For Addie, By Cynthia Seer
She knew she shouldn’t be exploring these woods by herself but Addison was always keen to explore areas far away from people. Not that she didn’t like people or anything but she found life to be much simpler when she was by herself. Everything made more sense when she was alone. No need for the endless interpreting of someone else’s facial features or emotions. Just Addison and nature.
Today, she’d found a feature in the woods out by Witch’s Creek that she didn’t recognize. Odd because she thought she knew that whole area. It was one of her favorites. Hardly anyone ventured out that way because of a supposed curse. There’s a cabin back in those woods that town legend says a witch used to live in. When the witch was accused and burned at the steak, she cursed the land. They say anyone who disturbs her belongings would slowly be turned evil to seek her revenge for her. Most likely, just stories to keep teens from hanging around back there. Addison wasn’t phased at all.
The scenery was beautiful. Lush green trees were set against a blue sky on most days in the summer. The thickness of the woods kept it surprisingly cool because of the constant breeze on that side of town. Not sure why the breeze there was so nice but it always felt cooler in those woods, perfect for summer hikes. The creek was small but had a steady flow of crystal clear water. Little minnows and other small aquatic life could be seen on any given day. It was, hands down, Addison’s favorite place to be.
On this day, Addison followed the creek deep into the woods, as she normally did, when something new caught her eye. Off to the left of the creek, there seemed to be two trees that had grown toward each other, forming a doorway of sorts. Addison felt sure she would’ve remembered such a landmark and headed toward it to investigate further. It stood about fifty feet from the creek she’d been following. The two trees stood just far enough apart to allow someone to walk through, although she did have to duck her head a little to clear the part where the two trees began wrapping around each other. They resembled tall pine trees that twisted around each other about five feet off the ground, like a candy cane. She’d never seen anything like it.
Walking through the doorway gave Addison a sudden burst of bitter cold wind that tussled her hair and gave her a quick shock. It was the middle of summer. The current temperature was 85 degrees Fahrenheit. She’d already thought it odd that the forest was always so comfortable at a steady 70 degrees. Why would it feel more like the fifties after walking through a couple of trees? She circled back around the trees to the side she’d just come from but the cold air continued to haunt her. Looking around, she began to notice that her surroundings also looked slightly different. It felt different, too. The singing birds appeared to have stopped singing. No bugs chattering, either. The creek continued to trickle over it’s stones but was running much faster than she recalled. Something was off.
Addison continued to follow the creek as she had been before, knowing she would come upon the remains of the old cabin. It was nothing more than a foundation these days but she always enjoyed picturing what the quaint little structure must’ve looked like in it’s heyday. Only now, as she neared the location, she saw a cabin standing before her. It had a steeply peaked, wooden roof with moss growing on it. There was a rocking chair on the front porch and smoke rising from the chimney. Addison froze in place for a moment. Struggling to comprehend what she was seeing and suddenly worried for her own safety, she took a few backwards steps before turning around completely to head back the way she’d come. Surely, this isn’t real. Maybe she accidentally touched a mushroom or something. Maybe she was high on some strange fungus or bush she’d brushed up against.
Following the creek back to the hiking trail Addison always took to get out here should’ve been a no-brainer but she didn’t recognize things like she had every time before. She glanced at the tree doorway but decided not to mess with that again. It creeped her out now so she continued to walk. After thirty minutes of following the creek, she knew she should be out of the woods by now but there was still a vast forest in front of her. As she stood, staring into the expanse of trees before her, she thought of something she hadn’t before. What if that weird tree door actually was a doorway? What if she had entered some other place by walking through it?
Worried now, and realizing it would be dark soon, Addison hurried back in the direction of the tree doorway. She knew what she was attempting was ridiculous but she didn’t know what else to do. She couldn’t just keep walking. She no longer recognized her surroundings and didn’t want to be lost in the woods overnight. Walking back through the doorway seemed dumb but it was the only idea she had at the moment.
Her pace while following the creek to the strange doorway was much quicker than it had been previously. Addison wanted nothing more than to be back on the well-traveled hiking trail and heading home. This was plenty enough exploring for one day. However, something captured her attention from the ground just ahead of her. A metal piece glinted in a small ray of sunlight that had made it’s way through the trees. Addison bent down to inspect it further, forgetting her current situation for a moment. Something silver was just barely sticking out of the dirt. She reached down and pulled it out, wiping it between her thumb and fingers. A round medallion with what looked like a crescent moon on one side and a big X on the other was laying in her hand. Despite the strange conditions that she’d found it under, she immediately decided to keep it. No real thought process in place. She just stood and walked over to the creek to rinse it off so it wouldn’t dirty the inside of her pocket.
