Alright here's the continuation of my little tale. Hope you guys like it. The previous parts are linked in my profile ------>
Mr Lobos turned to face the group.
"When we got home, no one wanted to talk about what happened. We said nervous goodbyes and went to our homes. I didn't sleep that night. The following week went by in a blur. We saw each other but each time we mostly sat in silence. Towards the end of the week however, our curiosity began to grow, we talked about the experience more and more and decided that we had to go back.
"A week later returned. As the time before, we parked in the same place and made sure that everything was locked. My brother had begrudgingly agreed to come along as well. Again we walked down into the gully and along lower trail. As we approached the clearing, we stopped for a moment and agreed that we would push through and go in deeper. We surmounted the crest of the hill and looked into the clearing. The flashlights went out again. For a second, we paused. As if on cue the twig snapped behind us, but instead of halting our progress, it spurred us on. We quickly crossed the void and walked through. The temperature seemed to drop, but as we reached the other end of the clearing, the flashlights burst into life and shone on. We continued.
"The bush around us seemed to become energized by our presence. Each tree looked tormented. The wind seemed to call at us , beckoning us to continue. As we walked along, the group stopped at the slightest sound. Each time a new noise seemed to call out. Twigs snapped. Tree's groaned. At one point, my friend at the back of the line was convinced that there was someone following us, but when we checked with the flashlights, there was no one.
"After about 50 minutes of this, we stumbled upon the campsite marked on our map. It sat beside the Nine Mile River and had some comforts. There was a fire pit , picnic table and only two ways in, the trail we entered on and the continuation of the trail on the far side. There were no trees along the side that bordered the river. We could look up at the stars and see the moon. The river was wide, the opposite bank was filled with an unbroken treeline. An almost identical treeline was drawn along the other side of the campsite, a wall between us and the unknown bush. Quickly we built a fire in the pit and began to talk about nothing, breaking our tension. We began to feel at ease, safe even, our laughter echoing across the river. After about 20 minutes, The Bush called back to us.
"On the other side of the river, the wails of coyotes began to drift across to our camp. We grew quiet as their whelps cried into the sky. The sound was beautiful, something that we had never heard safe in our homes and modern towns. We sat in silence as we listened to this song of the wild and marveled that in this demented wood, there was still something majestic; something pretty.
"Suddenly, the howling stopped. Silence followed their chorus of song.
"We sat, our senses on edge. Something had made them stopped. Our minds strained as we tried to think of what could do that. It was then when we heard a sound.
"It came in slowly at first. A shrilly high-pitched sound. It blew in with the wind. It was a little girls scream. My blood felt like it froze in my veins. It seemed to come from deep within the bush, but the wind carried it around us. It was one of the freakiest things I'd ever heard. I looked to my friends and our decision to leave was unanimous. Dousing the fire with water from the river, we lined up and headed along the trail, not looking back.
"The trail seemed to start climbing uphill almost immediately. The zeal we had earlier in the day to return to the bush was completely gone. All we wanted was to get out, but I felt compelled to exit out Upper trail than to just turn tail and head back out the way we came. And who knows, He may be waiting there for us. I shook the idea from my mind.
"As we walked, the bush seemed to go silent, as if someone had some kind of all powerful switch that controlled all the sounds of life and nature in the bush and had turned it off. Our hasty footsteps and our heavy breathing were the only sounds that we heard; other than our hearts, pounding in our chests. The trail became much narrower and we had to slow down. It was beginning to border the edge of the slope. Several times we stopped to survey the angle in which the hill dropped. Needless to say, one false move and it may have been our last.
"40 minutes had passed without much cause to stop, other than our own limits. As we came to an opening, we paused to catch our breath. For some reason, I took the map out from my pocket and shone my flashlight on it. If I was right, there was a shack near by to our left, further up the hill, but off the trail. I don't know why, but I had to see it. As we started off again, I kept the group in line and walked slowly, sweeping my flashlight up into the treeline. After 10 minutes, I found what I was looking for. A small path, wide enough for single file, winding up the hillside. I convinced the group to follow me and I started up it.
