My name is Philip Crawford, and I'm warning you to only travel where it is safe, where it's lively. Okay, here it is- I had always loved exploration: the unknown. The sense of finding an abandoned hide out or an old, broken down park just thrilled me, and my friend, Justin. He is short and has long, brownish-black hair, about to his hazel eyes in the front and to his neck in the back. We always loved to explore the heavily wooded areas around our houses. We would just take some food, water, soda, snacks, and maybe if we felt like it, we'd pick up a monster energy for the night of exploration. Tonight we just brought along a couple sandwiches, chips, four bottles of water and our loyal supplies.

We set off on our mountain bikes; I had just recently got mine, it was and still is grey with white writing, I love it so much. Justin, just about reaching four and a bit feet tall at the time, was wearing a lazy pair of clothes, a white T-Shirt and sweatpants that were two sizes too big. We crossed about a mile of woods before we decided to slow down, stopping on the gravel curb of an abruptly ending road. We got off our bikes and kept walking until we had spotted a well we had never seen before. It looked fully eroded, but we had been down here before. How hadn't we seen it? We didn't think much of this as we'd seen other things such as a new tombstone at the end of the creek we frequented. It ran on for what looked like forever, running on through the forest that was densely filled with trees and shrubs.

We sat down for a second and checked my backpack for all the supplies, to see if anything had fallen out of the newly created holes on the sides of my backpack. We had our sandwiches, chips, water bottles, first aid-kit, a flash light, and duct tape. However, I felt that we had forgotten something: something important. Annoyed that I couldn't remember, I asked Justin if he remembered, he said in a slightly irritated and cautious voice, "You were supposed to handle the supplies, I wasn't." We went on hoping we'd remember later. The first hour was just going through the woods. I had a chill run up my spine, as if I'd had a sixth sense, but instead I just took it as the temperature dropping. The sun started to hide behind the clouds, the sky was orange, pink, and slight shades of blue and black.

We tracked on and had found a arching structure that looked like it was made out of wood. It had been shaded green with mold and age. Justin had pointed out the path that had followed the small arch. It had moss growing in the cracks between the red bricks. We both froze and looked at it with slight grins. We went up closer to it, inspecting the old, dark brown, arch. It had a slightly grim feeling, as if someone had came here but didn't make it back, I felt sick. I thought it was silly after a few seconds to think. There were no cases of murder or animal attacks... or anything. But this place didn't feel fully isolated, it felt like someone was here. We went to the path, we knew there was no chance of it caving in or falling apart as it was just bricks cemented to the ground.

We walked along the path and it had just ended, no second arch, no changing of pattern to identify the path ending, it just stopped. We both thought this was odd because it didn't look as if it collapsed or had been destroyed or removed. I had walked to the left a bit and where the pattern would have continued, there was a little bump. I told Justin to check it out and he told me to dig up the dirt that covered the bump. Our shovel, we had forgotten the shovel. We found cool things to dig up all of the time and we took our shovel everywhere, even to places we didn't think we'd need it. We were both very upset, disappointed. We tried to make sense of it so we wouldn't be so mad. We tried to rationalize it as a tree root or a buried brick, but we both had a slight feeling these thoughts weren't true. We tried to forget about it and just carry on, and we did.

It had been dark by now. We had found a weird thing coming up from the ground, it looked like a log with a picture on it. We went up to it, and we touched the photo frame. Not soon after I felt a rush of pain go up both of my legs, I yelped. I soon heard Justin scream of agony. We both knew it was bad. It was dark anyway so we ran back the way we came. We ran and ran, with out stopping, I felt extreme adrenaline, I don't know why, I hadn't seen anything except the picture which looked like an ordinary family photo. It was dark, almost to dark to see but I wasn't going to stop to get my flashlight. I knew something was wrong after three minutes of constant sprinting, I wasn't normally able to do this, I still don't know what made this possible.

