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The Witch of the Woods
EXT. WOODS (EVENING)
Tall trees loom through a thick fog. The forest floor is covered with fallen leaves and dying thicket. A small path has been cleared through the undergrowth. It snakes between the overgrown tree roots and moss-covered rocks.
The cabin looks abandoned. Ivy reaches up the porch columns and wraps around the rails, the shingles are falling off the roof, and the windows are boarded up. The only sign of life is the vibrant flowers growing in a small plot next to the house. What looks like a skull is sitting amongst the flowers.
EXT. WOODS (LATER)
Two men are walking down the forest path. JAMES (19) walks in front of his brother, MIKE (23). James is tall with a slender build. Mike is of equal height with a stockier build and a beard.
Mike scoffs and rolls his eyes.
James looks at his COMPASS. It reads N. That means nothing to him.
EXT. CABIN (LATER)
The two brothers are heard, but not yet seen, bickering.
James emerges from the tree-line. He stops in his tracks.
Not looking where he is going, Mike crashes right into James.
James points to the cabin. The confusion on his face is evident.
Mike looks at cabin and back at James.
Mike turns to leave. As he does, the front door of the cabin creaks open slowly, revealing complete darkness inside.
Mike eyes the cabin skeptically.
The two turn to leave but a loud CRASH within the cabin grabs their attention.
James takes a step towards the cabin. Mike grabs his shoulder.
James shrugs Mike's hand off.
Mike crosses his arms and watches James head towards the cabin.
The door creaks loudly as James opens it the rest of the way. He takes a step inside, looking around the filthy interior of the cabin. The open door is the only source of light.
He walks in further, seeing an old sofa covered in dust to his left and a wooden table littered with empty glass bottles and cans to his right.
EXT. CABIN — CONTINUOUS
James turns towards Mike and shrugs, still standing barely inside the doorway.
He calls to Mike:
Just as James is speaking, a dark figure emerges from the shadows behind him.
As James goes to turn around, the figure strikes him over the head with something heavy. He crumples to the ground.
Mike sprints across the yard toward the house as James's limp body is dragged into the darkness. Mike is almost to the front door. The door slams shut. Mike makes it to the door and tries the handle. It won't budge. He pounds on the door shouting.
He kicks the door. It is surprisingly sturdy.
He rams his shoulder against the door. No luck. He backs up to the end of the porch, then runs at the door, slamming all his weight into it.
— CRASH —
INT. CABIN — CONTINUOUS
The door bursts open.
Mike looks around frantically. James is nowhere to be seen.
Mike looks down. There is long smear of blood on the floor that leads deep into the pitch black cabin. He takes a step into the darkness. The floor board creaks beneath him.
Suddenly, the door slams shut. Mike is in total darkness.
A floor board creaks behind him. He whips around.
— WHACK —
Mike hits the ground.
INT. CABIN BASEMENT
James wakes up in a poorly lit, musty room. His head is pounding, everything is fuzzy. His nose is broken and there is a gash on his temple. He goes to move, but his hands are bound together with heavy ropes and his legs are tied to a metal chair. There is a table sat a few feet in front of him with GLASS JARS and BOTTLES filled with strange PLANTS, MUSHROOMS, and what looks like TEETH. James looks over and sees Mike next to him, bound in the same fashion as himself. Mike has a nasty bruise across his forehead and a black eye. He is still out cold.
Mike stirs lightly.
A WOMAN's voice is heard from off screen. She is humming something unfamiliar.
The woman comes into partial view. She looks to be in her 50's with long grey hair. She wears a tattered white dress and no shoes. She is filthy, covered in dust and dirt, but strangely pretty as well.
The woman doesn't respond. She is holding a MORTAR AND PESTLE and grinding together some sort of mud colored mixture. She continues humming.
Mike grunts. He is starting to wake up.
Mike opens his eyes and looks around in confusion.
The woman turns to face the two men. Her left eye is a milky white color. A scar runs through her left eyebrow down to her cheek.
The woman stares deep into James's eyes, which are wide in fear.
She dips her fingers into the mortar, scooping up a large glob of the thick, brown substance. She holds her hand out towards James, gesturing for him to open his mouth.
She furrows her eyebrows, setting the mortar and pestle down on the table. With her free hand, she pinches James's nose shut.
As James cries out in pain, the woman shoves the mixture into his open mouth. She covers his mouth with her hand until he is forced to swallow.
The woman walks over to Mike, picking up more of the mixture.
She gestures for him to open his mouth.
Wanting to avoid any unnecessary pain, he obliges and opens up.
She sticks the mixture in and watches him intently until he swallows.
She picks up the mortar and pestle and leaves the room.
Mike looks at James, his eyelids feel like lead.
Mike's tongue feels inflated and thick, like it's swimming in syrup.
Mike's mouth goes numb. He looks at James in terror. James returns the look.
INT. CABIN BASEMENT (LATER)
James and Mike are completely paralyzed. They sit starring blankly ahead, fully conscious, but unable to move.
The woman returns to the room. She walks over to Mike.
She taps him on the cheek. He doesn't move. She slaps him across the face.
He tries to yell, tries to move, tries to do anything at all. All he can manage is a weak grunt.
