This was all taking entirely too long.

Angelié was wondering what the point of spending all that time online cultivating interactions with creeps and weirdos if she just ended up doing all the work herself.

She had dragged the tarp the corny hitchhiker had been kind enough to die upon as far as was necessary, the black rot of the forest had grown since the last time she was here three-ish months ago, and, after toppling him into a shallow well below some tree roots, was dusting off her hands when she became aware of someone watching her.

“Ugh, I hate that.” She pushed her shoulder blades together in an attempt to alleviate the feeling of needles prickling the flesh of her neck and shoulders, and not in a nice acupuncture sort of way.
“I know you’re there, for whatever reason I can sense things like you now, but you have to meet me halfway. Don’t be a lazy monster, just show yourself already.”

Ever since she’d embarked on this strange journey of feeding the darkness which dwelt within the forest behind trees and below horizon, Angelié had found herself with an uncanny ability to sense evil in whatever form it decided to turn up in. Most of the time, it wasn’t very impressive, if she was totally honest. She’d always considered that evil was something which lay in wait to corrupt the innocent, that it was comprised of terror absolute, but more often than not, it was just wankers who hadn’t been hugged enough whinging about being passed over by life. Oh you worship Lucifer? Talk about OG daddy issues. Weak.

Angelié rolled her eyes and turned toward the cluster of trees behind her. A young man stepped out from behind them, dressed in all black with curly brown hair. He looked furtively in each direction before striding toward her.

He stopped approximately 10 feet away and got himself into what Angelié had come to refer to as ‘wank stance’. Legs just over shoulder distance apart, hands clasped behind the back, chin raised just high enough to suggest an air of superiority. A suggestion which was rarely accurate. It seemed to be the pose the evil ones assumed just before they launched into some overwrought explanation of why they were soooo evil which almost always came across as verbal masturbation.

“Greetings, Mistress most Sinister, my name is Nathan and I am -“

“Gonna stop you right there. Yeah, I don’t need you to tell me who you are or how you can help me, because I just dragged a body for long enough that it got boring, and where the hell were you while that was happening? Watching? Like some perv?”

The young man was obviously taken aback and suddenly unsure of what to do with his hands.
“No, I just didn’t know you were coming today. I’ve been waiting but no one told me and I would have liked to help but I’m not..”

He stepped closer and she could easily see the problem.

“Oh for fuck’s sake you’re dead. Wait, are you a ghost? Can I see ghosts now? Huh, cool. And wow, check you out, someone did a doozy on you. You must have made someone really mad for them to stab you that many times. Were you just annoying when you were alive? Because I’m finding it kind of annoying that you’re here for seemingly no reason.”

“Hey! That’s not fair. You wouldn’t even have known about this place or the resort or any of it if I’d not told you.”

“Oh shit. Are you…Edgelord_69? Oh that’s hilarious. I wondered why you went dark. I guess now I know. But it’s been months. Have you been up here all alone? Practicing your I’m so emo speech?”

“You don’t have to be rude. I’ve been through some stuff. And I am dark. I killed someone, you know.”

“Oh yeah, looks like that worked out great for you. Um, so is there a point to this conversation? Because I have to get back before…” Angelié cut herself off as the familiar prickling sensation scuttled up her back. “Ick, is that you?” She looked at Nathan, who looked back in confusion, a state she suspected might be default. Whirling around, she dropped low, ready to fight whatever was coming. Hell, if she could find a way to throw ghosts, she could always pitch Nathan at it and run.

The woods seemed to grow darker, the shadows coalescing to form a figure seemingly comprised of dusky gloom  stretched into human form with clawed hands and glowing red eyes. She could hear Nathan behind her, stammering with fear. Angelié rolled her eyes at the theatrics.

“It’s a cute trick, but if all it does is scare someone who’s already dead, what’s the point?”

The shadow shook with icy laughter, brittle and sharp. Angelié didn’t move. The dark creature stopped.

“Really? Nothing? Lame.” It shifted until it resembled the man it had been.

“BLANE! YOU ASSHOLE!” Nathan shouted and ran past Angelié, his arms flailing in such a way that suggested he had never been in an actual fight while alive. “You left me to die!”

The newcomer laughed as Nathan flailed right through him.
“To be fair, I left you as bait. I wanted to see if it would come for you. All that time I spent out here and it never once showed itself to me. And then killed me like I was nothing. Such bullshit. I don’t know what you’re complaining about, it left you alive.”

“IT FED ON MY BRAIN!” Again, Nathan lunged for Blane, and again, missed.

Angelié watched the two men dance around like undead idiots for another minute before she put two fingers between her lips, and blew. The shrill whistle drew their attention away from each other and back to her. That was more like it.

“Do you know what the opposite of riveting is?” She looked between the two of them, both shaking their heads, wondering what she was on about. She pointed at them.

“You two. Whatever this is, this conversation that I really wish you would have had before I got here, is the opposite of riveting. It’s the opposite of interesting, of informative, of rational. I mean, I know you’re dead but that just seems like all the more reason to get over it. So he left you as bait, so the big bad’s minion didn’t like you enough not to kill you. Wah. That’s kind of a big bad’s m.o., isn’t it?”

Blane shook his head.
“First of all, you’re kind of a bitch. I like that in a woman. And second, it wasn’t the big bad’s minion that killed me. It was his dog.”

“You realize that’s actually worse, right?”

“Listen lady-“

“How about no? It’s cute that you two showed up here thinking you were dark and edgy enough to have some appeal, but it would appear you were just meat, much like this guy.” She kicked the boot sticking out of the tree well. “Every soul I bring up here to feed the darkness makes It stronger. And when It wakes, party’s over. And when the music stops? I’ll be the final girl standing. End of Story. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to town and focus on my career. How else will I amass enough followers to feed the beast?”

With that, Angelié used the blanket to mop up any blood left on the tarp before she folded it and tucked it into her bag. The blood soaked blanket she stuffed into the shallow grave before kicking some dirt over it.

“Why not just leave the tarp?” Blane asked.

“Um, it’s not exactly biodegradable. The blanket is made of cotton? The tarp is made of…tarp? Obviously.” She rolled her eyes, then blew a kiss to the ghosts and sauntered back down the hill.

Blane turned to Nathan.
“What do you think she meant, when It wakes? Isn’t it already awake? I mean, if the thing which killed me isn’t the thing she’s talking about, how many things are there?”

Nathan was nodding at the barely covered body.
“You know, I’d be really surprised if that was 100% cotton. I bet it’s more of a blend.”

“Are you fucking serious right now? Wow. I’m glad my brother killed you.”

“Ouch, dude.”

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash