Last summer, we had to move again. This time it was to Croatia, to a region called "Slavonia" to be exact.
We moved to a small town, and I have to be honest, it wasn't bad at all. The house was huge, the landscape was great, and the one thing that never changed - my parents were working around the clock, leaving me alone for most of the day, no... Most of the time.
To ease the boredom, I would go for walks around town and into the woods. Even though I've passed everywhere I could after about a week. I kept on taking my walks in hopes of finding something interesting, perhaps an adventure of some kind. As time passed, I met new people and made new friends, but I would still go on my occasional walks through the town and into the woods. During these walks, especially when the moon was full, I felt like something is drawing me into the forest, but I could never find the source of that magnetization. There was a good side to walks, during the full moon, the forest was covered in beautiful silver lights.
About a year after we moved in, people stopped going out after the sunset. Nobody was talking about it, but the overall feeling in town during the dark hours was horrible. It seemed like everyone knew something terrible; except me, that is. No one would tell me about it.
Naturally, I was getting nervous about my parents every single evening, since they both came back late from work.
However, I was content when they both came back home safe, each and every day. A month after the weird behavior of the locals began, I decided to go for another walk through the woods. Just as I stepped out of my house, a police officer named Stjepan Dusanic aproached me and said "You're either really brave or really stupid to go out like this at night."
I asked the man why, in hopes of getting an explanation to the weird behavior of the people. All he said was "I can't really tell you, Son. Just be careful while you're out."
I felt like he knew something and just wouldn't tell me, but that sensation was too familiar to be taken seriously, so I dismissed his warning and carried on with my usual path.
The walk from my house to the forest usually would take me about fifteen minutes. This time, for some reason, it took me twice as long. At the moment of my first step into the forest, I heard an extremely loud and gleeful laughter.
I stopped dead in my tracks for about a minute.
My heartbeat raced like it never had before; I could feel my pulse in places you usually don't feel it.
My body was trembling in fear. Slowly, I turned around to see if there was anyone there pulling a sick joke on me, but I was alone.
I don't know why, but I told myself that my mind is fooling me and decided to keep on walking through the forest, like always.
That laughter I heard early on during my walk made me paranoid. Every slightest sound caught in my ear and every imaginary movement caught in the corner of my eye made me jump in fear and look around for the source of the disturbance, but no matter how hard I looked, I simply could not find anything unusual in the forest.
After an hour or so of a walking with extreme paranoia, I returned home and ran straight to bed. In my sleep, I kept hearing that sinister laughter, as if it had been played straight into my ears from a broken record. It was probably the worst night's sleep of my entire life.
The next day, I went into the woods again, in hopes of finding the person whose laughter has been haunting me, but I could not find anyone. The only living creatures that I could find there were the usual ones - a few species of birds, some frogs, insects, and even squirrels. The only creatures that were producing any sound were the craws. I tried looking out at night, and the results were the same, with the exception of owls calling instead of craws.
I repeated the search many times, and could never find anything.
At some point, I just told myself that's it. This is the final time I'm going out to search for that person.
I left the house at 9:27 p.m and arrived at the beginning of the forested path at 9:40 p.m. Cautiously, I stepped inside the forest and kept following the marked path for about twenty minutes. After that, I just stepped into the wilderness, so to speak.
The sound of a broken twig alerted me, I walked toward the source of the sound, and when I found that same broken twig, the corner of my eye caught definite human movement. For some reason, instead of listening to my brain, I listened to the adrenaline rush in my body and started following the person I've just seen moving. I'm pretty sure I made a lot of noise, but even when that person was in my line of sight, he didn't budge to look at what was following him. Finally, he stopped, and so did I. We stopped at a сlearing I've never been to before. Then I realized there was another person there, seemingly waiting for the one I've been following. My sense regained control from my instincts over my body and I just hid behind a fairly wide tree.
The sound of guns being prepared to fire filled my ears. I thought, I'm doomed if they find out that I'm here.
Then I heard the men crying "Please stop!", "Don't make us do it!", "No no no!" and that loud maniacal laughter followed their pleading. I had lost my senses again and, reluctantly, peaked out of the curiosity that overwhelmed my whole being at the men to find which of them was laughing. I found out that there's another, younger man, sitting there on a rock between the two with a pleased smile on his face that stretched from one of his ears to the other while the two men were aiming their guns at each other. Just before I could turn around, the two men started shooting each other, and I just froze there in fear. I couldn't move my eyes from the men who were for some reason killing each other.
They were both shooting, and screaming with pain because of the bullets they put in one another, but somehow they just kept shooting until the magazines in their guns became empty of ammunition. Their blood, it was everywhere, I didn't even know that there is so much blood inside a human body. Even after both ran out of bullets, they kept pressing on the triggers for a few seconds. The third man just sat there and laughed his lungs out. I finally managed to move my body back into hiding as the screams subsided and the bodies fell to the ground like two rocks.
I was trying to calm my shaking body, but I just could not stop the trembling. My arm... it was shaking so bad that even after I grabbed it, it kept twitching, I was never this terrified before. I tried to get up as quietly as possible, and once I raised my head from the ground that third man was standing in front of me, smiling. Covered in bloodstains, he looked into my scared-to-death eyes and said "Hello there..."
I felt like my heart was going to blow my chest cavity out with its beating. I replied to the man "H- H- H- H- el-Hello..." The moon gleamed above us and I noticed thin, almost invisible strings coming out of his gloves
He chuckled and said to me:
"I knew you would come! That is why I didn't make the bastards hit any vitals spots, so you could have some fun too, after I'm done. Hahahaha! They're still alive, perhaps you can save them, perhaps you can't, I don't know for sure, after all, I'm no doctor... just a Lutkar..."