With her strange artifact safely tucked into her shorts pocket, Addison continued her search for the tree doorway again. Given her summer attire, she was beginning to shiver at this point. She hadn’t dressed for 50 degree weather. Relief flooded her face when she saw the strange trees in the distance, even though she wasn’t really sure if walking back through them would save her from this place.
She paused for a moment in front of the doorway, realizing if she was to exit this peculiar place, she’d have to walk through it from the other side, as if exiting a room. Addison walked around the doorway to the other side and stepped over the threshold. Another gust of wind hit her but this one was warmer and she welcomed it. Her eyes darted around for any indication that she was back in the real world. Her first observation was that the birds were singing again and the air felt noticeably warmer. Both were a welcomed change, indeed.
Part of her wanted to walk back toward the cabin and see if it was a foundation or an actual, functioning cabin but she feared what the answer would be. Addison headed back toward civilization and home. She’d spent quite enough time in these woods today. A feeling of utter relief washed over her when she found the hiking trail right where she knew it should be. Maybe she’d just been mistaken. Maybe she had stopped just short of the hiking trail and spent an extra thirty minutes walking back to the trees when she didn’t need to. Yeah. That’s probably what happened.
Arriving home around dusk, Addison’s mom greeted her from the kitchen.
“How was your hike, honey?” mom said.
“It was fine. I thought I got lost for a minute. It was really weird.” Addison said.
“You didn’t see any witches, did you?” mom said with a giggle. Neither one of them really believed that whole story. They often joked about it.
“No. I guess the trees confused me.” Addison said as she grabbed an apple and waked upstairs to her room. Her mom thought that was a strange thing to say but didn’t think too much of it. Addison often had an interesting way of saying things that was always entertaining and fun. Mom figured maybe a tree had fallen and changed the landscape in a way that Addison wasn’t expecting. Nothing more.
After dinner that night, Addison showered and readied for bed. While dropping her clothes into the hamper, she heard a thud that caught her by surprise. Her clothes didn’t normally sound like that hitting the bottom of the hamper. She reached into her shorts pocket and removed the small medallion she’d found in the woods earlier. Having forgotten all about it, she examined it more closely this time. It was silver in color, although she wasn’t sure what kind of metal it was made of. One side of the coin had a crescent moon with two little stars next to it. The other side had a large letter X on it and nothing else. It seemed an odd thing to put on a coin but what did she know about coins? Maybe it was pirate treasure. That would be neat!
Tossing the medallion into her jewelry box, Addison climbed into bed and began reading her favorite book about a haunted Victorian mansion. The way the ghost struck fear into the characters and twisted their bodies sparked her interest differently on this night. After a few minutes of reading, she found herself staring out her darkened bedroom window while imagining herself contorting someone’s body. She smiled slightly and it surprised her. Why did she find that so amusing? Strange.
When Addison’s bedtime alarm went off at ten, she put the book away, turned off her light, and settled into bed. Thoughts of slowly twisting her hand as someone’s arm snapped and popped in front of her still danced in her head. The dreams that followed weren’t any better than her daydreams had been.
She was sitting in class, bored to tears by the lecture being given, when she raised her hand just barely off the desk. Flicking her fingers toward herself in a swift movement sent her teacher lunging toward the students seated in the front row of the classroom. Even though this was a dream, she still seemed to know that this ability was unusual and special. The surprised look on her teacher’s face was funny but Addison wanted more. She slowly squeezed her fist shut and her teacher let out a strange moan of pain and clasped her left arm. The forearm was unnaturally narrow in the middle, as if an invisible force had a tight grip on it and was clenching it tightly. Addison laughed maniacally just before she awoke from the dream.
Sitting up in bed and feeling a little confused, Addison reached over and turned off her alarm. So strange. She could still feel the exhilaration from hurting someone but didn’t quite understand why. That was not normally like her. Addison’s entire morning routine was haunted by her dream, trying to find meaning in it but coming up short.
Later that day, she sat in her final class of the day. History was her least favorite subject. She saw no value in reliving the past and found the stories boring. Her resentment for even having to endure it grew and grew until she began to fantasize about having the ability from her dream. Her focus fell on a stapler on her teacher’s desk, halfway across the room from her. She stared at it and imagined it flying across the room and into her teacher’s head. Normally, this is never something that would cross her mind but she was feeling unusually sinister today. Darkness and the urge to inflict pain were creeping into her psyche. She didn’t know where it was coming from or what to do with it.