All of the sudden, I felt pain in my face. I had fallen. I looked up, I couldn't see anything by now. I called out for Justin, he responded by rushing towards the sound of my voice. I had him help me up, he asked me if I was ok, but I couldn't tell. I felt liquid on my face, I couldn't tell if it was sweat or blood. We couldn't see so we backed up against the nearest solid thing. When we were backed up, we got the flashlight out of my backpack. I wanted to see what I tripped on and it was the bump at the end of the walk way. I had banged my head on the bricks of the path.

The path looked menacing to me, like it wanted to hurt me. I felt stupid at the thought of this. When I cupped my face in my hands, I knew it was blood on my forehead. We knew we couldn't have gone back to the bikes now. We were scared and I was covered in blood. We took out my flashlight and flicked on. We went and tried to find a good place to hide out. Luckily, after a few minutes of looking, we found a cave entrance. We looked inside to find it empty, but large. We set down my backpack, pulled out the med-kit, and fixed up my forehead. We cleaned off our hands as we had dug around the dirt and had touched the mossy walkway. With our hands clean and us starving, we got out our brown lunch bags and ate our sandwiches. Justin had a mustard and ham sandwich, I nearly gagged at the smell, I had a simple Swiss and ham sandwich. Justin excused himself from our little "kitchen" as he had to use the bathroom. I twirled my thumbs with the feeling of nervous-boredom, fidgeting with my shirt. I was scared, I never liked being alone. I was constantly looking left then right, backwards and forwards.

This sounds weird but I felt like going to check on him. But I had that sense of fear where you feel like if move, you're going to get caught by something. You feel like you're going to get caught by something, but that something may have been a monster you just read about or that devil you just saw in a movie. Your never just get that feeling, you don't just get scared of nothing, but I did. I felt a feeling of dread and hopelessness. I was waiting for twenty minutes now. I gathered the mental strength to go check on him. When I got to where he was, a bit further down the cave, I saw him staring at something I front of him. I asked him what he was doing and he just signaled with his hands, "come here." I went next to him and saw what he was staring at, a hole in the cave's wall. It was like someone took a pick and kept hitting the wall. The edges of the hole were serrated like a knife or shark's teeth. The path was pitch black.

Justin told me to shine my flashlight down the path, the light glimmered down the tunnel like the sun on sleek metal. The area to move was big enough for him and me, but if we were any bigger, we probably wouldn't have fitted. The cave was dark except for what was lighted by our flashlight. We studied the path for a minute, deciding we wanted to see what it lead to. We abandoned our things and crawled I entered the tunnel first, Justin following behind a couple feet. The tunnel went on for what seemed like an hour, but it had only been about five minutes. It lead to an opening, we saw odd carvings on the wall, someone or something had obviously been down here. We lowered ourselves down and explored the wide open, light brown room. It looked like it was mines by hand, like it was solid stone at one point.

For a while, we looked around the room. We saw strange things like cooking and eating utensils, backpacks, canteens, rotten food like chips and sandwiches, and other things like shovels and guns. One of the things was a pistol that was stained reddish brown with rust and had dents on the grip. I slid the clip out to see that two of the bullets were fired off. I then got the questions I should have gotten a few minutes before, why and how is all this stuff here, were we the first ones to explore this cave? Now thinking back, it may have been supplies from other campers that was taken, stolen, by IT. We decided to continue on.

There was a short hallway that we were barely short enough to walk through. When we found the exit we saw something that would haunt to this day. We saw a pure white figure. It was tall and had a bony structure, it wore ragged, torn, brown cloths all over its body, it's face was simple, two hollow eyes and a drooping mouth. It almost looked human, maybe it had been at one point. All three of us locked eyes for a solid minute before it started to slowly grin at me, not Justin, me. It's head rotated enough to hear a sharp crack, it started walking towards us. I came out of my trance of horror and grabbed Justin's arm and dragged him to awareness, it walked towards us even further and we ran towards the place from which we came. We went to the small tunnel and it was still behind us, I was terrified by the large drop in speed that was created when we started to crawl. It reached out to Justin, it touched his shoe and I smelt burnt rubber. We came to the entrance of the cave and it was still grinning and running behind us with terrifying ease, as if it wasn't alive. We ran all the way to our bikes, a solid two miles. I don't know about him, but that's the fastest and furthest I had ever ran. We mounted our bikes and went to our houses. I don't know when we lost it, but I knew those woods were sinister.

