Information


Albtraum has a minion!

Nightmare the Fauxull




Albtraum


The Nightmare Kumos
Owner: Pipkitten

Age: 4 years, 6 months, 3 weeks

Born: July 20th, 2015

Adopted: 4 years, 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Adopted: July 20th, 2015


Pet Spotlight Winner
January 24th

Statistics


  • Level: 9
     
  • Strength: 13
     
  • Defense: 10
     
  • Speed: 14
     
  • Health: 10
     
  • HP: 10/10
     
  • Intelligence: 0
     
  • Books Read: 0
  • Food Eaten: 0
  • Job: Unemployed


Everyone in the town of Flint Falls believes in the legend of the forest, me somewhat included. They say that in a certain area across the river, bloodthirsty monsters called Albtraum run amok, killing anyone who dares step foot in their territory. Nobody knows where the supposed creatures came from, why they live across the river, or even how long the legend’s been around for. I’ve lived in the area long enough to hear it told time and time again, though. And while it all seems a bit outlandish, I can’t help but feel a bit uneasy when I look out my window at night and see the silhouette of forest in the pale moonlight.

My best friend Byron had recently moved himself, his mother and his father to Flint Falls after it was becoming too difficult for him to help them while living in Anchorage, Alaska. They’d stayed with me for a while before they found their own house, since I had plenty of room at my place. I’d been lucky enough to get to keep the house when my wife and I divorced three years ago. It’s been nice to have some of my good friends living here in town.

***

The day started out just like any other, nothing special about it. I smashed the button on my alarm clock to quiet its incessant beeping, surprised that the cheap thing hadn’t kicked the bucket yet, and drug myself out of bed. Bleary eyed and half awake, I lumbered down the darkened stairs, past the empty guest bedroom, and into the kitchen to make myself a pot of coffee.

The local ravens had chosen my yard as their morning hang-out, so I listened to their scratchy cawing as I waited for my coffee to brew. The birds’ calls reminded me of the strange old man Byron and I had encountered at the bar last night. He had overheard Byron boasting about the hunting trip we were going to take, out to the part of the forest that everyone in this tiny mountain town believed to be haunted.

“Stay away from that place! There are monsters you know nothing of in those woods!” an old man, with scraggly beard and bulging eyes crowed, his gnarled hands flailing in the air.

“Oh, shut up, old man,” Byron scoffed, “You’re drunk and crazy.”

“Don’t believe me, eh?! You just go out and get yourself killed then; see if I care!”

“I’ll be sure to come haunt you if the Boogeyman gets me. At least then you’ll have an excuse for being a loon!”

“Come on, Byron, don’t start fights with geezers,” I warned, nudging him with my elbow.

“I heard that!” the old man screeched from across the bar.

Byron and I finished our beers, paid the bartender, and left not long after.

“I’ll call you in the morning,” Byron had said with a smile, “Be sure you’re ready to go!”

My thoughts were interrupted as I noticed the silence that had fallen over the room. My coffee was done and the ravens had moved on to some other yard, I guessed. As I grabbed a slightly-used mug from the stack of dishes in the sink, I smiled. This was going to be a very interesting hunting trip, I could just feel it.

***

It was a little after three in the afternoon, and Byron and I were on our way to our chosen hunting area. The dusty cloud stirred up by the truck’s tires blew in through the rolled-down windows and made my eyes water. Through the dirt, I took in the sights, not that they were anything special. Just trees and hills and rocks. I wondered why the long-time residents never came here, because these woods looked nothing different from any of the others surrounding town. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, but maybe I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

Byron drove until we reached the end of the dirt road. “We’re here,” he said, throwing the truck into park.

“Yup. Think we’ll shoot a big buck?”

“Of course! Best hunters this side of the river, we are.”

“We’re the only hunters this side of the river,” I laughed, “Now get your crap; we’ve got to set up camp.”

***

By the time we had the tent up, the cooler stored high up in a tree, firewood gathered and a fire started, the sun was almost gone. I was “cooking” dinner, which consisted of cheap lunchmeat sandwiches, a can of baked beans, and of course, beer. The two of us laughed and talked and joked well into the night about our childhood adventures, my ex and the local crazies, until we were almost sleeping where we sat. My eyes felt like there was sand in them each time I blinked and I could no longer stifle my yawns.

