On the night of March 18, 2000, teenagers Tom Graves and Hailey Rune went missing from their homes in the suburbs of Chicago. The love-struck teenagers were identified to have been seen in the “Murder Forest”, but an investigation in the forest proved to be fruitless, in terms of bodies. The police and locals are conducting a wide manhunt for these teens in the “Murder Forest” due to blood being identified as from Tom Graves found on the edge of the forest.
Two teenagers ventured into the forest that locals deemed as the “Murder Forest”. The teenagers—Tom and Hailey—found the campsite by accident. Hailey, wearing a school uniform of a bright flannel color polo alongside a black skirt that went past her knees. She held hands with Tom, wearing a similar uniform except for the skirt, and they skipped into the campsite. “Wow!” Hailey exclaimed. “This is convenient isn’t it?” She asked Tom. “It’s almost like God is looking over us; Telling us that our actions aren’t worthless.”
“I don’t know about God doing this, but it really is… relaxing.” He sat down on a wooden log. “It’s kinda weird isn’t it.” He asked. He motioned towards the four wooden logs acting as seats and their precise distance from the campfire. “Unless whoever was here before had OCD and needed to measure the distance of the logs, this would be considered weird.”
“Forget about it… we’re finally free!” Hailey shouted. “We separate ourselves from those bastards at the house, all thanks to the coronavirus.”
“Thankfully both of our families are too scared to leave their precious houses to look for us. They’re too busy hoarding supplies that two kids gone were beneficial to them!” He declared.
“What if they find us?” Hailey whispered. “They could hurt us.”
“They can’t hurt us anymore,” Tom said, his lips curling up into a small remorseful smile. “We’re free.” Hailey nodded and sat down next to Tom on the bench.
Tom put his arm around Hailey, bringing her in closer. Hailey snuggled up to Tom and looked up. “I love you,” she whispered, bringing her lips to his. Their lips met, exchanging numbers, before retracting. Tom stared into Hailey’s beautiful light brown eyes that reflected well with the rays of the sun.
A rustling noise popped out from behind a crowd of trees in front of Tom and Hailey. Tom picked up on the noise and attempted to get up, but was brought down by Hailey. “Where are you going?” Shea asked, her eyebrows frowning. “Did you hear something?”
“I swore that I heard somebody in the clump of trees ahead of us.” He whispered.
“I doubt that it’s anything important, maybe a squirrel or something.” She said while letting out a small concerned laugh.
“Maybe so,” Tom whispered. “If it was somebody, then we would’ve seen them anyways.” Hailey nodded. Tom relaxed onto the log with Hailey giving him a lap pillow and rustling his hair. A small breeze past them and picked up a couple of dry leaves, slightly masking the sound of somebody walking through them. “What do you want to do?”
“Maybe… a good job, house, and then kids?” She asked, her mouth curling up.
“I like that plan,” Tom whispered, his eyes close. He slowly drifted off to sleep as Hailey watched him, a smile on full display.
Seven hours descended, leaving the couple in unnerving darkness. Within an hour of Tom, Hailey fell asleep while enjoying the peaceful moment. Tom woke up and noticed an object plunged into the wood at the end of the log. He sat up and looked around, but couldn’t see much due to the lack of light. Tom’s eyes widened as it focused on the object, revealing to him that the object is a kitchen knife. Tom scanned the area again and found nothing. He gripped the knife and yanked it out. He took the knife close to his eyes and analyzed it, noticing a small piece of paper wrapped across the blade. He took the paper off the blade and analyzed it. On the small piece of paper read “Is Tamara home? Is she? Hello? Why won’t you respond? Hello?” Tom threw the paper onto the ground and looked around wildly. Tom turned around and shook Hailey’s shoulders. “Wake up Hailey! Wake up! We got to go!” Tom shouted. He shook her shoulders, but she didn’t move a muscle. “Hailey? Hailey, what’s wrong?” Hailey slid off the log and landed on the ground. Tom took out his cellphone and turned on the flashlight. The light illuminated Hailey’s body, revealing the gashes in the top of her face and her jaw ripped off. Tom jumped up and waved his flashlight around in the air. He heard rustling and pointed the phone at it. At the same clump of trees that he heard rustling from earlier stood a man wearing a gray sack over his head and wielding an ax. “Who the hell are you!” Tom shouted. He turned around and ran towards the main road. He waved his phone wildly, a glimpse of a lady wearing a doll mask and blonde hair standing in plain sight on his left being exposed for no more than two seconds. Tom raced down the crowds of trees making it to the main road. He stood in the middle of the road and looked both ways, noticing a red pick-up coming towards him. He flagged the pick-up by waving his hands wildly and shouting. The pick-up came to a rolling descent and the driver honked at him. Tom raced to the passenger door and shouted at the man to get in. The driver turned towards Tom revealing a pin-up girl mask. Tom’s eyes widened as rustling behind him got closer. The driver, simply, stared at Tom, scaring him. “What the hell is going on!” He shouted, nearly breaking into tears.
The rustling came closer and stopped. Tom turned around and noticed a towering man with a sack over his head and a girl with blonde hair and a doll mask. Tom opened his mouth, but no words could come out. His body started shaking and all the strength in his legs dissipated, dropping him to the ground. Now on his knees, he looked up at the strangers. “W-W-Who are you?” The strangers stared at him without a response. The driver moved to the passenger seat and stared at Tom from the rolled-down window. “W-Why me?” He asked, tears streaming down his face. Three photos appeared in his mind. One picture showed Tom and Hailey at the carnival enjoying their youth and kissing for the first time while the second photo displayed the sanity of his father. His father gripped a belt and held it over Tom intending to use it. The third and final photo is the cruelest of all; Peeking into Hailey’s window and seeing/hearing Hailey’s father sexually abusing her after he was found and thrown out by Hailey’s mother. The screams of Hailey pierced his mind as the strangers neared him. “W-W-Why me?” He repeated through tearful eyes.
“You weren’t inside your home,” a hoarse voice whispered.
“I-Inside,” Tom repeated hysterically. “Inside my house was torture! We wanted to live an abuse-free life! We wanted a… we wanted a normal life!” He shouted through tears filling the brim of his eyes. “A normal life,” he repeated. “A normal life.”
The man raised the ax into the air, lit by moonlight, and followed the momentum of the fall. Tom’s blood splattering over the red pick-up and onto the blades of grass. The sackhead stranger picked up Tom’s body while the dollface stranger went over to the edge of the forest and picked up Hailey’s body. The two strangers dumped the body into the back of the pick-up and got inside the truck. The truck sped off, leaving little traces for police to cover. They fled the scene to never be seen again.
The police didn’t find the bodies of Tom or Hailey and couldn’t trace their steps alongside the strangers they met. Purposefully or confidential is another matter. The police arrested Hailey’s father for sexually and verbally abusing Hailey as well as the mother for being an accessory. Tom’s parents were also found guilty of physically abusing Tom alongside his siblings, killing one of them, and forcing cruel acts upon them such as cannibalism and drinking their own urine for refreshments.