A Glint in His Hand / He Was Crawling

I’m an avid runner. Since my early teen years I’ve run through freezing rain and searing heat, foggy nights, and sunny days. But every once in a while something happens that makes me reconsider my dedication to my passion. On a cool August night a couple years ago, something changed my running habits indefinitely.

I had recently moved back into my parents house in that awkward interim period between college and career. It’s funny, because I had done my night runs in sketchy cities and bad neighborhoods for years and nothing special had ever happened. But in this suburban middle-upper class neighborhood on the outskirts of town I had one of my most frightening running experiences ever.

My normal two mile jog took me through one lamp-lit intersection three times before getting home. Don’t ask how exactly, because it’s a complex route. But suffice to say, I must go through this intersection once to leave my house, once half-way through my route, and once to get home. I had run this route hundreds of times both night and day and it was always safe and scarce of traffic.

The night in question, I took off on my run around 10:45pm. My parents were already off to bed and the neighborhood was usually dead-quiet by nine. I took off down the street at a standard pace, the silence of the night rejected by the epic music blaring through my cheap wal-mart headphones. The first pass through the lamp-lit intersection came up and I immediately noticed something was off. Under the lamp, legs resting in the road, was the silhouette of a man sitting on the curb, hunched over. In this neighborhood, seeing anyone out at night was quite unusual.

He was across the street, so I didn’t feel imminently threatened by him. Running creates this stupid illusion that you’re somehow safe as long as you’re moving, even though you’re more exposed than ever. The first half of my run took me through a section of houses under construction. It was always creepy in this area and a few shadows seen out of the corner of my eye had finally inspired me to start running with a small folding knife. It was stupid security theater on my part, like a knife that size could do anything. The legal knife limit in my state is five inches and my running knife was jealous of that size.

As I ran through the abandoned construction sites, the sight of the man earlier began nagging at me. I half expected him to pop out of one of the shadows created by the large half-built structures. It was really strange him sitting hunched over like that. His existence there just didn’t fit with the vibe of the rest of the neighborhood. My next turn took me back towards the lamp-lit intersection. A little bit of dread built up in me as I approached the intersection. For a moment, I didn’t see the man. I relaxed, hoping he had wandered on. But my pounding heart sank as I saw the figure sitting a bit outside of the light on the side of the road I was currently running on. It was as if he had changed position, knowing full well where I would come from.

But I maintained my course and speed, refusing to let some random guy sitting on the curb bother me. I had seen stranger things that a sitting guy. I didn’t let it bother me in the slums, I wasn’t going to let it bother me here. But my confidence melted quickly as I grew closer to hunched figure. I was twenty feet from him when I noticed the man was fiddling with something in his right hand. Fifteen feet, the man turned and looked up at me, his hand dropping. Ten feet, he hunched lower, the thing in his hand still concealed by the darkness. Five feet from the man, I suddenly saw a glint in hand. He had a knife, and not a dinky little folding knife, it was a twelve in Bowie knife gripped tightly in his fist. I sort of went into auto pilot at this point. I was already practically stepping over this weird guy and now I realized he had a massive knife. But I myself am a collector of knives. It wasn’t the knife itself that scared me, it was what he did next.

As I ran within inches of him, the man leaned forward and began tapping the knife on the ground just next to my feet. I sort of awkwardly side-stepped away from the man, crossing the street and continuing on my run. It took a minute to set in what just happened and that’s when I realized I had to pass this guy one more time to get home. I stopped my run, pocketed my headphones, and pulled out my dinky folding knife. I had run around a corner of wooden fences and out of sight from the man, so I decided I would peak back around and spy for an opportunity to  run through the intersection and back home.

But as I peaked around the fence and into the light, I was sure more than ever that I should not go back through that intersection. The man with the massive knife was crawling around on all fours. Now fully revealed by the light and no longer hunched, I could see this guy was big. I would say he appeared around six and half feet tall, but I suppose he was six and a half feet long, as he was crawling. He clambered around for a minute or so, stopping and rolling around in the grass. At this point I noped out of the situation and called the cops. Lucky me I used my phone as a timer for my runs so I had it with me that night. I called the operator and let them know the situation. Not to brag, but I sounded super chill when describing the scene to the operator. But my chill began to fade as I peeked around the fence to give a description of the guy to the operator. Black pants, boots, grey shirt, standard useless descriptors. But, it now appeared he was laying down in the road. Not laying down, sliding. He was pushing himself into a storm drain. As I watched, this guy stuffed half his body into the drain. It looked like he was having trouble, since he was a big guy, but he was somehow getting in. Like an idiot, I took my eyes off him to step back to safety as the operator told me to.