The woman look into Mike's eyes. She has no remorse.
The woman turns to James. She taps him on the cheek, then slaps him across the face. James's head lolls to the side. There is pure fear in his eyes.
The woman rolls a metal operating table up to the two men. She unties James's hands, then his legs. She pulls his body up on to the table with a surprising amount of strength.
She rolls the table out of view. Mike is alone.
INT. CABIN BASEMENT (LATER)
The woman rolls the table back into view. It has been wiped down but there is still is blood left on the side.
She rolls the table over to Mike. She unties him and pulls him up on to the table.
She rolls him into...
INT. CABIN BASEMENT OPERATING ROOM — CONTINUOUS
The woman rolls Mike into what looks like an operating room. On a smaller table, there is a rusty PAIRING KNIFE, a large BUTCHER KNIFE, and a pair of SCISSORS.
The woman picks up the scissors. She cuts off Mike's shirt. Mike's head falls to the side.
On the other side of the room, James's body is laying on a table. His ribs have been crackled open and his organs removed. His empty chest cavity has been filled with dirt. His eyeballs are gone, replaced with bright red mushroom caps. A permanent look of dread is left on what remains of his face.
Mike's eyes widen in horror. He grunts furiously.
The woman picks up the pairing knife. She brings it to Mike's chest, making an incision. He grunts and his fingers lightly twitch.
INT. CABIN BASEMENT OPERATING ROOM (LATER)
Mike's body is laying open on the operating table, ribs cracked open in the same fashion as James's. His head has been removed and is nowhere to be seen.
The woman is removing Mike's organs, humming as she works. She places each one separately into her mortar and pestle, grinding them into a paste. When she removes Mike's heart, a vein bursts and blood spatters across her face. She wipes the blood from her eyes and continues working.
INT. CABIN BASEMENT (DAY)
Mike's head is sitting on the table. His skull has been cracked open and filled with soil. There are small mushrooms sprouting from the mixture. The skin on his face is starting to mold.
EXT. CABIN (DAY)
The woman is outside in the garden. She is spreading the pulverized organ mixture among the plants.
The camera pans to a hand sticking out of the ground.
It's up here soon, I promise. Aaron showed me where it was yesterday and the view was amazing. You won't be disappointed.
So you've only been there once? And you're still sure you know where you're going? Because I know I've never seen this part of the woods and it's going to get dark in a few hours.
Yeah, man, I'm sure. Maybe just a halfmile or so up this path and we shouldbe there.
Oh fuck you, James. You wouldn't know what poison oak looked like if you sat your bare ass on it.
I was an Eagle Scout remember? I know more about nature than you do. You spent your whole childhood in your room doing nerd shit. Jacking off to Harry Potter books or whatever.
At least I can read above a middle school level. I bet you can't even—
Dude, what the hell?! What's—
Oh Jesus Christ James! We're in a forest! There's trees and rocks everywhere! Let's just turn around and go back the way we came. Maybe we can make it back home before the sun sets.
(Bewildered) No, I swear this is the path we took yesterday! I remember it! The trees, the rocks, the—
What? You haven't been here before? Go figure. Anytime I trust your directions, we end up lost.
(Defeated) Yeah, I guess. I just don't
understand. It really should be right here!
I hear you, but I don't believe you.
Wait, Mike, did you see that? The door just opened. Maybe there's someone inside we can ask for directions.
I doubt it. This place looks like it's been abandoned for longer than either of us have been alive. The door just opened because the hinges are going to shit.
You're probably right.
Did you hear that? There's definitely someone in there.
Wait! That was probably just a raccoon or something. There's no way someone actually lives here. The place looks like it's about to collapse at any second. You're really not going to goin there are you?
Yeah, I am. Even if it is abandoned, I want to look around. You know, explore a little, have some fun. If there's someone there, we'll ask for directions and be on our way.
We? Hell, no. I am not going in there. Do whatever you want but I'm staying out here.
Whatever. Stay out here and be lame, I don't care.
Hello? Is anyone here?
I don't mean any harm. My brother and I were just looking for some directions.
It doesn't seem like anyone's here.
(Nervous) Um, James? There's someone behind you.
(Shouting) James! Can you hear me?! James!
(Shouting) James! JAMES!
(Hushed) James? Where are you?
(Nervous) Who's there?
(Nervous) Hello? Where are you? What are you—
Mike?! Mike, are you okay? Can you hear me?
Mike! Mike, wake up! We need to get out of here.
Who are you?! What do you want from us?!
Mike! Listen to me. We need to get out of here.
J-James? Where are we? What's happening?
James, who is she?
I don't know.
Fuck you, lady. I'm not eating that shit.
What is that?
What the hell was that? It tastes like dirt.
I don't know, but I can't be anything good.
Hey, Mike? Do you feel...heavy?
Yeah, I do.
(Slurred) I think that was some sort of drug.
(Slurred) Yeah...no shit. I think it...I think...
FADE TO BLACK
Ellie Cameron is a Junior creative writing major. She has been published in RiverCraft, Wild Onions, and, now, Sanctuary. Her writing comes from under the bed of a dingy motel. She enjoys consuming grotesque amounts of horror movies and chasing stray cats.
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