Fyi, I made this intentionally cliché so don’t judge it to harshly!

“Tammie! Stop!” Rebecca giggles. “I don’t even like Luke like that.” Tammie is mercilessly teasing her about the guy in the driver’s seat. 

“Sure you don’t!”

“Rebecca! Tammie! Could you two, like, shut up? You’re making it hard to concentrate on the map!” A guy shouts from the front passenger seat. He shakes his head and looks at Luke. “Okay, take a left here, then straight ten miles. Also, why did we have to bring them?” 

Luke looks at the guy and smiles, “Don’t be such a sourpuss, Kyle.”

“This cabin better be worth it,” Kyle huffs. 

They have been driving for two hours on bumpy back roads. Not a town in sight, only forest, and the occasional small gas station. They packed plenty of booze and snacks for a weekend of fun at Luke’s new cabin.

“Why’d you even buy a cabin in the middle of nowhere, Luke?” Rebecca asked.

“I wanted a place to get away from it all, you know?” he answers with a smile. “Plus, it was cheap.”

They finally arrive. Pulling up to the new cabin, they take their first glance. It is in pleasant condition and is quite large. “Wow, Luke! You scored with this one!” Tammie shouts getting out of the SUV. “There must be something wrong with it for it to have been so cheap. I can’t wait to find out what it was.”

“Maybe it was a murder and we are all going to die,” Kyle teases.

“Not funny, you guys,” Rebecca calls out from the hatchback. “Now come get your stuff.”

They get their things and bring them inside. The cabin is even more beautiful on the inside, with pine and cedar walls. Each wall has a different scene cut into it, some bears and deer and some families having fun. The cabin was fully furnished with new furniture and electronics. “Ok, everyone pick out a room, there should be enough that we don’t have to share,” Luke instructs the group.

“Unless you girls want to share a room,” Kyle says and winks.

“You’re disgusting, Kyle,” Rebecca states as she picks a room with plaid sheets and pictures of bears. 

She throws her luggage on the bed and opens it. She unpacks her clothes and puts them in the dresser. When she opens the bottom drawer, she sees a black dress. It looks old and covered in something. She goes to pick it up for a closer look but hears a woman scream. It frightens her for a moment as if the dress screamed. She comes to her senses and realizes it was Tammie. She runs to her friend. Everyone has crowded Tammie’s room to see what happened. 

“I forgot the weed!” Tammie screams. 

“Damn it, Tammie! You had one job! One!” Kyle angrily shouts. 

Rebecca rolls her eyes and says, “Tammie, you had me scared to death! Over what? Some stupid drugs?”

Knock. Knock.

The room falls silent, and everyone looks at each other. 

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Luke walks to the door. His hand slowly going to the knob and turns it. A shaggy-looking man is on the other side of the door. 

“Hiya!” He says cheerfully. 

“Hello?” 

“Are you guys lost?”

“No,” Luke says, looking at his friends behind him. 

“Then why are you here?” the man asks less cheerfully. 

“I just bought this cabin and we are having a vacation if you must know.”

“A vacation? Here? In these woods? Look whatever they told you about this place they were lying. Nobody comes here, anymore.”

“Thanks for the heads up! Bye now!” Kyle says, coming over and closing the door. “What the hell? Weirdo.” 

“I’ve got weed.” the man says through the closed door. 

Kyle quickly opens the door. 

“I think we got off on the wrong foot. I’ll share with you if you just listen.” 

Kyle ushers the man inside and says, “Don’t be too boring.”

The shaggy man gestures for them all to sit down in the living room. He pulls a bag from his pocket and throws it at Kyle. “There, just like I said.”

Kyle gleefully grabs it and starts rolling a joint. 

Luke looks at the man, “So what did you want to talk about? I’d like to start my vacation.”

The man looks at Luke and becomes more serious, “You should leave here. It’s not a good place.”

“What do you mean by that?” Rebecca asked the man. “Did something happen, here?”

The man sighed and looked at the ground. “It was a tragedy. They took a woman from her home.” he starts. He sits in a cozy chair in the corner. “They made her wear a decomposing deer’s head the whole time.”

Rebecca broke the silence of the room. “What did they do to her?” 

“They sacrificed her to the Devil! They cut her apart and used her organs for the ritual,” he shouted. “Damned witches!” He was angry now. He shoved everything off the coffee table. 

“Witches? Are you crazy?” Kyle said, chuckling. 

The man got up and raced to Kyle. He picked him up by his shirt. “I didn’t believe either until they took her from me.” He shook Kyle hard. Luke came over to separate them, putting his hands on both of them. 

The man smacked Luke away and huffed angrily. He looked around the room and collected himself. “I should go. Be warned, these woods have evil in them. Leave now if you want to live.” He walked to the door and left. 

They all stood there, stunned at what happened. Tammie ran to her room and pulled out her duffle bag. She started packing everything she brought and was ready to leave this place. 

“Tammie, what are you doing?” Rebecca asks.

“I’m not staying here, Rebecca. I don’t want to be that old man’s next victim. He was obviously crazy.”

The man and his story strangely intrigued Rebecca. She didn’t want to leave. She wanted to know what happened. “Look, we’ll lock the doors and I’ll sleep in here with you.” Tammie gave a disapproving look and kept packing. “We can’t leave, the guys will never agree to it. What are we going to do? Walk home?”

