The walk to school is always the same, ever since I found this quiet little path that runs by my house. It’s got trees and bushes on either side that make it hard to see, so not a lot of people know that it’s there. But when I found it I realized that I could make my walk to school a lot shorter, and I’ve walked that way ever since. And my walk through that way is always the same. I always meet the same two people. The first is a tall man; he always wears this black hat and a black coat. He’s quite polite, he always smiles at me and nods and says “it’s a lovely day for a quiet stroll.” He says the same thing every day. And I walk on, and then I come across the second person on my walk through the path; a young girl. She goes to the school at the other end of the path. And she’s usually humming when she walks, although lately she’s started singing whatever pop song is stuck in her head.
But today my walk through the path was a little different. I start the day as normal, I walk along the path and I follow the grassy flattened route, and then I came across the tall man, but he didn’t say anything today. He didn’t mention how nice it was to take a quiet stroll, or anything. He just nodded and smiled, and walked on. And I walked along and when I came to the point where I usually meet the young girl, she wasn’t there. I thought maybe she’s sick or has just gone away. And I kept walking, but then I heard a noise. It was like…. a moan. At first I thought maybe it was the wind but the longer I listened the more I was certain it was a moan. I couldn’t hear where it was coming from, and as I listened it became quieter, and softer, until eventually I couldn’t hear it at all. And then there was just silence. Not the usual silence. There were no birds. No wind, no leaves, just a dead silence. And finally I couldn’t take it, I bolted. I ran to school, and I didn’t look back.
I decided to walk the long way back after that. My parents asked me about school, and I just mumbled about homework and classes, but all I kept thinking about was that moaning sound, and the path and the silence. And I kept thinking about it all that night. It kept me up. When I finally did get to sleep I slept in. I had wanted to take the long way to school that morning, but now I didn’t have time; I had to take the quiet path. And I did. I came across the tall man as always, but this time it was a little closer than usual because I was late. He smiled and nodded at me like he normally does, and he said “It’s quiet again.” I walked along, and then after a few steps I realized what he had said, and I realized what that might mean. And I turned around, and I looked at him.
He was just standing there, smiling at me wickedly. He slowly raised a severed little finger to his lips and went “Shhhhhhh.”
Story Credits: Reddit User ColdChillsChannel
Image Credits: Nowtoronto.com (shush)
Background Music © Purple Planet Music
Corridor by Chris Martyn/Geoff Harvey