Regrets, Hallucinations, and a Winter Cabin

Submitted into Contest #77 in response to: Set your story in a remote winter cabin with no electricity, internet, or phone service.... view prompt

37 comments

Black Horror Thriller

Your life is filled with regrets now. You are now stuck in a remote winter cabin, with no electricity, no internet, no phone service, no food, no water, no people to talk to. Just you and the winter cabin, strangled in the middle of the woods. Trying to survive. Now you wish that you never listened to that fake poster.Β 

But, you can't blame yourself.Β 

You needed money anyway. You needed to help your mother to be healthier. You had no money to do the operation for her. So you thought that the poster was your only chance of earning some bucks for her. But you just wish, now, that you never listened to its fake propaganda.Β 

✡✡✡

You were sleeping rather peacefully today. You felt like nothing can wake you up from your awesome dream when a lot of car horns start a chorus, which really irritates your ear. This terrible noise forces you to wake up.

It was a busy morning in your city. The same things were happening. You stare at your apartment window.

Lots of people passing here and there, like little ants. Cars are all in a line. You can't even spot the first or last car! There are so many of them that they just keep coming and coming.Β 

"Lot's of traffic today," you say, and then shut the door.

You get tired of staring outside at the rambunctious crowd. There isn't much difference in the way the city is. Even after you close the window, you hear people screaming at each other for their cars to go on. You scoff and decide to get ready for you have a very long day ahead of you. It's just that you don't know that. You're in for a surprise–or not.

✡✡✡

As you got ready for visiting your sister, you are waiting for some of the traffic to just disappear. You get bored and very tired of waiting, so you decide to call your sister.

"Hey, sis, how's mom doing?" you ask.

"She's doing better than yesterday, but still is not totally fine. We just don't have that much money for her operation. Especially since you lost your job, things have been getting really tough." she explains, and you become sad.Β 

"Sorry, sis, it's just that I can't work for that company. They treat me differently, just because I am African-American. They have no respect for me. I believe in justice and equality, but they don't. I get paid the least, but I'm the most experienced worker there. I left that company for a very good reason. To start a better life." you continue to tell your reasons.

"I know. We are facing inequality here too. We booked for a checkup a week ago, but every time we get a seat, they make sure that they serve all the white people, and then us. We're always last. Some days, we never get a chance." your sister continues to tell you her sorrows.

"But today's a special day, sis. Today is MLK Day. The day where we honor Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. for all the things he has done for us, and how he stood up for our rights and justice. We should give great respect to him today." you continue talking to your sister.

"Yes, you are right. For his strong and bold words are we still roaming around these streets freely. Let us pray for our ancestors who had to suffer during those harsh times. Let us pray for our future generations." she tells you, and you do the same.

Just then, you spot that all the cars are slowly moving. The traffic is vanishing.

"Hey sis, we'll talk later. Right now, I'm focusing on the road," you tell her, as you continue to look at the GPS.

"Ok, we'll talk later," she says and cuts the call.

As you continue to drive, you notice something above, flying through the wind. At first, you think that it is some bird, but then do you actually realize what it is. As this thing comes closer and closer, you notice that it is some flyer. It slowly lands on the windshield of your car.

"Oh no, I can't see the road because of this flyer!" you exclaim loudly.

You try to turn the car right towards a neighborhood to just throw the flyer away, and continue driving. You make that turn just as you planned and the car comes to a stop.

"Now let's see what this flyer is about." you open your door to get outside.

You hold the flyer. It reads:

WANNA WIN $1000 TODAY? WELL, IF YOU DO, THEN YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. CALL TO THE NUMBER LISTED BELOW AND THEY WILL GIVE YOU THE DIRECTIONS TO TAKE PART IN OUR WINTER CABIN CHALLENGE! YOU HAVE TO STAY IN THE CABIN FOR ONE WEEK WITHOUT THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIES:

  • Phone (or any device)
  • Food
  • Water
  • Clothes
  • You have to be alone (no one can help you unless you need medical assistance. The cabin has a first-aid kit provided)

ARE YOU READY TO WIN SOME BUCKS?? WELL, CALL THE FOLLOWING NUMBER AND THEY WILL HAVE YOUR NAME REGISTERED IN THIS CHALLENGE!! NOW GO OUT THERE AND WIN!

You stare in shock as you read the flier. You can't believe it! It's like God has answered your prayer. You quickly phone call your sister again to tell her what the flier says.

"Hey sis, I called you again, because I found something which can help mom," you tell her.

"REALLY!?? Tell me!" she exclaims.

"I found this flier which says that we can win a hundred dollars if we take part in a Winter Cabin Challenge. Inside, you won't have any wi-fi, or internet for that matter, no food and no water. You have to stay in there for a week." you explain to your sister the rules.

