In the heart of a dense and foreboding forest, a man found himself entangled in a web of fear and guilt. It was a moonless night when he parked his car deep within the eerie woods, seeking solace from prying eyes. His trembling hands reached for his phone, his heart pounding as he dialled a number. As the call connected, he frantically whispered his fabricated alibi, trying to mask the terror in his voice. The forest seemed to observe him, its rustling leaves echoing his unease. Sweat trickled down his forehead as he clung to the phone, desperately hoping his words would shield him from the truth.
With a heavy heart, he opened the car trunk, revealing the lifeless body of a young girl. Guilt gnawed at his conscience, and the bustling forest around him became an intimidating chorus of judgement. Every rustle and distant hoot intensified his fear, as if the very nature surrounding him knew the depth of his transgressions.
Finding a secluded spot, he carefully carried the body through the labyrinth of trees. The forest seemed to hold its breath, witnessing his descent into darkness. As he disposed of the girl’s remains, he felt his humanity slipping away, consumed by the weight of his sins. With blood-stained hands, he lowered himself to the forest floor. He noticed her bloodied nails, evidence of a struggle. A pang of remorse surged through him, a reminder of the life he had extinguished.
As he rubbed the blood from the girl’s nails, all other sounds in the forest dampened, retreating into an eerie silence. The once-disquieting noises now fell silent, and the woods became a stagnant, desolate place. In that moment, he was the only monster in the stillness of the woods, the weight of his guilt suffocating any remnants of his humanity.
A week later, the police arrived at his doorstep, smears of blue intruding in a garden of warm colours. Their presence was an unwelcome reminder of his horrifying secret. Yet, with a practised smile, he welcomed them inside, his demeanour disturbingly natural. He spun a web of lies, acting out a charade of innocence, convincing the authorities that he was merely an unwitting bystander in a tragic tale.
But deep within him, he knew the forest held his secrets. It watched silently, witnessing the darkness that had consumed him. And though he had escaped the clutches of justice for now, he could never escape the haunting eyes of the forest, a constant reminder of the monster he had become.
Written by Sophia Kong and edited by Emily Chan. Published on 2/7/2023. Art by Emma Li.