(Part One) My name is Maggie. Not that this is relevant, but I guess you should know the name of the person who is telling this story. My parents bought a new home last summer. It is actually a very nice house, but it is surrounded by dense forest. This is different from what I'm used to, I mean I've grown up on the coast of California. I honestly loved the change of view, and my new house was perfect. Several spacious bedrooms, a huge livingroom, and a beautiful green backyard that seemed to go on forever until it was stopped by the tall green forest of trees. I even made a friend once the school year started. Her name is Alex, and even though I've only met her this year, it feels like we've known each other forever. Honestly, we've become like sisters. It isn't uncommon for her to come stay with us for extended periods of time, since her parents are going through some.. issues I guess you could say. My parents allowed her to have her own room here as well. So yeah. That is my life. I loved this life, until things got... strange. I couldn't tell why, but I started having these feelings of uneasiness. I couldn't help but look into the trees. I always felt like something, or should I say someone, was there, and they were staring back at me. At night, I couldn't sleep. My bedroom has a big window that faces the backyard, and before autumn, it didn't bother me. But I started to have the feeling that I couldn't have my back turned to it or someone would watch me. I couldn't face it because I would look outside and I wouldn't be able to sleep. I couldn't close the curtains either, because that meant that whatever was out there could come closer. At first, I figured that I was on edge because of school. I would always try to shake these feelings away. Maybe I was just stressed from the move. Maybe I just wasn't used to all of the trees. Maybe I was nervous for volleyball tryouts. I didn't know, and what occurred next was the last thing I could have ever expected. As fall went on to winter, these feelings started to go away. Christmas was right around the corner, and the crisp winter air was brightening the hearts of all. Even school was less stressful, because with the coming winter break, everyone was ready to be going home for Christmas. On the first day of winter break, Alex came over to stay with us. It was likely that she would be here until the new year began, but my parents were prepared for her arrival, so she would have many presents for Christmas. We decorated the house for the holidays on the same day that she came over. We pulled out six large buckets from the garage (I know, we have a decorating problem) and brought them outside. "Alright guys, do you want to help me with the lights for the roof?" my mom asked as she pulled an old ladder from the garage. "Sure," said Alex and I. "Okay," replied my mom, "Wonderful." She climbed up the ladder and called down to us. "Alright I'm going to hang up the lights, can you ladies unroll the lights and make sure they aren't tangled?" We gladly said "sure" and started to roll out the lights. We went on for a few minutes, talking and laughing until our stomachs hurt. "Hey girls, can one of you come up here? I think the light strand got caught on something," my mom asked. "Sure, I'll go," Alex replied as she made her way up the ladder. All of the sudden, I had a feeling. I feeling that I had managed to suppress for months. Someone was watching us. More specifically, me. "Hey guys I'll be right back. I'm just going to head to the restroom," I said as I walked away. They might have said something in response, but I wasn't listening. I ran into the house and I grabbed a baseball bat from our sports closet. I ran into the backyard and slowly approached the forest. Despite it being winter, the trees still had all of their leaves. I entered the forest, not knowing if or what I would find in there. I held the bat up high, prepared to strike should I need to. I continued to wander around the forest for about five minutes before things started getting weird. Behind me, I heard something quickly scurry through the trees. Something big. My head whipped toward the noise but nothing was there. Nothing but a heavy silence. All of the sudden, I could hear a loud thumping noise, but I couldn't tell if it was my heart or something else. I hadn't even realized that my breathing was heavy and fast. After I had managed to calm my nerves, I moved forward. Before I knew it, the sun was beginning to set. "I need to get back," I thought to myself. As I turned around to go back to the house, a noise filled the air. I felt my heart skip a beat, my spine felt shivers, and goosebumps covered every inch of my skin, despite being covered in thick winter clothing. A loud noise shook the trees around me. A low, angry growl, followed by a violent yell. It wasn't an animal, but it wasn't quite human either.. Whatever it was, I didn't care. As I heard low galloping noises come through the forest, I ran. I ran faster than I ever had before. My legs hurt. My lungs were freezing from the winter air. My throat was sore and my nose was running. I didn't care. I kept running until I finally made it my backyard. The pounding behind me stopped, but I kept running until I reached the house. I ran inside, just realizing then that I had dropped the baseball bat. I wasn't going back to get it, I could make some sort of excuse. I changed into night clothing, used a warm washcloth to warm up, and went outside to my mom and friend, who were, thankfully, still decorating. "Are you okay?" asked my mom as I came outside. Though far from it, I replied, "Yeah, I'm fine." Alex asked, "Where were you? You missed almost all of the outdoor decorating." I thought for a second. I didn't want them to know what had just happened. They wouldn't believe me anyway. "U-Upset stomach," I said. "Oh, well that's ok. We can still do the indoor decorations tomorrow," my mom said. I told them that I was going to head to my room for the night so I could "get better." I went to my room and turned on a lamp. I sat on my bed and thought about what had just happened. Was I losing my mind? I stared out the window for a while before noticing that something was staring back. All I could see were a pair of bright orange eyes that were reflecting off of our porch light. (End of Part One)

Story is told by (don't wanna say meh name)

Gigi


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