They Lurk

By Saman, Year 9

Written as part of Factory Feedback

You are Marcus.

Chapter 1, Location: CABIN 

I am awoken by the beam of light blinding my eyes. “Who turned on the lights?” I demanded.

“Me”, a plaintive voice responded from the doorway. It was Oliver, “I need to go to the bathroom,” he continued, “Can you come with me?”

You might think a 14-year old would be old enough to take care of himself.

Unfortunately, he is as dumb as a pickle but I do not blame him. The bathroom is under maintenance in our cabin so he’d have to use the one outside.

Here we both are camping in an eerie cabin for the weekend and our dad is in the other room.

You’d think he’d get dad to help but even I’d be scared to wake him up. His hair is as grey as gravel, pointy nose, long enough to poke your eye out and that snores loud enough it’ll lead you to believe he’s a bear. Not to mention he’d be as grumpy as one too.

Oliver approaches me, “Are you coming or not?”. I sigh, “Remember what dad said? Nobody is to leave the house under any condition”. Oliver grunts, “Fine, I’ll go alone”. He walks out the front door before I can tell him to stop. The door slams hard on his way out. “Idiot” I say under my breath. The loud crash of the door had caused dad to wake up. Dad’s red pale eyes signal his intentions are mean. “Do any of you have respect?” he exclaims. “Where is Oliver?” he went to the bathroom outside and I replied with a shy voice, “Did I not warn you that not a soul is to leave without my consent?” “You both have no respect and never listen, I am disappointed. I am going to go grab Oliver”. “Stay here and do not leave”, he makes clear.  

I might as well catch up on the sleep I missed because of the brat Oliver. I flip my pillow to the cold side, drink my refreshing water and shut my eyelids.

Location: HOME

I woke up. Where am I? Who’s here? I question. I look around and recognise I am back in my bedroom. I guess it must have been a dream. I survey all the bedrooms as I walk past. Nobody is home. I trot down the narrow, squeaky stairs that lead me to the gloomy dark living room. I turned on the lights while I held my breath, I let out a quiet “phew” under my breath, feeling relieved that I was safe. Wow, I disclose to myself, am I scared?

Pfft, I’m not Oliver. Wait, where are they?

I eye the open basement door. They’re probably down there, where else could they be?

It’s quite dark down here, but I’m not afraid. The hallways I enter are long and bright, it feels like an endless maze. This isn’t what my basement looks like at all, but I’m hypnotized. I feel lost here, like the walls are closing in, almost as if I’m lost in my own wonders and thoughts. I never depicted how colossal this place is. “I am lost,” I blurt. I am confused. I stumble across a door made of cold hard metal. Opposite the door, I detect a mannequin sitting calmly near the corridor. It was the only object besides the door in this dungeon of a basement. As I observed the door, I figured it needed a keycard which meant I had to do more walking. I complain because I’m lazy. Hey, at least I can see where Oliver gets his traits. I smirk as I wander around the depleted hallways. Finding the keycard took centuries, I eventually found it on the floor. I skipped towards the metal door I came across earlier. Of course, the mannequin is now gone, how clichéd, that thing didn’t even have a face. Why should I be scared? I walk straight through the open door.

Location: CABIN

I rose from my bed with my eyes wide open. I’m back at the cabin. I’m assuming that I had a dream of being at home. In conclusion, I just feel homesick. The thought echoes in my head again, where is Oliver? Where is dad? It’s been almost four hours. It was around 4:30am when I checked the clock. I am nervous, my stomach knots and I feel the butterflies kick in. I remember the stupid walkie-talkies my dad had given all of us. I reach for it on the kitchen table. It is out of charge. Of course, my luck would be like this, I yell. I plug it into the outlet then go off to slumber in my bed.

You are now Oliver.

Chapter 2, Location: TREEHOUSE IN THE WOODS

My heart is speeding, I am scared and I am alone. I heard something chasing me and I ran to the old treehouse. I had a lantern with me and the walkie-talkie my father had encouraged me to take if I ever needed to go out. I am surprised I listened for once in my life.

I am trying to catch either dad’s or Marcus’ signal, fortunately, I catch dad’s signal. “Hello, dad, I need your help. I am alone in the old treehouse”. Dad replies explaining he can’t remember the exact location of the treehouse, but I would have to turn on the light as long as possible for him to notice the light and follow it to my location. I warned him about something following me on the way to the bathroom. “You may turn off the light when you feel like you are unsettled and turn it on once you can again”. “The longer the light is clear the swifter I will locate you and I wouldn’t get lost”, dad states as the signal fades.

My eyes are wide and my ears feel hollow, the wind ruffles the dead branches as I keep a steady hold of myself while the lantern flames. Dad will be here any minute now. I just need to be patient and calm, I repeat in my head many times. The slight movement in the dense foliage nearby agitates me. I rush to turn off the lantern, wait… what if it’s dad? Should I turn it off or on? What if something else finds the light instead? What if dad gets lost or taken? I am confused but I remain in the darkness hoping to stay hidden away . The cluster of noises dim, slowly creeping out. I turn on my lantern to see if I could catch dad’s head. A scarce couple of minutes pass but still no sign of dad. I start to agonize more.

