Pale evening rays shone through the canopy overhead. Night’s approach coupled with the dense fog made it feel darker than it should have been.
Rachel squeezed my hand, “We should go back,” she said.
“Yeah, Blake,” I added, “it’s getting late. Let’s head back.”
“You scared, Pedro?” He smirked.
“I’m not scared, bro. I’m just saying leave it there and we’ll come back and get it tomorrow.”
Though I have no intentions of coming back for it.
“Come on guys,” Amy sighed, “relax a little. It won’t take that long to carry it back.”
“No,” Rachel said flatly. “I don’t wanna get lost out here because of some creepy ass box.”
I squeezed her hand, running my finger across her engagement ring.
“Don’t you guys at least wanna see what’s inside? We don’t have to take it back right now,” Blake said squatting over the box.
“Open it, babe,” Amy said. “It’s probably buried treasure.”
“It’ll still be here—”
The sound of Blake hitting the rusted, ancient-looking lock with a rock stopped me from finishing my sentence.
“There it is,” he smiled triumphantly, “let’s just have a peek inside,” he added, lifting the lid.
“Holy shit!” Amy exclaimed, jumping back.
A severed hand sat up in the box. Its fingers were twisted in every direction like crooked branches. The fingernails were cracked and peeling as though the hand was clawing at the inside of the box. The base where the rest of the forearm used to be connected to an arm was blacked by decay with maggots gnawing at the flesh. Cuts and gashes were all over the hand; the smell of rotting flesh began to fill the air.
Rachel turned away, still holding my hand, gagging in disgust.
I covered my nose with my free hand, “Are you happy now, Blake? Let’s get the hell out of here.”
As Blake was about to stand up, the hand’s thumb twitched.
“What the—” he began to say, but the hand shot out of the box and dug into his chest. Amy’s scream was deafening; Blake fell to his knees, his eyes wide with shock. The hand contorted, burrowing deeper into his chest as blood poured out of the wound like bloody waterfall. The sound of his bones cracking jolted me out of my frozen daze. I pulled Rachel’s hand and we both raced away from Blake’s fallen body.
Seconds later, Amy shrieked in pain, sending chills running down my spine. Overhead, crows violently flapped their wings and cawed before vanishing into thickening fog.
“Faster!” I yelled. Just then, Rachel tripped, stopping me dead in my tracks.
“Are you okay?” I panted, helping her up
She winced, “I think it’s just a scrape.”
I wiped the tears from her face, “Baby, we need to go.”
Rachel nodded and then froze. Her eyes suddenly grew wide, and she let out a scream that stopped my heart. Something was breathing down my neck.
I slowly turned around with every fiber in my being shaking like a leaf. I came face to face with something that resembled Blake. His eyes were empty, dark sockets; a black liquid poured out of his snarled mouth. I felt a sharp pain shooting through my heart. Blood streamed out from where his hand pierced my chest.
Falling to my knees, I turned my head and uttered, “Rachel, te amo. Run!” I shouted.
Then my eyes went black.