Tammie stopped packing and sat down on the bed. She rubbed her face and sighed. “You’re right. I guess it just got to me. I still want you to stay with me tonight.”

Later that night, Rebecca dreams of a woman in that black dress. She can see they tied the woman up by a fire. She tries desperately to get free, screaming for someone. Another woman comes into view carrying a decomposing deer’s head. The woman puts the head on the screaming woman. Blood oozes down her chest and maggots fall out the neck. The woman looks at Rebecca. The deer’s mouth opens and lets out a scream. 

Rebecca jumps and falls out of bed. She stands up and looks at Tammie. Tammie is asleep and taking most of the bed. No wonder she fell off. Rebecca walks to the bathroom. She can see light coming from under the door. 

Luke steps out. “Following me?” His grin is the most beautiful thing Rebecca has ever seen. 

“Uh, no. Why would I do that? Um, this is the only bathroom.” she stutters.

“No, it’s not.” he steps closer to her and puts his hand on her back. She instantly becomes anxious. She looks down the hallway to see if there was any divergence. They hear a knock at the door, and she is secretly relieved. Luke rushes to the door. 

He swings it open and yells, “Stop! We aren’t going to play your game…” His sentence loses steam as he realizes no one is there. He steps outside for a better look. 

Rebecca can see him turn quickly, then he is swept away into the night. Her eyes get wide. Hysterical in panic, she notices she is already running. She runs into the first room she can and locks the door. She holds her head and tries to calm down. Her breathing is so loud, she’ll be found for sure. She sits on the floor and struggles to think about what happened. 

It swept him away. By something. Something with horns. “No, it can’t be,” she thinks. Something pulls on the door, scaring her even more. 

“Rebecca! Open up,” a familiar voice yells. It’s Tammie. 

Rebecca rushes to the door and opens it, immediately grabbing Tammie’s hand, “Luke! He is gone. Luke is gone!” Tammie grabs her other hand and tries to calm her.

“What do you mean Luke’s gone?” Kyle asks, frustrated from being woken up. 

“Something took him! I saw it.”

“What took him?” Tammie asks calmly. 

Rebecca falls silent. She can’t tell them what she saw, they will think she’s crazy. “I don’t know,” she answers. She is calmer now. “He was standing in the doorway, then he wasn’t.” 

“He probably stepped out to get away from you,” Kyle huffs. He feels something touch him. “Hey! Don’t touch me.” 

He turns and looks out the doorway. His eyes are wide in horror. Long white fingers wrap around his throat. He makes gurgling sounds as the hand tightens. An audible crunch is heard as his neck snaps and his throat collapses. Blood flows from Kyle’s mouth and he falls to the floor. 

The creature walks into the room. Rebecca takes in all the air. It’s her. The head of the deer rotting over her face. 

The woman leans over Kyle, ripping open his abdomen. She pulls out his intestines and shoves them under the deer’s head. Rebecca and Tammie can hear the slurping and chewing as she eats their friend.

Tears run down Tammie’s face, and a squeak from her throat comes out. The woman turns and looks at them. She stands up and lets out a shriek. A man runs into the room and grabs the woman. “Go!” he yells. The two girls get up and run for their lives. 

They get to the SUV and Rebecca swears. “I don’t have the keys!” She looks over to Tammie. Tammie is on her hands and knees, wrenching into the mud. She cries and looks up into the sky, praying for help. 

“Tammie, get up!” Rebecca grabs her. Tammie just continues to pray, rocking back and forth on her knees. “For fuck’s sake, we have to get out of here!” As the words fall from her mouth, she knows what she must do, her survival skills kick in. She grabs a brick and smacks Tammie in the back of the head, asking her for forgiveness as she pushes her unconscious body under the SUV. She must keep herself and Tammie alive, even if it means getting close to death.

With new determination, Rebecca walks to the cabin’s storage shed. She had to get those keys. She throws open the doors and grabs a shovel. This will be her only defense. She bangs it on the side of the metal shed. 

CLANK! CLANK! CLANK!

“Come and get me, motherfucker!” She yells. 

The woman comes running out with fresh blood on her black dress. As she gets close, Rebecca swings and hits her with the shovel. The deer’s head is knocked off as the woman falls to the ground. Rebecca can see her face for the first time. Her eyes are black and hollow and her skin is pale like the dead. Rebecca spins the shovel handle in her hands and grits her teeth. She is ready; she will not die here. 

The woman slowly tries to get up. Rebecca jumps onto her back. The crack of her spine is satisfying to hear. 

“Please,” the woman pleads. Rebecca stops. “This isn’t me, I just want to live,” her voice gets more distorted as she speaks. She begins to cackle a demented laugh. 

Rebecca takes her shovel and plunges it into the woman’s neck. Her head rolls and her body instantly turns to ash. Rebecca spits on the ashes and kicks her head as far as she can.

She goes inside and sees the carnage of the man from before. She closes his eyes. “Thank you.” 

She rushes to the keys and grabs them. Wasting no time getting back to the SUV, she picks up Tammie and puts her inside. Climbing into the driver’s seat, she knows she’s made it.

One thought on “Deer to my Heart

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