I saw a boy. I stood on the deck and watched him cross a clearing on the North side of the fire tower. He must have been 300 yards away, but it was definitely a boy, a live boy. I hurried down the tower and moved as quickly as I could to catch up with him. The woods between the tower and the clearing were thick and covered in an icy-hard frost. Running wasn’t possible without falling every other step, so I grabbed the first stick I could find and used it to help me move through the slippery terrain without losing my footing.
It worked but it was slow going. Once I hit the edge of the clearing, I saw a lodge. It’s made of stones. I looked back towards the fire tower and tried to figure out why I hadn’t seen it until now. A row of tall pine trees bent and swayed in the cold wind. They must block my view of the lodge from the deck.
I yelled for the boy, but he didn’t respond. He just kept walking towards the woods on the other side of the clearing. I couldn’t make out any details. He was wearing a heavy coat and his back was too me. I know it was a boy. It had to be a boy.
The open area was covered in a deep layer of powdery snow. I tried to chase after him, but eventually I was hip deep in the snow and could barely work myself free. When I made it back to sturdier ground, I nearly passed out from the exhaustion and the cold.
I inched my way around to the front of the lodge and stopped dead in my tracks. There were three piles of body parts near the front door, only they were different than the others. These were all human body parts and each pile contained the same body part. There was a pile of feet, a pile of hands and a pile of heads.
I stood. Frozen. Afraid. I didn’t know what to do.
Suddenly, a low rumbling sound came from the pile of heads. It grew louder and louder. When I moved closer to investigate, every head in the pile released an ear piercing scream.
I scrambled for the woods and zipped across the icy ground until I fell, crashing into some dead snow covered brush. The screaming started to die down. I pushed myself back until I reached a tree. I sat there until all I could hear was the whistling of the wind through the tree tops.
When I made it back to the tower, I could see the boy again. He was coming out of the woods on the other side of the clearing and it looked like he was carrying a head.