's 2019 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Kai (email)

This forest is a pretty nice place, I mused to myself, despite having wandered through it for what seemed like ages. I had originally embarked on my trek from my village after hearing stories of the untold treasures found there, and the great bounties that nature itself can provide. That feels like so long ago.

I had prepared a great amount of supplies for the journey. Rations, water, a sleeping bag, supplies to pitch a tent, you name it, I probably had it. After how long I've been traveling, though, I was almost out. I steeled myself, and decided to continue on what I could until I absolutely needed to find something else. I had the feeling that, despite how serene the place seemed at a glance, the fragile peace could break in an instant if I broke some unspoken rule. It almost felt like I was being watched.

I'd come to realize how true that was.

Inevitably, I had exhausted what remained of my resources, and I had to start living off of the land. At first, I took as little as I could, drinking fresh water when I found it, and foraging for berries. It wasn't much, but it kept me going on my trail endlessly winding through the woods. I was doing so well, but, as one is wont to do when they become too accustomed to something, I began to desire more. I was sick and tired of berries.

Maybe it was time to try something else.

Having seen some peculiar fish in some of the pools that I took water from previously, I crept over to the closest one that I had discovered in my journey.


There they were, glittering under the surface of the water, some of the most beautiful fish I had seen. I could swear that the sight of them was so moving that my eyes began to water, but, unfortunately, so did my mouth.

Slinking away from the oasis, I began to concoct a plan. Reaching the smallest, sturdiest sapling that I could find, I drew my knife, and pressed it to the wood.


Blinking, I questioned if I had really heard thunder, as it seemed like as clear a day as any other. Reasoning that it could just be an unexpected shower, as that's happened many times before, I continued on with my task, and I quickly made short work of that trunk, whittling it into a simple spear. That's when it began to rain.

Just a drizzle, but, in hindsight, it still should've clued me in. Not knowing what I do now, I simply shrugged and went back to the pool.

I approached the bank, and, steeling myself, I hefted my weapon.


That one was more intense. The rain picked up, becoming a full-blown storm, but, already committed to my endeavor, I gritted my teeth and made the throw.


The point struck true, and the harpooned creature stopped moving. The others in the pool scattered down into the depths. I went to retrieve my catch, but that's when I noticed something.

The rain had stopped.

At first I thought nothing of it, but then that feeling of being watched came back, this time in full force, like the entire earth had eyes, and they were trained squarely on me.


At first I thought it was more thunder, but that expectation was dashed when it didn't stop. Instead, the booming noise grew louder, and the very ground beneath my feet began to tremble. Wispy clouds began to form just a few feet away from me, and the rain began again, but just in that spot. The cascade quenched a patch of oddly thirsty-looking earth, and, I do not jest, it began to rise.

Frozen where I was, whether by my own fear or by some other factor, I could only gaze in shock and awe at what ensued.

As the water poured down from the heavens and the earth rose up to meet it, whatever thing was forming became more apparent as time went on. It began moulding and shaping as it gathered more resources from the earth. I guess you could call what it first formed an anchor point. Two gnarled tree stumps emerged from the overgrowth, so ancient-looking that they were possibly petrified. Next, two great pillars of fertile soil and mossy stone began to form atop what I quickly came to realize were a pair of massive sturdy feet. The trunk-like legs were evenly distributed between soil and rock, flexibly jointed and stalwartly armored in all the right places.

After the legs had fully taken shape, a torso formed, similarly constructed, but with a certain special quality, as a noticeable hollow took form in the center of the chest. The arms came next, with stone on the backs of the hands, but soft earth making up the palms, and vines adorning the wrists like great bracelets. Finally, the figure's head began to take form, if you could call it one.

Don't get me wrong, it certainly had the shape. It just didn't have much of the substance. Where a typical face would be, it simply had the slightest suggestion of a nose, and deep recesses where eyes would typically be, two dark pits which I would come to see the purpose of soon enough. Where any other facial feature would be on a typical person, there was simply the shallowest divot, as if some giant had just gently prodded it the slightest bit with their fingertip. Where one may have had hair, the colossus had a great tangle of leaves, vines, and assorted other overgrowth, forming a majestic verdant mane.

And then it was time for the final step.

The cloud descended from its perch atop the hulking, yet somehow oddly graceful-looking statue, and entered the hollow in its chest, condensing there into clear, pure water. I could see right through it to the other side. It rippled and began to glow a faint blue, and it began to send water in small streams into thin cracks and channels I had noticed before, but only now had come to recognize as veins, as the enchanted water spread throughout its body toward every extremity. Each part that the water reached began gently trembling, coming to some form of unnatural life. Well, I suppose it's extremely natural, but I digress.

When the water reached its head, it collected in the two hollows I had seen before, and formed two deep, reflective pools, which began to glow just as the core had. The being then slowly turned its head to me, having fully awakened. It was a massive, almost unfathomable creature, and in my heart I knew it had arisen due to my mistake, but somehow its gaze seemed almost more mournful and disappointed than angered by my actions.

Still awe-struck, and quite possibly terrified, I noticed a particular smell, and, despite myself, managed an uneasy smirk.

It was a scent that I had come to appreciate over the years, a certain, pleasantly earthy aroma that always came after it rained. Seeing the great being's deep, reflective pools and rippling streams trickling with fresh, clean water, one word came to mind, and I gave a quiet, understanding laugh.


Looking my reckoning in the eyes, not knowing whether I would be punished severely or simply spirited out of the great green maze, I took the time to break the silence with one final observation.

"Looks like you actually can get blood from a stone..."