The Abandoned 


Right into here? My full name? Okay, sure.

Cassandra Evangeline Stoica.

Where to begin?

Walking who knows how many miles in a torrential downpour is not a fun afternoon, let me tell you. But when you wrap your car around tree, a metal donut with pine filling, what are you going to do? My face was bleeding, my body was aching, and my head was throbbing. I was in the middle of damned nowhere. Not a person in sight, as far as I could tell.

I’m sure you’ll ask me why I was driving so fast along a dirt road with raindrops the size of bullets pelting my windshield. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. I had to get out of that forest. I was on my way to visit a cousin of mine. What’s his name? It doesn’t matter. Not much does anymore. But what’s relevant to the story is that he was dying and I was going to pay him a final visit.

Cancer. It gets us all in the end. Well, not all of us. Just the lucky ones. There are worse things. Much worse.

So, I was driving to his house. He lived several states away from me, and I decided to make it a road trip—it sounded like a good idea at the time—to give me some time to myself, out on the open road. Except, I got lost. Big surprise. The damn GPS sent me through some god-forsaken backroads where I was sure I was going to be captured and eaten by hill people. I knew that if I broke down here, I’d wind up in some hellhole of a cabin with someone telling me how ‘purdy’ my lips were.

The further I went into those woods, the more lost and confused I got. Eventually, I wasn’t getting a signal on my GPS and I was so turned around that I had no idea what was north or left, or right or south.

That’s when I felt it. I stopped the car to check the twenty-year-old Thomas Guide that I kept under the passenger seat when I sensed a sudden feeling of dread wash over me. It happened so quickly. It was one of the most intense feelings I ever had.

I pissed my pants. I won’t deny it.

My body flew into fight or flight, and boy did I fly. I had no desire to stay in those woods. I put the car in drive and slammed my foot on the gas. I don’t remember how fast I was going when my car spun out of control and right into that stupid tree.

So, you see why I had to continue on foot. No, I couldn’t stay in the car, it was totaled. It could have burst into flames! Yes, I had my phone. You think I got any coverage up there?

I hit my forehead pretty hard on the steering wheel. See? I still have the scar right there. When I came to, in the hospital, I made sure the doctors stitched it right up. I didn’t want anything leaking out or…getting in.

Don’t give me that look! YOU HAVE NO IDEA-


I’m sorry…

I’m calm. You don’t need to call them. I just…. You have to believe me!

What? Oh, right. Back to the story. Yes, I’m fine.

I was running, more like limping, along down that dirt road. I wasn’t sure how I had survived the crash. I walked for what seemed like hours, passing by tree after tree. I could have sworn I passed the same tree six or seven times. But maybe it was just the smack I took to the head.

After struggling along the road, which had quickly become a river of mud, I came across an old rusty mailbox. I might not even have seen it if I hadn’t tripped and fallen right in front of it, hitting the back of my head on its metal carcass as I got back up. Next to it was a narrow foot path leading into the trees. Where there’s a mailbox there’s sure to be a house and people, right?

I know, but at that point, I didn’t care if they were cannibalistic hillbillies. I just hoped they had a phone.

After several minutes of trudging along, I saw a beautiful sight. A big two-story house emerged from the tangle of trees. But when I got closer….

Ugh, I should have known. I was so stupid.

But it was a warm, dry place.

When I got closer, I saw that the house was spooky as hell. It was all dirty and falling apart. Windows were broken, part of the roof was missing, and all the plant life around it was dead. Classic creepy, right? Well, my head was pounding and I was half-conscious, so forgive me if I wasn’t fully aware at the time that it looked like some murder house!

I am calm.

The front door was locked. I didn’t want to try to force it, the covered porch looked like it was going to collapse at any second. Plus, I wasn’t exactly at full strength. So, I walked around back. Lo and behold, the back door was open. Well, fallen off its hinges would be a better description. In fact, maybe not fallen, more like…torn off….

I limped up the back steps and went inside. It was a kitchen. I’m sure it was a great kitchen back in the day, but when I stepped in, it was disgusting. There were broken plates and glasses all over, roaches scuttled across the grimy floor, and flies buzzed around rotting meat, although some of it was so far gone it had putrefied into sludge and melded with the table it sat upon.

The stink was horrendous. You think you’ve smelled something bad? Not like this. My nostrils burned, my stomach heaved. I felt like I was contracting some infectious disease just by smelling it.

