The trees of the forest sigh as they move in the breeze. They appear to whisper to you as the branches rustle against each other creating a sinister susurration that sends a shiver down your spine. A twig snaps somewhere deep within the forest as you slowly become aware of a presence surrounding you. Terror begins to mount inside you as you become more and more disoriented as the darkness falls. Why, why did you have to stop the car to have a wee in the woods at this hour? You knew, just knew, that having that second glass of Pepsi Max was a bad idea. You spin around as you swear that you hear a voice behind you. But there is no one there. Where is the car? You have no idea from which direction you came in from now; everywhere looks exactly the same; the shapes and shadows blurring into one. Suddenly you hear a tapping.
tap. tap. tap. taptap. tap.
What the hell is that? Where is it coming from? It sounds like it is coming from behind you. No, now it’s ahead of you… no, to your left… is it getting closer?
tap. tap. tap. taptap. tap.
Now it is clear and coming from all around you. You begin to panic, all thoughts of your wee-wee are gone (as is the wee as it travels down your leg), as you race through the trees, the branches swiping at your face, stinging your cheeks, getting caught on your clothes. Still the tapping continues, closer than ever, keeping up with your retreat.
Finally you burst out of the trees and onto the road. Your car sits a few metres up the road. Your relief is short lived though for as you approach your car you notice that it has been vandalised. The windscreen is shattered, the wipers are broken and the seats inside are all torn and ripped apart. Standing back you notice that the car is covered in scratches. Still reeling with fear, and with sodden trousers, you stand and stare aghast at the damage. Then you notice something odd. There is something familiar about those scratches.
You stand further back and stare at the markings on your car.
They appear to form words.
They appear to form… a blurb:
On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little boy…