Status: Complete - February 22, 2018

Haunting Grey


My dad was never one to hide anything from me. So whatever he wasn't telling me—whatever he didn't want me to ask about anymore—must have been horrible.

"Did you—" I tried to pick my words carefully, "do something to her?"

I was wrong. If my dad was appalled before by my question, he looks downright sickened now. Actually, he looked angry, like he'd take the tray from the bedside table and smash it to pieces.

"Absolutely not, Travis," he growls. "I can't believe you would ask me that."

"You're lying to me about something," I snap. "You and I have never lied to each other before. So tell me the truth. Tell me what happened to Natalie."

He hesitates, looks alarmed and ill, but starts to talk.

"I told you both countless times to stay out of those woods, and so did Natalie's aunt. She warned you that things happen to people who go in there, that some don't make it out."

"Are you telling me Natalie died because we went into the woods? That doesn't make any sense."

He puts a hand up. "The woods trick you," he says quietly. "They beckon; they call; and then they take something."

Not something. Someone.

"Dad." I want to laugh, but the look on his face is so serious that my stomach clenches. "Are you telling the woods are haunted?"

Slowly, he nods.

I register his words in all of their absurdity, then I lean over and throw up. My body feels cold, like someone's wrapped me in ice, but I'm sweating too.

Then, as I lift my head to look at the window, there's a flicker of something.

"Natalie," I whisper. "You're back."