As she was pondering this strangely dark feeling, the stapler moved slightly. No one else in the class noticed but Addison was staring right at it and jumped when it jumped. Did she do that? Just then, the stapler moved again, a kind of hop in the direction of her teacher. This time, a couple of students noticed and interrupted the teacher to tell what they’d seen. Addison just kept staring at the stapler. At this point, she didn’t really know why but she had to stare at it and think of her teacher. One of the boys in class stood to approach the stapler and act out what it had done when the stapler shot across the room and whacked the teacher directly in her forehead. Everyone in the room gasped and the teacher stumbled and fell backwards into a bookcase.
Students were frantically gathering around the teacher, all trying to see if she was okay, while Addison remained in her seat. She was engulfed in a feeling of dominance and if felt amazing. No one noticed as she gathered her things and left the room just as the end of day bell was ringing.
“That. Was. Amazing.” Addison murmured as she cleared the doorway of the school. Why did she even think to do that? Why did she enjoy it, too? The entire walk home was consumed with thoughts of performing this trick again, only bigger. Every person she walked past seemed to irritate her in ways they hadn’t before. Why was that guy looking at her that way? Didn’t that lady know her perfume was too strong? Somebody should really teach that kid to watch where he’s going. He almost bumped into her. With that final thought, Addison flicked her fingers and the boy tripped over seemingly nothing and face-planted on the concrete sidewalk. A steady stream of blood immediately gushed from his nose. She smirked as she continued walking.
At that point, every person unlucky enough to pass her had some unfortunate mishap. A woman walking her dog had a tree limb inexplicably fall on her head, knocking her out. Addison wasn’t even bothered by it. With a flick of her wrist, she could make anything happen to anyone near her. Walking at a slightly faster pace now, she began to wonder if she could do this to people who weren’t near her? The cottage in the woods flashed in her head and she remembered the supposed curse associated with it. Could she be turning evil? Is that even a thing that can happen? Addison definitely questioned her own motives for wanting to hurt people. She’d never had thoughts like that before and weren’t even put off by them now. Maybe another trip into the woods was in order.
Addison made the walk home in record time. She scribbled a note about going for another walk and left it on the counter for her mom to find. Her mom always knew what that meant. Addison was going to her favorite hiking spot. Running up to her room, Addison shuffled through the contents of her jewelry box until she found the strange coin from the woods. Stuffing it into her pocket, she grabbed a water bottle and headed out the back door and toward the hiking trail that would lead to the woods. Her woods.
Unsure exactly what she hoped to find or learn, Addison felt strongly that she needed to visit that cabin again. Answers might be there, waiting for her to discover them. Although it all seemed so far fetched, she couldn’t explain this new found ability to control things and people with her mind. Tossing a stapler across the room by moving her hand from 10 feet away shouldn’t be possible. And yet, that’s exactly what she’d done. How? Why?
The opening in the woods that Addison always took from the hiking trail had always felt welcoming but today, it felt strange. It had a mysterious vibe about it. She kind of liked it, as if there were discoveries to be made in those woods and she was the only one who could find them. She hardly noticed the cooler air as she walked along the creek, looking for the strange tree door from yesterday. About halfway to the cabin ruins, she found the tree door exactly where it had been yesterday. So odd for full grown trees to suddenly appear where they had never been before. The peculiarity of it was finally hitting her. There was definitely something unusual going on.
Approaching the tree doorway, Addison found herself hesitating in front of them. She then took a deep breath and stepped through the trees. Once again, she was met with a gush of considerably cooler air than had even been in the woods. Shuddering from the temperature change, she headed back to the creek to follow it to what should be the ruins of a cabin. However, she did not expect to see that at this point. She fully expected to see a quaint little cabin with a rocking chair on the front porch. But what would she do once she got there? Addison hadn’t quite worked that part out yet.
The distinct smell of a burning fireplace began to drift in the air. A few minutes later, the sight of a small cabin began to develop in the distance. Once again, there was smoke rising from the chimney. The biggest difference Addison immediately noticed as she neared it was that the rocking chair on the front porch wasn’t empty this time. There was an elderly woman slowly rocking in the chair with a blanket drawn tightly around her. Addison stopped in her tracks and wondered if she should hide behind a tree.
“I may be old but I can still see you there, child. Come closer so I can have a proper look at you.” the woman said in a raspy, tired sounding voice. Addison hesitated again and then slowly moved toward the woman. She seemed harmless enough. Addison wondered how she managed to live out here all by herself with no help.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” Addison said, “I was just surprised to find this cabin here yesterday and wanted to come have another look.”
