The Deer Pond

📅 Published on October 30, 2020

“The Deer Pond”

Written by Elias Witherow
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on 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: None Available


Rating: 8.20/10. From 5 votes.
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I lie on my bed, staring at my sliding glass door. It was late, probably well past midnight. I couldn’t sleep. That seemed to be a recurring issue ever since I moved into my new apartment two weeks ago. It was a small studio apartment, a simple design that fit my simple needs and pleasures. My bed was nestled into the corner of a small cranny and when I lay on my side I could see out my glass door that looked out into a grassy field.

I was on the first floor, a small concrete patio splaying out from the door to give way to a sprawling green lawn. In the middle of that field was a small pond. I had taken a walk around the premises after I had moved in and discovered the humble body of water. There were no trees around it, no vegetation. Groomed grass crept to the water’s edge and encircled the edges, tickling the shallow muddy bank.

And now, as I tossed and turned in dark silence, I thought about that pond. I wanted to get up and close the curtains, sheltering my view from the pressing black outside, but didn’t dare. Something was making my heart race, my mouth dry. I couldn’t stop looking at the closed door.

I could feel something out there.

Or was it my imagination?

I knew I was probably just jumpy, my mind not accustomed to this new living space. Everything felt unfamiliar. Everything felt alien. Like I was an intruder in someone else’s home. Of course, that was ridiculous, but time hadn’t brushed the feeling aside quite yet.

Suddenly, my heart skipped a beat. Had I locked the door? Jesus, had I locked the door?! I wanted to go check, my eyes never leaving the night filled panes, but I felt like if I moved, something would come crashing through.

You’re acting crazy, my mind reasoned.  You’re a grown-ass man!  Just get up and check to see if you locked the door.

But I felt like something was waiting for me on the other side, veiled in black. I exhaled and tried to settle myself. My apartment was dead quiet.

The pond.

I could see it perfectly in my mind’s eye, sitting amongst the giggling grass, their blades tickled by a night wind. Why did I keep thinking about that? Why did it fill me with such unease in these hidden hours?

Go lock the door.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled the covers off me and sat up.

I froze, heart screeching to a halt. Did something just move outside? Was that footsteps? Had someone or something been watching me?

Now you’re just freaking yourself out. Stop it.

Hesitant, I slid my legs over the side of my bed and placed my feet on the soft carpet. A trickle of sweat ran down my back. There was no moon tonight and so I had to rely on my eyes to cut through the thick black. Something told me if I turned on a light, whatever was out there would react violently to the exposure.

How old are you? There’s no such thing as monsters.

Swallowing, I stood up and went to the door, heart throwing itself against my chest. I reached it without incident and fumbled for the lock.

Jesus, it had been open this whole time.

I flipped the tab and heard the lock register. I stood there for a moment longer, my face inches from the glass. I could feel cool air radiating from the other side.

There’s something in that pond.

The thought sent a shiver rocketing through me and I turned and hurried back to the safety of my covers. I buried myself beneath their comforting embrace and turned my back on the door, trying to ignore my unexplainable fear.

Why didn’t you close the curtains?

I grit my teeth, realizing my missed opportunity. Too late now, no way I was getting back up. I tried to calm my mind and focused on shutting my body down, forcing it into slumber.


My eyes snapped open, a shuddering breath evacuating my lungs in a rush of sheer panic.

Something had just unlocked the door.

I immediately reached for the lamp on my nightstand and turned it on, spinning towards the noise.

Nothing but night greeted me from the other side. I sat up, breathing hard, alarms blaring in my head. My heart raced around my chest like a wild animal, screaming. I searched for movement, for the source, anything.

Still silence and unmoving shadow.

Suddenly, the voice in my head began to yell, then scream.

The pond, the pond, THE POND, THE POND!!!

I jumped out of bed and raced to the door, practically slamming into it as I desperately fumbled for the lock.

Sure enough, it had been undone. I pulled the tab up once again and backed away, wondering if I should call the police. Something had just tried to get into my apartment for Christ’s sake!

I backed away from the door, again picturing the small body of water resting out in the field, a few hundred feet from where I stood. I could almost smell the soiled water, feel my feet sink into the mud on the bank, taste the sour air on my tongue that hung over it.

Suddenly my mind began to shriek once again.

It’s coming back! IT’S COMING BACK!

With a jolt, I stumbled over myself in an effort to retreat from the door and fell backwards, a cry rising from my throat. I waited, shaking on the floor like a child, for something, anything to happen.