About a day later, I begged my mom to call the police, she eventually did. The officer came by later that day with a few other officers, four in total. They asked me to come with them to show them the way, I didn't want to, but I knew I had to or someone else may be killed, not even their things would be left to be remembered by. After about two and a half miles of the wind breaking through my hoodie, we came upon the walkway. I didn't want to go back on it, but with four police officers who had guns by their sides, I felt safer.

One asked in an odd voice, "What the heck... Why's there blood on that brick?"

I responded in a shaky voice with "don't worry, I just hit my head on there when I tripped."

The officer looked at me worried and said something like, uh, kid? You ok? I think he may had thought that I had a concussion or something but I insisted that I didn't. We looked around for the cave, it was kind of hard to find because it was pitch black the first time we stumbled upon it. We eventually found it, the officers went straight, but I hesitated. After a, "come on" from one of the officers, I stepped slowly inside the cave. They saw where we left our food and supplies, one of them looked at me with a questioning look on his face. I responded to his face by saying it was ours, we carried on.

We got to the little dug tunnel. There was one rounder officer, two strong and tall officers, and one lanky and average-built officer. They studied it for a while, crouched down and then it hit me, only one of them could go with me, the lanky one. The rounder one looked at down, and studied his utility belt. He looked up and asked me if I ever shot a gun. My eyes quickly widened and I stuttered out a "no officer." He asked me if I could handle it and knew how they worked, I did know how and I imagined I could use one, so I said yes. They said that only one of them was going with me, I wasn't surprised. The lanky one started down the tunnel, I took the gun and followed after, scraping my sides with the jagged walls as I entered. After the minutes of crawling, with me occasionally having him stop as he was going too fast, we got out. He was very shocked and confused, I could see it on his face. We saw the things that were there yesterday, the junk that IT took.

I over heard a conversation with two of the officers over the Walkie-Talkie. The first officer, the one I was with, said, "I don't think the kid was lying, the things are here, the junk.

I had heard two of the police men talking over the Walkie-Talkie, the one I was with told the other that we'd found the trash the kid was talking about, the other said something like, Have your guns ready, he might not have imagined it. He studied the trash, glancing at a tin can of soup, rusted bolts, and other trash that had been rusted or dirtied. I went to a corner, I was nervous and didn't want to move. I looked down and saw something, it was my flashlight. I slowly said, "What the heck, did I leave that here?" The officer looked at me odd as I just talked to myself. I noticed but I didn't care what he thought. I knew that IT probably took it here, like it had all the other junk. He stopped studying the piles of rust and signaled for me to follow, I just barely noticed the signal out the corner of my eye.

I slowly followed, gripping the gun with all my strength. My heart was pounding, we were entering the room we saw IT in. We had found the place where the room drops off, I let him go first, waiting in fear as I expected a scream or yelp. But all he said was, "What are you waiting for?" I asked him if he saw anything, all he said was, "Nothing but walls." I slowly lowered myself, clenching my eyes shut, heart beating and hands sweating. I was on the dusty ground, I opened one eye, then the other. I let out a huge breath after holding it, I saw nothing there.

The officer talked to the other ones, reporting of the empty room. We got out of there, I was nothing except glad to leave there. I knew what I saw, I knew IT was real. IT was out of its cave, looking for a new victim, or looking for an old one it didn't catch. I never went back to the woods, I never spoke of it unless it was to relatives, they never believed me. Justin and I stopped hanging out as much and we only talked occasionally. I hope you believe me, at least one of you who read this will. I do not wish to entertain you with this, I do it to warn you to never go where you don't feel safe, to always trust your gut.


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