“No, you didn’t.” the woman replied. “You took something and now you’re angry. Angry at the world. You’re looking for answers. You can do things you shouldn’t be able to do.”
The woman was right, of course. This further validated the curse theory that Addison had considered hogwash all these years.
“I brought back your coin. I didn’t know it was yours. I don’t want to hurt people. I just want to be me again.” Addison said. She held the medallion out in her hand and began stepping toward the old woman.
“It’s too late for that, dear. You disturbed what was mine. Your people will pay for what they did to me. I never did anyone any harm and yet they tortured and killed me. They deserve what they’re about to get.” The woman had a flash of anger in her wrinkled and squinting eyes. She’d stopped rocking now and was staring straight into Addison’s eyes. The two of them stared at each other for a moment and Addison began to feel different. She was angry. No. She was enraged. Addison put her hand back down by her side and let the coin drop to the ground. Turning away from the old woman, Addison began to walk back the way she’d come.
“Give’em hell, girl.” the old woman mumbled as Addison steadily walked alongside the creek and away from the mysterious cabin. She was so focused on her rage that she hardly noticed the walk back to the trees. One foot in front of the other. That’s all she focused on. Without giving it a thought, she walked to the trees and stepped back through them and into the warmer air of the forest she was familiar with. The hiking trail was upon her in no time. She simply walked. There was no real plan or thought process, just rage. A man jogged past her, smiling as he nodded in her direction. She closed her fist and he stopped suddenly, clasping at his chest before dropping to the ground.
Instead of heading toward her home, Addison took the main road toward the town square. This is not a direction she normally took but she was no longer herself. She was angry and now had the power to act on that anger. She felt pain and rage equally, all over her body. Once she was standing in the center of the oldest part of the town’s original center, she slowly raised her hands until they were above her head, as if she was holding the world above her. Addison looked up toward the sky and watched it shift from blue to a darker gray.
A woman asked Addison what she was doing and Addison’s eyes snapped down to look at her. As soon as the lady made eye contact with Addison, blood began to trickle from her eyes and nose. She collapsed to the ground and Addison looked back up at the now darkening sky. After a few minutes, the once beautiful day had digressed into a stormy, unsettling, gloomy day.
A mystical looking fog was forming just above the buildings, between the actual clouds and the ground. It seemed to go on for miles. People stared up at the churning sky in wonder and disbelief. There was chatter all around about what people thought it could be. No one seemed to notice the girl with her hands in the air until it was too late. Of course, the moment she placed her hands in the air, it was already too late. They just didn’t know that.
Addison opened her mouth and let out a blood curdling scream that quickly drew everyone’s attention. All the pain and rage she’d been feeling burst out of her. The release she felt was amazing. Then, it happened. She dropped her hands down to her sides and the mysterious fog that was suspended above the town fell, as if Addison was the only thing holding it up in the first place. As soon as it hit the ground, every human being in a ten mile radius dropped to the ground, dead.
Cars began to drift off the roads and into buildings and other cars. The eerie sounds of chaos echoed through the town. Car horns blared from the drivers’ lifeless bodies now resting on the steering wheels. Small explosions and fires began to break out and spread since no one was there to stop it. Not a single human voice was among the chaos. The extreme level of loss of human life was completely lost on Addison. She wasn’t bothered by it at all. In her mind, she did what she did because it felt good. That’s it. No remorse or emotion at all. She would never have been capable of such devastation before she found the medallion. The witch’s curse had come to pass, finally, after all these years.
Addison calmly made her way back to her home where her mother would likely be, dead. As close as she had been to her mother before the curse, her death didn’t bother Addison at all after it. Addison intended to call for help as the soul survivor of some strange, apocalyptic event. She would, no doubt, receive help and attention and be moved into another home to finish out her teen aged years. She had other plans, though. The pain and rage may have left her but the desire to wreak havoc remained, along with the magical abilities she’d gained from the witch’s curse. Fate would decide which community was next on her list of destruction now.
I wrote this story based on Addie’s answers to these four questions. If you would like me to write a personalized short horror story for you, too, visit my Patreon account and look at Tier 4 for more information. I wonder what kind of creepy story I could come up with for you……
1 What type of being do you want to be? (Human, witch, fairy, monster, ghost, demon, angel, mythical creature, and so on)
2 What do you want your name to be or what do you want to be referred to as?
3 Do you want to be good or evil?
4 Do you want to live or die by the end of the story?
Addie told her parents she wanted to be a human being with her own name who was good but turned evil. She also wanted to be the only person left standing by the end of the story. I hope you enjoyed my creation for Addison, the teenaged girl who turned evil and destroyed them all! Thanks for reading!
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