Music by Dr. Creepen
Around the ballpark of two months ago, I was invited via a letter to the funeral of a relative I'm only vaguely aware of. It is common in my city to travel by walking and biking, as it wasn't built for larger things such as cars, and horses were on the way out. The majority of major locations were obstructed by large and dense forests, which were also very common. So thick were these forests that it was easy to get lost in them if you weren't familiar with the land, but my family and I grew up in these woods and knew them quite well. That is why I decided to travel alone to the funeral, although it became clear that this was a mistake.
I was hopefully making my way there when I got caught in the middle of a terrible and ferocious storm. It was such a storm that I found myself completely forced to turn back. The dirt trail for biking was too muddy by this point so I took to walking beneath the trees, hoping for some extra shelter. At this point it was nighttime and was very dark, so I made sure to linger near the trail where there were lampposts regularly. It is this reason that I'm certain I hadn't gotten lost, as I largely followed the trail the whole way back, yet somehow the trail must have diverged into a separate path, because I followed it into a branch of the woods that I was not familiar with.
Hoping the darkness just made the path seem alien, I continued to follow blindly until I was certain that I was somewhere I've never seen before. This part of the forest was much thicker than I was used to and I was very unsure of where I was or where the path was leading me. I pressed forward, however, hoping to come across another town where I could make my way back into the woods I know. In truth, I didn't want to turn back just yet because I was a little frightened by what happened, and was scared I would get even more lost if I wandered any more.
It was around this point, after a couple hours of walking, that I found an abandoned cabin built in the woods. It was large and seemed to be two stories. I decided to spend the night in the cabin to see if the storm might die down by the morning. After collecting some relatively dry wood I managed to make a small fire in the fireplace. There was indeed an upstairs, but the door atop the staircase was locked and I had little interest in the cabin aside from it being a warm shelter from the storm outside.
I prepared a small bed-like setup on the floor, using a blanket I had taken with me. Although there was an old couch, I did not trust it as it could have been particularly diseased or something similar. I had been asleep for maybe an hour or two when I was awoken by a very loud and very surprising knocking sound. I first considered it to be coming from the front door but upon getting up to my feet I realized it was instead coming from the door upstairs. The knocking continued for a few moments as I stood by my blanket, staring at the ceiling behind which the door would be located. I wasn't sure what to do but was worried that there was some resident here who suspected me to be sleeping downstairs, though perhaps was too scared to come down. Still, nobody said anything, and eventually the knocking subsided. The storm was still growing worse and worse outside, so instead of leaving the cabin I instead just sat down cautiously on my blanket and began writing in my journal.
It wasn't very long before, despite myself, I had fallen back asleep. I recall having quite a troubling dream, although I can't quite remember what it was, and in the middle of the dream, (or perhaps near the end of it), I was woken up again by a very loud knocking at the upstairs door. This time the knocking was much louder, and after some number of knocks it was accompanied by a very distressed scream.
This scream had startled me enough to jump up from the blanket and, without much thought, walk hurriedly out of the cabin and back into the woods, leaving my blanket behind on the cabin floor. After walking again for quite some time, I eventually found myself in the town where the funeral was to take place. I spent the night before the funeral in a small hotel and that morning attended the wake. As I made my way to the open coffin to pay respects I noticed the blanket I left behind, clutched in the hands of my relative.