If you're reading this, it's probably too late. This place holds no definite location. No road can bring you here. If you look for it, you'll never find it. If you run, you'll never escape.
It will convince you it's a refuge, but in time you'll become its prisoner. Call it a curse, call it haunted, or maybe it's a dark entity itself. Call it whatever you want, but this is the cabin.
My encounter began with an innocent trek through the woods. I took a narrow trail that I'd traveled many times before.
It didn't take long until every direction was covered in earthy shades of green and brown. The pines and spruces stretched to the sky, and the limbs covering its blue.
The morning sunlight broke through the side of the foliage, sending rays of light around the area like a still disco ball. Birds are the most musical in the morning hours.
Each one sang their song while it echoed from all around. A gentle breeze carved through the forest, carrying the subtle smell from the pines.
The closest I could get to solitude when living in the ever-growing city of Denver. Where everyone here is interested in a different kind of green.
In every way, every moment was beautiful, and I pushed forward to drink in the experience.
A couple hours had passed when I stopped to take a break. I could have kept going, but a small rock had found its way into my shoe and was starting to rub a raw spot into my heel.
If I'm honest, I was tired, and my backpack was digging into my shoulders. I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to leave my schoolbooks in it for the weight.
A challenge I started to regret. I took a seat on the log of a fallen tree. I removed the rock, took a break from my backpack, and got a few sips of water.
While recuperating, across from me, I noticed an even narrower trail branching off the main one.
To tell you the truth, I'd stopped to take a break at that log many times in the past, but I'd never noticed a smaller trail before. I couldn't help but wonder where it led.
Of course, I was in the woods, so it probably led to more woods, but the itch of curiosity was too much to leave unscratched.
The trail's surroundings were much denser and more claustrophobic than where I came from, but the path was defined and easy to follow.
The light had a harder time penetrating the canopy, so it was difficult to tell the passing of time. I couldn't see where I had been, and I had no clue where I was going.
The further from the familiar I went, the more excited I became.
It seemed to only get darker, and the trail seemed to get narrower until it was like walking through the end of a tunnel-shaped by the tightly knit trees and bushes.
At the end was an oval of open space. In the center was the cabin.
What a sanctuary of isolation. The land around it was groomed and looked as though everything was placed with intention. The landscape was lit by a midday's Sun.
The singing of birds, louder than ever. Colors appeared to be saturated beyond what was natural. The cabin, built from the forest itself. Logs stacked to form its walls.
A basic structure of four walls in a rectangle shape with a pitched roof. Faced towards me was one of the longer sides of the rectangle, with a front door and a window on each side.
A single window set in the center of each shorter side while the backside of the cabin was blank with only logs spanning across its length.
The roof was alive, with all different kinds of flowers and ivy covering its surface and draping down the walls.
After studying the outside, I could tell that no one was inside, and the itch came back.
The door was unlocked. It was like entering a cave, and the only light came from the open front door. I went to the windows to open the curtains, but there were no curtains.
The front door slammed shut. I was startled but more confused. Truthfully, I was terrified.
I tried to open the door, but the knob didn't budge, and the heavy wooden door would have broken me before I ever broke the door. I called out, thinking that someone was outside.
I went back to the window to look, but it was completely dark, with only the moon and stars as light. Nothing was the same. It was overgrown with dead rotting trees scattered around the house.
I called out and tried the door again, ramming it as hard as I could. Nothing. In desperation, I tried to break the windows. I even swung my heavy backpack at them, but nothing. I was trapped.
The darkness closed in to surround me and steal the air from my lungs. Dread tightened my chest and knocked my heart out of rhythm. Before I was lost in dismay, a small light caught my attention.
I moved closer, and I saw an old oil lamp set in the middle of a table. I didn't take the time to question it, but I used it to search my surroundings.
The cabin seemed vacant, but it was hard to tell in the dark. I noticed a wood-burning stove off in the corner, along with a rug and a small antique sofa.
With a little more investigating, I saw a bare mattress lying on the floor. Next to the sofa I found a few loose pieces of paper.
I picked up an old receipt from a store in Alaska, dated eight years ago. On the back was written, "this place is death.
" Next, I found a paper map of trails in Montana with another message expressing love to a wife and daughter.
Then I came across a wallet, and the driver's license dated back thirty years ago and from South Carolina.
My eyes adjusted to the dark, and I saw the floor littered with notes and letters to loved ones and those who found this place. Most of them explain that there is no escape.
The lamp is almost out. I've tried everything. I've read everything. Sadly, there is no way out.
I've set this letter on the table where I found the lamp, hoping that you will see this first to give you some comfort that you're not the only one.
I have no clue why this happened, and I don't know what happens next, but if I could give you some advice, I would say---