It was the summer of 2029. It was a particularly hot summer in California and the Menosky family had decided to go to their grandparents' summer home. No one had been there in ages and as such needed a lot of work. The family packed their stuff and got ready to go. In a month, the whole herd of Menosky and extended family would meet there for their family's annual reunion. Which hadn’t happened since the death of everyone’s beloved grandfather. Getting to the old family home should have been no problem. One road in and one road out a huge winding mountain then passed the sign. All they had to do was Was turn at Heckerman pass which was marked by the big unmissable sign. Which was a big wonderful hand-carved sign. That was decorated with bright colors showing a waterfall. It was The most important landmark on the whole trip. So Ivan kept his eyes out. Not once in the long two hours they drove did he say the sign.
“Pa?” Ivan called to his father Nicolas who was seated by his mother Victoria in the front seat. While he and his many siblings were piled into the back seat like sardines.
“Are we going the right way?” Ivan said looking out the window nothing looked familiar. It looked like a whole different forest. Barren. Cold.
“Yep,” his father replied, taking a turn down an alleyway that was barely big enough for one car. It did not look familiar and Ivan was beginning to wonder if it was really a good idea for his father to drive up the mountain on his own. Anxiety begins to sit in as Ivan searched for a cell signals. Zero bars were in a dead zone. Great, he was starting do you have a really bad feeling about the situation. Before he could voice his thoughts the twin; two very rowdy young men began to fight in the backseat. While The triplet who consisted of two girls and a boy tried their best to keep themselves and have a their private talk like they always did. It was usually about their latest crush. You know the usual teenage drama.
Before Ivan could even turn around and smack his siblings they hit a pothole in the road. Which caused the car to bounce up and down slamming each of the children back into their seats. Awkwardly everyone in the car let out a howl of laughter. His father, Nicholas got out of the car to inspect the damage. Not noticing anything major he got back in and continued his drive. A few minutes into the drive they begin to smell gas. Pulling over carefully to the side of the road his father again exited the vehicle and examined the car for damage. When he got back inside his face or solemn as he spoke.
“I’m not really sure what happened but we’re leaking gas we need to find a station soon,” Nicholas said earning a sharp look from his wife.
“I told you to fill up the spares, The closest station anywhere around here is back down the hill before hackermens pass!” His mother said frightened. It was one of her biggest fear to be cut off from civilization. The panic was clear in her face as he turned the car around heading back down to where the pass should have been. No sign anywhere. So he kept going and tell there was no gas left to burn.
That was it they were lost and out of gas. Ivan, the oldest of the kids, internally grandpa got out of the car to help his father. His father and mother step aside from the car arguing. After five minutes of arguing they finally decided to walk back down the hill. Ivan tried to warn them against it but was waived off.
Begrudgingly the family of eight made the long walk down the hill. Mother, father, the twins, and the triplets and Ivan. Who, being the oldest and only one not born with a sibling at the same time, often felt isolated from the events going on inside his family; everyone had their own little click and ideas. No one liked to admit how often Ivan was right. The young man didn’t speak, only observed and he had noticed two hours ago that they had not turned onto Heckerman’s pass. He voiced his concern again only for his father to tell him that it had to be the right place because he could see the mountain top from here. Not wanting to scare his younger siblings He had closed his mouth and followed his father along the beat-up trail. They would have to meet up with civilization at some point.
After several minutes of listening to their feet against the ground, a strange Ringing sound could be heard echoing throughout the valley. The wind whipped up a smell of someone cooking and they headed in that direction. Food luring them in. However, as they approached the campsite several things became apparent. These people were not normal. Blood lined the ground and fresh stacks of meat were neatly hanging to dry. Ivan’s father, Nicholas fearlessly marched into the camp and knocked on the door. It was Ivan who hung to the back and kept the twins with him. From behind the bushes, he could see the house in the sun setting. A loud bang occurred before Ivan watched his father be thrown to the ground. A bloodcurdling scream told him it was time to run. Frantically Ivan pulled his siblings back the way they had come out of view of their assailants. Victor the oldest twin had fallen twisting his knee.
