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Zn Iym-_n³

sF-iz-cy A-Pn-¯v

A cold wind blew around the darkened cabin, the only light coming from the small fire.  Max was able to get light in the fireplace. Stella was hunched down in front of the fire, sitting on a wobbly stool. She pulled her coat around her tighter.

Max walked from window to window, straining to look around. The full moon offered some light. The limbs of the surrounding trees waved in the wind, some bowing and scratching the roof of the cabin.

He looked over at his wife. She wasn't moving or talking.  The hiking trip had been her idea and he had been enjoying the brisk hike until the noises began. Shouts and guttural noises suddenly surround them, but what or who was making the noise was unknown. They were spooked and plundered into the woods, lost, until they ran into the cabin.

"Stella, are you ok?"  Max asked in a low voice. The only answer was the nod of her head.

"What were those noises and yells?" She asked in a shaky voice.

"I don't know, but I wonder if wasn't those bunch of kids with one of those electronic gizmos trying to scare people off". He offered.

"It worked". She said flatly.

Max had just about convinced himself that he had the right idea when he heard a noise that wasn't the wind. Gooseflesh popped out of his body. It was moans and sounds of men talking and even the neighing of horses. He went to window and looked out but saw nothing. He opened the window and snaked his arm in to the balmy night air. Stella had left her stool and slipped up behind him, looking over his shoulder. 

"Can you see anything?" she asked with a quiver in her voice.

"Not yet but it's getting louder." he said as he felt her hand in his arm gripping on to it tightly. "I am not sure... I don't know what it is but something or someone is messing with us."  Stella didn't let go until he wheeled and began to search the room.

"What are you doing?" she squealed.

"Looking for a weapon." He answered. She began to look too, but all they could find was a piece of old wood that wouldn't last but for one hit.

Suddenly, Max heard a bush breaking and the voice of someone giving an order to halt.  He looked at his wife, Soldiers? Had someone known they were lost and sent some to hunt for them? Cautiously they moved as one to the window and looked out.  He felt the scream that was about to issue forth from his wife and turned just in time to clamp his hand over the mouth and pull her down to the floor. The urge to scream was rising in his chest but he pushed it down. He hadn't really seen what he thought he saw. Couldn't have, but looking at Stella's face he had seen as she had. He put a finger to his lips and indicated for her to remain still. Hunching down, he duck walked to the window and carefully looked out. His mouth went dry as his eyes looked at the horror outside.

"Max?" Stella whispered. He waved his hand for her to be quiet, but in a moment he felt her at his back.

"They are soldiers, Stella. Confederate soldiers." He whispered.


"Yes, confederate soldiers."

"Oh Max... may be they are re-enactors." Stella sounded relieved.

"I don't think so Stella." he said slowly in a hushed tone. "Look!"

She looked as he directed and gasped, then hid her face in his chest, trembling. He peeked back out the window, holding his wife.

He watched as a man on a horse gave orders. There were soldiers on foot who were carrying other soldiers that looked to be either mortally wounded or... dead. Some were missing hands, legs, or massive pieces of their bodies. The dead were laid side by side. The wounded ones that were still alive were moaning or giving an ear- piercing scream. Soldiers surrounded the cabin.

"Max, it's a hallucination, please tell me so."

"Well, I-I know they're not real." Was all he could offer.

"Are we going to die..?" She asked, but he left the question unanswered

The soldier on the horse got down and walked along the men. He gave a sign and a group of ten soldiers began to dig graves one by one. The dead were laid in the newly dug graves. Then slowly the mortally wounded began to die, some screaming out in agony as they took their last and final breath. As life left their bodies, they were laid beside their comrades. When the last one was in the ground, the soldiser gathered together and marched towards the Cabin.

Max grabbed Stella by her coat and pulled her to the corner next to the fireplace. He placed himself between her and the room. Her body trembled violently now. Max heard the sounds of boots as the soldiers stepped on to the porch. He waited for the soldiers to crash the door, but instead the sounds of the men's boots and the clip clop of the Horses seemed to continue, but instead of crashing the door open, the large black horse passed through the door and walked on until he passed through the outer wall on the other side. Foot soldiers followed, five in row, shoulder to shoulder, rifles on each shoulder. Each soldier passed by, looking straight ahead, following the officer on the horse.

Max breathed a sigh as the last few men passed by. He turned around to find that Stella was missing. He panicked. Sweat was dripping down his forehead.

"Stella... Hello.... this isn't funny... Stella?"

Crash! The noise came from the next room, shattering the thick silence. It was tense. Max tried swallowing his fear away but it was no use. The wind was hurling around him. The fire went out from the fireplace.

5 seconds later.....

There was an ear- deafening scream. Max barged in to the second room. Silence...pure silence. Max heard voices behind him. Strange voices. BUMP!
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