Rot In The Wood
Fantasy Horror Short
In a medieval village tucked away in the woods; a young pregnant woman runs for her life and the life inside her.
Chased by mobs of people, she's caught and shoved into a dirty log cell, with little dignity.
Her parents watch in shame as she's taunted by the villagers; men, women and children alike.
In the disgusting prison, she's subjected to debase humiliation by the Priest and the village doctor, sent in to check the status of her unborn child. She's left alone in the stinking dark, as the villagers wait for the offering to be made. That night, scratching is heard within the wood of the walls... waiting.
As nights go by, the woman is fed scraps, prodded and ruthlessly examined in a ritualistic nightmare she is forced to endure; all the while the scratching of wood taunts her from behind the walls. When the full moon arrives, so does her baby. The villagers gather to make their offering. The women's parents wait anxiously, sadness in their hearts.
The woman, huddles her bloody newborn in the dark of the cell; a slither of moonlight shining through. The creature from behind the walls shrieks. It's coming. She dare not look as a bone flute is held up near her ear threatening to play its deadly tune.
The woman is forced by cocked musket pointed at her face by trembling guards, to give her baby over. She does so and watches as the robed creature and her child disappear into the wood, to whatever land it dwells. Yet just as the hole to the world closes; she rushes forward and jumps through into a snowy woodlands.
The woman tracks the creature and her baby and grabs the child, stealing the pipe and making her escape. The dark robed piper chases her through the ancient forest but when she threatens to break its bone flute, the creature relents and allows her to escape through its wooden portal, back to the village.
The fearful villagers go among their business, wary of the failed offering and what could come. The parents of the woman are scowled at by children as they hang from a tree in shame.
Gunshots go off from within the wooden cell - guards shot dead. The door opens - the woman - - flute in hand. She blows and the wrath of the piper cuts through the villagers - adults drop to the ground with blood trickling; and one by one, their children walk into the wooden portal within the cell - into the realm of the piper, forever.
The woman removes cotton balls from her own child's ears and walks stoically into the woods, away from the village who tried to offer her baby as a sacrifice.