by Jack Daykin
I’m posting this here, asking for your help. This is true. I had my friend Josh sleep over at my house. We are both in high school, and honestly, his life sucks so bad it’s just easier to have him stay at my place. My dad drives us both to school in the morning. My parents are alright you know, but I have to say I feel, now, like there is something very wrong with where I live.
It started out like anything else, Josh and I were goofing around in the back yard. It snowed, the pond behind my house was covered with ice and snow. It’s been a cold winter. Josh and I trekked through the wood behind my house for a while, and he was telling me about Dawn Sax he liked in class. Honestly we just got caught up around a little fire we were having out there. It was just shit we always do, you know. It was just like every day, and every night stuff.
I realized it was getting really late, and I told Josh we needed to get going back in. We had school the next morning and my parents would get pissed. Then he started taunting me about the Stoskopf Witch. I hated the story, honestly. He knows that, and was just taunting me.
The Stoskopf Witch is the story of Ms. Stoskopf who poisoned her whole family back in the 1800s and now haunts the woods by my house. She even has a grave stone in Myrtle Hill Cemetery. They call it the Witch’s Ball, damned creepy thing. We went and messed with that Witch’s Ball one night, wrote curse words on it in spray paint, like 3 years ago, and ever since then I’ve been creeped out by the idea that she would get revenge on us.
Anyway he starts talking about that crap, and we throw dirt on the fire, pick up our stuff, and in the darkness right as I turn around to start the return, I hear something. I’ve never heard it before. It was a like the whole forest breathed on us. A gust of wind at night, where there was no wind. That’s how it started like wind, or maybe something passing through us.
“Did you feel that,” I said to Josh.
“Yeah, that was creepy,” he said.
We both stopped talking and started hustling back. The house is a couple or so acers from where we had our fire. We weren’t running because it was dark, but we were moving quickly, you know. As we moved I swore I could hear something moving behind us. Moving at the same pace or keeping the same noise level we were, it’s hard to explain, but I felt like I was being followed. I stopped a couple of times along the way, and Josh would push me, and say, “Go, go.”
“Wait listen,” I would say.
You could hear the rustling of branches and leaves for only a second after we stopped. The last time we stopped we just stood there for few minutes, in the darkness, listening. I thought it might be a buck, or something but I couldn’t shake that creepy feeling.
Then we heard, from the darkness of the trees, “I see you there.” It was whisper and it was woman’s voice. I was very hard to tell where it came from. I went to say something, but Josh was already 200 yards in front of me, darting through the woods. I ran after him as fast as I could. I had my backpack for school, and a small bag of trash which I threw on the ground. We ran for what seemed like forever. As we broke the edge of the forest I could see something on the pond.
The pond behind our house was between us and the house. We had to go around it to get inside. I could see the glowing windows. My parents were just inside, but there was a figure, at first hard to make out, but as we approached, Josh stopped and I ran up beside him.
It was the witch. She was dressed in an old dress. It was like rotting off her. It’s very hard to describe this, but it’s what I saw. Her cheeks were missing flesh. They were just bones sticking out, and her eyes were completely white. Her head kind of slouched to side to side. It’s so hard to get this description right.
Josh ran, he was running for the house, around the edge of the pond. She was standing right in the middle. She pointed her finger at me, and I could not move. I was frozen, and she didn’t walk, but drifted toward me on the ice.
My eyes were locked on her, but I could see that Josh had stopped and was looking back at me. He was thinking of coming and helping, but I think he was too terrified. He was yelling something at me, but I couldn’t hear him, I would only hear the wind, and like maybe like something of the witches breathing. It’s so hard to describe. She moved closer to me. I could not move. She came closer and closer. I could see Josh going crazy behind her, but after that she was blocking my view. She smelled like death as she came close to me. I struggled to get away but was helpless.
She moved up to me, raised her face into a horrible twisted mess, brought her clawed hand up in the air and swung down at me.
I sat straight up in bed. Breathing hard. My heart was doing summersaults in my chest. I looked over Josh was sitting up next to me.
“What the hell just happened?” I asked.
He looked at me with horrible wide eyes and said, “She killed you!”
So now I don’t know. We’ve talked it out and it was the exact same dream. Him from his stand point, mine from mine. We both have the same memories of it. We both felt like it was so real at the time, and we both believe that she is coming. So does anyone know, do witches haunt dreams?
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.