No one ever survived the midnight day, the black fog that followed the faceless monsters through the endless journey they made around the forest. There where no bodies left, no blood. Not trace of the people who disappeared in its darkness. No equipment was found after, no transmissions made it out.
There were a few images the surveillance drones managed to take before they were taken out of the sky by hurdled trees. They where haunting images of creatures of an off-white colour, They had no heat trace and no faces. They had no set size, and some of them where as big as the five-story trees they so carelessly destroyed, with a number of limbs ranging from none up.
The air grew unnaturally heavy and dark, surrounding Aron’s ankles.
Far behind the tree he so heavily lent against, Aron heard the sound of a colossal tree breaking. He heard the sound of its heavy trunk slowly bending and then snapping under its own weight. His leg burnt from the lack of blood from the improvised tourniquet. He loosened it slightly only for his deep gash to rewet the blood-soaked cloth he had tied around it.
The monsters must be close. He thought. Aron weighed his options. He had been running non-stop for hours trying to get away from the fog. His leg was in no condition to keep moving and he needed to go back to the campsite for the medi-kit in his backpack. He could try circle back to his campsite, but no doubt it was in the heart of the fog now. The black, heavy air had reached his calfs and was quickly rising.
He could try to fight them, but there where thousands upon thousands of faceless monsters. On top of having to fight thousands, he was running dangerously short on blood as the spots dancing across his vision reminded him.
A cold shiver ran down his spine. If he didn’t move soon he wouldn’t get to make a choice.
Aron forced his legs to start running again but they screamed in protest. Forcing his feet forward he pushed on, the fog at his knees.
Aron wished they hadn’t camped so far into the forest. Or if they had only stayed by the ship to set up camp instead of insisting on going adventuring. They had known the stories from the research teams. “Just leave the forest alone.” they’d said. “It’s too risky to explore. We’ll send surveillance drones to do it when they arrive.”
Why had they been so stubborn? Aron thought in desperation. A group of rich wanderlusts tagging along with planetary exploration. We had no chance.
Aron knew he would not make it out of the forest for another few days of walking. They had really gone deep into the forest. There was no way he would make it out now with his leg in the condition it was. He desperately looked around for somewhere to hide.
Nothing but dense trees and shrubs surrounded him.
Aron felt the panic rise up inside him like bile. His breaths shortened. Fighting the panic and the pain shooting up from his legs he forced himself forward, but his body could no longer and his legs collapsed beneath him.
The soft moss covered ground broke his fall. He sat in the black air, his head only just peeping over the top. He shuffled to tree closest to him and lent against it in defeat. He took his last deep breath of the fresh forest air before the thick cold fog could drown him.
The fog filled the air below the canopies as the faceless nightmare monsters filled the space between the trees.