Short Story: Randonautica
Looking for adventure, a group of kids decided to download Randonautica, an app where they put in their desire, whether it be love, something spooky, or even just for a fresh can of coke. These kids decided to enter in something spooky, what didn’t know as this would be the biggest scare of their lives.
Setting out for their adventure, Dice, Jon, Toni, and Percy, all have bags with supplies just in case they get lost. Early on, they found they had to journey through the woods, so they layered up and wore thick shoes in case it was muddy. Dice scanned over his outfit as they were making their way through the woods, he wore a dark grey shirt, and a black chain that sat on top. To keep warm, he wore denim jacket and combat trousers that held loads of pockets down his legs, sitting on his feet were combat boots that rose above his ankles if they were to be near water. Then, he looked at Jon and Percy’s outfit who wore very similar to him, except they had skinny jeans on instead and smaller shoes below the ankle. Toni, however, came less prepared as she wore shorts with tights on underneath to keep them warm, but with a crop top and leather jacket over it, for shoes she had on boots with slight heels.
After hiking for almost a mile, they made it to a creek, that ran as far as the eye could see with a small bridge overhead to their lefts. They double checked the maps location on the app, and saw that this was the right place, yet they couldn’t quite see what they were here for. Wanting to take pressure off their shoulders, they pile their bags near some bushes, so any random passers wouldn’t notice them.
Splitting up in the small area, they looked everywhere around them, to see any sign of something creepy, they looked into the clear water of the creek, under bushes, in between rocks, up in trees. Dice, then, walked closer to the bridge that was full of graffiti from possible other delinquents like themselves and look at the weeds that were overgrown through the stones, where he saw bunches of scrunched up paper. He called over the other three to help him look at what was inside, Percy being the one to have brought gloves starts to open the papers.
Scrawled out on each of the papers, were crayon drawings that could have been made by a young child, most of them seemed normal, but there was one that had little devils drawn with a speech bubble that said “I swear, I’m friendly”. From where they were all sat, they froze not knowing how to respond to that, they definitely got what they came for, Jon being scared, got up and started pacing behind them, not knowing what to make of the situation at hand.
“This is what we came here for right, creepy, something creepy,” Jon spoke pausing his pacing as he stared at the lake, “This means we can leave, cause I’ve seen some weird videos online of this stuff, I don’t want it to get any more mind boggling.”
“Mind boggling?” Toni looked up at Jon and laughed quietly
“It’s barely gotten creepy, all we’ve found is some piece of paper, that could have easily just been thrown off the bridge by an angry parent through the car window.” Dice explained.
Before they can get any words in, they hear a quiet voice, so small they could have thought it was just an echo if they were still talking, in an eery child voice they heard “You’re not my family, you’re gonna die if you don’t go”
This causes them all to jump up from where they sat, looking in every direction for the source of the sound, but they couldn’t see anyone and they haven’t seen anyone the whole mile they were walking through the woods, there haven’t even been many cars since they arrived.
This caused an argument to break out amongst the group, deciding whether they should leave or stay and investigate further, they had equal amounts of votes, so they couldn’t make a final decision. But they weren’t given enough time before the voice spoke again, this time however the voice of the child spoke “You hide, and I’ll find you”. The voice repeats twicer more getting louder each time, “You hide, and I’ll find you. You hide, and I’ll find you.”
Suddenly everything goes quiet, the only sounds left is the wind that rushes by them, whistling as it struggles to pass through the group of four, and the sound of the rushing water seems to slow down as they all begin to focus their ears to listen for the voice again.
“YOU HIDE, AND I’LL FIND YOU.” Was screamed through the wind and into the ears of the group, causing them to ring from the sudden loudness. They cover their ears, scared and not wanting to hear the taunting voice any longer.
Taking this time, they all came to the obvious silent agreement to leave, Dice picked up the papers on the floor before they all ran to grab their bags. Sprinting towards the edge of the woods, hoping to quickly get back to the trail, to safety. Very quickly though, they make the mistake of splitting up as they all get lost within the woods.
Jon, having lost everyone first, is stopped by a fallen tree, he climbs over and decides to hide behind it to take a quick break. As silently as he could, he opened his bag to drink some water, as he takes a sip and looks up, he sees a growing blue light that hits the trees in front of him. He puts the lid back on his drink and shrinks down under the fallen tree as much as he could, not wanting any risks even if it was just a torch belonging to one of his friends. The light continues to grow and even start to light up the tree just above his head. Slowly, Jon begins to look up at what the mysterious light could be, when he sees the unexpected.
Standing just above him, was a bright blue light, that had a face hidden underneath, almost ghostly the way it seemed almost transparent enough to see the trees from above. The face seemed so young, too young to be an adult or a teenager, the rest of the ghost seemed all very small proportions too. Realization then hit Jon, knowing that the ghost that was only a few inches from him, was the child, the child that had spoken to him and his friends earlier. Jon knew those were his last few moments, and he couldn’t spend them in peace, just like what he imagined the child had gone through.
Three screams were heard that night as Dice ran through the woods, he didn’t want to turn back, he didn’t want to take a break, he thanked himself for joining the sports team. He ran and ran, he knew he lost the path ages ago, he was hoping that with his speed it didn’t matter where he turned. For the next few minutes, Dice did allow himself to slow down and shed a few tears, fearing the worst for his friends.
Though Dice, never stopped running, he didn’t stop running when he reached the clearing, when he nearly got hit by a car as he ran out into the road, when he passed his own house, when some of his classmates saw him and tried getting his attention. But he was too scared, too scared that he just left his friends to die, that he was to blame, dragging them into doing partaking in that app.
Dice only stopped when he reached the police station, immediately asking for help, the officers had to calm him down to be able to understand his quick speech. But once they did, they were all horrified by what the young boy had just experienced. Being too dark to see in the woods, they waited until morning to search for Dice’s friends. His parents had arrived and so did the parents of his friends, they were all distraught and crashed down crying at the news. None of them left, the police had feared they would have gone searching for them themselves. They were given blankets for the shock and they tried resting as much as they could for the next morning.
When the morning did arrive, everyone was nervous, scared for what they were setting out for, they tried their best to have high hopes. They were set out in six groups, to search the surrounding area that the three teens could have run to.
After a few hours of searching, they each got the radio call that they found all three bodies, they then ordered to block off the surrounding area that the event had started at, so no one else would get hurt. The areas that the bodies were found where quickly, taped up so hikers knew to stay away, the coroners were quickly called and move all three bodies to the morgue to see their cause of death.
Dice didn’t need to hear the results, he already had a strong guess at what it was, it was the child, he never saw the child, he didn’t need to, he feared it just the same. Each of his friends were given a grave next to each other, all with a message warning people of what they did, in hopes no more lives will be lost to such bad causes. Dice burned all the evidence they had found at the creek on the 1 year anniversary of their deaths, being haunted by the screams and the repeated words of the child.
Though he never got to see the child in the form that had appeared to his friends, he knew he was still going to be taunted by the screams of his friends, their last few moments of life. In comparison, the screams still haunted him more than the words of the child, the words he knew would follow him for the rest of his life, “You hide, and I’ll find you”.
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