Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Brian found a phone and sent me a text that told me to meet him somewhere familiar to me. The woods behind my grandmother's house. I was disconcerted but I figured he'd been reading my blog and chose to meet me somewhere relative to the current moment. When I got to my grandmother's house I parked there and I've been there since. I've been going back and forth between her house and the woods since. She had no problem with me sleeping there and I admit I haven't done much eating, which for a guy my size and with my appetite is either a miracle or a bad sign.

Maybe I should have taken it as a hell of an omen. I'm at home now but I'm not alone.

It's not what you think... Brian's not here, either. I've crashed on my couch to give someone who seems like they need some good rest a chance at it. But that's getting ahead of myself. I left the morning of the seventh. Things got weird almost immediately. It was only a five minute trip to my grandmother's. I went out to the woods and walked around familiar areas. Some of the barely visible paths through the little woods had been maintained by me and my cousins as kids and very early teenagers. My father and his brother and sister had done it before me. But a few really good storms since then and one huge ice storm rendered them mostly gone.

These woods are too small for anything too big as far as animals, which is why as it started getting dark that first day I found the amount of noise I was hearing suitably disconcerting. There were some breaking twigs and rustling and crackling leaves, but the thing was it was rapid and in high quantities, like something fast and large moving toward me.

I got out of the forest that night well after dark. I never got another text message, but I got up the next morning at around eight or nine , grabbed a flashlight, a few bottles of water. If he kept me out there until dark again, I intended to be able to see. I decided that, given how small the place was, I'd post up on this large, thick tree that had fallen and gotten caught in the branches of an equally thick tree. Basically, I just crawled myself up about half way and found a good place to sit and watch. Given my back problems it was dumb of me and it definitely hurt.

But I sat there for about two hours before getting irritated I tried to call the number that I'd gotten the text from but it was 'out of service.' All that that call really did for me was give me reason to realize my phone's battery was almost dead. I won't bore you with anymore of the details about the day. Suffice it to say I was out there for a while.

It was getting nice and dark by the time that the noises started up again. I'd left the woods once to get some food about two hours prior to that so I was ready to stick it out this time. I turned on the flash light and called out for Brian but I saw nothing. But there was something in the air other than the noises from last night. But those were more important because they kept getting closer. I started to get a wild, shaky fear, because no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find the source of the noise. It would be in one spot and then when I turned to look for it, it would start coming from behind me, or maybe even a ways off in the distance.

I guess my nerves got the better of me and I started running though I had no clue which direction I was going in. The noises kept following me but they did the shifting around every time I aimed at it. I got so god damned fired up that I really lost track of everything. And I bumped into something. It wasn't a tree. It was too soft for that and even a bit warm. I went down hard. Pain shot up my back from the break and for just a god damn moment I thought I was going to cry. The way my flashlight had landed it was blaring into my eyes. I realized as I reached for the light that I had just ran into something living, something the height of a person, something that had just grabbed hold of my other arm.

I grabbed the light and swung at it on instinct. I heard a grunt and the hand was gone. Somehow, some way, the flashlight worked still. I tried to get to my feet and when I did I got the whole hitting with a blunt object favor returned. It was a glancing blow to the knee so as bad as it probably was I could barely feel it over my back pain. I spun the light around and it landed on something I hadn't expected. It wasn't Ian, it wasn't Brian, it was a girl I'd never seen before.

I had to cover my surprise because I had to remember this was a girl I'd just swung the flashlight with. I shined it on my own face.

“Stop, stop stop! It was an accident!” I managed to get the light back around to her, but her eyes were damned wide and looking past me. I turned on instinct and saw it there. For maybe half a second I was right beside it. Right beside him. Taller than my friend Dan, pushing maybe seven and a half feet, no face... no hair... no discernible features at all other than tall, He was standing there right in front of me, frozen in place. If you ever ran into a Redead in the Legend of Zelda games, it was as if we had that same effect on Him.

Then I did the only thing I could think to do, I grabbed her hand and ran like hell, spinning the flashlight around to try to get a baring on the situation but the only thing I could remember was the feeling of terror I felt in that moment that I saw Him. Finally I landed my light on a familiar mesh shape. The fence at the back edge of the woods. I drew the light to the left, trying to look for a downed part, but instead found a huge gap in the fence, one that lead too far out of my way. We had to go a bit further down the fence line.

Whoever she was had jerked her hand from mine a few seconds before and I hadn't even noticed. But she kept following me from a pretty short distance, probably to keep an eye on whatever the light was pointed at. Maybe He followed us, maybe not. My hearing's almost as bad as my senses of sight, smell and taste, so all I could hear was us running like hell. Finally I pointed out a low section in the fence and we hopped it in what should be considered record time for someone out of shape with a busted up spine and pain radiating through most of his god damned body.

The fence line ended about half a minute of running later and we turned into someone's yard. The guy who lived in the house was the type who used to shoot salt pellets at people trespassing in the woods. He was clearly in no shape to do that now so even if he heard us running through his yard and drive way I wasn't worried. I think she asked where we were going, but I didn't answer. I just kept moving, but at little more than a limping trot.

I remember asking if she saw Him when we got to my grandmother's place and into my car. I guess it was a sort of numbness to the world that made me think it was a good idea to trust this stranger I'd just met. I asked her name and in return I got, 'Stormy.'

We sat in that driveway and talked for about an hour. I learned just enough to trust that she wasn't going to kill me and I think maybe she felt similarly. Either way, I decided to bring her here to let her sleep. Sitting in the car in that drive way in the dark was just too freaky for me. I locked up the house, left a note for my old man explaining that someone was crashing in my room and I fell asleep in the living room with every light that I could turn on, on.

That's.. honestly all there is to tell.

She knows what He is. Maybe she knows more than me, maybe she can tell me something. I don't know.

 I don't think that text was from Brian.  


  1. I'd hate to be alone after all that, I hope she helps you find the answers you need.

  2. Have you tried a chiropractor? They have this poundy machine that hurts like hell, but after that wears off, the pain is mostly gone.

    If you're going to be running through the woods and hoping fences, might as well try giving yourself whatever advantage you can.

  3. Oh no, I can't... it has nothing to do with that.... like my father said in that video not long ago, I literally had a vertebrae split down its length. That's something only time and being careful can heal. I worry I set myself back sometimes.

  4. Sorry, I can't decipher medi-speak at all. That sounds very bad and very painful though. Maybe there's something else you can do to give yourself an edge? Brian might know something that can help you.

  5. Hmmn let's put it this way. Your spine is made of pieces called vertebrae with disks of a spongy material between each. One of the vertebrae, like second from the bottom of my spine, literally split in half vertically.

    Basically I think I was lucky to ever walk again. My neighbors say I tried to stand but couldn't get past my knees. I ended up laying back down.. or being laid back down I don't remember which. Nothing but time can heal me and then I just own't be as flexible.

    Of course I've always been out of shape so I';m not losing much. :D Apparently I made videos from my laptop while I was in the hospital though. >.> I look so horrible in them... you can tell I was keeping myself so heavily drugged that I was not completely in touch with reality.

  6. It sounds like you had one hell of an adventure. I hope your new friend can help shed some light on what is happening. Sorry to hear that you are in pain. I suffer from back pain, too. I've found that stretching and yoga and a liberal amount of painkillers works for me.

  7. You shouldn't be so hard on your appearance! :D I'm sure you look fine in your hospital videos. That is lucky though, that it is going to heal, as long as you don't hurt yourself again with late night tree climbing and fence jumping (though it was probably better to do that than stand there with that guy). Any luck finding your hard drive?