She had no eyes. What did that look like exactly? I’ll leave that up to you, dear reader. Because no words can compare to the horror of our imaginations. So, do you see gaping black holes, or do you see torn reddish flesh inside the sockets stretching over the bones of the skull. Whatever you see will haunt your dreams. It sure did for Sam.
When Sam looked into the eyes of the corpse he saw horror and it shook him to his core, it was like falling into nothingness. The world around him seemed to dizzyingly spin. He had never seen a dead body before and couldn’t understand why he was seeing one now. He just happened to stumble upon it when he was walking home through the woods, quite literally. He stripped over a foot, leaving him lying on top of it, face to face with the eyeless corpse. He was frozen with shock. Then, coming to his senses, he screamed and pushed it away from himself, which he instantly regretted. It was cold and clammy, but also soft and moist, and his fingers sunk into the rotting dead flesh. And now he could smell a horrible putrid smell. He realized it was the body of a young girl, not much younger than him, probably around age 15. She wore a plaid red and white dress with a yellow rain jacket. Bloody foam oozed out of her nose and the corners of her mouth.
“Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit… what the...” He was gasping for breath. He crawled backwards on his elbows, then rolled over on his side and vomited up the contents of his stomach. Scampering to his feet he sprinted down the trail. It was a winding path, full of twists and turns that crossed creeks and went up and down hills. On a normal day it was a rather lovely meandering walk through the beautiful trees, but tonight it felt like it was miles and miles long, and the uncertainty of what was around each bend darkened his thoughts.
It was a windy autumn evening and the cold air made his lungs burn, but he never slowed his pace. He crossed the creek in the small ravine with one large jumping stride, ignoring the plank he would usually tiptoe across. He landed on his knees but quickly got up and continued at full speed, darting out onto the street. The little footpath opened up to a street a block away from his house, he often used the path as a shortcut to get to and from school. Sam didn’t have money for a car, and the bus arrived at his house early, so he preferred to walk to school each day. Tonight he was coming back later than usual, the street lights were already on and made small circles of light, little halos hazy with the misty air. Sam saw someone walking down the sidewalk, she was crossing through a dark spot between the lamps. He took a step back into the shadows to stay hidden and squinted, trying to make out the figure from afar. When she stepped into the light of a street lamp he called out and ran toward her, “Kate! Kate! Help!”
“Sam, is that you? What the heck are you doing? Shut up, the old people are probably already trying to sleep, it’s getting kinda late,” Kate berated. She wore a thick red overcoat and rainboots. In one hand she held a flashlight which she shone in Sam’s face. In her other hand she held her dog’s leash. She was walking a beautiful auburn haired golden retriever, who was also wearing a red coat.
“Ah, get that light out of my eyes, you’re blinding me. Now listen, in the forest there’s--”
“Why are your pants all muddy? Did you fall? I bet you slipped on the part near the second curve, right? I kinda slid on it a little today, it’s pretty muddy, but it looks like you totally wiped out,” she snickered.
“Kate, listen to me!” Sam grabbed her by her shoulders. Startled by his seriousness she looked at him and frowned. He continued, “I was walking back… and- and I, I- ok shit listen, I-” He tried to calm his frantically beating heart and form the words. He took a deep breath, “Ok, I was walking back through the trail and I... there’s… I found a dead body.”
Her eyes widened. “What?!? This isn’t funny. Are you serious? You aren’t trying to pull a prank or scare me or something because it’s near Halloween right? Cause if you are, I will seriously beat you up.”
“No, I’m dead serious. It- it was a girl… she had on a yellow rain jacket. And… and… she was probably a little younger than us I think…”
“Oh my god, you are serious. Hurry up, let’s go find my parents.” She tugged on his sleeve and they ran down the street. “Come on Scout, come on,” she ran, pulling Sam and the dog along behind her.
Kate and Sam lived on the same block, they had since childhood. Kate and her family moved in down the street from Sam when she was three, and the two had been best friends since. Both of her parents were detectives in the Sheriff’s Department and they moved to Clarkston so they could work together in the same office. Sam lived with his mother, who ran a bakery downtown. She was a prominent figure in the town - a successful business owner and a member of the town council. Kate and Sam were the same age and both attended Clarkston High as juniors. Sam was good looking, tall with dark brown hair and an athletic build. He was the captain of the lacrosse team and was popular in school. Kate, who was also tall, had long blond hair and freckles. She didn’t participate in school activities much, but was studious and practiced taekwondo on her own. Sam always joked that she was like two different people, at school she was quiet and didn’t talk to people much, she didn’t even really associate with Sam, but out of school she was loud and confident and funny. She was reserved and a model student, but would often drag Sam into some crazy adventure or mischief.