The problem with things that go ‘bump in the night’ was not the terrifying thing that it is, nor the fact that it could rip you to pieces or even that it could be someone you used to know. The problem was resources.
Suzy reflected on this as she sat with her back to the tree and looked at the three objects in her hands. She closed her eyes and slowed her breathing, straining to hear anything over the sound of the wind rustling through the forest leaves overhead. She knew now that it was a mistake to enter a forest, where distance and light were in short supply, but it all came back to the same problem. Resources.
She had never really thought about the things she owned in detail before. Even from her makeshift tent high up on the hillside, she had stared lazily out at the world, never truly understanding the consequences of staying in one place, constantly scanning the hillside at night with her flashlight, burning away the dark, burning away her fear and burning away her resources.
The realization that her supplies were limited dawned on her with the rising of the sun one early morning. She had grabbed the last snack bar and strolled off down the hillside. Her first thought was to head back into the town, but the pillar of heavy smoke rising from the horizon changed her mind for her. Instead she saw the distant forest and headed out for it. After all she thought, lots of animals lived in the forest, so there must be plenty of food there…
The crack of a branch snapped her eyes open. She stood up holding her breath. Out in the dark she could hear it moving, coming closer toward her, whether through luck or because it knew where she was it advanced. Straining her eyes she saw a figure move through the trees, stumbling on tree roots and knocking into tree trunks. She let the empty snack wrapper fall to the ground and flicked on the flashlight. Its dim bulb did little more than cast an eerie glow a few feet in front of her. It was enough for the figure to see. Head jerking up it locked eyes on the light and started making a direct line toward Suzy.
Stepping backward she raised the pistol and screamed out for the figure to stop. “I swear I’ll shoot you, I swear I will!” she shouted out as the pallid figure reached out toward her. She pulled the trigger, muzzle pressed against the creatures temple.
The loud click rang loudly in her ears before its face slammed into hers, knocking her backward to the floor. As she fell, a vision of her futile, desperate, attempts at hunting rabbits with the handgun raced through her mind before exploding into darkness as her head slammed into the ground.