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  • (dramatic music)

  • - [Narrator] I hadn't seen my friend Zach in a long time.

  • Back in high school, we were like brothers,

  • but after graduation, time fed a distance that

  • slowly chipped at our relationship.

  • But then one day, out of the blue,

  • he called me to ask if I would like to go camping.

  • (phone ringing)

  • Honestly, I was just happy he hadn't forgotten about me,

  • so I said yes, but out there in those woods,

  • I realized just how much someone can change.

  • (car starts up)

  • Zachary!

  • - What's going on old pal? - Hey, man.

  • Zach picked me up in his car and to my surprise,

  • he had a passenger with him.

  • His name was Ryan, and I wasn't expecting a third person

  • but I figured, the more the merrier.

  • But on the way to the forest, things weren't so merry.

  • I mean, the conversation in the car was casual at best,

  • not exactly the reunion I had expected.

  • Zach still had his charm, but, something was off about him.

  • Like something was missing.

  • Ryan said very little during the entire car ride over, but,

  • the uncomfortable presence of a stranger made it

  • hard for Zach and I to catch up properly.

  • We had been traveling for hours when I finally

  • spoke up from the back seat.

  • Hey, is it me, or have we been driving forever?

  • Zach, how much further is our campsite?

  • Before Zach could speak, Ryan answered.

  • - [Ryan] Be patient, my friend.

  • Zach and I found the perfect place to set up camp.

  • (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] Ryan gave me the creeps, but,

  • I didn't say anything else throughout the remainder

  • of the journey.

  • When we finally arrived at our campsite,

  • I realized Ryan was right.

  • It was perfect.

  • With tall trees and a majestic river that led up

  • to the top of a powerful waterfall.

  • The forest seemed empty apart from the wildlife

  • that inhabited it, and the sound of the wind

  • blowing through the trees.

  • It felt good.

  • It wasn't too hot, nor too cold.

  • It was Goldilocks: just right, and no bears.

  • (disembodied screaming) (tense music)

  • So, there we were.

  • Once best friends plus a stranger, armed to the teeth

  • with tents, poles, bags, and freedom,

  • trees in the breeze for a full weekend.

  • Ryan went to go for a walk while Zach and I set up camp.

  • It was the first time Zach and I had been alone

  • together since the trip began.

  • With Ryan gone, it was like a weight had been lifted

  • off of Zach's shoulders and he was the Zach I knew

  • from back in the day.

  • We even remembered our secret handshake.

  • It felt like old times, but something was eating

  • away at me, so I asked:

  • Hey Zach? - Yeah, buddy?

  • - [Narrator] How do you and Ryan know each other?

  • - [Zach] Oh, um...

  • [Narrator] Asking that question was like flipping a switch.

  • Zach stiffened up and suddenly the weight

  • was back on his shoulders.

  • - [Zach] Myself and Ryan are part of a group

  • that's dedicated to bringing out our true potentials.

  • - [Narrator] Zach said.

  • It was like he was reading from a manual.

  • It felt weird.

  • "What do you mean?

  • "Like some kind of self help group?" I asked,

  • trying to understand what Zach was saying.

  • But Zach wasn't the one who answered.

  • - [Ryan] A self help group's for the weak,

  • and we're far from weak.

  • - [Narrator] Ryan said sternly, returning from his walk.

  • He was carrying a large satchel.

  • The tension was back.

  • I was uncomfortable with how they were looking at me.

  • I apologized if I had meddled in something private, but,

  • they just stood there staring at me with this look

  • in their eyes.

  • It wasn't quite hate, but rather a look that

  • expressed hunger, like wolves staring down their prey.

  • The silence was broken was Ryan emptied the satchel he had.

  • In the satchel were two railroad spikes, a butcher's knife,

  • and a rope.

  • My heart skipped.

  • This was no longer a camping trip.

  • When I looked back up, Zach threw a chemical soaked rag

  • over my mouth and everything turned black.

  • - Hey, look. - Hey, everything okay?

  • - [Zach] I just wanted to say...

  • - [Narrator] Yeah?

  • - [Zach] I'm sorry I have to do this to you.

  • - [Narrator] What?

  • What are you talking-- - Come here!

  • - [Narrator] Zach, what the?

  • What are you-- - Don't fight it.

  • - [Ryan] You get him Zachary.

  • - [Zach] Hey, just go to sleep old pal.

  • - [Ryan] Take your sacrifice.

  • - [Zach] This will all be over soon.

  • (laughing) (dramatic music)

  • - [Narrator] There was a blur of green and blue, but,

  • then everything slowly came into focus and I was

  • looking up at the sky and the trees.

  • I was on the ground.

  • It was nighttime, and there was a fire.

  • I tried to sit up, but I couldn't.

  • And as much as I tried to move them,

  • my hands wouldn't budge.

  • - [Zach] Hey, he's finally awake.

  • - [Ryan] Good morning sleepy head.

  • (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] And that's when I realized what was happening.

  • My arms had been spread out and the railroad spikes

  • from Ryan's satchel had been driven clean

  • through my palms and into a wooden cross

  • on the ground below me.

  • I tried to scream, but I'd been gagged.

  • Zach and Ryan walked over to me with sinister smiles

  • fixed on their faces as they looked down on me.

  • - [Zach] I uh, hope you don't mind if our reunion

  • turns into a sacrifice.

