Follow the Rules

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I stretched and rolled over on the furry rug in front of the fireplace next to Sarah. Everyone else were sleeping with their partners in the mouldy beds so I was happy with the deal. The rain had died down to a drizzle so it was easier to sleep without Mother Nature acting like an alarm clock. I looked towards the window and froze as I saw a human shadow outside. It was looking through the glass and straight at me. My breath hitched in my throat and my heart nearly stopped as a second figure appeared and pointed towards the fireplace. I followed its direction and saw that it was pointing at the poem. I trembled in fear as I read that grisly poem again and looked back towards the window but the shadows were gone. I shook Sarah’s shoulder roughly.

“Wake up!” I urged. Sarah grumbled and batted my hand away as she sat up.

“What?” she asked annoyed.

“I saw some people outside the window,” I explained and looked back at the window but it was vacant.

“Probably nothing,” Sarah sighed and collapsed back down on the rug. I still felt uneasy so I walked to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water. I took a sip and turned to the window. There was another shadow and I spat my drink out and screamed. The bedroom doors slammed open and the kitchen light flicked on as everyone crowded around me.

“What? What is it?” Lucy asked me as she looked at me for injuries.

“There was someone at the window,” I squeaked.

“Again?” Sarah growled, angry to have been woken up twice in less than five minutes.

“I swear I’m not lying,” I insisted, close to tears as my friends and Carly look at me suspiciously.

“You’re a weirdo, Trish,” Carly laughed and headed to the backdoor.

“Wait, where are you going?”

“I’m going to the barn to show you that the stupid poem means nothing.”

“I don’t want you going out there alone, babe,” Pete said and stepped outside with her.

“Well, whilst you guys are rolling about in the hay, I’m going to sleep,” Sarah yawned and eyed me before heading back to the fireplace. Everyone left the room except for me, Barbie and Ken.

“You are such a scaredy cat,” Carly sniffed and headed towards the barn. I stood at the window and watched as the two lovebirds made the short trip to the building and opened the large sliding door. From the distance I could see hay scattered all over the floor and the couple walked over the threshold. I saw two shadows drift along the barn wall and into the building itself. I gasped and hurried out of the cabin. As I approached the barn, I saw Carly and Pete making out in the hay. They shed their clothing and were only in their underwear. The two shadows peeled away from the walls on the inside and walked over to the lovers. I saw each shadow hold a stone axe like the one that was in the guy’s back we saw earlier. My mind flashed back to the poem; if we find you in here, an accident may occur. An accident, the word was a play on the word axe. That’s what was going to kill them!

“Get out!” I shouted from outside the barn. Carly broke away from Pete’s lips and glared over her shoulder at me viciously.

“Shove off!” she shouted.

The shadow behind Pete raised the axe and slammed it deep into his back. Carly turned around and screamed as she saw the shadow behind Pete and her boyfriend fell to his knees as he died and crumpled to the floor. The axe had a red feather attached to the handle. Carly scrambled up and screamed as she raced towards me and the door. She almost made it out but the sliding door slammed shut and I heard the click of a lock. Carly’s blood curdling screams pierced through my ears as I heard two thumps. I was frozen on the spot and jumped as the door slowly slid open and I threw up. Carly and Pete’s bodies laid on the hay, soaking the yellow straw red with their freshly spilt blood. An axe with a red feather was lodged in both of their backs and their heads were scalped. A shadow looked at me and slowly began to walk in my direction. I took a shaky step back.

“They did not obey our rules,” it said in a hollow and distant voice. The shadow was towering and had no face, it was just a silhouette of a man. “Rule breakers must be punished.”

“I did not go into the barn,” I pleaded and fell to my knees. “I followed the rule, please spare my life!”

“Respect our ancestor’s land,” the second shadow said hauntingly. “There will be no second chances.”

