IT LIVES IN THE WOODS

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HEADS UP: This story was originally written in 1st person narrative. It was my first time writing in this style and it's really difficult to do. Stories like The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, Percy Jackson, are all in 1st person narrative, but they knew how to do it right, lol. So I changed it to 3rd person to suit people's tastes.

Is it better? Leave a comment if you want me to continue or I can switch it back to first person.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the "Choices" games by Pixelberry or "The Labyrinth" by Jim Henson.

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Chapter 1 – Wake Up Call

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"Bzzzz!"

Sarah was slowly brought to awareness, drifting between that space of conscious and unconscious. What has brought me awake? She thought, laying there. Listening. The option was still available of sinking back into the warm embrace of colorful dreams or waking up to the reality of her room. She hesitated.

"Bzzzz!"

The vibrating buzz decided for her and her green eyes opened into slits. A pale light illuminated her dark room, casting a glow on her belongings and posters. It was coming from her bedside table. She turned her head with bleary eyes to stare at the notification screen from her cellphone.

Moaning in annoyance, she rolled to her side, "Uuggh, who's texting me at—", she grasped the cellphone in her hand and looked at the time on the screen, blinking away the pain, "- 3 in the morning?" Another groan. Whoever it is, they better have a good excuse or else….

The screen opened and the sudden, harsh light burned her retinas. But she woke up a little more fully, however, as she read the words from the text. Her eyebrows scrunched up in confusion.


Dan 3:06am

Hey are you there? It's Dan

I messed up. I'm so sorry….


Dan Pierce?! She forced herself to concentrate and sent back a text, trying to punch in the correct buttons so it didn't come out a sleepy mess.


Sarah 3:07am

Dan? It's…been a while. Are you ok? What happened?


Sarah rubbed her eyes worriedly in an effort to focus while she waited. Why is he texting me? Why now? His next words felt like a bucket of ice water being dumped over her head. Staring at the screen, she texted back angrily.


Dan 3:08am

I went back into the woods.

I had to be sure. I had to prove to myself that it was all in my head….

But it isn't, Sarah, it's all real. HE'S real.

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Sarah 3:09am

Dan…are you drunk or something?

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Dan 3:09am

I heard him whispering…just like when we were kids.

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Sarah 3:09am

No! Stop it Dan! We made all that stuff up.

The Goblin King was just a dumb kid's game that got out of control.

He doesn't exist. He never did.

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Dan 3:10am

He does.

He's here with me now.

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Sarah 3:10am

Wait...where are you?!

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Dan 3:11am

I can hear him in the trees….

I can hear him whispering

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A harsh TAP! TAP! TAP! on the window's glass sent Sarah jumping a foot into the air as her heart gave a painful squeeze of adrenaline. She couldn't help the gasp-scream that escaped her throat, "G-aAhhh!"

A dark shape loomed outside the window. Sarah fumbled for the lights, her heart hammering inside her chest. She didn't know what to think except for whether to 'flee' or 'freeze'. 'Fight' didn't even register in her brain in this moment of panic. What made it worse was that her dad, Karen, and Toby were out of town. Out of the country, even. Sara was all alone...

The light finally flooded the bedroom, shining brightly and chasing all the odd shadows away. It streamed through the window to reveal….

"Dan?! What are you doing here?!" Sarah exclaimed, relieved.

"Sarah, can I come in?" He asked.

"Uhhhhh…" Relief changed to confusion. She stared at him, having a strange disconnect in her brain. It's been so long… "Yeah, I guess so…hold on.", She moved to the window and pushed up until it slid open enough for Dan to climb inside. Once inside, she just stared at him some more, her brain moving sluggishly at 3AM.

Dan was currently the quarterback on the football team, and it suited him. He looked good, now that he was all grown. Sarah used to have a teensy innocent crush on him but it had never sprouted into anything. They had both slowly but surely gone separate ways. Until now?

"You've got some explaining to do, though." She put her hands on her baggy pajama-clad hips in a 'Sarah's-trying-to-take-control-of-the-situation' pose. The window let in a slightly cold breeze which went right through her pink tank top, making her skin prickle from the cold. "First off…How did you get up to my window? Because we are definitely on the second floor right now…"

"I climbed." Dan said.

"Uh…. okay, Spiderman." She blinked, eyes wide. "You sounded really freaked out in your texts..."

He looked like he always did. Gym shorts. Blue hoodie. Hair that curled at the ends from wearing sport caps too often. And yet, something was off...

"It's nothing. I'm fine." Dan said. "Come on, we need to go get the others."

"What others?" Am I dreaming? This feels like a dream.

"Our friends! Jane, Emily, Taylor, Luke, MJ, and Sean. I've got something to show you. But we've got to bring everyone. The whole gang!" Dan said, and his face lit up with excitement.

Oh, I get it! This must be one of those 'we're going on a quest' kind of dreams. Then his words sunk in and her stomach plummeted. Wait. The…the gang?

