Go left, into the gorge.

If you remember anything from your camping days, it’s that running water is always a good thing. You head down into the gorge.

It’s a difficult, steep trail, and it’s slow going. Before you even realize it, it’s nearly nightfall. You’re starting to panic, but you can hear the river in front of you. Surely the ropes course is near the river, down in the valley, right? You pull out your phone, the flashlight cutting weakly through the dark. The first small, creeping snowflakes begin to fall.

Now you hear something other than the river. A low, droning hum, an insectoid static. It must be the group, the far-off rumble of conversation and music.

So why does it sound like it’s behind you?

The river is getting louder now — it must be right in front of you. But your flashlight is more and more useless in the rapidly growing snowfall. A shadow flickers past a tree — just the storm, surely — and then another. The hum grows louder and louder, as if hundreds of teeth were grinding and gnashing in the dark. You’re speeding up, now, jogging, starting to sprint.

Your ankle catches, and you go flying.

Your phone skitters away, but you scramble to grab it. Because that wasn’t a root or a rock you tripped on. Something grabbed you. You shine a light back down the trail and stare in horror at an arm, a human arm, it’s skin and bone severed at the shoulder, it’s mangled hand stuck into the air. You scramble back and trip over a something else — a leg. To your right a sickening tuft of skin and hair, to your left, half a jawbone.

And all the while, the humming growing louder and louder, the teeth grinding and gnawing faster and faster, until, on the back of your neck, you feel the hot, wet breath seeping through them.

In the morning they’ll find parts of you in six different places, speared neatly on sharpened branches like ancient, primordial meathooks. Like you are being saved for later. Because, deep in the Glen, away from all the paths, the rest of you isn’t being saved at all.

Give it another shot, sport?

Credits

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