"What? I don't think you should participate then," she tells you, and you become disappointed.

"Why not? Don't you want mother to get better?" you ask her.

"Of course I do! It's just that these rules, they seem so hard. It's impossible to survive without water for a week! You need food to be fueled! You have no contact with the outside world! What if something happens to you?" she asks all these questions very worried.

"Relax. Nothing will happen to me. I can find food and water in the cabin. Don't worry sis. My only aim right now is to win this challenge." you reassure her, and she agrees.

"Ok, but make sure to be safe," she tells.

"Yes, I will. Bye," you tell her.

"Bye," she says back, and you cut the call.

✡✡✡

You dial in the number which is given on the flier. You are very curious to see who will pick up, and where the address is to this cabin. You are really nervous at the same time because everything your sister says still echoes through your ears. You worry about finding food and water, but you brush those thoughts away from your brain. Your only aim is to call this number, go to the winter cabin, and win those bucks for your family.

"Umm...excuse me? I am calling for the winter cabin challenge," you say through your phone.

"Yes! Hi, I am Anne, your assistant today. I work in this cabin. I am the manager and the head of this challenge. Very excited you called! This Winter Cabin Challenge is to see how you can survive using your brain and your skills. How well you can use nature to help you during this week. Please remember to not bring the following items listed in the flier. Once you reach the cabins, I will be there waiting for you. In my hands will be a green bucket. Inside, you will place your phone, and things like that. After that, I will direct you to your cabin. Please call me if there are any more questions, if you have any" she replies.Β 

"Oh wow, thank you so much! I will be right there," you reply excitedly.

You soon drive off to the cabins. Wondering what adventure and what things will wait you there. You think that getting a break from your devices will be a nice thing and that maybe you will finally appreciate the value of nature in a different way. Whatever it is, you know that you are doing this for your mother's operation.Β 

But still, you just can't help, but to be a little nervous about how you are going to survive without all of these things for a week. You can't help but to think if you can manage to find these things and survive for one week. But you are sure that nothing in this world can ever change your decision. You are very sure that what you are doing is the correct thing.Β 

✡✡✡

You reach the cabins and get a little spooked out by the surrounding. Every single corner, there are trees, and vines poking out from any way they can. As you park your car, you see a lady and infer that is the same lady you talked to. You see that she is holding a green bucket, just like her instructions.

You close the car and start walking towards the broker gate. The sign read.

"Greets R!" the banner is poorly holding up, but that doesn't seem to bother you.Β 

"Ahh! Are you Ranger Moore?" the lady you saw earlier comes up and asks you.

"Oh, yes, I am. Are you Mrs. Anne?" you ask back.

"Yes! I am very excited to see you! Oh, I see you are marveling at the camp name! Greets R is a beautiful and luxurious camp. We have held this competition here just to test everyone's outdoor skills." she continued explaining as she mouths you to follow her.

"Wow, this is great! But, just one question...what does the R stand for in the banner?" you ask her.

"Oh...none of your business," she replies back.

You seem stunned at the rude reply you receive. You thought that the lady would be much kinder and that she would explain what it stood for. But no, she didn't do any of that.

You shrugged and decided that it was nothing.

"Anyways, please remove your phone, water, food, and anything else which is prohibited," she orders you, and you slowly nod your head and start giving her everything.

"But, can I call my sister for just a second. After that, I'll give you my phone," you tell her, and she gives you an evil look, but lets you call her.

"Hey sis, I reached the cabins. After your call, I'm going to give my phone to the cabin, to take part in the challenge," you tell your sister.

You slowly turn around to see the lady giving you the look of death.

"Come on. Finish your talk. We need to do everything soon." the lady, Anne, tells you, and you quickly start wrapping up your phone call.

"Uh-uh. Yes, I will stay safe sis, no need to worry about me. I am a grown adult who knows how to take care of himself now. Besides, I'm doing this for mom. So stay safe sis." you told her and quickly ended the call.

After that, you dropped the phone inside the green bucket.

You soon noticed that this "camp" seems to be so isolated from the city. There are no stores, no people, no houses around this area, just a bunch of trees. Inside the camp, you don't see anyone else or any other cabin except the one you are assigned to go to. All of this seems a little strange to you.

"Mrs. Anne, are you the only worker for this camp?" you ask in curiosity because you don't see anyone else but you and her.

"Well...I am still recruitingβ€”none of your business!" she replies frantically, almost like she's scared of something.

"But there is no one else here!" your voice starts to shake a little, you become scared, regret everything you just did.

"Follow me," she orders you, and you don't want to, but someoneβ€”some force keeps pushing you towards where she wants you to go.

"You'll be staying in this cabin," she tells you.

"But...this is the only cabin here!" you exclaim.

