My brother is at college doing drama, and for a recent assessment he asked me to write him a ghost story which he then performed. The stimulus he gave me was a boy and his brother walk into the woods one night and they see a woman cradling a baby in a clearing. When they walk back past the clearing half an hour later she was gone. This is what I came up with.
“You shouldn’t go into the woods,” his grandma said. “Especially at midnight, you shouldn’t go into the woods…”
“She’s just a batty old woman,” his brother said as they stood by the backdoor of his grandma’s house, the moon illuminating the woods.
The boy gulped, glancing back into the house where his grandma and parents were sleeping.
“Come on,” his brother said. “Or are you scared?”
The boy lied, shaking his head and followed his brother out into the darkness.
He jumped when an owl screeched above his head and flinched when twigs snapped underfoot, but he continued stumbling after his brother; his fear of being left alone far greater than his fear of anything else.
Suddenly, he tripped, landing on the woodland floor with a muffled thump. He scrambled up quickly, whirling around in search of his brother, his breathing becoming shallower as he looked around.
Then he saw him, standing under a tree in a clearing in the distance. His breathing slowed down, and he walked towards him. As he got closer he slowed down. Something was wrong… His brother hadn’t been wearing a hoodie had he? As the boy got closer he heard something, speaking, chanting… But the voice was wrong too…
The boy stopped.
The chanting got louder as the unknown figure moved around the clearing, revealing a baby in its arms. The chanting got louder still, and he boy shrank back behind a tree watching as wind began swirling around the figure as they raised the baby high above their head.
The boy ran, ran as fast as his legs would carry him not daring to look back, until he crashed into something solid.
His brother looked down at him.
“What are you doing?” he asked, helping the boy up. The boy told him about what he saw, about the figure and the baby. His brother rolled his eyes. “You ran away from some mother singing her baby to sleep? Come on you chicken, let’s go.”
The boy followed quickly behind his brother, stopping as they got nearer the clearing where the figure had been.
“What?” his brother asked.
The boy said nothing.
“Oh, she was here was she?” his brother asked, grabbing the boy’s arm and pulling him around the clearing. “Well she’s gone now, nothing to see.”
“What’s that?” asked the boy, pointing at his brother’s trainers, the white leather now stained with red.
“Foxes will’ve got a rabbit,” said his brother. “Come on, let’s go.”
When they got back to their grandma’s house the lights were on. Their parents were furious at them for sneaking out, sending both boys to their rooms. His brother stormed upstairs slamming the door, and boy followed slowly.
“You saw her didn’t you?”
The boy turned and looked at his grandma.
“Who?” he asked.
“They say she wasn’t very well,” his grandma said. “She thought it would help if she gave him to them. She thought they’d go away…”
“Gave what to them?” the boy whispered.
“Her son. She gave them her son.”
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