“Wendigo” by Robert Mateen

Breathing heavily from under the floorboard of a cabin in the woods, in the middle of the night. Clothing ripped, a dislocated left leg and bruises all over. I bet you’re wondering how I got myself into this mess, yeah well I am too. But to understand, we’ve got to start from the top.

I  remember it like it was just yesterday, lying in bed, on that cold winter night,  having my big brother read me a bedtime story. It may have been my fault for being a sucker for stories that always scared the crap out of me. If only I had just asked him to read to me about dinosaurs like regular 5year olds.

“It was an enormous creature, as tall as a tree even, with a lipless bloody mouth and jagged teeth. Its breath sounded like a strange hiss, its footprints were full of blood, and it devoured any man, woman, or child who would dare venture into its territory. And those were the lucky ones though. Most times, the Wendigo would choose to possess a person instead, and then the unfortunate individual became a Wendigo himself, hunting down those he had once loved like mummy and daddy, and feasting upon their soft succulent flesh, Ahhh! ” he screamed, in a bid to further deepen my already petrified state.

I frightfully leaped under the covers, as if to say the impenetrable fortification that was my bedsheet, would ward the creature off even if it came knocking.

And while I was there shivering, I felt the warmth of a palm, pat me on my head and then a voice said, “Alright kid, that’s enough stories for one night, it’s time for bed.” He stood up from my bedside, walked to the wall, and hit the light switch. But as he was about to walk out the door, I pulled down my sheets and called out to him

“Hey Ricky, Wendigo’s don’t really exist do they?”, I asked innocently.

He chuckles “Nah Mickey, they’re just a myth, so don’t worry, the only thing going to go bump in the night is me coming back here if your not asleep Asap, capiche?”

“Totally!” I enthusiastically responded, breathing a sigh of relief. But something in me still yearned to be sure.

15years later, my curiosity still hadn’t been doused. So hearing there was another alleged sighting of a Wendigo back at that town, Rosesu , in Northern Minnesota, and also cause my Uncle Stan had a cabin there in the woods, which he never uses, I leaped at the prospect of going to see for myself. I invited 5 of my close friends, of which Mickey and Zoe were also Wendigo enthusiasts. But Brandon just wanted some alone time with Ashley and Axel just wanted to bask in the satisfaction of getting to say ‘I told you so’  when we’d come up short. I wouldn’t blame him though, cause it wouldn’t be the first time. And also cause we needed a weekend getaway, we all packed our gear and headed out. Yeah I know, you would think just the phrase ‘Cabin in the woods’ or ‘flesh-eating monster’ would be enough to detour us, but nope. We even drove straight past a sign that said ‘danger, turn back!’, with a creepy old man staring us down at a gas station.

“Hey guys, is it just me or is that old man staring at us funny” Zoe whispers to the gang in the car, as she tries to avoid making eye contact with the man

“Yeah Mickey, what’s your dad doing out here, staring at us like that” Brandon taunted, but I was too busy fueling up the car to even notice who they were talking about.

“Shut up you big ape, this is serious “ Zoe exclaimed, as she shoved Brandon over his shoulder

“Emm guys, let’s just hurry and get out of here, he’s making me really uncomfortable” Zoe said, as she just peered at him through the rearview mirror

“Don’t worry baby, I’ll protect you” Brandon said, as he tries to wrap his arms around Ashley, but she pushes him away.

“What, no love for the B man” Brandon exclaimed but no one paid attention to him.

“Alright guys, I’m done, let’s get out of here!” I said as I leaped back into the car and we drove off.

Arriving at the cabin, the whole place looked forgotten and desolate like no one had been there in ages, not to mention the unnerving vibe of creepy that corroded the air.

It looked like no one was around for miles and it was still about a 30minute drive to get to the main town. Which basically meant that we were on our own, as far as we could tell that is. But like all stories with dumb kids in it, that hardly ever is the case.

“Alright guys, it looks like we need to straighten this place out, that’s if we don’t want to be sleeping with rats” I pointed out.

Axel walks over to the front door to push it open, but a fleeing bat almost sweeps his head clean of his shoulders as it raced for the exit

“Crap!” exclaimed Axel, as he quickly docks to avoid the bat.

“Well what do you know, flying rats, aren’t we the luckiest” Zoe sarcastically said

As the gang walked into the cabin, the entire space was ridden with cobwebs and possibly thousands of dust mites and other unknown assailants lurking in the shadows.

“Eww, what’s that putrid smell?”, Zoe exclaimed as she pinched her nose with her fingers.

“Oh I thought I was the only one perceiving it” Ashley adds as she almost throws up

“Hey, nobody look at me, we only just got here!” Brandon Said in an attempt to defend himself.

“Umm must be a dead rat or something. I’ve got some air fresheners in the car, everyone grab a broom and some wet towels, let’s get to work” I said.

