This horrific short tale was inspired by Grisly Reminder by Midnight Syndicate. Go give it a listen when you have the chance.
There's a town in the south. Small, but plenty of residents. On the edge of town there lies a forest that people tend to avoid. Those who venture in never make it back. The forest goes by a few names, but most refer to it as the Forest of Hooks.
The tale of the forest said that years ago there was a serial murderer who would kill people with a meat hook and retreat deep into the forest to avoid being caught by the authorities. He had taken many victims, but the most horrifying case had involved a small child who's left eye was gone and a hole left in the top of his head. When his body was examined, they had determined that the murderer had stabbed the child through his skull and curved the hook through his eye socket. Not only that, the child was hung up in the dead of night, by a chain, on a streetlight, as if mocking the residents and authorities.
The police eventually caught him before he could kill a middle-aged woman and chased him into the forest. The killer was shot several times during the chase and died in the heart of the forest. Though the police were more than capable, they refused to bury the man, as they believed such a horrible person didn't deserve a proper burial. They left his body to rot so far into the forest, that you'd be ill-pressed to find it.
But ever since that day, whenever someone entered the forest, they'd disappear and would never be found. The first few times this happened, the townsfolk assumed that the people that went missing were lost. Police and even families of the missing persons would go into the forest to search for them. They would end up missing as well.
The only people so far who have been able to return from the forest was a young man who worked as a waiter that went in to look for his sister and a police officer. When the young waiter came out of the forest, a passerby found him slowly approaching the town covered in dirt and muck. He dragged behind him the rotting corpse of his dead sister by its upper jaw. Jutting out of the corpse's face was a hook that went in just above the nose and out through the mouth.
The young man was arrested and questioned, but the only thing he would say is, "He was there. He did this!" Reasoning that the man was innocent and had nothing to do with his own sister's passing, the police had him released, leaving the man holed up in his home, rarely ever taking even so much as a step from his house.
The police attempted to look into who killed his sister, hoping to additionally find out what happened to the other people that went missing. Their only piece of evidence was the hook that was found on the corpse. They came to the conclusion that someone was continuing the legacy of the hook-brandishing serial killer. A small group of policemen soon entered the forest to track down the new killer. Only one of them came back, being the second and last person to leave the forest alive.
The officer crossed from the forest to town with a maddened look of terror in his eyes. His left arm was riddled with cuts. The officers that remained at the station demanded to know what happened, but he seemed too frightened to answer them. A year later, after many more cases of missing people stacked up, the surviving officer told them what happened.
It was the same man they shot down in the forest. He explained slowly in a voice trembling with fear of the very memory. After trekking into the forest, he was the first to suffer. He fell behind and got separated from the others. While trying to find them, he fell to the ground. Before he could stand back up, he felt someone grab the back of his head and slam it into the ground. Before he could recover, he felt a weight press down on his back.
He felt cold fingers brush against his skin as whoever was on top of him began to roll up his left sleeve. Soon after, a cold metal punctured his skin and dragged along his flesh. This continued for roughly five minutes before the now-warm metal slipped from his arm and the weight over his body disappeared. He jumped back to his feet and looked around, but found no sign of the culprit.
After that he heard screaming. He pulled out his gun and followed the noise only to find three of the officers he came in with were dead, one of which was hung from hook by the arm on a chain tied to a thick tree branch. A man in a bloody jacket with bullet holes in his back was ripping a steel hook out of the hanging corpse.
The officer fired his gun on the man, but the bullets seemed to phase right through him. He didn't stop firing until his clip was completely empty. After that, he turned tail and ran as fast as he could, never slowing until he had finally emerged from the trees of the forest. The officer was relieved of duty after he finished his story. Just before the man left the station, however, he looked at the officers escorting him out and rolled up his sleeve to show to them the parting gift that the killer left him with.
He showed his scars from the cuts he received in the forest. Looking them straight in the eyes with a dead look in his own, he told them,
"Hell is closer than you think."