With the desire to find out what it is that grandma never wanted them to experience or witness, Lana and Randy decided to one day take their time and walk into the woods with no adult accompanying them. The curiosity in them could not help them contain their desire to get to see and experience the scary tales that their grandma kept on telling them, which to some point made them think they were just made up to pass time since it was a norm for grandma to tell stories before bed. So they waited for grandma to take her afternoon nap and they tiptoed into the woods. It was fun as they walked down the stream past the ducks taking their bath and enjoying the waters. ‘This is so much fun I wonder why grandma never allows us to come to this point. Do you think it is true the stories she tells us?’ Lana asked Randy. Between the two, she was very fearful and inquisitive compared to the ten-year-old Randy.
Lana had just turned seven and was a very bright little girl who respected her adults so much. In any case, she had refused to heed to Randy’s requests of walking into the woods but was later convinced after a series of reverse psychology that Randy kept on using on her. ‘I don’t believe in those stories anymore, grandma has been repeating them over and over since we were very little, and ever since we never heard that there was someone missing from our village. I don’t believe in them at all.’ So much laughter and giggles of joy could be heard echoing in the woods as they played around with the ducks down the stream. As they chased them around, they never realized that they had gotten past the boundaries of the human’s territory.
Slowly darkness was cropping in but the excitement in them totally blinded them. Lana slowly realized they had gone too far which made her exclaim in fear, ‘Randy, do you know the way back? I think we are lost, am scared.’ In the realization that they had lost their way, Randy bravely held his sister’s hand and assured her that they would be safe. While trying to find their way back, they took the wrong turn and totally walked into the deeper woods. The sounds of owls and birds that were flying back from hunting could be clearly heard. It was becoming quieter as they kept walking. Lana was tired and opted to sit. ‘You can’t sit Lana, we must get home,’ cried out Randy. While sitting, they heard a loud voice from the woods that was very scary. It was very loud than the thunder, more of an animal’s roaring but very loud and scary that it shook the ground. They tightly held to each other, with their hearts racing so fast that they were afraid they could be heard.
In realization, they were sitting on a heap human and animal skulls and bones. This really scared them to death. On their right side was a body that was torn into two, dripping blood meaning it was attacked not long ago. This was right at the entrance of the cave that their grandma kept on telling them of the man-eating scary animal that had human features with strong animal jaws and claws. Randy couldn’t believe his eyes. Lana tightly closed hers since she could not take any more. While at that state, the roar became much closer to where they were and they knew their feeble feet would not take them any far before the scary creature could catch them. The winds in the woods were blowing very strongly making it difficult for the two to stay still. Thunder could be heard, and rain started pouring heavily. The lighting and the loud thunder combined with the scary roar of the creature that was coming towards them made the situation really intolerable for the little boy and girl. ‘I wish we just listened to what grandma asked us,’ remarked Lana with tears in her eyes, profusely running down her cheeks. ‘It’s okay Lana, we will find a way out, hold my hand and be strong, and we must run from this creature.’
They quickly stood up and started running from the oncoming creature. No sooner had they made ten little steps than they bumped into a very tall, huge, ugly being that was followed by other creatures of its type. Its teeth were out, and their hands and feet were smeared with blood as if they had just feasted on some sumptuous human flesh not long ago. Lana and Randy’s feet were frozen and they fell right there, slowly moving back to their rear. Behind them was this one creature they were running from, and right in front of them was the team of the scary beings that they could not go past. There was no way out, on their right was the naughty laugh of the hyenas that were oncoming too. On their left was a deep valley that went down a fast flowing river. These little ones could not help hearing their grandma’s soft spoken voice narrating to them the untold stories of the woods. This was it, they could not think of any way out and Lana thought of saying her last prayers. ‘Lord, take good care of grandma, and let her know that we love her so much, am sorry we disobeyed.’
Closer the creatures came and frozen and still did the little ones stay glued to each other. The biggest of the creatures was one step away and it stretched its claws to grab little Lana. She looked like a mice in the hands of the enormous being whose stench was so strong and had blood all over its body. The rest were running to grab and get a piece of Randy who had curled himself, he screamed and his voice could be heard in the entire woods. The echoing of his voice was so loud and the scary scenario as depicted in ‘The Gothic’ (Botting 80), resulted to grandma waking up to a realization that she was just dreaming, what a relief. She was sweating profusely and panting so hard, her heart racing twice faster than usual the nightmare really worked her out. ‘Is everything okay, grandma?’ Randy asked. ‘Yes my dear, everything is fine.’ Grandma’s nightmare was a story she never shared with the children but resulted to her being so cautious of the little ones walking alone into the woods.
Botting, Fred. The Gothic. Boydell & Brewer,, 2001.
- The characters, Lana, Randy, Grandma and the strange creatures are all fictional