Fourteen-year-old Mathew and Andy were fond of hiking. They would usually explore different places for their hikes. Not only did that make them feel alive, but it also added a thrill to the days’ adventures.
One fine day, as they were hiking up Tigermount Hill, a steep incline west of the riverbanks, Mathew fell, severely hurting his leg. As it was already 6 PM and beginning to get dark, it seemed impossible for them to return.
Fortunately, the pair knew of an old, abandoned cabin nearby. Andy held Mathew firmly, helping him limp towards the cabin where he could rest. Slowly creaking open the wooden door, they both went inside.
The cabin looked like it’d been abandoned for a long time as insects and spider webs were everywhere. Being organized, Andy had a small torchlight in his back pocket. Turning on the light to see their surroundings, they moved forward, deeper inside the cabin.
Suddenly there was a scampering noise of someone running. Feeling scared, they both hid behind a dusty armchair in the corner before shining the light around the cabin in an attempt to see who it was. The ‘someone’ was no other than a little girl, but they couldn’t see her face.
“One for sorrow, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth…thirteen beware the devil himself“, sang the girl, in shrill, uneven tones.
Their hearts began to race, and their hands trembled. For a moment, there was a pin drop silence, but it didn’t last long.
With a shaking hand, Andy motioned the torch up towards the girls face. And what they saw terrified them.
She had a sharp cut across her cheek, and her skin was pale and dry. Quietly she asked, “Do you want to play with me?”
Although they were terrified, they couldn’t stop staring at the girl.
And the more they stared, the creepier she looked, with her motionless pale eyes staring back. She let out a small giggle, covering her mouth in a coy, childish motion.
Suddenly, she twirled around and uttered, “I’m going to count till ten, and you hide. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine…and TEN!”
With every count of the numbers, injured Mathew started losing parts of his body. At first, it began with the fingers on his right hand, one by one. Then he felt his ear peeling away from the side of his head and hit the floor.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Mortified, Mathew could do nothing but look on in terror and disbelief as a putrid, sinking feeling filled his chest. It was all he could do to try not to be sick. Holding up his fingerless hand in front of him, Mathew let out a bellowing scream of disgusted terror.
Suddenly, Andy cried out, “It will kill me, Mathew. Help me!” as the girl dragged his body along the creaking wooden floor.
In his unforgiving terror, Mathew was distracted and didn’t notice the girl taking ahold of Andy with both arms. But Mathew’s body parts continued to dismember.
Falling backwards, he couldn’t even stand on his feet as his ankles detached, leaving bloody stubs.
In an attempt to save his friend, Mathew started dragging himself along the floor, crying and whimpering, trying to see through his teary eyes.
Suddenly, a pair of dirty feet stood right in front of his face. “Do you like the game?” the little girl asked before starting to laugh hysterically.
Mathew felt as if his heart was about to burst out of his chest. But still, he managed to utter, “Where is my friend?”
Again, the girl started to sing the same song, “One for sorrow, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth…thirteen beware the devil himself” and continued laughing.
Staring blankly at Mathew, the girl began to slowly raise her hand, pointing upwards towards the ceiling in the middle of the cabin. Turning his head to follow the girl’s arm, Mathew could see the silhouette of Andy’s limp body, gently swaying where it hung from the ceiling.
The girl suddenly began to skip, getting closer toward Mathew. He tried to push her away, extending his handless arm towards her, but she felt hollow. Realizing now that he was utterly helpless, Mathew started begging for his life.
Pulling a noose out from behind her back, the girl smiled, a wide grin from ear to ear.
“But we haven’t finished playing the game, silly.”