The little village of Hangilton was a joyful place – or at least it used to be. Many years ago, a girl named Lucy hung herself from a tree next to her tiny wooden shop. Since then, nobody went near the tree or the shop.
Alex, a boy of 18 years of age, lived in a shack in Hangilton. He had heard such bloodcurdling stories of people who had dared to step near the tree from which Lucy hung herself. Alex was very curious about Lucy. He decided that he would go to see the tree that night. He waited until everyone was asleep then set off, armed with his blade.
The atmosphere around Lucy’s deathbed was absolutely silent. He opened the gate in the fence which bordered the territory. Alex looked behind him. There was no one in sight. He continued to walk until he reached the only tree in the patch of land. It was beside a rundown hut.
He examined the branches of the tree. They all looked normal except for one which had stains of blood and several scratches on it. The young boy gulped. Just then, the body of a girl came tumbling down and hit the floor with a loud crash. Alex jumped back and yelped.
The girl’s body lay on the ground in a crumpled heap. He approached her cautiously, his blade at the ready. He poked her with his hand…and she leapt up and grabbed hold of a nearby trunk. Her hands were horrid. The fingers were long, black and bony. They resembled the paws of a rotten crocodile’s corpse. Her face could be seen clearly. Two luminous white eyes were placed on either side of her crooked, black nose. Her lips were two paper-thin, wobbly lines on the bottom of her face, which were dark red in colour. She wore a ragged yellowing dress and no shoes, exposing her skeletal feet. She had bushy, brown hair and a thick, white noose around her neck.
‘This is Lucy!’ thought Alex. ‘Wait, but it can’t be. Lucy’s dead. Then this must be her spirit!’ Lucy let go of the branch and landed in front of Alex, who stepped back.
“Listen, I don’t mean any harm. Please leave me alone.” said Alex. But she took no heed. She advanced towards Alex, swiping her claw-like hands in the air and scratching his arm. Alex winced in pain as rose-red blood oozed out of his huge wounds. Suddenly, a bunch of ropes appeared out of nowhere and coiled around his arms and legs. They pulled outwards, as if trying to tear his limbs off. Another rope formed a noose around his neck and tied itself to the bloody branch. Alex struggled to breathe. Then the rope around his neck snapped and he could take in air normally again. The other ropes stopped pulling but kept themselves firmly wrapped around Alex’s limbs.
He flew over to Lucy. There was then a sharp stabbing pain in his back. There was another one in his arm and another in his leg. Soon, the pains were all over his body. The helpless boy jerked and yelped as he was tortured in mid-air. A wide hole started to form in the ground below Alex. It was completely pitch-black. Before he knew it, he was dropped down into it and was travelling at great speed. He screamed for help but no one could hear him. The wind made his eyes water. Finally, he could see a dim light at the end. He came out of the long hole and found himself back in Hangilton. He was hanging from the tree, dead.