My Secret in the Woods

I never thought I’d be going back to my holiday cabin. It had been three years since I boarded it up and left for good. But today, the police visited me. They didn’t seem to suspect me, but I could tell, my days were numbered; I needed to make sure there was no evidence.

The drive was uneventful until I approached the mountain. The road became more and more slippery as the ice encroached. I slowly drove up the incline and within minutes the cabin came into view.

It looked just like I left it, albeit now covered in snow.

I used the crowbar I took with me to pry off the planks that were nailed over the front door. I removed one after another, working up a sweat, then unlocked the door. A musty smell wafted out as I entered.

It was just as I left it. My eyes focused on the locked trap door, obscured by a threadbare carpet. The floorboards creaked gently under foot as I approached the hatch. I removed the rope off my shoulder and laid it on the floor. I took the wrought iron key out of my pocket and inserted it in the lock. The trapdoor opened easily and air trapped for the last three years was set free. I secured the rope with a clove hitch and ascended into the darkness. I flicked on my headlight, then I heard a voice.

“Help! I’m down here!”

“Is that Darrel? It’s Charlotte please let me go!”

I panicked and scrambled to get out.

“Please! Don’t leave me down here!”
I raced upwards and slammed the door shut.

Panicked, I ran to the kitchen to turn on the gas.

Outside I nailed the planks of wood back onto the front door.

I removed a book of matches from my pocket, removed one and struck it. I held it under the box and watched as it fizzed into action; carefully I pushed it through the letter box and ran.

I watched from the main road, worried my plan wouldn’t work. I winced as the building blew.

Two weeks later, the detectives visited me again.

“Hi, Detective Lennon is it?” I said, welcoming in the two policemen.

My phone vibrated in my pocket; I ignored it. They sat down on the couch.

“Yes, thank you Mr Johnson.”

I sat nervously.

“We won’t take up much of your time. Miss Eliot has been found, we apologise for bothering you,” Detective Lennon announced.

“I don’t understand, Charlotte was found?”

“Yes, she turned up at her parents house yesterday.”

“What happened to her?”

“We don’t know at present, but apparently she apologised and said she had ran away.”

A cold sweat gathered on my brow. I smiled.

“Well, that’s great. Can I see you out?”

The detectives got up and left my house.

I took the phone out of my pocket and saw a text from an unknown number, my heart sank.

Hi Darrel, do you miss me?

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