  • - [Narrator] Zach said as he nodded his head

  • towards a fourth person laying next to me.

  • - [Zach] I'm sorry, pal.

  • But, uh, no hard feelings.

  • None of this is personal.

  • - [Narrator] The other guy just looked like

  • a hiker or something.

  • He had been crucified to wooden beams on the ground

  • just like me.

  • His muffled screams echoed throughout the woods.

  • Through his smile, Zach said:

  • - [Zach] You see, our group is a family.

  • - [Ryan] You tell him Zach.

  • - [Zach] Dedicated to the prophecies of the tome,

  • bringing out our inner monsters.

  • - [Ryan] That's right, boy.

  • - [Zach] I don't suppose either one of you gentlemen

  • have ever fed a mordeo? (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] I had no idea what the hell Zach

  • was talking about, but the pain in my hands

  • was unbearable.

  • Ryan finally broke Zach's rambling and pointed

  • to the hiker.

  • - [Ryan] You see him right there?

  • He's gonna be our dinner, and once we evolve,

  • you will be our dessert. (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] Then Ryan walked over to the other

  • wooden cross and slit the hiker's throat.

  • (muffled yelling) (laughing)

  • The muffled gargling screams trailed off

  • into silence and the sound of dripping blood.

  • Zach pulled out a rusted butcher's knife and began hacking

  • into the hiker's stomach.

  • - [Ryan] Yeah, you get him Zach.

  • (grunting) (laughing)

  • It's supper time boy.

  • (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] Zach and Ryan pulled at the opening

  • of the hiker's abdomen until an assorted mash

  • of pink flesh and red intestines spilled out.

  • (squelching) (laughing)

  • Then they both looked at each other excitedly

  • and started to devour fists full of the hiker's flesh.

  • Zach looked right at me as he tried to chew down

  • a piece of intestine and said:

  • - [Zach] You know, you really are doing us a great service.

  • - [Ryan] You can say that again.

  • - [Zach] You're a true friend.

  • (laughing)

  • - [Narrator] Then Zach and Ryan started coughing

  • as if they were choking on the bloody human remains.

  • Suddenly their coughs turned violent as they

  • keeled over onto the ground and started

  • to convulse uncontrollably.

  • Through horrifying screams, Zach and Ryan both

  • clawed at their faces until spiky boned antlers

  • jutted out of their foreheads.

  • Their jaws elongated right out of their faces

  • until they no longer looked human.

  • Their hands turned blood red as their

  • fingernails transformed into long claws.

  • Their final form was monstrous.

  • This was the evolving that they were talking about.

  • I knew then that I was looking at a mordeo,

  • two of them.

  • Suddenly a third mordeo emerged from the thick trees

  • and roared a primal scream.

  • (tense music)

  • Zach and Ryan, or, what was left of them,

  • joined in on the howl before turning their

  • attention on me.

  • It was time for their dessert.

  • With my fear induced strength, I closed my eyes tight

  • and screamed in agony as the bones in my hands

  • broke over the heads of the spikes.

  • I finally looked down and saw that both of my hands

  • were just hunks of bloody flesh attached to an arm,

  • each with a large hole in the center

  • where the spikes had punctured.

  • But I didn't have time to dwell.

  • The two mordeos that were once Zach and Ryan

  • were headed right towards me, and they were salivating.

  • I bolted through the woods.

  • I could hear howls and the thud of footsteps as

  • the mordeos gained on me.

  • (heavy breathing) (soft growling)

  • I ran as if there were battery acid pumping

  • through my veins, but it was no use.

  • The mordeos were just too quick for me.

  • When I had reached the end of the trail,

  • I was standing at the top of the waterfall.

  • It must have been at least 100 feet straight down

  • into the jagged, sharp rocks protruding through

  • the rapids below.

  • I was stuck.

  • The three mordeos emerged, pushing my back to the

  • edge of the cliff.

  • I could tell which one of the beasts was Zach

  • because he still had on part of his green hoodie.

  • I had to make a decision.

  • Jump, or face the evil creatures before me.

  • Life choices.

  • Zach stepped forward and reached out his hand

  • as if he wanted to do our secret handshake.

  • I thought maybe there was a fraction of humanity

  • left in him, so I decided to take a leap of faith

  • and I extended my arm, but I was completely wrong.

  • (growling) (squelching)

  • He grabbed my arm and chewed at my mangled hand.

  • The other mordeos moved in to take a bite of me

  • but as Zach violently chewed at my hand,

  • the skin loosened near my wrist and I was able to

  • break away by severing my arm from my hand.

  • Zach, let me go!

  • (squelching) (grunting)

  • (yelling) (water flowing)

  • (splashing)

  • And then I fell down the waterfall.

  • (water bubbling)

  • But I didn't die.

  • (coughing)

  • (heavy breathing) (grunting)

  • I drifted for miles hanging onto drift wood.

  • I fell in and out of consciousness due to

  • severe blood loss.

  • I don't know how I didn't drown.

  • Eventually I washed up on the banks of

  • a nearby local canoe rental house.

  • They took me in and cleaned me up.

  • At first, they thought I must have escaped

  • a bear attack and fallen into the waterfall or something.

  • But when they saw the injuries to my arms,

  • they knew that it wasn't a bear that had attacked me.

  • They knew the wounds were deliberate,