The police arrived a minute or so later. No less than five cop cars flooded into the neighborhood. It must have been a slow night. With one of the officers backing me up, I walked back through the intersection to get home. The lamp-lit intersection was empty. No one was there. There wasn’t even any evidence someone was there. I waited out front of my parent’s house for a while until one of the police cars drove by me. The officer let me know that they found no one. Whoever it was had slipped away. The police believed it was probably a resident of one of the houses nearby who just ran back home once he saw the emergency lights. And I think that’s the most likely possibility.

But I still remember the last time I saw the guy, half-wedged in a storm drain. Sometimes I wonder if he made it in. Maybe we’re both right, the police and I. The man did just run off home when he saw the lights, but maybe his home was not one of the houses placed so quaintly above ground. It’s probably stupid, but I give most storm drains a wide birth now. Better safe than sorry when there may be a knife-wielding lunatic slashing at your ankles.

Tragic History

My family recently purchased another farm, and we’ve been doing a lot of work cleaning up the old house, barns, and other outbuildings. The abstract for the property details that the land was originally settled and timber was cut down and cleared in 1852. While the original structures are gone, most of the barns and the old farmhouse are anywhere from 90 to 120 years old, so I figured there might be some interesting artifacts with so much history in one place.

After several consecutive days spent on the property exploring and cleaning, my parents left me there one afternoon to keep working alone while they went to unload a trailer of junk. After perhaps an hour of fixing a fence, I all of a sudden heard what sounded like muffled voices in the barn. I thought perhaps they had returned, but I soon realize there were no vehicles in the driveway. I asked who was in the barn (“perhaps a neighbor walked over?” I thought) and I walked into the door way realizing that whoever it was, was upstairs in the empty loft. This barn is massive, and it sounded like boots walking across and clanking on the floor at the other end of the barn, however the voices stopped. I climbed the nearest ladder and poked my head through the opening only to discover no one and nothing. I thought I was losing my mind, and shortly afterward my parents returned. We did another thorough search of the building after I explained to them what I had heard. Of course, we found no one and nothing.

There were no more strange occurrences until this past weekend. On Friday night we stayed in the house because it was clean enough to sleep in. I awoke to find what looked like a tall shadow standing at the other end of my room. I was totally frozen, but after several seconds or perhaps a minute of staring at it I stood up and it seemed to vanish. I decided that I wanted to do some more research into the history of the property and perhaps talk to nearby landowners who may have known past families that have owned the property.

One of the nearest neighbors, about a mile away, is a 92-year-old man named Ralph whose family has lived in the area for over 150 years. What Ralph told me chilled my blood. After asking him if he could speak to the history of the property and the area overall, he immediately told me about the Bush family. He said they are distant relatives of the presidential family, and that there were several brothers who came to the area around 1910. Apparently, they came from money as well as they bought most of the properties around ours, and they took turns helping each other build a nice house and some barns on each of the acreages.

However, one of the brothers was killed in an accident in our house sometime in the early 1920s while trying to wire the house for electricity! Worse yet, less than 10 years later at the height of the Great Depression, the brother who owned our property, John, was going to lose the farm. Supposedly, John and his wife left the children in the house, and walked across the yard to the barn to have what amounted to an argument. After a heated debate with his wife in the barn where I had heard the muffled voices and footsteps, John reportedly proclaimed that it would be better for the family if he took his own life because the bank would not repossess the property from a widow with children.

Ralph told me that John hanged himself later that day in the barn. Tragically, John’s prediction was incorrect, as the bank did in fact repossess the property, with an official reportedly citing the wife’s extended family she can stay with.

I was never a believer in the paranormal, and I certainly never gave it much thought. However, I am now thoroughly convinced that my experiences on the property are proof that the souls of these two men have remained behind – disturbed and perhaps unable or unwilling to leave.

Wendigo Goes Bump in the Night

I’d like to start this off by stating that I don’t have much time left. Ever since that day, my paranoia has been growing worse and worse. Local wildlife has began acting strange again, I feel sick more often, and I can never shake the feeling that I am being watched.

