Blood and Sweat, Tears and Fears

As the spirit of Halloween swells during October, once again friends dare one another to test their courage in Fear Forest.  And so, with trepidation in their step, they risk venturing into the darkness and never returning.

The hayride over to the forest seems innocent enough.  But as the wagon crests the hill, a spurt of flame bursts upward and the sound of a gunshot causes everyone to duck.  Lurching to a stop, you see witches dancing around a huge bonfire and a long line of people huddled together waiting to enter the forest.  The wait lulls you into a false sense of security, but soon enough you learn to look over your shoulder every so often, as shadowy figures creep around in your peripheral vision.  The ghouls and creeps are bad enough, but when a chainsaw-wielding madman revs his bloody weapon right next to you, you can’t help the scream that escapes your mouth.

Closer now to the forest, shrieks punctuate the whispered conversation, causing the hairs on your neck to stand up, almost like an ice cold hand has trailed down your spine.  A bloody skeleton in battle armor bares his sword at your group, halting you in your tracks.  He says nothing, but you recognize it is not time to enter.  He herds the frightened band in front of him through the door and into the darkness, returning without them.  A bloodcurdling scream sounds from behind him then is cut off.  He gestures with his sword that it is your turn to enter, and you gulp.  Your friends cower behind you, pulling at your sleeves, and with shaky steps you enter the Fear Forest.

All your senses are on high alert as you tiptoe forward – you hear the crackle of leaves, feel a cold wind tug at your hair, smell the musty forest and the sharp tang of…blood?  They can’t touch me, they can’t touch me, you think, over and over again as you enter the darkness.

Suddenly the Grim Reaper looms in front of you, a scream leaps from your throat, your friends slam into your back, and you almost stumble to the ground.  Losing your balance and your head, you sprint past the ghostly apparition and soon come to a halt outside an abandoned shack.  Something rustles in the darkness behind you, and too afraid to look behind you, you take a deep breath and plunge into the creaking structure.  Bloody body parts swing from the ceiling and opaque sheets separate you from the haunts beyond.  Preoccupied by the movement of the gory limbs, you fail to notice the butcher until he jumps out at you.

Adrenaline pumping, gasping for breath you run ahead and shriek at the sight of another grotesque figure popping out at you. Ominous fog floods the ground, and eerie lights illuminate the path, but the horrors that lurk on every side stay hidden behind trees and scraps of metal.  A howl sounds in the distance, and you whimper with fear.  What comes after the first shack is a blur, a whirlwind of fear and doom.  Figures coming to life, statues that may not be statues, a school bus with frights in every row, a clump of grass that came to life and starting chasing you, psychedelic lights that prevent you from walking straight, and circus freaks (clowns and all) cackling, giggling, taunting you.

The bloodcurdling scream behind you sounds vaguely familiar, but at this point it’s every man for himself.  In the distance you see a pinprick of light, and it gradually gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

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