Death Forest (Fiction)

I wrote this story a few weeks ago and then found this terrific site today so I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Feel free to revise it if you wish because I haven't.
Take note I'm no storyteller but any feedback is welcome.


There is a cold, dark, and lonely place amongst the trees and swampy marshlands of the deepest region of south Louisiana.

It is known to the locals as Death Forest and is a place less traveled and mostly avoided due to rumors of strange and macabre happenings.

An old story has been passed down by several elder local residents.
Its validity is widely questioned due to the fact it was first told by an old drunken man in a tavern in the late 1800's.

The story goes that a family of seven moved to the region during the early settling by Canadian-French immigrants otherwise known as Cajuns in the early 1800's.

The family name was Bordeaux and consisted of Mr. William Bordeaux, Mrs. Mary Bordeaux, and their children Stephen, Lily, Thomas, Henry and little Emily. The family was of the poorer immigrants and could not afford the price of good land so William was forced to purchase a small acreage in an almost uninhabitable region of the state.

They made the best of what they had and William and the two older sons Stephen and Thomas constructed an Acadian style homestead out of the nearby forest of cypress and oak. They settled into a frontier lifestyle by raising a small amount of livestock and growing enough crops to sustain them throughout the winter.

Things were normal for the first eight or ten months until strange noises that could have been distinguished as moans and growls began to emanate from the woods surrounding their farm. William paid no notice and shrugged it off by saying it was the wildlife and warned the other family members that talk of the contrary would not be tolerated.

One fall afternoon while Stephen, Thomas and their younger sibling Henry were out gathering firewood Lily, helping her mother prepare dinner, remarked that Emily had not yet come in from playing near the bayou that ran through the trees behind their farm. Mrs. Bordeaux went outside to call for her and after a short walk through the forest found her daughter standing on the bank by the water staring intently across as if entranced by something on the other side.

Mrs. Bordeaux questioned her and was startled when Emily replied that she had been watching several dark shapes running in and out of the trees across the water.
Mrs. Bordeaux forbid her to speak of this to anyone for fear that Mr. Bordeaux would punish her for such nonsense. Emily disobeyed her mother and secretly told her older brothers Stephen. He dismissed it just as his mother had.

Again things returned to normal until one night in early January when the entire family was awakened by the sound of footsteps on their front porch. Upon investigation by Mr. Bordeaux strange footprints in the soil surrounding the house were found. Bordeaux being the usual stubborn individual he was wrote it off by saying it was most likely vagabonds or other criminals looking for a warm place to sleep and that if they returned he would deal with them personally.

The next morning more discoveries were made concerning the surrounding trees. There were odd carvings resembling strange creatures and unintelligible words scratched deep into the bark. This was enough to unnerve Bordeaux himself and he decided he would wait up during the next night to catch these trespassers in the act. He nominated his oldest son Stephen to keep watch with him.

They waited patiently until the deepest night set in and were preparing to give up when rustling could be heard in the trees near the house.
Bordeaux told Stephen to stay and guard the family while he went in pursuit of the trespassers. He lit his lantern, grabbed his old musket and set off in direction of the noises.

Stephen waited patiently for hours but saw no sign of his fathers return. He decided there was nothing he could do at the moment so he prepared to bed down and sleep for a few hours. Moments before he drifted off a clear gunshot rang off in the distance. Stephen was sure it was his father's musket and knew he was in distress.

He set off down the same path his father had left just as the early sunrays of morning were peeking through the trees. He ran as fast as could in the direction he heard the shot. After running a great distance he came across a small clearing that opened up right after a dense wooded area. There on the ground was his father's gun covered in a red sticky substance that he soon realized was blood. To his horror the entire ground around the gun was saturated in it and looked as if a wounded animal had been dragged from the area into the deeper darker section of the forest beyond the clearing.

Stephen knew his father was most likely dead, killed by whatever or whoever his father had been pursuing. He raced back to farm in utter fright and in broken speech related the sorrowful message to his mother.

The family was devastated but through sheer will forced themselves to carry on. Stephen and Thomas handled all the duties their father had previously done in an attempt to preserve some normality for the family. The children settled into a steady routine but Mrs. Bordeaux became progressively more depressed by her husband's premature death and in fits of rage beckoned the demons of the forest to return and take her as well.

