It wasn’t a deer

I live in Northern California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s a heavily forested area with lots of steep hills and some small creeks too.

I work at a gas station not far from my place. At work, I have the opening shift, which is 5:45am to 2:15pm. I usually drive there and back, but last month my car broke down, and it was so old that it wasn’t worth fixing anymore. So, I ended up selling it for parts. Using that money and some of my savings, I plan to buy a new car very soon, once my savings reach where I need it to be. But until that happens, I have been using uber and lyft to get to and from work.

One day, about 2 weeks ago, I was a bit strapped for cash and couldn’t really afford to call an uber, so I had no other choice but to walk to work. It’s a two and a half mile distance down a fairly well traveled paved road. It’s a pretty dark road at night, due to the forest on both sides, but there’s an occasional streetlight at a few intersections. At the time of night I normally head off to work, it’s rare to see anyone else driving down that road at all. My gps on my cell phone had estimated that it would be about a 50 minute trek, and I planned to leave a fair bit earlier than normal because of that, at about 4:30am. Besides, I usually like to arrive to work a bit early anyways.

The time came to leave, so I put on my coat, grabbed my flashlight, and left my apartment. It was pitch black outside, as usual. But tonight seemed… colder, and more eerie than usual.
As I walked down the side of the road, I started to feel wary, and a little creeped out, like something was watching me. Dismissively, I told myself that it was probably just a deer or something, as we have a lot of those in the area. But throughout the walk, the feeling persisted, and I got more and more jumpy the farther I went.

Soon I heard a bush rustle, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I whipped the flashlight around and saw a deer off to my right, across the road from me.

I told myself, “relax, nothing out here can hurt you.”

I wish I knew how wrong I was.

Close to the end of this journey, I passed by an especially densely forested area by the road, and there are no streetlights in this area at all.

The feeling of being watched spiked, and now the hairs on the back of my neck were standing straight up. I shined my flashlight around to try to see what was causing this feeling, thinking it was probably another deer.

I really, really wish I hadn’t.

Now keep in mind, the next few events I’m going to describe to you happened within a few split seconds.

My light passed over what seemed to be a crouched figure with its back to me, in a bush 50 feet or so to my left, and slightly behind me. At first I thought it was a homeless man or something. I stopped walking and shined my light directly at the crouched figure and saw it clearly.

I froze in absolute terror.

Whatever this figure was, it definitely wasn’t even human, let alone a deer.

It appeared to be naked. It had no hair on its body, and its skin was very pale. Its body and limbs were unnaturally long and gaunt, like skin stretched tightly over bones. Its fingers were grotesquely long and bony too, and ended in sharp, black points, like claws.

The moment I shined my light over it, it quickly turned its head to look at me. It’s eyes glowed like an animal’s eyes do in darkness, like a wolf’s eyes, or some other nocturnal creature’s.

I didn’t get a great look at its face, because the moment it looked at me, I just bolted. My brain didn’t even tell my body to run, I just found myself sprinting. I somehow knew, deep down on some primal, instinctual level that I had to get away from this thing.

So I was sprinting down the road and didn’t dare look back. Over my own panicked gasping, I heard it chasing me and breathing raggedly, unnaturally, which, of course, made me desperately push myself to go faster.

A car’s headlights suddenly appeared in the distance ahead of me on the road coming towards my direction. As I kept running, the car soon passed me, going behind me and out of sight. I no longer heard that thing behind me, but I kept running anyways and didn’t stop until I reached work.

Huffing and gasping for air, I arrive at work and tell my graveyard shift coworker what had just happened.

I expected him to laugh or poke fun at me, or look at me like I was crazy.

But to my shock, he didn’t look surprised at all, and told me another coworker of mine had seen that same creature recently, and had described it to him exactly as I had, every last detail.

I somehow got the feeling that if that car hadn’t come along when it did, I wouldn’t have been around to tell my coworker this story.

Needless to say, I’m never going to walk to work in the dark ever again. If I am ever out of money to call a ride again before I get that new car, I’ll just call in sick.

It’s better than being chased by that inhuman thing in the woods.

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