The Vine

"Aubrey! Aubrey!" Someone was calling to me.

"Aubrey! Help me! Help me…" The voice trailed off and I found myself running after it… except that it was everywhere… it was surrounding me…

I was running through a forest… no, it wasn't a forest, it was a jungle.

A piercing scream not only ripped through the air, but it ripped through me, and suddenly it felt as though everything was pressing in on me from all sides. Something was curling around me, tightening its grip around my wrists and ankles. I could do nothing to stop it.

A scream rent the air once more, and a final plea for help was called.

I was now on my back, the force wrapping itself around me too strong to withhold now.

It took me a moment to realize that the heavy breathing I heard was my own, as were those last calls for help.

Then everything was lost.

I awoke with a start, shaking and sweating. What was happening? That dream… that dream had been so real. I could almost feel the pressure around my wrists and ankles.

I looked down at my wrists for reassurance that it had all been a dream, and bit back a scream.

Something had curled its way up my arms, and my legs, and was pinning me to the ground. I recognized it as kudzu, a rapidly growing vine I had learned about in Science class.

A kinkajou jumped out of nearby bushes so suddenly, I jumped. He scampered past me and out of sight. The jungle I was in turned quiet and still, and a feeling of dread started to overpower me as the vine crawled up toward my throat. I leaned back to prevent that from happening, and looked around.

I saw a cairn, and realized with a jolt it had a message carved on it.

I read the message and my feeling of dread grew.

Help me, Aubrey.

I screamed.

It happened when we were exploring the jungle. A shrill scream pierced the air.

James, my friend who was exploring with me, stopped, and looked around anxiously.

"What was that?" he whispered, the scream still ringing in my ears.

"I don't know," I whispered back, unconsciously fiddling nervously with the string of my pants, while looking around.

We tiptoed towards the place the scream had sounded, though there really wasn't any point, as my stupid shoes made noise no matter what.

"Look!" I hissed at James, pointing at a mound of stones I had just spotted. "What's that cairn doing here in a jungle?"

"It looks like it's got a message on it!" he whispered.

We walked slowly over to the pile of stones. Suddenly, I tripped over a tree branch, and fell on my face. I was picking myself up when I realized I was looking at a pair of sandals, fitted on to a pair of feet, followed by a pair of legs… a girl was lying there, pale, and pinned down to the ground by a thick vine.

Her eyes opened and she looked at me.

"Help… me…" she croaked, looking exhausted.

I leapt to my feet, and started looking around for something sharp to cut the rope-like vine, yelling for James to do the same.

He looked at me as if I was a sleepwalker stuck in a crazy dream, or something.

"What? Why… oh…" he said, his eyes widening as they fell on the girl.

The girl's breath became ragged, and I realized with a start the vine was creeping up her neck. Her breathing became so loud, they came out as pained noises, like a mandolin string out of tune and breaking.

I finally broke down a sharp tree branch in my panic, and ran back to the girl with a great burst of adrenaline. I stumbled and dropped to my knees beside the girl, not noticing she was no longer making the pained noises, and started hacking at the vines encircling her.

"I've got it," I told her reassuringly, trying to reassure myself as much as her. "It'll be alright." I said, glancing at her face. "Don't wor-". The words caught in my throat.

Her eyes were closed, her mouth contracted slightly as though she had stopped halfway through a breath, and she was as white as ice.

All this sunk in slowly, and when I came back to the earth with a thump, I realized her hand was as cold as ice, too.

I blinked. The pit that had been forming in my stomach was cutting through me, now.

She was gone.

I knew it. Even though I couldn't understand it.

Why hadn't I saved her? It was my fault.

All my fault. She was gone.

My fault.

I looked around, trying to come to my senses, and stopped at the cairn. It had a message on it, glowing red, taunting me.

Too late, boys. She's all mine. You'll be next.

I looked down and saw that the vine had released the girl.

It was instead curling around my ankles.

Author's Note: Well, this is my first original story at . So, how was it? Do you think it was really a horror story? I'm not sure, but I put it under this category anyway. Oh yeah, sorry if it has so many big words in it, it was for an English assignment, and we had to have all these stupid words in it.