I was a young teenage boy living with my dad in a small rural town of about 2400 people, where we had recently moved to because he found a good paying job there. It was a quiet little area with not much to do, but the work was good, so we stuck it out. I went to a nearby school about 2 miles away from my home and would have to walk there every day. My dad usually woke up super early, and would be out of the house way before I woke up. It was no big deal, though, and I quickly got used to walking the two-lane roads, alone.

There was this one particular shortcut I would go through, where I could save 15 minutes along my route. It was one of those gravel pathways that connected the two main roads together, and it was usually empty - which meant I'd have to be alone for a few minutes as I walked through it. There were significant gaps between the houses, being a heavily wooded area, so my dad said to always take the main road. But I always wanted to get home earlier, so I usually took it.

Along the pathway, there was a run down, abandoned-looking house which had definitely not been taken care of. Its windows were dusty, and there were old garbage strewn all over the place. Everything about it made my fear senses perk up when I walked past it, and I would sing out loud to myself to chase off any potential scary people. I knew it was pretty useless, though, but it made me feel safer.

One day, I was walking home from school and it started to get pretty cloudy. A strong thunderstorm was growing and heavy clouds were making it darker than usual. I wanted to get home as fast as possible so I'd not get wet, but to do that would require me to take the gravel shortcut. The road was pretty dark itself because of the shade from all the trees, so if it was this dark on the main road now, it would definitely be much darker on the pathway - but I didn't realize it. I weighed my options carefully. It took a minute, but I bravely made the decision to take the shortcut and get home quicker. I had done it so many times before, so I thought I'd just run through it and be done.

It began to rain heavily and the thunderous roars grew louder. I puckered my head and started walking fast. I eventually got to the pathway and looked into it. To my utter dismay, it was pretty spooky. I stared for a moment at the pathway weighing my options. I didn't want to turn around and go the long way to only get more wet, and my house was literally so close. I knew the pathway pretty much by heart and didn't really need that much light to get through it anyway. So I decided to just do it and began walking with a quick stride. It got darker and darker the further I went in, and my whole body was telling me to turn around and go the long route. But I was already a quarter way through it, so I quickly picked up the pace and went on my way.

I was about three quarters through it now and was about to pass that old, rusty house. I was running pretty fast at this point and freaking out too, as I was all alone in this dark, wooded place with the scary rumbles of thunder all around me. I began to pass the house and decided to take a quick glance at it. I looked at one of the windows - and my heart suddenly stopped. This clearly noticeable silhouette with dimly lit red eyes was just staring at me. I felt a cold chill engulfing my body, like it was touching my insides. I must have had an overload of adrenaline at that point, because I suddenly got this jolt of energy and was out of there before I knew it. I got home in a daze, not sure if I had imagined the whole thing or not, and my whole body was aching and felt weak.

Being at least at least an hour before my dad would get home, I quickly went to my neighbors house and told them everything I had seen. They were quite skeptical, but they comforted me and were very understanding. When my dad heard about it, he was pretty mad at me for not taking the main road as planned, but he eventually got over it. We went back there together sometime afterward in order to check out who lives there, and what it was all about. It turns out that a 90 something year old couple was living there, but the wife had recently passed away. I'm not sure what I saw that day, but I never dared step foot on that road alone after that, nor will I ever again.
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