Childhood Memories

📅 Published on April 13, 2020

“Childhood Memories”

Written by Nicholas I. Loyd
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Otis Jiry

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Scary Stories Told in the Dark – Podcast (Standard Edition) | 🔑 Podcast (Extended Edition) (feat. Otis Jiry)

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 6 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 4 votes.
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I opened the back door to my house, without bothering to put shoes on, and walked towards the line of trees that stood at the entrance to the forest. It was summer and the warm breeze carried with it the smell of nature, thick and fresh. Various birds tweeted and chirped along the treetops, providing an ambient melody. The sun had only just started to rise as I made my way in and down a well-trodden path I had taken many times before. Shortly I made it to my destination, a small clearing in the woods whose only steadfast inhabitant was an old rusted-out truck that was filled with books. This was my personal paradise, my respite, my daily escape into the land of fantasy and fiction.

I’m not sure when I first found the clearing, but every summer since I could remember I had come here on a daily basis to find a new book to read while I laid in the open grassy field surrounded by trees and various wildlife. A lot of the books were too hard to understand at first but through the years my vocabulary and understanding of various concepts ballooned and now there was no book too tough for me to handle.

I never questioned how the books stayed in such well-kept condition out in the open elements as they were. I was a child at the time and simply didn’t see any reason they wouldn’t all be in well-used but greatly cared for condition, even as they sit inside a rusted-out, windowless truck.

I never questioned how there seemed to always be a new book to read, even though I had read through countless. Every time I peered inside that ancient truck there was always a new tome to replace the one I had just finished. I never even had to sift through the large piles that encompassed the inside. The next book would always be right there on the top of it all, as if the books somehow sorted themselves out in the order I was to read them. In my mind this place was magic, and it was only normal that such a thing would occur.

I never questioned the noises I heard from outside the clearing. The rustling of tree branches and bushes, the crackling of leaves, and the sounds of animals calling in the distance were all natural in this serene environment I spent my time in.

The day went on as I laid back and relaxed while reading several books. As I picked up the next to read though, I noticed that the sun was starting to set. I quickly debated if I had time to read the thin book I picked up, but in the end, I decided I didn’t want to risk my parents being upset if I stayed out past dusk. I had never taken a book outside of the clearing up until this point, but determined I could read this one as I fell asleep that night, and bring it back in the morning to exchange for another. Having made up my mind on the matter, I started back through the forest and towards my house. However, as I exited the clearing, I noticed a very palpable change in the atmosphere around me. No longer could I hear the birds chirping from above, nor could I see or hear any of the familiar wildlife that often accompanied me through my stay in the forest. It was unsettling, and I found myself picking up my pace. It felt like someone was watching me the whole way home, but I made it there with no further incident.

As I walked inside, the smell of a delicious home-cooked southern meal floated through the air, and only then did I realize how hungry I was. Luckily I had made it back just as dinner was ready, and sat down and enjoyed a hot meal before retiring to my bed with the book. I started to read it, but the combination of the long day and a full stomach soon had me drifting off into the realm of dreams.

That night I dreamed of the clearing, only it wasn’t how I normally remembered it. There was a disturbing lack of sound, and the cool night air sent a shiver through my body. A full moon loomed overhead, illuminating the clearing but, unable to penetrate the treetops, left the forest masked in a looming darkness which started to make me feel claustrophobic. I realized I felt as if I were being watched and started to look around more closely. That’s when I saw it. Someone was sitting in the old truck glaring at me. I couldn’t make out any details, as the figure was shrouded in darkness, and the only defining features I could see were strong, hateful eyes, white with cataracts, hidden in the shadow of a dark hood. A sense of dread washed over my body and I found myself paralyzed with fear.

The silence was broken by a faint whispering coming from the hooded figure. At first, a whisper too soft to make out, but steadily it rose in volume until the figure was screaming. “RETURN IT! RETURN IT! RETURN IT NOW!” Over and over the figure shouted until I woke up screaming and covered in sweat. My parents hurriedly entered the room and tried their best to calm me down, saying it was just a bad nightmare and that I had nothing to fear. But I could see it. I could see the figure outside peering in through the window with those blank cataract eyes, glaring scornfully at me, and I knew what I had to do. I convinced my parents that I was alright and going back to sleep, but as soon as they returned to their rooms I made my way outside, book in hand, and started towards the forest.

At first, I walked, but soon I heard footsteps behind me and could feel an icy cold breath on my neck. This launched me into a panicked run through the dark forest. I dared not turn around as I made my way down the path in the blinding darkness of the woods, more from memory than from sight. The ragged breathing gave way to hysterical cries of “RETURN IT!” as I was pursued. I tripped and fell as I finally made it into the clearing. I was certain I was about to be killed gruesomely by whatever was chasing me, but as I rolled around in preparation for the horrors to come I realized I was alone. The hooded figure was still there, but stood just outside the clearing as if unable to enter. I was frozen, looking into the contemptuous eyes of the shadowy wraith standing just a few feet away from me… I soon realized there were dozens of eyes staring back at me from the surrounding woods. Hurriedly I got up and returned the book to the old truck. When I turned back around I noticed there were no longer dozens of sets of eyes glaring at me from the forest. Not only that, but the familiar sounds of nature had resumed. A cool calm washed over me.

Even though the familiarity of the forest had returned, I was still terrified to leave the clearing. It had protected me from those… those things. So, due to fear and exhaustion, I soon fell into a dreamless sleep. I awoke the next day to find everything was normal except the truck was gone. I never went back to that clearing in the woods.

Over time I forgot everything that had happened. My memories of that place, the old rusted truck, and the protectors of the books within were suppressed. I grew up, lived a normal life, went to work as a welder and grew into myself. The year I turned 33, both my parents passed away and left me their home. A few years went by without incident and I found myself growing quite comfortable in my childhood abode.

One day, on a whim, I went for a walk in the woods behind my house. I noticed a well-worn path leading through the trees and decided to follow it. As I walked down the path, memories began flooding back and I was all too curious if the old truck and clearing were still there. I fought back my last memory of the place, asserting to myself it was all a horrible nightmare and that none of it actually took place. This was only strengthened in my mind when I saw that old familiar truck sitting in the clearing from years past.

As I peered inside, I noticed all the books were still there, all still in great condition. This finally struck me as odd, but what really got my attention were the books themselves. Each book was bound in leather that looked like aged, wrinkly skin. None of them had a title, but as I picked up the first book and flipped through the pages, which were combinations of handwritten text and pictures, more memories came flooding back. The instructions in the books, outlining various rituals and dark magic, all as vivid and as fresh in my mind as the day I first read them. The blood drained from my face as I realized I could no longer hear the ambient noise of nature in the forest. The only thing I could hear were loud footsteps approaching me slowly from behind. I felt an icy breath on the back of my neck, accompanied by the raspy strained words, “So… you’ve returned.”

Rating: 10.00/10. From 4 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: Scary Stories Told in the Dark – Podcast (Standard Edition) | 🔑 Podcast (Extended Edition) (feat. Otis Jiry)


Written by Nicholas I. Loyd
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Otis Jiry

🔔 More stories from author: Nicholas I. Loyd


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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