Forest of the Ghouls

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abyss,

As Sarah hung with her hands bound upon the wooden post she tried to stare down the person in front of her who loomed almost two and a half feet above her.

The robed figure looked her over; Sarah couldn't see her own body but knew what it felt like.

Her short shorts were caked with mud and dirt which ran up along her bares legs to her mid section. Her cami shirt was stained with blood and drenched in her sweat. Sarah's long brown hair was clumped with debris from the forest while being matted and bunched together.

Her raised hands on her five foot five body barely reached the top of the robed figures chin in front of her as she stared with wide eyes in continued terror and shock at her situation.

Finally, the figure walked away from her and towards the others tied to the wooden posts around the strange fire.

There was a man to her left, he was taller than she and was soundly built with a large beard on his face. He looked like a lumberjack, big and burly. He had a gash along his left eye which was bleeding slightly. The man was obviously dazed and disoriented as he struggled to see or keep his head up.

To his left was...

"Oh God..." Sarah breathed.

It was Abby, her cousin. She was the same age as her, nineteen and similar to her in body except several inches taller. Her hair was a darker brown and her skin more tanned. Sarah noticed her shirt was torn half off, her bare shoulder and bra exposed along the right side of her body. Sarah was there when the creatures had grabbed her as Abby tried to flee, they had pulled her but her cousin was able to escape, or so she thought.

Abby noticed her stare, she was sobbing uncontrollably, liquid was dripping from her shorts as she had lost control of herself.

"Sarah..." Her cousin weeped out as she saw her.

Sarah was at a lost for words, not knowing what she could say to help comfort her in this moment.

Sarah didn't want to look away from Abby but to her cousins' left was something that was even more completely out of place from everything around them. Tied up like the rest of them was a large Sloth.

Sarah had seen sloths at the zoo before; slow and funny they were adorable and sweet in their enclosures. Eating fruit and tree leaves high above the ground and slowly making its way from tree branch to tree branch in an amiable way. The poor creature struggled at its bindings, it's face opening in quiet cries as it stood confused and lost in bewilderment.

"We shall begin."

The voice caught Sarah by surprise, not just because someone had spoken but because the voice belonged to a woman.

The robed figure removed its mask and glared down upon them all.

Sarah was taken aback, the woman behind the mask looked incredibly similar to her own face. It was as if she was looking into her own face aged forty years. Her similarly pointed nose and green eyes peered down into her own. The woman's hair was grayed and her face wrinkled, as though she had suffered much compared to Sarah's own clear and unblemished skin.

"We shall judge you all this night for the crimes you've committed..." The woman spoke; "Your deaths shall be dealt out as I see fit."

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