A story written by Madiha Yameen and Nehal Khan

17 September 2011                                                                                     Thursday

“It was a dark gloomy night; everyone was sleeping noiselessly only I was the one who was still up in my room. I peeked outside the window, everything was looking dark and dull I could not visibly examine the outside view. Somewhere nearby the owl hooted which ran a chill down my spine. There was a huge forest nearby our home, which was called "OKIGHARA" also known as Suicide forest where people came to kill them self up. I always wondered how people could kill them self up for small small reasons. Above all this thinking about entering the forest was no less than a suicide for me because I grew up listening to different stories of the forest by my granny and daddy. They reported to have seen some dead corpse hanging on the trees with a dead note engraved in the trees they hung on. My Granma, Once told me when she was young her school arranged a camp in the forest, She was so keen to join in. She accompanied her classmates and decided to go in the forest for the camping. She enjoyed a lot but since, the forest was huge they were strictly warned not to go anywhere without teachers permit because many people entered the forest, they lost their ways and never returned. However, after a hectic day of camping and bonfires my Gram ma and her classmates were sent to sleep. Throughout the night my Gram ma heard the ailing mourns of an inhumanly creature. She shrugged her shoulder and thought it was a shrewd attempt of fox, wolfs or leopards in order to catch their predators .The next morning everyone was awaken until 7 am. Her friend Brenda came to her and asked did she hear a howling and mourning sound throughout the night. My Gran Ma shrugged her shoulder and pretended as if she heard nothing.”

23 September 2011                                                                                     Friday

“Seeing my friends leaving our clique me one by one left me feeling lost and desolated. First Jason, then Jazilyn and then Sammy, I was getting lonelier than ever.

“Teachers would notice my absent mindedness in the class. My falling grades and my sudden interest in thrillers and sci-fic left them confused. Just a week ago my sister Alana commented “You have started living cut off from the world!”

“The thoughts of Okhigara would keep me occupied with their mysterious being. Was I going crazy? At school, two days ago, I had a fight with Drake, “You have gone crazy! You don’t take any interest in what you used to before. You don’t talk and when you do its just that sci-fi gibberish!”

“So, is that how it was turning out? My buddies think I’m pathetic… so let them then! I’m not gonna change for them! Pulling my defenses close to me I would pass from my day to day scene but would never try to fit in, cuz I didn’t fit anymore. I had been going through the changes I don’t care to mention.

“The though came at once to me just cus the rain did that night. I thought it ever and felt  that I had been thinking about it for something but it never occurred to me I would actually do that.

“Packed my small backpack with my cell, camera, a Lays French Cheese and other necessary things I’ve seen Bear Grylls do in his show Man Vs. Wild. I was a good 500 yards in the forest when I saw the dead bodies (rotten) hung from the trees with the stained tiny Post-Its notes stuck on them, as death notes?

“Started looking for a perfect spot to “die”. I had brought a long thick jute rope to hang myself but now the idea seemed sinister.  I instantly started picturing myself hung with my head angled to a side hideously, a ghastly air about the whole scene, nobody noticing me for a week and months. Rotten me. Oh how grotesque!

“Crazy of me to take the diary on the errand but that’s just me. Crazy. Might a hiker find my journal from 50 years from now. Would always wonder about me. Huh? I know, too much of horror-fiction and Hollywood in my blood.

“So I say good bye to you.

“Adios.

“On second thoughts – “hello to the stranger who find my journal. What year is it? Have USA conquered Mars by now?”.

“They have left me alone. Thought I’m done. Fairy tales do save your life sometimes. My nerves are getting shattered with the beat of my heart. Have I gone crazy? Writing here everything… would anyone ever read it and come to rescue me? Writing it down makes it more real. Am I really gonna die? The blood revolving in my numb body is carrying an unusual pain of desolation, anxiety, and loneliness. I can see no one around me but I’m scared as hell! My fading memory looks so vivid now. Can see the horizon of my beautiful, golden memories. My momma waking me up for school. Dad reciting bible on the dinner table and Alana blaring up Conor Maynard’s Animal so loudly in her room ALL THE TIME. She never could get tired of that track.

“Oh heaven! Help me! They are coming back! They are!!!”

3 weeks later:

Mr. and Mrs. Luckerson’s world had taken a step into an alien route. So much anxiety in a week. Mattyas’ weird behavior with everyone. His disappearance. Then, the sudden news of his death. Alana had taken the news too heavily. Tearing up Conor Maynard’s concert’s two tickets was “taking heavily”. Then, identification of the corpse. Oh God! He looked at peace despite his blown up guts.

But everything seemed to cool down a bit. Okhigara was sealed for some time. Killers were never caught. Yes, police figured it out that it was a murder, the clues and traces clearly pointed in that direction and a gun was never found on Mattyas to say that he shot himself.

The officer closed the journal with dismay but mixed with bittersweet feelings about the whole scene. He had smiled at his innocence; the mention of the discovery of the journal in few decades was too outlandish. The desperation in the end, made him cower, he could imagine anything like that happening with Jamie, his boy in pre-teens.

Officer Milne had been reading it for a while. The job gone to the head, the DCI would say, he guessed. Gotta attend a funeral, he reminded himself as he shuffled in his black suit jacket hung on the back of the chair.

Published by Madiha Yameen