Suddenly, something creepy happens. Something which you don't expect at all. Almost a supernatural event occurs to you, and you feel terrible, uneasy.

Anne stares at you with devil's eyes. Just by her stare, you're picked up from your standing position, and your body is being pulled back, to the door. Your back hits the door with a large sound.

BANG!

You feel as if all your bones break. Anne looked like one of those cartoon villains you watched as a kid, but as your eyelids open again, she's gone. You rub your eyes even harder, and you notice that the door is locked. You were inside the cabin, without you even knowing.

"WHAT! L...LET ME OUT OF HERE YOU FREAK MONSTER LADY!!! LET ME OUT!" you continue screaming, but no one hears it.Β 

You continue to scream louder and louder. But as you do, your echoes get smaller and smaller.Β 

You decide to open the cabin to only notice that it's locked. The knob won't budge.

You have come to the devastating conclusion that this monster Anne has locked you up using her devilish powers. The thought itself has just given you shivers down from your spine. You can't think straight at all. But you decide to not stop trying. You have to get out of the cabin! Don't you? You decide to try again but in a different way.

Using your full body strength, you decide to kick the door open.Β 

You take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. You get your legs warmed up for a big, hard kick. You continue to jog a little and you finally decide that you are done warming up. Now it's time to do the real action.

You start from one end of the old, dirty, rickety hallway. With great force, you run very fast. As you reach closer and closer to the door, you get your legs ready for a kick to blast you outside.

BOOM!

But as you kick, the door doesn't budge at all. It stands as still as a wax museum statue. You kick over and over again, but still, nothing happens. The door doesn't open at all.Β 

You're easily frustrated and very scared that you might not actually be able to get out at all. You are unsure of what else to do.Β 

Finally, you try to punch the door and hope for a better result.

THWACK!Β 

Nope, nothing changed. Your punch nor your kick has worked. The door is still stuck, and so are you.

✡✡✡

It has been about a couple of months since you have been stuck inside this cabin. You slowly forget about your family, your sister, your mother's operation. You even start to forget about who you are. You start to slowly lose hope about getting out of this cabin.Β 

Every day, you see that you get your food always is placed in front of the unmovable door. You don't even take a second to think about where this mysterious food comes from, or who is actually giving you all of this food.Β 

For some reason, everything is still a mystery about this cabin, about the food you get every day, about Anne. You don't know why you can't get out of this remote, spooky cabin, because many weeks have passed since you were held captive in here. You were supposed to get those hundred bucks many days ago!Β 

You think about the cabin's name again: Greets R! You have a hobby of unscrambling words, and that is when you realize something...the banner of this cabin actually stands for the word 'Regrets'. You have a terrible thought that someone was planning against you, to keep you here. You immediately feel cold air rush inside the cabin.Β 

✡✡✡

It has been about a year that you have been stuck inside this winter cabin.Β 

You stare at the cabin window and notice something, another poster outside. You quickly take a read.

MISSING: A MIDDLE-AGED MAN IN HIS LATE THIRTIES' AS BEEN NOTIFIED AS VANISHED FOR ABOUT ONE YEAR NOW. RANGER MOORE'S INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN LEADING THE POLICE TO NOWHERE. THE REWARD FOR FINDING HIM IS A WHOPPING $10,000! BELOW IS THE MAN:

There was a picture of you in the drawing part. You suddenly remember everything. About who you are, how you even came to this mysterious cabin, how you met a lady named Anne, who has supernatural powers...you rememberΒ everything.

"HELP! HELP! SOMEONE! PLEASE HELP ME!! I AM HERE! THE ONE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS HERE!" you continue yelling, but your echoes are not even being heard from you.Β 

You conclude that you are going to die in here. You don't know what is happening to you. Everything is just a blank in your life. You try to connect the dots about this cabin, but loose ends only continue to be loose ends. You just cannot tie them all up.

Suddenly, you glance at the doorknob. It moved.

"You, come here," you remember this lady, it's...Anne.

Suddenly you glance down to see your doom.

"You were never real. This place...it was never real! All of this is a hallucination! Your a hallucination!" you yell.

You had noticed that Anne never cast a shadow. You start panicking.

After you screamed your realization, Anne slowly flickered away, and you notice the ceilings and walls going inside like they are going to squish you alive!Β 

You call for Anne, but no one's there.

You decide that you are going to be smushed.

~The End~


January 18, 2021 19:13

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37 comments

Aveena Bordeaux
20:42 Jan 18, 2021

Hey Laila, this was great! I loved the transitions and how you brought new things into the plotline pretty smoothly. It was long but engaging and keeping readers' attention is a crucial part of storytelling. I did notice something sort of unrealistic in the story, though. If you're staying in a remote winter cabin in the middle of nowhere with no way of communication and no vital survival necessities, $100 cannot be prize money. We should be talking $1000 or $5000 at the least. Also, kind of tied to that, too. Operations and surgery costs...