It all started about a year ago when I went to a friends house for a party. He had invited me and six other friends to play air soft in his large woods that he owned. We were planning on getting in one long match, eat some pizza and nachos, go out for a night match, and then pull and all-niter playing video games and just having fun in general. Now, sad to say, we don’t have such parties anymore. Or at least, I don’t attend them anymore. Now I lay awake, pointing a shotgun at the door

It was about four in the afternoon with the sun still beating down on us from high above, yet on its way down to go die in the West when this all started. The other six friends and I had all finally shown up to my best friends house for the party. I don’t want to use their real names, so we will call him Bob. Bob is a teenager like me, but about 4 inches shorter and thinner than I. Other than that, we almost look like brothers. “Is that everyone?” Bob asked, doing a quick head count.

“I think we’re all good!” I answered, also scanning who we had. It wasn’t long before we split off into two teams of four, Bob and I being squad leaders, and got the game rolling. As planned, the match lasted about about two hours.

After we called it quits (my team winning, without a doubt), we began to notice that local animals were acting very strange. The animals that came out at night were already were already wandering around. They seemed like they were in a drunken daze. The raccoons looked at us blankly, and the owls looked down-right vacant. The sun still had two more hours before sunset, so this just didn’t make a lick of sense. Us being a bunch of care-free teens, though, we shrugged the situation off and proceeded back to Bob’s house for dinner.

As we approached the backyard of the house, I began to notice what looked like water all over the back entrance to the house. It hadn’t rained at all, and there wasn’t a hose in the backyard.

“Did your Mom’s water break, Bob?” I joked, the other laughing along with me. But Bob didn’t laugh. In fact, he looked very concerned.

“Not again…” Bob muttered under his breath, barely audible to me.

“What’d you say?” I prodded, not knowing if he was playing with us.

“It’s nothing.” He said flatly. “C’mon, let’s eat!”

Another two hours later, we had eaten all of the food in Bob’s house and were about to do the same with the pop, when I suggested that we head out for the night game.

“I was just thinking the same thing, Scott.” Bob remarked, nodding his head in agreement.

“Than it’s settled. Shall we?” I would do anything to go back in time and just have remained inside. Anyways, we all got our gear back on were outside within five minutes.

“Alrighty, listen up dudes. We can either play a normal match or a round of Hide and Seek. Either is fine with me.” Based off of the expressions of my Friends, I assumed we would be playing Hide and Seek.

As we were deciding on who would be the seekers, Bob spoke up, cutting us off.

“Listen guys. I’ve been hearing Coyotes out these past few nights, and what sounds like an alpha. Just make sure you have a flashlight and someone with you, ok?

“Yeah, Yeah. Whatever you say, Mr. Boss.” Remarked Tim, a short and thin kid with glasses who was as edgy as a knife.

“Fuck you, Tim.” Sighed Bob, giving up on trying to be helpful.

After the bickering died down, we decided that Bob and Tim should be the Seekers.

“Aaaaand…Go!” I yelled, bolting from the backyard and into the darkness of the field. BB’s flew past me, but none hit me. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into this mess If I had gotten hit hit. But hey, everything happens for a reason, right?

Little did I know that I wasn’t the only thing hiding within these woods.

I got out about 100 yards from the house, coming upon a perfect tree thicket to hide in. I crawled in on all fours, trying to make as little noise as possible. This thicket was the best hiding spot in the entire field. It was too dense for the glow of a flashlight to penetrate it. yet easy to see out of.

I sat here in the darkness, only light being the reflection of the moon and stars. I waited, and waited, and waited. All I could was the wind whispering against the tree branches of the night.

Suddenly, lost in thought, I began to hear twigs snap and crack in the distance. Gun at the ready, I waited to see if it was another hider. There was no way I could have expected what had happened next.

The snapping drew closer, and was soon followed by footsteps. These steps sounded…off. It sounded as if someone was dropping cinder blocks a few feet from the ground. Alongside that, I noticed that whatever was coming towards me was doing so on more than two legs. I was not scared yet, just uneasy. I reassured myself that it was a Buck. They are Nocturnal, after all.

But this was no Buck. It let out a slow sob, like a baby’s mourns for its mother. Only much, much deeper. I was literally shaking at this point, trying not to breath and failing miserably.

The Thing was very close now, mere yards away.

It closed the distance in two long strides, finally revealing itself.

My Blood ran cold.

It’s back bent downward at a sharp angle. It had very pale white skin, with patches of fur all over it. It did walk on all fours like I originally guessed, but not the way you think. It had impossibly long limbs, almost resembling a humans…but they bent the wrong way. They looked like they had been bashed in, or ran over. It looked human, but was quite far from it. It surveyed they area with a predatory awareness only the top of the food chain possess.

I shifted as quietly as I could, but not quietly enough. A twig snapped under me, like a gunshot ringing in my ears.

It snapped its head right were I was sitting. It glared at me with cold, silver crescent moons for eyes.

