It was a bleak dismal night when suddenly the breathing became louder and louder. We stood and froze and then there was silence.
“Run!” Chloe shrieked.
It was a clear summery afternoon and Chloe was over at my house, as usual. We have been best friends for just over five years and Chloe literally lives at my house. We were playing in my room and my mum was downstairs, “tea’s ready girls!” We scampered downstairs and into the kitchen;
“Smells good Mum!”
“Mmmm, our favourite Jess, PIZZA!”
After we ate it was my turn to feed the cows, so Chloe and I got changed into our farm clothes and ambled towards the food barn. We grabbed two buckets and went to the far field where the cows were being kept.
“What’s wrong, Jess? You’re awfully quiet,” Chloe questioned.
We fed the cows and Chloe began to speed up;
“Last one backs a rotten egg!”
She taunted as she sprinted off. However, I just sauntered back, puzzled. I had been living on the farm for just over seven years and I never once entered the woodland on the far side of the cows’ field. Mum never told me never to go near it because it was dangerous but she never said why.
The boys at our school teased Chloe and I, attempting to scare us. They used to say that a frail eerie, mysterious ghostly lady, called the grey lady lurks beneath the canopy of branches. She is known as a murderer and she’s run away from a mental hospital. They made Chloe cry once and she wouldn’t come over my house for days. I refused to believe any of it!
That same evening a thunder storm was brewing it was a bitter evening and Chloe was inside watching a video. I was bringing the cows into their barns and I was alone. All of a sudden I heard this “boom” from the woodland, a shiver ran down my spine, I heard footsteps, they got louder and louder, I began to panic, the cows had scampered, I looked up, I saw flashes of light darting between the trees, I fell to the ground in fear. Then there was silence.
“Don’t hurt me, please!” I cried out as a tear of fear ran down my face.
“Darling, it’s me, Mum!” She exclaimed, “I wondered what happened. I heard a huge bang!”
We walked back to the house together, I was gripping Mum’s hand as tight as possible and I explained what happened.
“What’s wrong, Jess?” Chloe questioned sympathetically.
“It’s a long story!” I didn’t want to tell Chloe in case I scared her.
Since then I was extremely curious about the woodland and I knew the boys at school were only trying to scare us so I decided to find out.
“Mum, why am I not allowed in the woodland?”
“Because it’s dangerous!”
“A boy at school said a murderer lives there and she escaped from a mad house.”
“Well darling, I wouldn’t go to those extremes; they were probably only trying to scare you. Why?”
Mum knew I would persevere until I got what I wanted.
“But Mum didn’t you say…..
“Here, take these crisps and put on a video or something for you and Chloe.”
“Okay,” I moaned.
That night I couldn’t sleep, I was tossing and turning. I just really wanted to know what was so eerie about the woodland.
“Chloe, Chloe. Are you awake?” I whispered. She turned over and mumbled.
“Guess not then.”
I finally dropped off only to find myself being woken at 6am by Charles the cockerel.
“I hate that stupid bird!” I mumbled in my morning daze.
“Morning Chloe, sleep well?”
“Yes, well I think so.”
It was another dismal morning and as I drew the curtains I could barely see the barns.
“Coming,” we replied in chorus.
When we got to the kitchen, breakfast was arranged in Mum’s normal manner and it was as though the toaster knew exactly when to “pop”. Hot buttered toast with a bowl of cornflakes and a splash of cold milk, the best way to start the day.
“Jess and Chloe, would it be okay if you feed the cows again today?”
“Sure Mrs G,” Chloe replied sweetly, kicking me under the table.
“Okay!” I groaned. I hated feeding the cows in the morning.
We struggled with our wellies and put on our thick coats, as we opened the door a bitter draft swept through the kitchen. It was still pitch black, and as we walked towards the cow’s field we couldn’t see them. We began to fret as to where they were. As we got closer we still couldn’t see anything. When we got to the field, it was deserted. There was a hole in the fence leading to the woodland. At that point I knew the cows had escaped to the woodland. Chloe and I exchanged fearful looks.
We both began to amble towards the hole in the fence, as we climbed over it was as though we were stepping into another world. They had differently gone this way because I could feel their track indents in the mud.
We turned a bristly corner, the branches slashing against my leg like swords slicing flesh. I could hear Chloe’s teeth chattering behind me. The leaves ‘crunch’ beneath our wellies and the mud squelched. We turned another corner and a noise, the leaves began to move, there as something in there. I couldn’t’ scare Chloe, it got nearer and nearer I began to panic myself….a mouse? A grey, wet nose sniffed the air, helplessly. It caught a glance of us and scampered.
I continued, Chloe close behind me though I couldn’t see her but I felt her cold breath on my neck. Then I became more aware of the surroundings, mist was beginning to settle, the grass was damp and overgrown, a gentle ice wind gushed through the trees. A horizon of mist was ahead, we heard breathing, it got louder and louder. Then there was silence.
“Moo!” It came from through the mist, there it was again. Each time getting quieter, the noise sounded helpless as though there was something wrong. The woodland became totally silent……
“Run!” Chloe shrieked.