"Dan…." Sarah bit her lip as memories began to bubble up. Memories that Sarah Williams did NOT want to remember. Let them stay in the deep abyss of the mind until they've moldered away to dust.

"I've barely spoken to anyone in…the gang…since we were kids! No one's kept in contact. Not since what happened to Jessica-"

Dan's face became angry, "But they have to come, Sarah! EVERYONE has to be there. That's the rule."

The hair on the back of Sarah's neck stood up. But before she could answer him; her phone buzzed again, vibrating against the fluffy carpet. She didn't realize she had dropped it when Dan had scared the crap out of her. Sighing, she walked over to it and picked it up.

"Dan, I want to help you. But you're honestly freaking me out right now." She rubbed a hand over her eyes and forehead. Is it too much to get some sleep around here? "Look, we've got our first day of school in, like, 6 hours. We'll talk then, okay? Sound good?"

The phone buzzed in her hand again, sending another notification. She glanced down at the sender, only to be greeted by a cold jolt in her stomach…


Dan 3:20am

Are you still there? I think I'm lost

Dan 3:21am

Sarah? My battery's almost dead, pls help me!


"Wait…." The world started to tilt scarily. Like, Twilight Zone scary. A shaky breath rushed past her lips.

"We have to go back to the woods, Sarah." he spoke.

The lights in the bedroom began to flicker rapidly as a chill wind swept through the open window, causing Sarah to give a shiver. The lights stopped flickering and just completely died. The whole room was suddenly bathed in a suffocating darkness so thick you could cut it with a knife. Only the cellphone offered any semblance of light.

Hands trembling, she looked up from her phone to the person standing before her. "…D-Dan?"

A smile spread across his shadowed face...stretching wider than it should. "Sarah?" he mocked.

She started to back away…but Dan's hand shot out and clamped around her wrist. She panicked, yanking her arm, but he gripped painfully tighter with an almost inhuman strength.

"Hey!" She cried.

Without thinking too much about consequences, she slammed her fist against Dan's jaw and pain shot up her arm. He barely even flinched... but she definitely felt it. "Ow! What the—"

Dan suddenly threw her to the floor with a painful THUD, pinning her back against the carpet.

"Don't make my job harder than it needs to be Sarah! You can't escape this. You can't escape Him."

Him? Sara stopped struggling for a moment and stared up at Dan, dazed from being thrown to the floor like a sack of potatoes, her eyes grew wide as what he's saying finally registered. All she could do was whisper in horror, "No…Dan! Don't…"

"We all have to go back. Don't you remember?"

"Get off me!" She bucked and struggled underneath him. He leaned in closer, smiling…

"Everyone plays together, Sarah."

In what seems to be her last defense, she seized the iron locket dangling around her neck. Lifting it up, she slammed it against his face.

"ARRRRGGGGHH!" He shrieked in pain. The sizzling sound of burning skin confirmed what she already knew by now: This wasn't Dan. Dan was out there somewhere, probably in as much trouble as she was.

"You're going to pay for that you little b****!"

The creature's glamour melted away to show the inhumanly beautiful face of a man with long brown hair. Sarah breathed an internal sigh of relief that he wasn't the blonde creature that she knew too well. A nasty burn, black and smoking, was on his cheek right where her iron locket chemically reacted.

In one quick movement, he grabbed the locket and tugged, snapping it off Sarah's neck. She reflexively grabbed hold of his clenched hand so he couldn't let go of the toxic metal. He screamed again with rage and pain as his hand began to smoke, but he used his other hand to grip her throat. He clenched.

"Ahhgg-" Her scream ended in a choke.

"Stop. Fighting. Me!" He hissed, beyond angry.

Sarah's focus turned from burning him to protecting her voice box that was being crushed. Both her hands came up to pry his hand away. Unfortunately, quick as a whip, he threw the iron necklace far away from either of them and brought his other hand to join the first one. The creature's hands tightened around her throat….and her vision began to blur. Shadows seemed to wreath and bleed in the dark room. She could almost swear she heard the hushed, worried whispers of Goblins.

It's now or never.

"You have n-no... power…over m-me" She choked out.

She had no more breath. She simply sank, paralyzed by terror, into a cold black nothingness while an inhuman sound of rage was the last thing she heard.


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I didn't know what to put for the "theme" of this story. It's originally HORROR, but I'm really not into scary movies, as I'm more of a comedy writer. Basically, this story is a little bit of Horror, a LOT of Suspense, a spot of dark Romance, and a whole butt load of Friendship. So I put in the two most common themes: Suspense and Friendship. Cause, you know, Friendship always helps you defeat the villain. My Little Pony taught me that. Lol.

I got this idea after playing a horror game in "Choices" by Pixelberry and thought, what if I took the story and made the monster "Jareth" and the main character "Sarah"?! And thus, "It Lives In The Woods" was born!

I really want this to feel like a book, rather than a fanfiction if that makes sense. This is a SLOW BURN between Jareth and Sarah, which is the best in my opinion. You gotta let the tension build in order to release the spring