"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Bamboo "

Submitted by Anonymous

I have this dream every night.


When it begins, I am fleeing from something through the thick confines of a Bamboo forest. The cold air whips at my flesh, unforgiving. Nothing is chasing me. Not that I can see at first. The forest is as still and silent as death, to the point where the only things I can hear my footfalls against the soil. There are no animals here. Not even insects crawl beneath my feet. The sky above is an odd color, somewhere between an otherworldly purple and a light hazy pink. There are no clouds, there are no birds. The sun is nowhere to be seen.

All that surrounds me is the Bamboo.


They reach higher than most trees, those great stalks. They glow with a sick green in this pink haze, the sight of them filling me with a nauseous feeling. And although I’m too busy to stop and pay attention, I always note the way they move, even though there’s no wind. I push on through the stalks without even thinking, my body operating on its own.


All I want to do is run.

After what I’ve come to interpret as “halfway” through my dream, I start to hear something around me. Whether it is from the bamboo or something moving through it, I never find out. All I know is that the rattling drives me to run as fast as I can. The sound grows the more I dark through the otherworldly forest. Nothing else has changed, but the presence of the rattling only drives my primal fear higher. I know something is coming. It always comes, but I know that there is nothing I can do. Soon, I stop to a halt, though the forest continues on infinite. My muscles are paralyzed with fear, and a horrible tingle runs across my spine. There is something behind me, but I am always, always, too scared to turn around.


I can feel its eyes locked on me.


At this point, the rattling grows nearer and nearer, now at its loudest. I am helpless, not even able to run. As if it were all a script, I am doomed to repeat the same actions instead of running. The amount of effort it takes me to turn around is herculean, but once I do I cannot even muster the courage to scream.


It is the immense skeleton of a Panda bear, composed entirely of bamboo and standing three times my height. The creature’s limbs are freakishly long, its great hands ending in long, shivering stalks. But none of that frightened me, no, none of it chilled me as much as the monstrosity’s vicious eyes; those oversized, ghostly white orbs floating in those endless holes in it’s green skull, tiny pupils staring right into my own. As goosebumps erupt across my naked skin, I feebly gaze at the monster above me, always that mixture of amazement and horror freezing me to the spot. All I can hear is the rattling. That horrible, wet sound, of damp, rotted bones rubbing against each other. It’s at this point that I just want it to stop. I want nothing more than to have that horrible, horrible sound *stop*.


And as the Panda’s fingers wrap around my body, I awaken.


It’s always in a cold sweat. I spend a moment just shivering under the covers, looking around my small room to ground myself. I know why this dream happens. Why I am cursed to spend the rest of my nights running through that forest. I know this because of the skull mounted at my wall, a souvenir from my grandfather as a reminder of our heritage.


He claimed that it was the skull of the last wild Panda, driven into extinction half a century ago.