It was March 4, 2003. Seventeen-year-old Tommy Brinson was still searching for his missing cat, Lady.
His beloved ginger tabby had been missing for over a week now, and Tommy had been searching his neighbourhood relentlessly to try and find her.
Tommy was quite a lonesome boy, so he valued the company of Lady very much.
She would quite often dissappear and re-emerge through the cat flap the following day, but for her to be missing any longer than that was extremely unusual.
This had prompted Tommy to search every part of the local area, desperately hoping he would've found her stuck inside someone's garage or something.
He had no luck whatsoever, and had finally come to terms with the fact that there was simply nothing more he could do.
His parents had put up posters all over the town that offered a cash reward, so he decided he would just be patient and hope that Lady was eventually found alive and well.
Tommy was walking back home down a hill, from what he told himself would be his final search for Lady,
when he noticed something very peculiar; he saw a black and white cat emerge from out of some bushes on the side of the pavement.
Tommy knew that the area that the cat had emerged from was a strictly prohibited area, but he had never actually looked to see what was down there.
Curious, Tommy stuck his head through the bushes and peeked at what was on the other side. It was a very muddy, swamp-like area, with dense mists which would hide whatever may linger within it.
He could make out a very large area, surrounded by trees and dead plants, and a huge circle-shaped body of dirty water in the center.
Tommy was quite surprised that he had never seen or heard of this area before, despite living in the area all of his life.
Although the area was shrouded with mist, and surrounded by nothing but dead plants, Tommy felt as if it was quite inviting and knew he wanted to explore it.
Tommy rushed home to confront his grandfather, who had lived in the town for seventy-two years.
He assumed that his grandfather would know more about the hidden area, perhaps it used to be accessible back in the day.
"Grandpa! I gotta ask you something!" Tommy said loudly, sprinting into the living room to sit next to his grandfather.
His grandfather jumped from his seat slightly, clenching his hand against his heart.
"Jesus Christ, boy!" He said, pausing for a moment whilst giving Tommy a look of anger.
"What have I told you about scaring me like that? You got any idea how prone I am to a god damn heart attack at this age?"
Tommy frowned and looked down at his feet.
"Oh, I'm sorry Grandpa. I didn't mean to scare you, honest!" Tommy said in a gentle tone.
"Yeah, don't worry about it kid. You owe me a new pair of pants though!" Grandpa said.
They both giggled for a minute. Tommy had always admired how funny and down to earth his grandpa was, even at his old age. And he wished that more elderly people were as fun to be around as him.
Grandpa finally stopped laughing and composed himself.
"Anyhoo, what is it you wanted to ask me Tommy?" He said, smiling at Tommy.
Tommy paused, as he had forgotten what he even wanted to ask in the first place.
"Oh yeah!" Tommy said, remembering the hidden area.
"I noticed some kind of swampy area surrounding the hill outside, some prohibited area that's completely hidden by mist and trees.
I was wondering if you would be able to tell me anything about it? You know, since you've been around the town for so long!" Tommy said. He was feeling nervous about asking but was unsure why.
Grandpa's smile faded, and Tommy could tell that he was thinking very carefully about how to respond.
"Usually I woudn't tell youngsters about things like that. But, what the hell, you're practically an adult now" Grandpa said, taking a sip of his tea before continuing.
"To cut a long story short, it used to be a place kids would go to hang out. Used to be a real relaxing, luscious place to take a dip whilst admiring the surrounding nature.
" Grandpa said, looking a little hesitant to continue.
"But... Turns out the water is a little deeper than most folk thought. Few people drowned over the years, so they eventually decided to just border it off for public safety." he added.
"Did you ever hang out there, Grandpa?" Tommy asked.
"You kidding me? All the damn time. There was something so warm about the place that would keep you going back. I can hardly believe people have died there!" Grandpa replied.
Tommy hugged his grandfather and ran back outside. He was now convinced that it would be perfectly safe to enter the hidden area as long as he avoided the water.
There was a fine if you got caught entering a prohibited area, but Tommy didn't count on getting caught.
Once he reached the bushes, he quickly found an opening between two trees, just large enough for him to crawl through. He emerged on the other side, face to face with the dense mist.
He tread very carefully, very cautious not to accidentally fall into any water.
Making his way from tree to tree, he noticed something engraved on one of them:
IN THE DARK BELOW, HE TRIES BAITING
IN THE DARK BELOW, HE LIES WAITING.
