Life and Regret

Trick or Treat!? Take on a whole new meaning of life and regret in this short story.

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1. Life and Regret

     It was your typical scout bonfire; the valley was filled with cheesy songs and parent-run hot dog stalls. Firecrackers and sparklers were seen through the fields with fireflies lighting up the night. After an hour or so of shenanigans, they all gathered around the center of the woods for some s'mores. The small campfires lit up the smiling faces of the surrounding crowds a fiery orange, and the girl-scouts all blushed when the smoke puffed in their direction; smoke always follows true beauty.

     The blushes soon disappeared and were replaced by a pale wash over their pretty little faces. One of the girls was scurrying around to the other fires asking if they had seen her little sister but to no avail. Eventually she reached her parents, who informed her that her sister had gone over to the big girl fire in search of her, however when the girl returned her sister and all her friends had vanished. Her heart began to race; seven girls including her sister were all... Gone.

     She raced back to her parents and told them, and quickly the happy faces turned into tears and crying. "They've probably just gone to fetch some firewood," one of the fathers commented with a roll of his eye, but nevertheless recruited a bunch of people to look for the girls in the woods. In parties of ten, the folk all split up in search for the girls. The woods were quiet that night, almost like an echoing silence itself. Quiet all apart from one single firework bang, which made everyone scowl at the carelessness of the person who set it off, seeing as it was almost like they were celebrating the missing girls.

     Suddenly, one rally came across three hands prints posted on a tree... in fresh blood. They all shouted out in discomfort for the others to come. However, when the others came, that rally had also disappeared, and dozens of hand prints now painted the tree trunk. In an instant their hearts fell to their lowest point.

     The next day, a police investigation took place in search of my little sister: and the others. You'd think broad daylight would've made the investigation easier, but somehow the sunlight created illusions that sent several police officers running back from the woods delusional and demented. After failure had seemed almost promised at every attempt, the police reverted to their normal patrols and business passing by the mass murder which took place; and in time, the news too left behind an unsolved mystery. But little did they know if they'd uprooted that tree, the mystery would've been solved and the families would've been put at peace.

     Two years passed since that day, and a local business decided to clear cut the land. When one of the workers rammed his JCB down the woods, the trees seemed to almost latch onto him, dragging him down swiftly, not giving him time to breathe nor think. Through time they came to uproot that tree once marked with blood, and underneath was a small cavern filled with the acrid scent of rotting flesh.

     A couple of cocky rookie workers immediately set foot inside it, but when they did all they could hear was a single person's heavy breathing and all they could see was a note reading: "Seven and ten stolen souls." Immediately, the workers identified the number with the victims and rushed out; not long after did the police reports begin to fly out. Among the bodies each one was accounted for, even my dearest sister with a picture of us the night before.

     As for the mystery itself, an in depth search of the house came to find a noose and a dagger crusty with dried blood, but dripping with fresh gritty substance. Nearly all the supernatural entities were instantly dismissed and to this day the murderer remains hidden. I only have one regret, my sister only went with that group because I became upset when she embarrassed me in front of my friends. But we all have to live life with a lingering guilt of some kind hanging over our heads.

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