"As soon as I had taken a few steps up the slope, the flashlights beam unveiled the shack that was on the map. It was broken down, one of the walls had caved in and the roof was falling down. When we got close enough, I saw that slightly behind the shack, a walled off semi-circle of benches had been built. They didn't look as old as the shack however. I felt uneasy about being here, but my legs needed a rest. The group concurred. We sat down on the benches.
"We sat in silence at first, straining to hear anything, both of the flashlights turned off. All we heard was the wind caressing the trees around us, however. After something like 10 minutes, we started to talk about nothing really, but it broke the tension. As the conversation grew, our voices grew louder, ourselves getting bolder, feeling more comfortable than we had ever been while in this strange place. Occasionally I would hear something above us in the trees, but when I looked up, I dismissed it as the wind moving the treetops together. I don't know why, but for some reason, I decided to check on my brother. I looked over to him.
"He was sitting beside me in the semi-circle. Even though there was no light, my eyes had adjusted to the dark enough so that I could see his silhouette; I could make out his face, his arms, legs, etc. He was looking straight up into the tree tops, his jaw dropped. He wasn't moving at all. I tried to follow his eyes, but I couldn't see anything in the trees, I just heard some branches creaking in the wind. I moved closer to my brother and said his name. When he didn't respond, I grabbed his arm.
"The resulting shriek of terror made me fall back off the bench. The group also cried out in surprise, clumsily turning their flashlights on. In the rays that burst out, I saw my brothers form leap up from his seat and bolt down towards Upper trail. I rose up off my back and climbed over the bench to catch him, but I was in luck. He tripped over a root and fell to his knees, allowing us to catch him. My friends swarmed him and held him from running off. I looked back up into the trees, but my brothers cries for us to leave made me lead the way back down to Upper trail.
"For a second time, my brother's fear had infected all of us. Terrified, we ran through the last of the trail, encountering two wooden bridges along the way. The trail seemed to level off and widen as we ran, I knew we had to be close to getting out. Finally, we came around a corner in the trail and ran into a long corridor of tree trunks with the moonlight hill at the end of it. There was the way out. Invigorated by the sight, we sprinted for the exit. That's when the Bush seemed to come alive.
"A wind began to blow against us, it came from the exit. It was like it was trying to blow us back in. The closer we got to the exit, the stronger the wind got. Leaves and twigs blew past us and into our faces. Tree limbs swayed, swinging close to our heads, making us duck. The ground itself seemed to coarse and ebb with the force of the winds, the fallen leaves blowing up from their resting places. As I came within a few feet of the exit, I began to yell, as if to let the bush know that I had escaped it.
"But the Bush yelled back.
"As we burst out onto the field, a sound roared from the center of the bush. As I had mused earlier about an all powerful switch controlling the sounds of the bush, It was like it was suddenly flipped on. Howls of all types shrieked into the air. Birds screamed and cawed in unison. Voices seemed to speak in gobbledygook; laughing and taunting us. Screams seems to emanate from every tree and plant. We ran. We just kept running. We ran all the way down the field to the oak tree and that's when the sound finally stopped, the switch turned back to off. It didn't matter, we kept on going towards the car. The sight that greeted us made us stop dead in our tracks.
"All the doors were open. The trunk was open and the hood was up. Everything inside the car was gone."
Mr Lobos cleared his throat and drank from a water bottle that he had produced from his trench coat.
"And that all happened in this bush."
The group exchanged looks of abject horror. I tried to tell Mr Lobos that I was not going in there, but I couldn't find my voice. Shawn spoke before I could.
"What did your brother see?"
Upon hearing Shawn's inquiry, Mr Lobos took a deep breath, his frame expanding as his lungs filled. He turned to face Shawn.
"I don't know. But lets get moving."
He spun around and started into the Bush.