All of our Halloween performers love dressing up for Halloween, so putting this show together was especially fun. The story centers around a person who gets lost in the woods and comes across a variety of spooky creatures.
“After what seemed like an eternity, I found signs of another human in this vast eerie forest. I could hear crying in the distance. I thought that maybe if I could just find her, we could make it out of this forest together. I ran in the direction of her crying, hoping it wouldn’t stop before I could find her. Her voice led me to a clearing in the forest with a single incredibly tall tree in the middle. I shouted for her to come out so we could leave the forest together but she was nowhere to be found. Defeated, I laid beneath the tree to rest. I wasn’t asleep long when I woke up to the sound of a bone-chilling scream. I opened my eyes just in time to see the shape of a girl falling from the tree. All I could think about was trying to save her, but I was too late. But then something strange happened, right before she hit the ground, she evaporated into a thick silver mist that seeped into the ground. I stood, frozen in shock. Suddenly, the mist came back out of the ground and took on the shape of a girl. She opened her eyes and started crying. I asked her what was wrong but it was like she couldn’t hear me. I waved my arms in front of her, but she couldn’t see me. With a terrified look on her face, she began to climb the tree and soon, she fell to the ground again. And that was when I realized she was cursed; a ghost fated to climb the very tree that took her life for all eternity. Knowing there was nothing I could do for this ghost, I continued my journey out of the woods.”
“I’d been running through the woods for what felt like hours. My skin stung from the scratches of thorns and branches. My mind wouldn’t stop racing with panic and confusion, though my body begged for respite. I decided to seek a safe place nearby where I could steal a moments rest. Did I think this thought out loud? The woods instantly seemed to become more still, the fog lifting a bit, the path softening. The air was suddenly warmer and I noticed the bushes around me begin to give way to long sweet grasses and vanilla orchids. Off to my left, a moss-covered stump beckoned me to sit. As I leaned into the plush terrain and caught up to my breath, a mild wind stirred the grasses around me. As they swayed, I caught glimpse of a small crouched figure within them. This creature appeared to both blend into the darkness around us and move in rhythm with the blowing breeze. As it came steadily toward me, I had no notion to flee. Instead, I felt entranced as I watched it saunter closer, transforming from a small nimble creature into the figure of a woman. Yet, as she continued to slink nearer, I could see that she wasn’t quite human. With the flick of a tail, the twitch of a pointed ear, she seemed to prance through the very air! She didn’t speak a word, but the stories of many lifetimes burned in her eyes. I saw visions of the sun, burning flames, fierce warriors, and passionate lovers. The scent of the flowers around us grew stronger and the warmth of the air was now circulating into my lungs and throughout my body. As this majestic feline moved artfully around me in the pale moonlight, the trauma I had been suffering faded and I felt invigorated. She wasn’t just enchanting my senses, she was healing my wounds and reviving my strength! Grateful for this generous blessing, I beckoned her toward me. What could I offer in exchange? I searched as she approached, but she did not seem to seek any offering. Instead, she glanced coolly at me and took a bow, her body bending and stretching, kicking and twisting, and in an instant she had transformed. A small black cat sat in the grass blinking at me before quietly strolling away. The air was heavy again, the flowers gone, and the path ahead ever empty and dark.”
“At last, I came upon an older looking man in a suit. Surely, I thought, he will be able to help me find my way out of these woods. I approached him to ask for directions and he introduced himself as Dr. Jekyll. A doctor! This was encouraging. But unfortunately my optimism didn’t last long, as without pausing after introducing himself he started off on a tangent about his “formula” and the greatness he will be known for when he succeeds in his experiments. Only half paying attention, I started looking for a way to excuse myself from the conversation; this man was clearly only wasting my time, and I was desperate for a way home. I half heard him saying something about separating the good from the evil while I was looking around for a clearing or path, but before I had time to process what I thought he’d said he burst out into a maniacal laughter. And when I looked back at him, something had changed. He was different somehow. While I couldn’t place my finger on what exactly had modified his appearance, he looked much darker, sinister even.
