Tim was a young boy, 8 or 9 years of age. His hair was brown like chocolate and his eyes were black like the night sky. He lived with his Momma in a cabin in a beautiful field. He would always ask her about things he saw and things he shouldn’t had seen.
One of the things was Jekkah-Lay, a vast forest behind his cabin. The forest with the tallest trees and the darkest valleys. The type of forest that broods in the day and screams in the night.
Momma didn’t dare answer, but she did say that none could e’er go there. He asked her why, so she said that Old Man Spencer went there at night. Ne’er seen again. Brave boy that he was, he decided to get out of bed at dusk and walk to it, walked to Jekkha-Lay.
Jekkah-Lay was a cold place. Tim looked up and saw no Moon; the trees were in the way. All the critters were silent, and all the birds were gone. It was dark, yet he could see, and there on the ground was a trail. Grass wasn’t there. The trail led to somewhere deep in the woods.
He was glad that he could explore on his own and become a big man, but was scared that Momma would scold him when he came back, but curiosity overpowered fear, and so he walked the trail, into Jekkah-Lay’s wilderness and mystery. He thought of Old Man Spencer, and wanted to find him.
Tim stumbled into an area darker than usual; a valley abundant with trees. It was so dark that he had to crawl and fumble for directions. The whole place smelled like something being burnt. He got scared when he realised that he wasn’t on the trail anymore, but was hopeful for a second when he thought he saw someone in the dark, between two tall trees. He called out, ‘G’day, sir! Do you know Mister Spencer?’
But the figure was silent. It was staring at the boy. Tim had a glimpse of what it looked like and quickly fumbled his way back to the trail in horror. It was a strange thing, black and tall, almost seven feet or so in height.
He didn’t know what it was, but he saw that it had red eyes. Burning, bright, beaming red eyes. The thing glared at him and kept glaring. Made him uneasy. It didn’t move, though, but just stood there, towering o’er him with those two trees.
He managed to get back to the trail, and the hideous thing was gone. He carefully looked back, but it wasn’t there. All he saw was the trail. The area in the valley couldn’t be seen; it was so dark. He wanted to go home, but he felt that he was so close to Old Man Spencer, so he decided to continue his journey slowly.
Then the trail ended, and before Tim was a bunch of tents. A camping ground of some sort in an area relatively clear of trees. The damp smell of the fog was in his nose, and it was so cold that he shivered. He saw that the Moon was there and that the area was dimly illuminated. He thought, ‘Maybe Mister Spencer lives here. I should find out! He’s gotta be so hungry.’
He went to the tent closest to him, opened it, and went in. It was dark, empty, and stinky, but he found a notebook in it. Some sort of diary. Also found a box of matches. He lit one up and saw that the tent was green, and that the notebook had ‘Property of William J. Spencer’ written on its brown leather cover. He enthusiastically opened it and flipped to the last entry.
‘October the 31st, 1906 It’s here. John and Matt were taken. I am here in the tent. This is my obituary. I made a trail through the forest’s west side. Safest place to be in. The thing must be close. Watch out for it. It’s tall. It’s black. And its eyes...don’t let it look at you. Curse it. Curse Jekkah-Lay. I can hear scraping noises outside. I---’
And that was it. Suddenly, Tim thought that he, too, started hearing scraping noises outside, and immediately ran out of the tent. He didn’t look back. He made it to the trail, where the Moon was shining, and ran.
He heard a cacophony of eldritch noises behind him. Sounds that weren’t human. Deep and shrill. Loud and soft. Like yells and whispers. Like grating nails and darkness. ‘Preces meæ non sunt dignæ. Preces meæ non sunt dignæ,’ whispered, shouted, or maybe screamed the thing.
He smelled a repulsive odour, that of something being burnt. He felt a cold wind blowing against him, like the thing was pulling him back.
Tim kept running and got very tired, but he saw that the field and his cabin were in front of him. He screamed for help, but no sound came out. ‘Preces meæ non sunt dignæ. Preces meæ non sunt dignæ.’ It was behind him. He didn't know how close, but the chanting was getting louder. He got out of the forest and tripped over.
All of a sudden, the chanting ceased. The wind stopped blowing. He ran to the cabin. He ran and ran and ran, and when he got there, he looked back. Jekkah-Lay was as dark as ever, but a pair of red eyes was there. It was there, but when he rubbed his eyes and blinked, it was gone! Tim's Momma ran out and hugged him, but he didn’t hug her back. He fell over. Luckily he just fell asleep. Just fell asleep.
And so, my grandchildren, listen closely to Grandpa Tim. Just like my Momma told me, I will tell you, never brave Jekkah-Lay in the dark. None could e’er go there. Old Man Spencer went there at night. Ne’er seen again.