I nodded and shakily managed to get to my feet. The door to the barn slid shut once more but the shadows did not disappear. Instead it seemed as if they were looking over my shoulder and at the cabin.

“Another rule breaker, a solo diner.”

I spun around just in time to see a third shadow with a bow shoot an arrow through the kitchen window and I heard something fall. I screamed and ran through the backdoor and slammed it shut. My fingers fumbled with the light switch and I was met with a horrid sight. Lucy was sitting in a chair but her head and torso was slumped over the table. An arrow protruded from the back of her head and a red feather dangled from the arrow nock. A simple sandwich laid on the table from Lucy’s slackened grip. She was also scalped and blood pooled all over the table.

A solo diner is full of greed, a full table must be at tea.

We were breaking the rules and action was being taken. These shadows must be spirits and as I looked at the arrow the shadow’s words hit me; Ancestors. Were those shadows from an Indian tribe? Were we on a sacred burial ground? I began to hyperventilate and screamed when I heard the doorbell.

“For heaven’s sake, Trish, it’s just the door,” Gary grumbled as he walked out of his room and went to open the door. I finally broke out of my trance.

“No! Don’t!” I screamed and Sarah woke up again and slammed her hand on the rug in anger.

“What is your problem?” she bellowed.

“Follow the poem’s rules, please I beg of you!”

“Carly probably locked herself out,” Gary argued. I reached my arm out to him, stupidly hoping that my arm would stretch from one side of the cabin to the other. As soon as he opened the door he was grabbed by shadow hands like the ones that pulled the guy we hit earlier to his death.

“Rule breaker,” the three voices taunted. Gary yelled out in shock as he was pulled outside and the door slammed shut. Sarah swore and scrambled to her feet. She ran to the door but it would not open.

“What the hell?” she screamed and banged on the door. “What was that?”

“Indian spirits,” I whimpered.

“Where are they taking him?”

My eyes glanced at the animal hide poem; If you ignore this warning, it will not end well.


“They are taking him to the well outside!” I shouted. I ran to the door and together Sarah and I managed to heave it open and we both bolted to the old stone well near the cabin. We almost stumbled countless of times and skidded to a halt and yelled out in remorse. Gary was hanging over the well with a hangman’s noose wrapped tightly around his neck. A red feather was tied to the knot and flapped lazily in the wind. Just like the other victims, he was scalped.

“Where are the others?” Sarah sobbed.

“D...dead,” I blurted out. Sarah looked at me in horror and I burst into tears.

“We have to get out of here!” she cried and grabbed my hand. We turned around and the rain started pelting down again. This time it was even harder than the previous downfall. It was as if the clouds above had burst and all their water contents were dropped upon us. We could not see anything in front of us. The rain was too thick to see through and we couldn’t even see the cabin. We wandered blindly through the grounds as we shielded our eyes against the painful rainwater. The ground was muddy and slick as we sloshed through the puddles.

“This way, let’s go!” Sarah called out and gripped my hand even tighter and pulled me forward. After we ran a few steps I heard her scream followed by a splash. She did not let go of my hand and I felt myself fall into a body of water. The liquid was Antarctic cold and it took my breath away as my lungs exploded in pain.

“You broke the last rule,” the spirits whispered in my ears and my stomach dropped. Do not touch the water, unless drowning is a wish. Sarah had fallen into the lake and pulled me down too. I felt a pair of hands wrap around me and I screamed as I felt myself being dragged underwater. I tightened my grip on Sarah’s hand and she squeezed back just as hard.

“I love you, Sarah!” I yelled out before it was too late.

“I love you, Trish. You are my best friend!” Sarah spluttered. We were both pulled under the surface and sank deeper and deeper. The grips on my body did not relinquish and neither did my hold on Sarah. My lungs panted for oxygen and I struggled against the sprits but it was no use. I looked up at the surface and saw the moonlight one last time before I glanced at Sarah. Our eyes locked and then I felt light-headed. Everything went black and I knew no more.

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