“I don’t know if you want to stay up any longer, but I’m going to sleep.”

“Wimp! Nah, just kidding, man. Guess I should get some sleep, too. I’m gonna go take a leak first though.”

“Don’t get eaten by the forest spooks!”

As I stepped into the tent, I could hear Byron laughing at my remark as he walked out past the reach of the fire’s light to do his business. Despite having made a joke about the supposed danger in these woods, I couldn’t help but feel a bit worried about it being real. What if there really was something out there, lurking, just waiting to—No. I couldn’t think like that. It was just a myth created to scare small children. I tried my best to convince myself of that as I zipped up my sleeping bag and closed my eyes.

***

“Marcus.”

“What…?”

“Marcus, get up.”

“Why?”

“I think I just heard a woman screaming somewhere outside.”

I sat up, almost knocking my head into Byron’s as I rose. I couldn’t see anything, aside from the slightly darker form of my friend against the darkened side of the tent.

“What do you mean you heard a woman screaming? There’s nobody here but us.”

“I swear that’s what I heard… I’m going to go check it out.”

“What if there’s something out there just trying to lure us out?”

“Don’t be stupid, Marcus.”

Byron got up and left the tent, grabbing a flashlight on his way out and shining it in all directions around camp. I followed close behind.

“See anything, Byron?”

“No. Just trees.”

“It was probably just an elk or something. I’m going back to sleep.”

Then we heard it: a bloodcurdling scream coming from somewhere north of us. Then another from the south about fifteen seconds later, closer than the first. More screams added to the first two, until we were surrounded by a terrifying chorus of shrieking. I could see a number of faint, throbbing red lights scattered amongst the trees, circling our camp. The screams grew louder, closer, and the lights became brighter as the unknown creatures advanced. They were closing in on us, and fast.

Byron had dropped his flashlight in favor of his hunting rifle and was aiming it out into the forest. He fired a succession of shots towards the lights in an attempt to frighten them off, but it only served to anger them. I could barely hear the sounds of sticks breaking, deep growls, and heavy panting over the thunderous pounding of my own heart. I felt frozen, as if the roots of the forest had wrapped themselves around my ankles.

Fight or flight kicked in and I ran. I sprinted to the nearest, tallest tree I could find and I climbed it. With sweaty palms and trembling muscles, I climbed as high as I could before the branches grew too thin to bear my weight. I had a partial view of the camp from my perch, and I could see Byron holding his ground next to the dying embers of the fire pit.

“Byron! Get to a tree! Run!!” I screamed to him, but he didn’t hear me.

It was too late. A pack of massive, black, hairy beasts crashed through the trees and into the clearing. They had no flesh on their heads, just bare bone and a red, pulsating lantern in each of their skeletal mouths. He fired at the monsters as they charged towards him, and I saw a couple of them stumble as bullets lodged themselves in their bodies, but it was useless. Three of the creatures tackled him.

He screamed for me to help him, save him, do something. But all I could do was watch silently as they drug him out of my sight and back to where they had come from. I was able to hear him yelling for what seemed like forever, until he had either gone out of my hearing range or something was done to make him stop. I didn’t want to know.

I spent the longest night of my life in that tree. Even after I could no longer see or hear the monsters, I didn’t move or make a noise until the sun was high in the sky. Once I had deemed it safe, I grabbed the truck keys from Byron’s pack in the tent and fled the forest as fast as my legs, and later the truck, would take me.

***

No one ever found Byron and I never truly admitted to what I had witnessed on that awful night. And because there was an abundance of evidence pointing to an animal attack at the scene, the local police had ruled me out as a murder suspect early on. The cops, mountain rescue, and volunteers searched for weeks—months even— but couldn’t find anything conclusive. They eventually gave up and decided that Byron had probably been dragged off into the forest by a large grizzly bear or pack of wolves. My best friend’s disappearance became old news, a cold case. The world moved on to bigger, better, newer tragedies.

Now I know why nobody sets foot in those woods. The old man was right; the monsters are there.

********
Story & overlay by Pipkitten
Profile code by FallenSamurai
Background image from (X)

Albtraum are an original species of my own creation, and you can read more about them here.

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