down. The mist seemed to move as smoke in the inky darkness until it diffused throughout the lake. The blackness of the lake could easy swallow any unfortunate swimmer deep into its unfeeling depths.
Preceding the lake, the plane of land which I was standing upon seemed to almost rock as force came upon it. Sickly sticklike brownish grass grew in little tufts from the cracked dry earth underfoot, small weeds seemed to sprout from between the tufts with darkened discoloured petals. Nothing good could grow here. A long wooden planked deck stretched out from the small island over the waters to the centre of the lake. The wood was dark in colour and seemed almostcompletely untouched, other than one small footprint deeply intrenched in the pine. The wood had not rotted, though it was obviously used. I stepped on it gingerly, well aware it could collapse at any moment. The deck stretched to another tiny island in the lake; no more than a few square meters in size. A small wooden structure stood proudly in its centre with a ramshackle roof, topped with protruding nails and small circular windows, partly obscured with little red drapes within the cabin’s walls. A faint light filtered through from behind the red door of the cabin. This was the cabin on the map. A soft sound of whispering emanated. I stopped. Tiptoeing now, I slowly came closer to the door. This was a stupid thing to do. Why hadn’t I just accepted Mrs. Meredith’s offer of hot chocolate and read my book for the night? It was cold. I wanted a blanket. I reached into my pocket and took out my silver flask. Damn. It was empty. Even a drop would have made this situation more pleasant. Slipping it back into my pocket, I noticed the door was open slightly. I reached to knock. Reaching. Reaching. I knocked once and immediately wished I hadn’t. A deafening scream came from within. Without thought, I shoved the heavy door ajar with both hands. There was silence inside the cabin.
“Hello…” I gulped “is anyone here?”
There was no answer. The cabin was completely silent. Until an old sound of thick liquid in motion sounded very softly beneath my feet. I looked down with a start. The sight shocked me. A body. The throat slit. Convulsing its last on the red carpet. I gasped and dropped to my knees. The body spoke with a thick stammer as the blood gushed out onto the floor; “Tell them it’s… it’s…”. The body’s cold pale hand clutched my forearm harshly as it attempted to speak.
I was lost for what to say. The hand relinquished its hold on me. The person had died. Murdered upon the moors. A fountain a hot tears camee from the corner of my eye. I looked down at the body’s eyes, intending to close them. They shocked me. They were totally black. Soulless. Lifeless. I gasped again, believing my own eyes were deceiving me. The tear fell upon my left hand, which it came to my attention was covered in blood. Then I realised. If that had just happened, the murderer must be here. I stood up and ran from the cabin, my heart beating as a drum. But there was nothing. No murderer. There was total silence. The call of the raven sounded once more, and I ran back towards the village to tell the villagers of what I had seen and about the eyes. The lifeless black eyes. I swore never to return to that place again in darkness.