Even stranger, no sooner had the last echoes of his laughter begun to fade than he inexplicably returned to his original state. I stared at him in stunned silence, no longer able to focus on navigating my way out of the woods, and watched as he rejoiced in his success. After a few moments of my standing there, wondering what I had just witnessed, Dr. Jekyll approached me again. “Stranger,” he said, “I invite you to share in my success and bear witness to my genius. I would like you to meet… Mr. Hyde.” And with that, he transformed, again appearing somehow more sinister despite my continued inability to state what had changed. Then he lunged at me, pinning me to the ground. I lay there, struggling to get free from his grasp, fighting for my life. But just as I felt my strength give way, the man. Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde… I wasn’t sure, froze and looked down at me with horror. “I… I am so sorry,” he stammered. “I have created a monster.” I knew I had to take my opportunity while his guard was down, so I threw him off of me and began to run as fast as I could – somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was away from him. I paused for a brief second to look behind me when I heard him screaming in pain, as I felt the need to come to the aid of the troubled Dr. Jekyll. But, as I glanced back, I could no longer tell whether he was the man or the monster. So, I turned back around and continued to run.”
“Not all the creatures in the forest lurked in the shadows. Perhaps the most terrifying creature was the one that I stumbled upon as I charged through the woods. She did not jump out at me, but it was I who surprised her. I was chastised most sternly and found myself to be quite unsure how to behave in her presence. My feet would not follow my commands and I found that despite my rush to escape the forest I was entranced to answer her questions and listen to her story. She asked why it was that I was terrified of the creatures in the woods. Did I never consider the plight of these poor foul creatures? These creatures who most assuredly had unusual strengths and great powers, why were they not in the majority and I the one banished to the woods? It seemed that my tongue was as stuck as my feet for I was not able to answer beyond pathetic sounds caught in my throat. This woman proceeded to tell me a tale that has haunted me far beyond the edges of the forest. She spoke of a time not so far in the past of women who were strong in their ways, they spoke freely and openly of their thoughts and they knew more about the subtle ways the world worked than the men who thought they were better just because they were bigger. These women with surprising insight and unusual ways were chased, drowned and burned all for fear of their power. She told her story with greater passion, her energy piling upon itself until, even to this day, I’m not sure if she flew about me in a great fury or if it was just my imagination. Her story, not a cautionary tale, but a story of consequences ended with the question, Where would we be now if we had not lost all those women, their daughters and daughters daughters?”
“Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer. At the age of fifteen our potential slayer was a cheerleader obsessed with shopping and boys. That was before her predecessor passed and she was activated. She began to have violent dreams about woman from different historical periods slaying monsters. Although she didn’t understand at first, her experiences were soon explained to her when she was approached by a mysterious man who revealed her destiny as the chosen one. It took some time for her to embrace this predetermined future. Who would have predicted that the stories were true, that vampires actually existed. Why must she be the one to fight them? What about prom? As time moved on she trained and learned to focus her power. She would meet her enemies with wit and sarcasm as she tried to hold on to some semblance of the past. She asked herself why can’t I still cheer and fight the forces of evil?”