I ran out of that kitchen through a doorway, down a corridor, and into a dining room. The air was musty, but free from that stench of death.

It was getting darker outside. I didn’t like it, but what was I going to do?  Find my way through the dark forest to civilization when I wasn’t able to during the day? I didn’t even know where I was.

I went through some double doors on the other side of the dining room and ended up in a living room. Yeah, I looked, but there wasn’t any landline. Who doesn’t have a freaking phone? I gave up and plopped myself in a big dusty armchair.

It made me sneeze a lot, all that dust. But after I settled, I didn’t care. I finally had someplace to sit and rest. That chair felt amazing.

Unlike the chairs here. No offense.

Anyway, I fell asleep in that armchair. I was so exhausted. I know, great idea, right? Going to sleep after a head injury? Haha!

What I wouldn’t give for a good night’s sleep now…sleep without hearing it…without seeing it…without feeling it trying to penetrate my mind with its infection!

I know they’re trying! DON’T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN!


NO! No, please!

I’m fine…I’m calm…There’s no need….

I…I woke up. I don’t remember what woke me. But I heard a loud thump. Maybe it was that, I don’t know. I didn’t feel great, but I felt better. So, I got up and went to look for whatever had made that noise. Old, abandoned house in the middle of the woods? Probably just a raccoon or squirrel holed up in the walls.

I heard another…another thump coming from behind a door next to the staircase. I hadn’t noticed those stairs there before. Maybe I was just so messed up that I didn’t realize there were stairs there sooner. Now that I think about it, maybe there had been a phone there and I just missed it.

Well, whatever. Probably didn’t work anyway.

So, I opened the door slowly. I didn’t want to spook whatever was in there. That rotting meat smell was back. As I opened the door, it hit me like a brick wall. I nearly puked. But it wasn’t as bad as what I saw in there.

It was a girl…a woman…she was lying on the big wooden table in there. Dead. How could I tell? Well maybe all the pieces of metal that had been stuck into her! Metal rods, nails, razor blades, they were all jammed into her skin! Or maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that her face was freaking torn off! It looked like they skinned her face or something, and had put weird metal things into her eye sockets.

It was disgusting. Horrific. Blood and bits of flesh everywhere. I still have nightmares about her…I can still smell her in them…I could tell she had been beautiful once….

It’s a bit warm in here. Can I take of my jacket?

Fine. Whatever.

I limped as fast as I could back to that disgusting kitchen and found a big rusty butcher knife. Why? Well there was obviously a killer in the house. If that sicko wanted me, I was going to go down swinging.

Heh, if I only knew better. I should have run out into the night, right then and there. Stupid morbid human curiosity. Getting us into trouble. Sometimes you learn things you shouldn’t.

Well, you see, I made my way back to the living room. But, when I took a look back in that other room, the woman was gone! Yes, gone! No, I didn’t overlook her. How can you overlook something like that? I could see the blood-stained outline on the table where she had been!

I knew you wouldn’t believe me. I can see it in your eyes.



Okay! Okay, please….

I heard some more noises. Definitely no raccoon. It was coming from under the stairs. There was a door there, underneath them. It was open a crack. Fear washed over me like it had back in the woods. But…I couldn’t leave. I was compelled to open that door and go down those rickety stairs into the basement. It was like something got into my brain!

You don’t know what it’s like! It gets its hooks into you! Makes you do things against your will! In my mind! GET IT OUT!

I’m sorry…What I saw in there….

The woman was down there, standing over some sort of altar thing. There were so many bodies all over the floor. So much blood. On the ceiling was some sort of glass or mirror. The woman was chanting. I don’t know what she was saying. I had no idea. But the sounds that she uttered made me sick.

She turned to look at me. No! Dammit! Pointed to the knife in m-my hand…Then to the mirror above us. What I saw in that glass. You can’t even imagine it. The things in there. Incomprehensible.

Haha! You think I’m crazy. Stupid, ignorant people!

Get me out of here! I didn’t mean to. They made me do it! They made me kill those people….

You can’t even begin to imagine the nightmares! Our tiny brains can’t even begin to know or understand! Doctor, find that house and burn it to the ground!


NO! STOP! No, please! I’m fine, really!

Get that needle away from me! I won’t kill anyone else…I SWEAR! No, please don’t take away my mirrors! I need them!

Let me GO!