You hear a faint nose of twigs breaking in your surroundings…

Do you.. Close the lantern or keep it open?

If you chose to keep it open:                   

I realize I am scared, I don’t move an inch. I keep

The lantern on, it’s the only thing keeping me             

Company. The noise creeps towards me as I panic

For mercy. Sweat drips down my forehead.                   

The tension is killing me. It stops…. Peace and quiet .

No sound no noise. Taking a deep breath, I exhale

my heartbeat slows and I am calm. Just as I think that, 

My foot is quickly gripped and in the blink of a second

I’m outside the treehouse on the ground laying down  

In the foggy, dark, damp grass. I pant. I cannot      

 get up,  the sounds of the rain, crickets                   

 and howling wind faded, I closed my eyes.                        

Will this be the end?                                                    

 if you chose to close it:

 I am frightened to death by the dark. What

 lurks in the dark? I’m not scared of the dark,

 I’m scared of what lurks in the dark…

 “hello”  a faint noise in the distance

 can be heard. I recognize dad’s voice. He has

  found me, yelping in joy.  “I’m here dad, I’m right

here” I jump and wave.  As I attempt to turn the

Lantern on, a chill goes down my spine, I perceive

The Presence of another near me.  A hand is placed 

over my mouth, another on my eyes    

Everything goes dark.    

Chapter 3, Location: THE METAL LABYRINTH 

I am conscious now, positioned awkwardly. Dark thin networks of copper metal passages run through the space. The walls are rusted and cold, the lights are very dim and only faint light is visible. The amount of directions you can go is almost endless. It feels very damp and soggy in here, “Am I underground?” I delicately tap the rusty copper wall to hear the hollow commotion that they have produced, almost like an old garage door. “This place is underground”, I think, the blue and black grime against orange and yellow copper looks about 1,000 years old. 

  I want to be out of here as fast as I can. I sprinted through the arena, hopefully, I’m going the way.  I noticed a speck of light peeping out of a corner, I slowed down as I approached it. The room has an engine and a screen. I pressed the green button. The button turns on the large tv displaying “location 5″ west: closed. East: closed. South: open. Keep the room illuminated, don’t linger around for too long and avoid staying in obscurity for too long” the light slowly starts to vanish and I hear loud metal doors crushing and closing. The room goes pitch dark and the east door opens to a rather odd black, average length creature. It’s almost like it’s made of cold metal.  Nor does it have eyes, a nose and ears. It walks forward with its back bent like an old grandpa towards the south door as the lantern dangles in its hand.  I remember I was told to avoid the dark. I creeped towards the creature, it has a very large mouth with sharp teeth sticking out, with an empty face.  it walks while I go along with the chomper’s path. I try to be faint with my steps so it doesn’t pick up the vibrations from my walk. I avoid the dark corners and as we are walking I come across a wall with words written on it. I squint to see  ” the smiling man is scared of light”. Who the  heck is the smiling man and has someone else been here before? We come across a path where there is light but the chomper keeps heading towards the dead-end. I start to wonder if I should have gone into the light alone. That’s when I realize I was right. The figure stands still at the dead end and my sudden instinct is to run and to do it fast. I rush into the path, I’ve never run this fast. Thankfully I ran before it was too late, I can hear the chomper run after me. His steps became louder and louder, the metal reverberating as he inched closer and closer. The narrow paths are difficult to navigate. The metal is banging and rattling as I run. I make it to a room with a switch and I see the chomper close to me and I hurry to flip the switch, I don’t know how I made it in time but I did and the door closed just on time. As I pant another rusty door slowly opens. Similar to the last one I ran and just hoped I picked the right paths. I merge paths with a small area holding a locker, should I go inside the locker or continue running?

Do you go inside or keep running?

If you chose go inside:

I fit myself into the locker, maybe I won’t be caught here? “Wait what am I doing!” The locker is in the dark. I rush out and continue to run.  3

If you kept running:           4

I find myself in a large void of a room. Dark couldn’t even describe how faint the light was. I keep contemplating whether I should run it or not. Of course, am I kidding, where else am I supposed to go?

I ran for my life , it took a solid 30 seconds to run, I made it to the light on the other end. I see a switch and catch sight of a deep dark dead end. Before I pull the switch I hear a loud “power outage, evacuate safely” the sound of the robotic alarm stops. I pitch in to see two eyes emerge from the deep end. The smiling man is here. “Human” he says. 


Tally your points.

Even number:

I’m sitting outside waiting for the bus, the view is beautiful out here. I hate dad… if he didn’t get sick I wouldn’t have to go on this stupid trip. Perhaps I should call Marcus, I’ll meet him for dinner at the airport.” I walk up to the red telephone stand and put in my silver coin,  I pick up my phone and put it to my ear. “Still no answer. It’s been like, 2 days since I last talked to him.”  *scene cuts*

Odd number:



The connection picks up, “Hello Oliver are you there?” “I can’t talk much right now Marcus. I’m on my way” I’m relieved Oliver is safe, he sounded really impatient. I wonder what happened to dad. I should call him and tell him Oliver is back. I hear knocking on the door. It must be Oliver. I open the door and I stand there, I can’t tell you what that was, but that was not Oliver.   Now I know what lurks…

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