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Hey there Aveena! Oh...I really do see your point, I guess I will change 100 to a 1000, thank you so much for telling me!

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02:17 Jan 19, 2021

Hey, Laila. I love all your stories and you have greatly inspired me. You are a very talented writer and your poems are amazing. I don't want to be annoying in any way, but you could you possibly consider checking out my page? I really need some feed back and I'm sorry for the lack of stories I have just been busy. Hopefully you will consider this. Thank you for your time if you have read this.

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Oh wow...I don't know what to say Sophia! Thβ€”thank you so much for your beautiful, sweet, and wonderful comment. Honestly, thank you so much! You are NEVER annoying at all! Also, I absolutely loved your bio! Thank you so much for being inspired by my bio! It means so much! I will surely put feedback in to your amazing stories Sophia! Again, just...thank you so much for being a superstar! :)

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Orenda .
05:01 Jan 19, 2021

Haripriyaa, I'd left you a review, but either reedsy is acting up or my network connection is at fault, the comment got deleted :(( I'll write it down again. I decided to come here and review your story since you're always there for me. as a horror-worm (that makes little sense haha), while I won't say this was jumpscare-y or bone-chilling, it was thrilling and kept me on the edge. I think it'll be much spookier if you focus on descriptions. I'll point out some errors: ->> the dialogue tags. Every dialogue NEED NOT have a tag. In the f...

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Hey there Ori! Aww, it did??? Oof...it's pretty sad. But thank you so much for taking the time to carefully read, like, and comment such an awesome critique for my story! It really means so much! 1. Yes, you're right. I do have WAY TOO MANY dialogue tags, so sorry about that! I will definitely look into changing that in the future! Thank you so much for pointing that out! 2. Well, this person was in such need for money that he would do almost ANYTHING to risk his life. Though his sister warns him, he still listen to her. Ranger notices aft...

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Orenda .
17:04 Jan 19, 2021

oh my, I thought Ranger was a girl. So sorry XD. Anytime! Always happy tp help ;)

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Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying MLK Day Everyone! More things about this story: 1. I just want to say that this story is the first time where I tried 2nd POV (point of view) writing. I really wanted to try a different style of writing for this story, so I thought that it would be great to receive some feedback! Critiques are also very much appreciated for this 3-k word story! I also hope that I kept the 2nd POV flow nicely! 2. If you didn't understand the story, I'll tell you what it was in a nutshell: Basically, this man nam...

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20:51 Jan 19, 2021

Oh my goodness! That creeped me out:) Good job!!!

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Mary Kate
17:25 Jan 19, 2021

Well done, an exciting and engaging plot- you had me hooked with the bit about wishing you hadn't looked at the fake poster!

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Aww, thank you so much Mary! I am so glad you liked it! :)

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Hi Hari! Happy MLK day! Wow, this was super mysterious to read, I really wanted to get to the end to know what happened. Over all amazing work! Loved all the details:)

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SECOND PERSON! Oh, how I miss you, second person. I think you really added a poetic quality to this one that doesn't show up much in some of your other works, but I like it. It definitely adds to the drama

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Haha, so glad you liked the 'drama/poetic' effect of this time of POV. It was my first time trying to write a story like this, so appreciate the kind words. <3

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Kate Reynolds
21:44 Jan 19, 2021

Oh God... THIS STORY WAS SO CHILLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that ending tho- I literally got goosebumps!!! I absolutely adore some horror, so I loved this!!!!!!! I love the way you formatted it as 2nd POV, I thought that it fit very nicely with the story!!!

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AHHHHH!!! Thank you so much Kate! (Love the name btw) I am so glad you liked the 2nd POV structure of this story!! Thank you so much for your kind words! :)

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Kate Reynolds
21:51 Jan 19, 2021

NPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!! (Thank youuu!!! :D) It was wonderfulllll!! :DD

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Aww, I am so glad! Did the story really give you goosebumps?

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Kate Reynolds
21:57 Jan 19, 2021

YES!!!

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Maya -
17:41 Jan 19, 2021

Congrats on being 3rd!!! -Maya

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Akshaya ✨
06:06 Jan 19, 2021

Hi Hari! (can I call you that because I've seen a few authors call you that?) Wow, I loved this second POV story! The theme was really good and it was gripping to read! I like how you show the text in the flyer/poster as it is! I enjoyed this story very much and I'm writing one on the same prompt this week! (I'll probably submit it today or tomorrow) Great job!! I can't wait to read more of your work! :D

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You can definitely call me that! I am so glad you enjoyed this story! I am also excited to read your story! :)

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Akshaya ✨
15:41 Jan 19, 2021

My pleasure!! And thank you!! :D

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