“This is boring.” Alex complained, lounging on one of the chairs in my room. “What do you want to do then?” I asked. “Let’s go explore the woods!” he replied. That was typical Alex for you. “Are you nuts? Who knows what’s out there? You heard the rumors!” I protested. “Rumors are usually false anyway. All that’s out there is a bunch of trees. Let’s go, unless you’re too scared to come with me.” he said, an obvious challenge in his voice. I sighed. “I’ll only go as far as the edge of the trees.” I said. “If you say so.” Alex said shrugging.

We grabbed flashlights in the kitchen drawer and I took my old baseball bat, just in case.

We headed into the backyard and looked at the trees towering above us. Alex kept walking and as I had said, I stopped at the edge.

I stood there, watching Alex until he disappeared from view. After a few minutes, I felt like something was wrong, so I went into the woods after him. I turned my flashlight on and swept the beam of light around, looking for any sign of my friend. I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye, so I followed it, thinking it was Alex. "Alex!" I called to the figure, but to my surprise, it was someone else. I didn't know it then, but I should have hit him with my bat when I had the chance.

Wandering through the trees for a few more minutes, my ears were greeted with the most horrific screaming I have ever heard in my life.

I went against my better judgment and ran toward it. I stopped at the edge of a small clearing as the screaming was replaced by an ominous silence. Looking cautiously into the clearing, I saw the most terrifying thing a thirteen year old could ever witness.


It was that figure again, standing there over an obviously younger boy in a fetal position. The man was holding a knife, rhythmically dripping blood onto the ground. I held my bat up defensively as he looked at me. To my relief and confusion, he ran off. I slowly approached the smaller, presumably dead, boy. What I saw was horrifying. It was Alex, torn up viciously. His clothes were practically shredded and bloodstained. About three of his ribs were slightly visible, the flesh covering them ripped away.

One of his eyes was missing and upon further inspection, I found it clutched in his hand. His throat was cut so deep, you could see into his lungs if you looked down into it. At that point I turned and puked before fainting.

I woke up to the steady beeps of a heart monitor. After adjusting to the bright light, I shot up and looked around, half expecting someone to kill me. My mom sat next to me, gently telling me to calm down. A doctor came in and asked if I was alright. The only thing I said was "Where's Alex?" I barely heard him as he told me what I already knew.

After a few minutes, my mom drove me home. The entire ride I was silent, barely able to form the words I was thinking. At around 3:30 that night, a police officer came to ask me what happened.

I started out alright, but when I got to the part about hearing the screaming and seeing Alex, I couldn't even understand myself. "Matt, it's okay; we need you to calm down. Can you tell us that part again slowly?" the officer said, but I couldn't. It terrified me to think about it. Eventually he deciphered my words and left. I locked myself in my room and played some video games to distract myself.

A few weeks passed and life returned to normal. I could finally remember Alex without freaking out. Every Saturday I went to his grave and talked to him even though I knew I would never get an answer. School was going well and the world continued as if Alex never existed.

A few months later, my visits to the grave grew less and less frequent until I stopped going altogether. The last time I visited, all I said was "I will remember you always. I promise."

Twelve years later

I unlocked the door to my house, exhausted from another long day at work. The lights were all out as usual, but today it seemed particularly darker. My phone buzzed and I pulled it out. There was a text from a blocked number. No matter how many times I pressed the delete button, it wouldn't go away. Sighing irritably, I opened it. There were only two words in the message, but chills ran up my spine as I read them. "You lied." I was shaking a little as I texted back "Who are you?" Almost immediately afterwards, the anonymous number texted back.

All it said was to go online and it would take care of the rest. I opened Internet Explorer and watched, shaking slightly as a page appeared on its own. I looked at the contents, but every link lead to different text boxes. I flipped through them hopelessly confused as I read them. "You promised." "Liar." I was puzzled but the last one made my blood run cold. It said "You could have saved me..." and was accompanied by a picture of a bloody hand clutching an eyeball. I screamed and slammed my laptop shut and ran upstairs. On the wall in my room, I saw something wet. Turning on the lights, I saw "Why did you let me die?" written in blood.

I was terrified at this point and went into the guest room, falling into an uneasy sleep.

At about midnight I woke up from a nightmare and stood up, going into the kitchen for a glass of water. I got a drink and turned around to go back to the guest room. What I saw instead made me start trembling violently. Standing by the door of the kitchen was a boy, no older than thirteen. His body was covered in deep cuts of all sizes. A few ribs could be seen through a patch of missing flesh. His hand was clenched into a loose fist, blood dripping from it.

One of his more prominent features was one empty eye socket. I stepped back. "A-Alex? But how?" I stuttered, looking at him. Alex stepped closer to me and said. "You lied. You forgot me..." He said, reaching into his pocket. I saw the flash of metal, but it was already too late. Alex, my dead, reckless friend stabbed me, his blade sinking agonizingly slowly into my lung. I saw his sick smile as he watched me and to my horror and disgust, he laughed as my world faded to black. Perfect peace. Perfect silence. Death.