Later that evening, we made our way deeper into the woods where we made a Campfire. We just sat around it and told creepy stories, trying to scare each other. Considering where we were, it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea, but it’s not like we’ve been making bright choices up until now.

“So you guys heard the one about the man with the hook for a hand” Brandon posed to the gang

“Dude that’s so cliché, you might consider getting some new material.” Axel interjected

“Yeah well I don’t see you telling any, smart ass!” Brandon responded

“Maybe because none of those stories are true, they are just tales to prey on the simple mind, such as yourself.” Axel retorts

“Simple! Menh I’m gonna break your scrawny little neck like a twig!” Brandon exclaimed as he reached out to grab Axel, but he is pulled back by Ashley.

“Come on guys, we’re here to relax not fight, you can kill each other later, but not now.” Ashely said in an attempt to quell the altercation.

“Okay chill guys, I’ve got one. It’s one my brother told me a long time ago, about the Wendigo!”

Axel chuckles, “You mean the thing your brother made you pee your pants about when you were a kid, sureee, do tell, I just have to go take a piss first. But don’t let me stop you.” He taunts as he walks away to find a secluded place in which to urinate.

Axel after pacing around for a while due to his insecurities, he finally picks a spot.

“Damn I’ve been holding this in like forever, I wonder if it was all that Coke I drank” He mutters to himself while he urinates, but he was simply oblivious of the fact that he was being stalked.

Suddenly he begins to hear subtle thrashing coming from a thick bush behind him.

“Very funny Brandon, can’t a man just take a piss in peace, god!” he exclaimed

His strong assertive tone soon turned jittery, as he begins to hear a low pitch spine chilling growl come from the thick bushes again.

“G-Gu-Guys this isn’t funny anymore. If it’s a prank, I’m not laughing!” He exclaimed. With his heart pounding through his chest and his skin growing numb, he couldn’t even careless of the fact that he had started peeing on his boots.

Then in a flash, Brandon leaps out of his cover and shouts “Boo!” Causing Axel to shriek on top of his voice like a little girl, so much so that his voice reverberated through the entire forest.

Brandon lets out a burst of loud ridiculing laughter “You should’ve seen the look on your face!” he said as he bends over and slaps his knees.

Axel let’s out a sigh of relief. “Haha, you got me. So tell me, how did you do it?” He asked.

“Well I bought this frequency thing on eBay just for this occasion, they said it could mimic animal noises, but I didn’t expect it to work this well!” Brandon lets out another belly full laughter.

“Okay, what about the bush thrashing thing, you couldn’t have possibly been that stealthy, was someone else in on it??”

“Dude what bush thrashing thing, I just got here, and I hid behind that tree over there.” Brandon exclaimed as he turns to point at the tree. But he oscillates back to meet the utterly petrified gaze of Axel.

Axel stutters while quaking all over. “Bu-but that’s, that’s not a tree!” Axel exclaimed

Before Brandon could react, the grotesque looking creature, twice the height of a man with it’s; deteriorating rotten flesh, fangs that looked like daggers and the horns of an elk, opened it’s thick red blood ridden eye’s and stood motionless behind Brandon.

“What, what are talking about?” Brandon questioned. He was about to turn back around, but he was cautioned by Axel

“Brandon, whatever you do, don’t make any sudden movements!”

“Dude, if you’re trying to pull one on me, it’s not gonna work, I’m the master of pranks remember!” he responded as he abruptly turns to see what Axel was going on about. But he and a few bruises.

While I was still recuperating, I began to hear a thrashing sound coming from the tree line behind me, so I agonizingly managed to drag myself under the Cabin and tadaaa, here we are. And you wouldn’t believe what that putrid smell in the house was early, it was the deteriorating corpse of my Uncle Stan. It would seem no one actually realized he was missing, cause no one was looking for him.

So here I am, with a broken limb and his corpse masking my scent. I still can’t decide if I should wait to see if the other’s make it or just make a run for the car.

And then my decision was made for me. Out of the tree lines came stomping through, The Majestic but yet hideously terrifying Sight of the Wendigo of myth. I was terrified but yet awed at the same time. And then staggering out from behind it were the corpses of Brandon, Ashley, and Zoe. They definitely made it, but not in one piece.

While I was still laying low, planning to wait it out, I began to notice that they were lining up in front of me, almost motionless, as if they were waiting for something. Then almost out of the blue, The Original Wendigo began to transform back to human form. And the face he had was the same as the old man we saw at the gas station!

 While still trying to make sense of everything, a thought hit me, “Where the hell is Axel?”

On hearing a low growl echo from behind me, I knew it was the end of the line.

Mickey slowly turns around to meet the gaze of the half mauled corpse of Axel grinning at him with his mutated jagged row of teeth.

Mickey screams as he tries to crawl out from underneath the cabin, but he is pulled back into the darkness by Axel in Epic fashion.