““Listen carefully,” a voice growled sweetly. It was dark, too dark for anyone to see anything but the images in one’s mind. The absolute blackness of Angela’s surroundings was what one might compare to the emptiness of space — if one were to experience it personally. No stars. No ethereal luminescence glowing in the distance. Complete and utter loneliness. But, Angela wasn’t alone. “Hello?” said Angela meekly. The words barely left her lips. Her body shook uncontrollably. Silence. A sound resembling a stifled squeak managed to pass the slight opening of her mouth before standing completely still. A familiar tapping of claws slowly approached. Closer. Closer. Closer still. Angela’s legs collapsed underneath her. Pain shot up all the way to her fingertips as her body bent and twisted as soon as she hit the ground. Oh god! The pain! Angela cried out again, this time in agony and anguish. Hot tears stung her left cheek, not even the cold earth underneath could soothe the kind the searing pain she felt. The tips of her fingers barely touched the fleshy tear on her skin when a flash of memory appeared in her mind. Panicked screams filled the dark woods. Angela ran swiftly, ignoring every branch and twig that hit her. A single claw raked against her face, but it did not grab her. Her chest heaved as she gathered more speed, hoping to put more distance between herself and the beast hunting her. She heard it breathing steadily from behind, and she belt out one final cry for help. Angela lay still with her body spread across the cold dirt. The stars above her blurred behind a veil of tears welling up over her eyes. She was alone, but not alone. Something stirred inside. “Listen carefully,” growled the beast once again. Angela found herself in the dark, empty space again. Some time has passed, that much was certain. She felt calm now. The excruciating pain in her limbs still lingered — she watched herself writhing in agony and clawing at the dirt beneath her — but her heart fluttered with exhilaration and anticipation. A soft light appeared before her in the distance, shining down on a shape she could not make out just yet. It came closer, and the light overhead followed. The familiar tapping of claws hitting the hard floor filled echoed through the still air, followed by a low growl that greeted her as the figure came closer. This was not the beast that attacked her earlier. This was… Angela held out her hand. “Come closer,” she said with a steady voice. She could hear her own heartbeat, and she could hear another trying to match her rhythm. It approached her slowly and cautiously. The other heartbeat grew louder and more in sync with Angela’s. The other Angela, the one still in the woods, was now shrieking and twisting as every bone cracked and rearranged itself. The earth could not soak up the blood fast enough as her skin stretched and tore to reveal something new. “I want to see you.” A snout caressed Angela’s outstretched hand. The light above them revealed an enormous wolf standing before her. On all fours it stood just below the woman’s nape. She ran her fingers through the beast’s soft gray fur and embraced it. “This is our becoming,” she whispered. Angela’s screams dissipated. The overwhelming pain seemed nothing more than a distant memory. The woods surrounding her was no longer as dark as it was before, some colors showed more brilliantly than others, and the smells, my god the smells! She could sense every living thing around her. More importantly, Angela was no longer afraid. She had become something strong and powerful. She had become something terrible…and awesome. As if by instinct, Angela lifted her head to look up at the full moon shining above and let out a long howl to announce her rebirth.”
“I was so tired of running. How long have I been lost in this forest? I had to stop to rest. I was winded and my lungs were burning from excursion. I wondered what other oddities were hidden between the trees and if I would ever find a way out. Up ahead, the trees gave way to a small clearing, and the night sky was visible. I stopped to catch my breath. Suddenly I heard a twig snap to my right. I squinted at the silhouettes of the trees. What was that? Something was coming towards me. “Mmmmruuuuuugh…,” it grunted. I froze. Maybe it would not see me. Slowly, it made its way into the clearing, breaking branches and shambling. In the dim forest light I was able to make out a human shape. Finally another person! Perhaps they were lost here, like me. Perhaps they knew a way out! “Hello?” I called out to them. They did not seem to hear me call. I started walking towards them. The closer I got the more I realized that this person was not well. They had a slight limp, and they walked (or rather stumbled) with their head down. Their clothes were shredded and filthy and every few steps they would grunt and mumble something inaudible. “Hey! Excuse me! You there!” I finally got its attention. It stopped dead, as if it forgot what it was doing, and turned to face me. It was only at this point that it became abundantly clear what was wrong with this person: it was a zombie. My heart began to race and I was once again frozen in my tracks. “Braaaaaiiiins……,” the zombie mumbled and started shambling towards me. It was rather slow and uncoordinated, maybe I could outrun it? But which way? To go back where I came from would be stupid but to go forward might mean new dangers. The zombie was close now. I could clearly see it was once human but now its eyes were lifeless and affixed on me. I took a step back and was about to run for it when the zombie stopped. It was analyzing me as if i was some puzzle piece that did not quite fit. Cocking its head to the side like a questioning dog it looked me right in the eye and asked, “Brains?” I was stunned (and a bit insulted!). Satisfied with my inability to come up with a response the zombie turned away and continued shambling towards the opposite edge of the clearing as if it had suddenly remembered where it was going before.”
The Story Teller