Thomas had absolutely no idea what this meant, and just threw it off as someone carving random quotes.
But as he continued to make his way around the swamp, he noticed that almost every single tree had some strange quotes carved into them. The one that stuck out the most was:
RISE NOW, OH GREAT ONE;
FROM THE DEPTHS WE CALL YOU BACK!
RISE NOW, OH GREAT SON;
RETURN ONCE MORE FROM THE BLACK!
RISE NOW, FOR IT IS TIME TO FEAST;
A SACRIFICE FROM THE NORTH-EAST!
RISE NOW, FOR IT IS TIME TO FEED;
AN UNWILLING VICTIM SHALL BLEED!
NAEG-PARASPID, WE CALL YOU HERE;
TO CONSUME THIS MORTAL BLOOD!
COME FORTH TO ME, YOUR LOYAL SEER;
AND CRUSH THEIR SKULL INTO THE MUD!
By this point, Thomas was very creeped out by all these carvings. They had given him an eerie feeling about the place, despite how inviting he had initially perceived it to be.
He started to make his way out of the swamp, but suddenly came across the same black and white cat he had saw emerging from it earlier.
Thomas crouched down to quickly give the cat a few pats, still looking over his shoulder with a bad feeling about the swamp.
Thomas observed the cat move closer to the water, and became increasingly concerned as it looked as if it was considering jumping in.
But luckily, the cat backed away slightly, stopping to sniff at some of the dead plants instead.
Thomas let out a sigh of relief, as he didn't want to believe that a cat could be curious enough to jump to its death.
He knew that Lady had been a very curious cat, so he was a little worried that she may have jumped in.
Thomas turned to leave once again, but before he could take a single step forward he heard the cat behind him hissing like crazy.
It was hissing and growling at some thorn and thistle bushes, it looked like it might be have gotten its legs tangled in them.
Thomas began to walk back to untangle the cat, but before he could, the cat was pulled down into the water, so fast that you would have missed it if you merely blinked.
Suddenly, all of the thorn and thistle bushes surrounding the water began to grow bigger, as something slowly started to rise from out of the water.
Thomas had been petrified beyond description, and couldn't help but remain still to witness what was about to happen.
Thomas stared at the water, completely frozen in place, as a giant jellyfish-like head ascended from it. The head was covered with eyes.
Eyes that would unsettle people, much like that of a spider.
Thousands of these eyes appeared, with each one of them looking in a different direction, before they all collectively set their gaze upon Thomas.
Thomas knew that he should have fled, but couldn't help himself but stay in place.
He felt so unnatural that he truly believed that he must have been dreaming, for there was no way this thing in front of him was a part of reality.
The head, along with the countless eyes, rised up even further. A huge, translucent oval-shaped body had also risen up from out of the water.
Observing the body, Thomas noticed that there were millions upon millions of parasites wrigglling around inside of the creature, and it looked like it was about to pop at any moment.
This had finally prompted Thomas to turn and run.
But as he did so, the ominous creature retracted every single thistle and thorn surrounding it, which had seemed to manifest into the creatures llimbs.
The monster had now fully risen from the depths, and was so tall that it was almost higher than the trees.
The monsters many eyes were all locked upon Thomas, hundreds of thorn and thistle bushes surrounding it to form a dozen razor-sharp arms.
The monster began to speak, much to the surprise of Thomas. It spoke in a deep tone very slowly, and its voice echoed all around the swap, as if it was speaking into a megaphone.
"Naeg-Paraspid... sees you."
"You... are mine."
"I... must... feed."
"You... will die."
Deciding not to stick around any longer; Thomas ran for his life, not bothering to look back or even look where he was going,
he just wanted to create as much distance between him and the creature as he could.
Each and every second that passed felt like a minute, but Thomas could eventually see the opening to the outside world from which he had entered.
He didn't slow down, and was so, so close to safety...
But Thomas had felt something pierce his back with ease. Razor-sharp thorns began shredding his stomach open as he was left screaming in agony.
It was only then that Thomas knew he had underestimated how long the monsters limbs really were.
Thomas fell to the ground, bleeding out slowly, the monster slowly pulling him back towards the water with his thistle-limbs.
Thomas said one final thing to himself, before he had succumb to his wounds.
"Maybe all those people didn't drown after all..."