Today's Thought: “A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.” -Erin Hunter, Rising Storm

Beyond the Veil

Enashree Chakraborty

It was a chilling winter evening in Buschnakop, a hill-station known for its cuisine and hospitality of the kind and generous people. What was interesting about this small town was the fact that it had it’s tourist attractions, but also suffered from its dark corners.

Ryder Hastings was a high school student belonging to a wealthy family. He had a girlfriend named Cathy and a new best friend named William.

He was relatively new to this boarding school but was soon made aware of the disturbing true stories about Buschnakop.

This night, after a late-night date with Cathy behind the girls dorm, Ryder was walking back to the boy’s dormitory. The boys dorm was located on the far end of the football field and there were acres and acres of forest next to it. As he walked passed the shunned park behind the dorm, he was thinking about how Cathy had kissed him. A smile broke across his lips as he touched the spot where her lips had been. He had a plan to surprise her for her birthday. He had bought the ‘promise ring’ and had hid it in a basket piled with her favorite chocolates and scented candles. He was confident that she would love it.

It was past midnight and he did not wish to get caught sneaking around, so he picked up the pace. As he bustled, he could hear another pair of footsteps behind him. He spun around expecting his friend John to be sneaking back to the dorm after a smoke, but there was no one around for miles. He got back on his way but he could still hear the footsteps. It seemed like they were about to catch up to him. He stopped and looked around again. There was no one to be seen, yet he could hear the steps quickly approaching him. “Was it coming from the forest near-by?” He wondered. He took a step towards the acres of tall trees but stopped as he felt a hand on his shoulders.

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“Ryder,” he heard his best friend William call from behind, as he was pulled back into a tight hug. Tears poured down Will’s eyes as he sniffed and cried, “Thank God, you’re here”.

“Will, what are you doing here? How did I not see you before?” He touched the blood on his arm, “Were you out hunting again? I told you these woods are dangerous. Come on, we have to go back.”

“Ryder, wait, my rifle is back there. It has my name carved in. We can’t leave it here. I’ll get into a lot of trouble.”

“Okay, Okay…  I think I can get it. I’ll be right back.”

“No!” said Will, putting a strong arm on Ryder’s shoulder. I had shot a baby bear, and as you can see I was attacked but I managed to escape. It was the mother of the bear, she followed me as I ran. Don’t go in there.”

“Well, you shouldn’t have done that. Anyway, I have a torch, and I won’t go too far. I’m sure if she was still there she would have attacked us both right now. Go back and hide behind that tree, I’ll be right back, Okay.”

“No! Ryder don’t! Please!”

Ryder cautiously walked into the forest. He looked around for Will’s rifle but it was nowhere around. He took a few more steps towards the clump of trees. He noticed a strange headstone that wasn’t there before. He ran towards it and his world was crashing around him. Before him, lay a headstone that read

Ryder Hastings (1990 – 2010 A.D.) He turned around and returned, shocked, worried, confused, devastated, back to where he had left Will, but he noticed his friend running as fast as he could towards the dorm.

“Will, wait.” A scared Ryder screamed but his friend was long gone. 

All of a sudden he could feel a gut-wrenching pain and warmth flowing down his arm. He looked down to see the claw marks on his forearms and the smell of fresh blood nauseated him as he faced the animal that ripped him apart. It stood right there furiously staring at him and waiting for him to fall to the ground, just like it did a year ago when it had ruthlessly killed him and left him to bleed to death.

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Ryder felt the agony of his skin being shredded apart. He screamed his heart out but there was no one who could hear him. 

He fell to the ground and shut his eyes.

The next day Ryder woke up and he realized he was late. He had to get ready and leave before the warden caught him sneaking out. He had to get to the store early to pick up the ring and head to the goodies store. He had a million things to do before his charming and loving Cathy’s birthday, the next day.

Enashree Chakraborty

A die-hard romantic with ridiculous fantasies and a flare for dramatics. I love adventures and I want to take you on an adventure of my making through my writing.

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