Old Tree

Old Tree

I and my friends decided on a cottage trip for the hell of it one summer. Just a good excuse to get drunk in the forest with friends. I'm personally the kind of guy that isn’t too close to nature. I don’t see why we can't just go to a bar instead but whatever, sure let’s go to the cottage. It ended up being quite a ways out. It felt like we were driving on roads with trees all around us for hours. Eventually, we get to this path and we had to hike up it for about 10 mins before we got to this lonely cottage. It had that classic wood log style to it. I can’t say it was anything fancy but it got the job done. It ended up being a pretty big place for 7 people. There were almost enough rooms for each of us to have our own and enough beds for 10 people.

While some of us were hanging out outside unloading the van the others went through the cottage and started claiming rooms. When I got in they told me what was available. I decided to share a bunk bed with my friend David. Me and him are known in our group as the heavy drinkers and we would most likely be the ones drinking the most and staying up the longest. The room we got was a little further off from the other rooms. I didn’t mind that but I didn’t like the room itself. Honest, I didn’t like the cottage overall. It seemed to be designed in a weird way. Random corners that didn’t need to be there and weird indents in the walls which some of my friends were already using to scare each other with by jumping out from. Me and Davids room was for sure the weirdest. To me, it seemed like they renovated the veranda into a bedroom. It just seemed to open. There were windows all around the room and even a floor-to-ceiling window next to the bunk bed.

But who cares about that, people were already making a fire outside and starting to drink. The rest of us head out and get scared by 2 friends jumping out the random opening on the way but we laugh it off. I got scared and thought it was funny and all but I just didn’t feel right about the cottage. I know we just got there but it still felt cold even though it was the middle of July. No one else seemed to care or notice and there was alcohol waiting for me. I shook it off as simply a creepy layout and a new place I’m not used to. That being said I always made sure I wasn’t the one walking at the back of the group.

We get outside and started to party. Everyones drinking, telling jokes, telling stories. A guitar was even pulled out at some point and we all sang along. Slowly as the night went on people dwindled away to bed. It was me and 2 other friends left just sitting around the fire talking. David had already puked and gone to bed. When one of my friends said they were ready to head in we all decided we might as well call it a night. We splash the fire and head in. After saying good night I split off to my room. I wasn’t too happy with having to walk so far to my room in the dark. I was able to find and turn on a few lights on the way but due to the weird layout of the place, it didn’t do much. It left these pockets of darkness down the halls and corners. I got my phone out and used the flashlight feature to go through the hallways carefully. I didn’t think any of my friends would go through the trouble of waiting in any of those random openings for this long but I was drunk and scared enough to be paranoid about it. I held my phone in my left hand and was ready to start swinging at whatever popped out with my right.

I slide along the walls of the hallway flashing my light into the random openings before stepping across. I don’t know how long it took me to get to my room but I eventually made it there. I see David passed out on the lower bunk and I climb up into the top one and pass out while looking out the window. I wake up later to a creak. I can't tell where it came from but I expect it was someone going to the bathroom and I tried to go back to sleep. Then I hear the creak again. This time it’s for sure coming from outside the door. I lay there as still as I can be wide-eyed looking at the door. The light from the window seeped into the room but I could barely make out the door. I see it unlatch and slowly slide open. I don’t blink I don’t move. I don’t think I took a breath but that door slowly opened and I could see a man standing there with long arms at the door. I know it’s not one of my friends. It was far too tall to be anything natural. It was too tall to fit into that hallway. I could barely make out his form but there's no way he was able to stand up straight. I couldn’t see the top of its body at all. Just his legs and his arms.

I don’t know how long it stood there with a hand on the doorknob but I could swear it knew I was awake and looking at it. Eventually, it moved its other hand around the side of the door frame and lowered itself to peer through the door. I saw its face looking into the room. It was a thin smiling old man. It didn’t seem to have eyelids and its large black eyes seemed to roll around the room until it suddenly locked eyes with me. I instantly shut my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I heard a clicking noise coming from the door. Like someone repeatedly clicking their tongue. I didn’t move. Just laid there with my eyes closed. I could still hear the clicking. It moved from the door and walked up to the bed. It was low below me I think. It was checking the bottom bunk David was sleeping on but slowly raised itself up to my level. Whatever it is, it was standing in front of my face clicking with its tongue. The sheets were drenched in my sweat but I didn’t make a single move. I don’t know how long I heard that clicking but I think I fainted. When I woke up it was morning and I can hear my friends talking and laughing around the cottage. I told them what happened and 2 of them went quiet. They said they didn’t see the old man but they also heard the clicking coming from the rooms and the halls. It was enough for me and a few of the others to pack our bags and get out. The others followed even though they didn’t believe us. I’ll never forget that night and I’ll never forget the sound of that clicking.

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