One more morning in mid May the family awoke to find the door to the home ajar and their mother nowhere in sight. All of her things were still in the house except for the nightgown she had been wearing the night before. No trace of her could be found anywhere. She seemed to have wandered off into the woods and had become lost.

Stephen decided he was going to go fetch some townsfolk from the nearest village to perform a search for her. He set off before lunchtime and entrusted the safety of the family to Thomas until his return.

Around late afternoon Stephen came upon a town and after relating his story in a small tavern he persuaded five individuals to return with him to the farm and begin a search in the morning.

The next morning he set out with his new companions on a trek to the homestead. After arriving they were befallen with a scene of true horror as there was not a soul found alive in the home. There was blood smeared all around inside and little bloody handprints were discovered on the porch as if someone were fighting to grab a hold of the wood to thwart being carried off. To the five townsfolk it seemed as if a murder had taken place and were now suspicious of the story Stephen had told them.

They bound him and carried him back to their village leaving the scene of carnage behind. Stephen was found guilty of his family's murder and was scheduled to be hanged. To his last breath he professed his innocence and feverishly retold the strange stories concerning his father's murder and his mother's disappearance over and over. He also insisted the remainder of his family was safe when he departed. All of this fell on deaf ears as he was hanged two days after his sentencing.

A second story of the area has been told and goes as follows:

In 1936 a hunting party of nine led by a local man named Richard Cormier came across an abandoned farmstead in a marshy forested area that they had been hunting wild game in. The farm looked as if it was a century old and had been overtaken with overgrowth attributed to years of unkemptness.

They were many miles from the nearest town and night was fast approaching so they decided to hold up in the house until morning.
One man refused to sleep inside because he claimed it made him uneasy and bedded down on the porch.

In the middle of the night he burst into the dwelling frantically
telling the party that sounds had awoken him and when he looked toward the tree line dark shapes were beginning to stream out into the moonlight. The party armed themselves and proceeded to confront these newcomers. The men could see the dark figures approaching and Richard shouted to them to name themselves. The shapes began to howl and growl inhumanly and picked up speed.

The party then left with no option but to defend themselves fired on the figures. The dark shapes seem frightened by the sound of gunfire and turned and retreated into the forest. No man could sleep after this encounter and the entire party waited up the rest of the night with their rifles until morning came.

As the party readied itself for the trek back to civilization two of the men went investigate the area that the dark figures had appeared out of the woods. They found odd footprints and called upon Richard to identify them as he was the most experienced tracker of the group. When he examined them he shakily replied they were almost human but not quite.

He was frightened but also curious to as what could have possibly made these prints and decided to remain in the area a bit longer to investigate in the daylight. He sent four men into the forest to see in what direction the tracks led. A couple of hours later one of the men came bounding out of the trees and in shortened breath stated that he had gotten separated from the other three.

Richard knew he could not leave any men behind so he gathered the rest of the party and went in search of the missing men.

After hours of following the odd tracks and the footprints of his lost men they came upon a large stone outcropping situated in a darkened section of the forest. The outcropping revealed an entrance to a dark cave on its northern side. The men inspected the entrance only to find drag marks laced with blood and shredded clothing leading further into the darkness. Strange carvings and writings in the stone were also revealed after further examination. One man remarked that he had seen similar carvings etched in the trees surrounding the abandoned farm.

Richard was visibly shaken and then made up his mind that his lost men were beyond rescue and that they must make their escape hasty. The men immediately set off for town not wanting to be caught out in those woods in nighttime for fear of the creatures' return.

When Richard and his party arrived in town he informed the sheriff that three of his men had been killed and that no one should ever venture into those woods. When the sheriff questioned him about details he grew very quiet and solemn and again replied that those woods should never be trespassed.

No further enquiry was made and to this day strange happenings in the surrounding area of Death Forest continue to be reported. All these reports concern inhuman sounds and black shapes seen in the trees.

As a last note a story possibly explaining these strange happenings has been recently circulated by a nearby Native American tribe chief. He claims that an entire village of Native Americans were slaughtered in the late 1600's when frontiersmen first came to the area. He also claimed their bodies were then dragged off into the forest and no trace of them had been found.

No proof of this claim or the previous two have been uncovered.