II.  The Rural Hauntings

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

This merciless hunt endures in the thick timberlands of the darkened vale, as several other tormenting screams of deserted victims disperse into the air. You merely cannot seem to overcome the fearfulness that whirls around your everlastingly perturbed soul. And in the obscured heavens above, arises The Master, who only bestows a scornful laugh, and encourages the ruthless beings to carry forth their belligerent storm. But quite suddenly, you trip on the root of an oak, and plummet onto the cold, unpitying ground. As you vainly struggle to your feet, many of the pumpkin-like creatures slowly approach where you lie. And precisely as you begin to hasten off, one seizes your ankle, causing you to collapse for the second time. Without warning, the sadistic being bites into your leg. Crying aloud, severely anguished, you become frightened, attempting to writhe out of the creature’s pernicious bite.

Yet finally, after many fruitless endeavors, you are able to vigorously thrust the rancorous being off from your leg, and crush it against the bristly bark of a tree trunk. This accordingly causes the creature to splatter into an orange, gory pulp. While you frantically limp away, into the woodlands, the others charge headlong towards you, proving once more to hold no clemency. Dashing through several bleak ravines, the loathsome howls of the heartless creatures linger beneath the hanging treetops. But several yards ahead, there appears to stand a hollowed tree, rotting upon a hillside. And thus quite hurriedly, you crouch onto your knees, and crawl into the decomposing hickory. Through a smaller hole inside the decayed trunk, you gaze upon the horrifying scene of hundreds of creatures lumbering onward, into the dead of midnight.

Thankfully for you, the outlandish entities have lost your fear-reeking scent––that is, momentarily. Nevertheless, you feel slight relief, and begin to admire the silver light of the moon, shining through the shadowing treetops. But although all seems well, you must remain extremely heedful of the other menaces that could possibly reside in this haunted and forlorn place. Stooping out from the safety of the cave-like burrow, the noises of the creatures begin to fade into the stillness. Warily observing your environments, a quietness once more descends upon the land. But suddenly, you catch an undesirable glimpse of something very disquieting; a weak glow is moving solemnly, beyond the trees of which stand in front of the opaque darkness––and this glow does not belong to a creature, but rather, a humble, burning flame. And the more you prolong your stare towards the dimmed-radiance, the more you realize that the lights belong to lanterns––lanterns being wielded by Mansfield and Chester; the two ghouls that incessantly disturb you are drawing near––you must make haste to get far from them. 

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