Undeterred and determined Ivan carried Victor while Finnie ran alongside him. “What the hell was that!”
“No idea, we’re the others?” He asked wearily looking around for the rest of us when no one else was inside and the quiet sound of the forest and a strange eerie ring made Ivan unnerved.
“We have to find them”
“No, we should hide” Finnie shaking his head tear rushing up in his twelve-year-old eyes.
“Come know breath, we are going to be OK,” Ivan said out loud trying to convince even himself. Hearing a nearby bush Russel he pulled the twins back behind a tree and watched the scene unfold in front of him. Three huge giant like man came through caring his siblings and parents. They all seem to be unconscious unaware that they were being drug away by their captors.
Ivan stared in shook trying to study his nerves these people were clearly evil and out to get them after much coercion Ivan finally managed to convince the twins that it was the right thing to do in saving their family. Under the dark of the night. The three made their Waycarefully through the forest back to where they had found the house. It was currently abandoned but the horrors left inside were enough to send chills down their bone. Human skin lined the wall like pelts. Ivan had to grab Finnie who had started crying.
“Please Shh, quite” Ivan said not wanting to draw the attention of the monsters. He continued research around the house and found even more close to the horrors. In the kitchen he found meat sitting on the counter. Which wouldn’t have been that are except for the fact that the meat had a tattoo. Feeling appalled he grabbed several knifes and lead the kids outside. With what little light was left he looked for a place to hide his siblings.
“You two stay here, if I don’t come back leave in the morning”
“No buts this isn’t a game” Ivan stressed handing them his phone.
“If you get signal call the cops” He said hugging them right before he got up from crosching indent of them.
“Love you” whispered Finnie the youngest member of the family. Victor the older twin held the younger watching Ivan disappear into the brush. Once he was gone. Ivan came up with his own plan to help. He carefully lead Finnie to higher ground were he was able to make a call to the local police. He told them about the men grabbing his family and the blood. The operator promised to send help. In the dark the twins tried to find there way back to the spot Ivan had put them.
Ivan found his father Nicloas decapitated. It took everything in his not to scream and loss his shit right there. The sweet sound of his sisters voice caught his attention; Nadia was singing their mothers bedtime story. Following the faint sound Ivan found his siblings trapped inside a make shift house. From the outside Ivan pried back the boards. Pecking inside the triple its we're thrilled to see him. However cold black eyes meet his own. A little girl Who had been put through the ringer stared at him hauntingly.
“Come with us” he said softly holding his hand out to the child. Examining her she cautiously took his hand and his siblings followed her out of the makeshift crawl way.
“Where’s mom?” The triplet shook there head their heads. Well the little girl pointed up towards the top of the mountain. Vaguely in the distance Ivan could make out the view of flickering torches. Fearlessly he hid the triplets and went to help his mother.
It was only when he was struck in the back of the head that it click
how greatly outnumbered he was, his world spun as he felt himself hoist off the ground and thrown over someone shoulder. In the dark of the night he could have sworn he saw movement in the dark behind them. It was a blur as he bobbed in and out of consciousness. Soft hands touched his face. As he blinked the little girl stood over him bloodied. His sibling stood to the side of her looking raged and terrified. Through his blurred tires eyes he saw the lifeless bodies of several cannibals. Unable to think he felt himself drift of into a smooth slumber.
The next morning Ivan awoke inside a crisp, clean room. He didn’t remember being saved in fact all the events after the little girl saved him were a blur. After an awkward court hearing and extensive search party and a lengthy psych evaluation. The little girl was slowed to live with them.His mother named her Anya and she’s been living with them ever since. Sometimes people would scoff calling them liars but they knew the truth of Heckerman's pass. Cannibals still very much roamed those wild forests.