Trembling, I pulled myself to my feet and decided it was time to call the police. I didn’t care if they thought I was being ridiculous. I needed some peace of mind. As I turned to my bedside to retrieve my phone, it happened again.


Eyes bulging, I whipped towards the door, fully expecting to see a man or monster staring back at me from the other side.

But it was empty.

I raced back to the door and locked it a second time, hands shaking and sweating.

And that’s when I saw it.

Dim shapes in the grass, slowly worming against the earth away from the apartment complex towards the field.

Towards the pond.

What the hell is going on!? My terrified mind screamed.

Against my better judgment, I cupped my face against the glass and squinted. What I saw churned my stomach to rot.

What I saw sliding across the lawn were people…residents…still asleep and being dragged towards the pond. Or were they dead? Gasping, I squinted against the glass even harder and saw…figures. They were standing on two legs, their bodies dark in the night. They hobbled and strode across the grass like they were unaccustomed to land. I couldn’t make out exact detail, but it looked like they had bone extruding and twisting out of their bodies like broken tree branches.

And it was these figures that were dragging my neighbors across the grass…

Towards the pond.

Every ounce of me screamed to call for help, the stop this insanity, but the horrific vision kept me glued to the glass.

As the figures walked across the grass, still dragging their prey, I saw light begin to rise from the darkness. Beams of blue shot up from the earth around a central location and I knew exactly where the source was.

The light was coming from the pond. The beams cut through the air like luminous knives, slicing away the ebony air with brilliant claws. The tall figures reached the pond’s edge, the light splashing across their horrific features, their squirming broken bones jutting from dark ribs to give way to almost dog like-heads. Their hands that gripped the still bodies were mangled and broken with long bony fingers that sprouted like hardened fungi.

I watched as my neighbors were thrown carelessly into the water, the splashes reaching my ears even from this distance. When the last one was discarded, the light began to glow even brighter, simmering cobalt that accepted the bodies gratefully.

And then slowly, the twisted figures descended into its depths, walking deeper and deeper towards the center until they were submerged and lost from sight.

Do something! DO SOMETHING! My mind howled, thrashing against my skull.

As I raised the phone in my hand to call 911, a noise filled the night, crashing against my apartment and drowning my ears with its intensity.

It was the sound of heavy, urgent breathing. It was wet, a hungry pull of oxygen from soaking depths. In… and out… In… and out… HYYYYHHH… HUHHHHH… HYYYHHH… HUUHHHHH…

Over and over again, like it was around me, like it was in me, crushing all other senses to numb nothingness.

And then something began to rise from the water, a dark, angry protrusion of black bone-like charred branches…


I fled, not waiting to see what those horns were connected to. I tore my eyes from the horrific scene and snatched up my car keys from the kitchen counter. The heavy breathing never stopped, expanding into the night sky and stuffing my head with its insistence.


I flung my front door open, the one leading to a long hallway that exited to the parking lot, and bolted for my car. I pulled out my phone and called the police, bursting from the building and jumping behind the wheel of my vehicle.

In frantic, broken sentences, I explained to the emergency services what had just happened, what was happening, and told them to send police to the complex immediately. I hung up before they could press for my information, my screaming mind unable to focus.

As I tore down the road, the sound of the breathing began to fade.

Further…and further…

Until nothing.

The police told me later that week that nothing seemed out of the ordinary when they arrived. They told me that no one was missing, that everyone was in their beds, asleep and safe.

There were no signs of forced entry and no one had noticed anything…no one but me.

I asked them if they had checked the pond.

The police looked at one another and asked if I was talking about The Deer Pond. Reading my confused face, they explained that the pond I was so afraid of was a common watering hole to local deer. I told them that what I saw wasn’t deer…but after I said it, I thought about those shapes…those protruding, mangled bones…just what exactly had I witnessed?

The officers laughed and told me to go home and get some rest.

I never returned to that apartment.

Two weeks later, something shook the town, the event spilling out into the local news. I remember sitting in my hotel, watching the news report on TV with white knuckles.

A resident’s family had come to visit them at my old apartment complex. But what they found wasn’t their loved one.

What they found was a dead deer, lying under the covers in their son’s bed.

When the police were called, they investigated the strange incident.

What they found was an entire apartment complex filled with dozens of dead deer and not a single human person.

Apparently, the deer had all suffocated.

But it was all white noise to me, because one question came soaring from my mind like a burning rocket:

What had come out of the pond that night?

And where the hell was it now?

Rating: 8.20/10. From 5 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Elias Witherow
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

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Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on 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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