There is just over a week left until Halloween 2014. So let's have ourselves a spooky, eerie, creepy, horrific little tale to fill the hours while we wait.

No limit on word count or content (beyond those of the forum). Bring in characters, hurt them, kill them off. Send a shiver down our spines and make us wish for someone else to be sitting next to us while we read in solitude. Ghosts, vamps, weres, gods, demons, spirits, witches, crazed humans, whathaveyou. Let's have a story fit for Halloween.

It had been a warm day in late October when Greg called him to go on a drive in the country. "To see the leaves," Greg had said. The sun was bright, the air crisp and cool and there had been hardly a cloud in the sky when they set out.

They were driving past an orchard when Greg had decided he wanted to get out and walk. They had pulled over to the side of the deserted highway and climbed out. The trees ahead of them were twisted and gnarled, their dark trunks rising out of the ground like hunched old men, their branches bending this way and that over the carpet of red, yellow and brown leaves that covered the earth beneath them. Even without their leaves, the tree branches were so thick that the sun could only penetrate the orchard as beams of radiant gold light. With a smile, Greg had drawn on his jean jacket and walked into the orchard. Pulling on his own coat, he had followed.

He now regretted that decision.

Night having long since fallen, he asked himself for what must have been the hundredth time, How big is this orchard? And the other question that plagued his thoughts, Where is the car?

Orchards weren't usually this big. Yet, they had walked miles since leaving he car. They were not in a hilly area, yet they had climbed rolling hillocks and stared up steep, rocky inclines. Nor were there forests nearby, the region being mostly farmland, but the trees had grown closer and taller. Rocks had appeared underfoot, babbling brooks and stronger streams crossed their path.

Greg remained, as always, in a good mood, certain the car and highway would present themselves just over the next hill. Walking behind Greg, his apprehension at their situation increasing with every step, he worried that they were even going in the right direction.