It was smiling at me.

Holy shit, It was Fucking SMILING at me!

It revealed it’s teeth, jagged and stained with what I could only imagine to be blood.

Tears rolled down my eyes, hot and salty.

The Thing let out another low cry, but this one was much louder. It hurt my ears, and I covered them and my eyes, all the while screaming for it to just fucking kill me already. After a few seconds, I guess it just stopped. I opened my eyes and took my hands away from my ears.

The Thing had disappeared!

I sat there for what felt like an eternity, making sure that the coast was clear. After gathering up enough courage, I bolted straight for the house. To hell with the game, I just wanted to be safe.

As I sprinted for my life, I could swear I heard those dense footsteps in hot pursuit of me. I never looked back, nor did I feel inclined to do so. I just kept running.

I screeched to a halt at the back entrance to Bob’s house, and threw open the glass door, shuddering in its frame.

I was quickly greeted by a few of my friends, including Bob.

“Jesus Christ, Scott! Where the hell were you!?!” He boomed, jabbing his pointer into my chest. “We were calling you for an hour!”

“I’m so sorry…” I trembled, on the verge of tears. They would never truly understand what had mentally broken me that night.

“Well, you’re back. That’s all that matters, I guess.” Bob shrugged. He noticed my severe shaking, and took verbal note. “What’s got ya so shook?”

There was no way in hell I was going to tell him what actually happened. No way. Instead, I made up a lie I knew he would believe.

“I was trapped by a small group of coyotes, and I think I saw that Alpha.” I said. to this very day, I still don’t know if he knew what I really saw, or if he believed me.

“Just be careful next time, OK?” He spoke softly, putting his hands onto my broad shoulders. “We were worried sick.”

I brushed his hands away, and made my way into the living room where everyone else was lounging. They more looked through me than at me. I plopped down on the nearest couch, debating whether or not I should tell Bob what really happened. Debates turned to thoughts, and thoughts soon turned to sleep, which i was sure I would get none of.

It was a dreamless sleep. Just black, noiseless sleep. It was pure bliss. Yet, I heard what sounded like the soft hammering of a nail in my sleep. It grew louder until I stirred awakw, and ceased all together. All of the lights were on, and I was surrounded by my friends in deep slumber. I checked my phone.

12:30 It read.

My stomach hurt like hell, threatening to un-have my pizza and nachos.I figured that a glass of water and some less greasy food would help. I shuffled to the kitchen, the encounter with the creature practically evaporating from my mind.

As I filled the glass in the sink, I heard that soft tapping again, now to my left. As windy as it was, I assumed it was just some leaves being blown into the glass door.

Still, I was curious. I turned off the water, grabbed the glass, and walked over to the door.

The tapping stopped.

The Thing was right outside the door, smiling. It bent its head close to ninety degrees at the neck as it studied me. The damned Thing was so tall, it had to bend at the knees of its humongous legs to peek into the house. I now noticed the impressive claws It possessed. They were over a foot long, and covered in dried blood.

I didn’t even notice the glass slip out of my hands, breaking into 1000 brilliant shards on the floor. The noise snapped me our of my fearful paralysis. I trembled, tears flowing down my cheeks.

It’s smile grew two-fold as it began to reach for the door handle.]’

OhMyGodTheDoorIsn’tLocked

I tore away from the door, through the kitchen , into the living room. The sliding door faintly squealed in its tracks.

“BOB FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WAKE UP!!!” I screamed, slapping him in the face.

“GAH! What the fuck is wrong with you?!?”

“I don’t have time to explain, just get your gun!” I pleaded.

Just then, the door slammed shut. I thought I was going to die then and there. But those hellish footsteps became fainter, retreating into the field outisde, all the while a low cry following it.

“What the hell…” Bob whispered.

We both stood up, Bob leading, and headed to see if it was really gone.

He approached the sliding door, and gasped when he could see something.

“W-What’s wrong?” I asked nervously.

He turned to me slowly, all complexion drained from his face. He pointed at the door.

There were three long and thick scratch marks on the door, which was splattered with a black and gooey substance.

Bob and I both silently agreed to never speak of this night ever again. I was amazed that I didn’t wake anyone else up, but that may have not been my own doing…

The following days of Paranoia grew into weeks, and then months. I thought the creature was gone for good, until recently.

The animals have begun acting strange again, and I feel even more sick than usual. I feel as if I’m always being watched. I think I’ll sleep with the shotgun loaded tonight. In fact, I already hear the tapping downstairs.

May god have mercy on my soul.