We asked you to write a story inspired by the photo in a maximum of 500 words including the title. Congratulations to all who participated.
We had some fantastic submissions but here’s the winners.
1st Prize: £200 – Michelle West
2nd Prize: £150 – Thomas Smith
3rd Prize: £100 – T. Ball
4th Prize: £75.00 Ben Williams
In the Woods
by Michelle West
“Sssh. Listen,” Tom hissed, pointing into the dark depths of the forest. The ancient pine trees groaned as they moved eerily in the chilling breeze but no other sound was apparent.
“I don’t hear anything,” Ginny shivered, looking around her. “Just the trees.”
Craig was unusually quiet, only his white knuckles belayed his fears as he gripped the log on which they sat. It had seemed like such a good idea when they had discussed this trip. A few beers had made them feel brave and, they had egged each other on. So, the scene was set. The three of them would stay the night in the haunted woods, right in the spot where the family had been murdered, partially buried and then partially eaten by the predators that lurked in this forest.
“It’s too dark in there to see much,” Ginny whispered.
Tom slipped an arm around her shoulders; he could feel her trembling with fear. He wanted to believe that she was reacting to his touch. He felt the need to impress her. He pressed his fingers more firmly against her shoulder and she rewarded him by nestling against him, her dark eyes wide with fear.
The trees were too densely planted to be able to see far, Tom knew that many wild and dangerous animals lurked within its boundaries. He wondered if the people who had died had sat on this very log waiting for death.
“If something is out there, we won’t see it until it’s on us.” Craig muttered.
Tom did his best to smile. “Are you more worried about bears or ghosts?”
“Ghosts.” Craig admitted.
“Did you really hear something?” Ginny asked. The forest around them suddenly seemed to be closing in on them. She felt very small and very vulnerable.
“I thought I did,” Tom admitted “but, look it could be anything, not necessarily something dangerous.”
The night air was drawing in, a distinct chill settling around them, rolling in across the forest floor, atmospheric mist, drawing ever closer. It chilled the skin and added an eerie touch to their surroundings.
Ginny crept closer to him for protection, eyes saucer-like. “Let’s just go home..this was a crazy idea and…I….look!”
Soon, visibility was completely impaired as the swirling mist enveloped them. From out of the grayness, a bright light dazzling and a dark, shape, a massive figure looming, grotesquely misshapen.
Ginny screamed, rising in terror and then stumbling back, she fell to the floor.
“Get her.” Craig shrieked
Tom rushed forward trying to scoop Ginny up in his arms. “She’s fainted.” He groaned, trying to pull her away from the darkness that seemed to hover over her.
“It’s the ghost.” He whimpered, his arms around Ginny as the shape threatened to engulf them both.
“And cut. That was brilliant – all of you, really. We’ve got it. This is going to be the next great film since the Blair Witch Project. It’s a wrap!”