What is This Place?

I swear to God it was never there before, in the middle of the forest behind my parents’ house, but there it was. Stone walls covered in a thick layer of green foliage and in the middle, barely visible, was a wrought iron portcullis. Now, I’ve been in these woods for hundreds of hours and never saw it before. Admittedly it was well hidden, but still the walls were high, I must have been able to see it before.

Moving around the structure, I tried to gauge the size of the thing. However countless bushes and trees hid it so well it was impossible to see where the building ended.

I returned to the front and moved closer to the imposing portcullis that sat anchored into the forest floor. I jumped back as the sound of metal screeching startled me. I stood in awe as the heavy door slid effortlessly into the stone wall above.

An unbearable sense of curiosity compelled me to enter. Before I knew it, I was standing in the middle of what appeared to be a courtyard, looking up at the blue sky above. This appeared to be it. There were no doors or exits, except the one I entered through.

What was this place? What purpose did it serve? How had I never seen it before?

Questions spun around in my head as my eyes began to take in the little details I had missed before. Broken rusty shackles hung from the walls. Deep gouges scratched into the stonework from claws of something bigger than a bear.

And a big stain under my feet, that must have once been produced by the contents of someone else’s artery, still tacky and fresh.

The screeching of the portcullis echoed in my ears and I screamed in unison. I knew what this place was.

It was a trap.

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