1The Axe Cult: Zach

Zach stared up at the pale moonlight, it was the only thing that was the same. He had been at his car door, struggling to unlock it, the driver's side lock always stuck since that horrible morning one year on this very same day. Then, he had been struck from behind, unconscious in an instant.

Now he found himself in a creepy, cold forest with a throbbing headache and a large welt on the back of his head. What was happening? Where was he?

"Hello? is anyone there?" he tentatively called out.

Silence answered him as a gust of cold autumn air embraced him gently before leaving. It felt like a hug farewell. He shivered at its touch. He noticed a piece of paper nailed to a tree nearby. He walked towards it, dead leaves crunching under his shoes.

As he approached the paper he glanced nervously around. Zach was a city boy born and raised, to him every direction in this forest looked the same. Trees illuminated only with the moonlight appeared black, the forest seemed devoid of color. He couldn't shake the feeling he was being watched.

Zach suddenly remembered his phone. He dug into his jean pockets, desperate for his phone as fear mounted. His pockets were empty, not even the number he had gotten from that girl this morning. He glanced around again before turning to read the paper nailed to the tree.

WE ARE THE AXE CULT.

YOU HAVE COMMITTED A SIN

AGAINST ONE OF OUR NUMBER.

NOW YOU MUST PAY THE

PRICE.

Zach suppressed a wave of nausea and fear. He turned his back on the paper, towards the forest.

"Is this a joke? It's a joke right? Eddy, this is you and the guys, right? I stole your lunch and now your messing with me, right?" He called out again.

He scanned the forest, desperate for a reply, for some semblance of normalcy.A glint of metal flashing in the moonlight caught his eye in his peripherals to his left. He turned but it was gone. Two words from the note on the tree came suddenly to mind.

Axe Cult.

A whistling sound behind him made him duck. a loud crack echoed through the forest from the tree in front of him. He looked up, an axe was lodged in the tree in front of him.

Unable to resist the mounting fear any longer, Zach bolt to his right. He darted past the tree with the note. Everything looked the same in every direction, but Zach didn't care. Behind him he heard two sounds that made him run faster than he ever did in his life.

1) The sound of footsteps, several, pursuing him.

2) The sound of the axe being pulled free of the tree.

Zach ran and ran, but the scenery never changed. Everywhere he looked, pale white light and black trees. No sign of a streetlight or a house, nothing just the forest stretching miles in every direction.

"I'm sorry! Whatever I did to you I'm sorry!" he screamed out, not daring slow long enough to look behind him as he ran.

His pursuers laughed. There were so many different voices laughing, that Zach began to cry. Tears streamed down his face and streaked back as he ran, sobs raked his chest and throat. The tears blurred his vision. His foot struck a root in his impaired vision, pain lanced up his leg, locking it in place.

"No!" he he half screamed, half sobbed as he fell the the ground.

Dirt and dead leaves sprayed into his face, sticking to his tears. He struggled to his knees, desperately clawing at his face trying to wipe off the dirt and leaves, continuing to struggle to his feet. A foot slammed into his back, pushing him to the ground. Multiple pairs of feet surrounded him. The kicker turned Zach over with his foot.

Zach stared into the face of his attacker and recognized him instantly. More tears streamed down his face.

"I'm sorry!" he sobbed as the axeman hefted his axe.

"No! Please! I'm sorry!" Zach screamed, throwing up his hands in a last desperate attempt to stop the inevitable death that had come to embrace him.

The attacker brought down the axe on Zach's skull, killing him instantly.

"Now you are." the attacker growled as he pulled hi axe free of Zach's skull, brain matter stuck to the blade.

He brought the axe down in a second attack, this time the others joined in now that he had gotten his revenge. The sharp wacks of thier axes striking Zach's body filled the air for another hour. The silence, only silence.

The school bell rang loudly in the halls of Richwoods High School. Blake leaned against his locker recalling over and over the events of last night. Justice had finally been had. One year to this day, he and his mother had been jogging early. Zach had been drinking and had hit her and killed her, and then drove away! The next day he began to ruthlessly bully Blake in order to keep him quite about what had happened. Blake tried to take Zach to court but the justice system failed him and Zach got away with it. That's when that he was approached. They promised him justice all he had to give in return was justice for others who also got scorned. A group of girls to his left broke his revelry.

"Did you hear? Last night Zach Peters was murdered!" the blond said eagerly.

"Yah! The police found his body in the woods after an anonymous tip! It was hacked to pieces!" the read-head chimed in.

"No way! Zach the quarterback? I was at a party with him just last night! He left buzzed at midnight but his car was still outside! I thought he got a ride!" the brunette exclaimed.

"My dad said they found some sick note a several yards from the body, nailed to a tree, saying group of maniacs did it for revenge!" the blond continued.

Blake smiled to himself as he slid his hand to his heart. Under his shirt was the crossed axe seal that was branded onto him, still achy, that he had gotten this morning after Zach had died. He was one of the number now.

"Now you are." he muttered to himself, satisfied, as he left for class.

*****END******