By Lola E.

I live in Portland, and as some of you may know, there are loads of great hiking trails in our city. I enjoy walking them on lonley nights to get peace of mind, or as a stress reliever.I especially like trails by small rivers.

Listening to the rushing of water can intensify that serene feeling you get when your out there alone in those magical woods. About a year back, I decided I wanted to hike one of those trails. I had gotten into an aurgument with my boyfriend and needed to do something to put my mind at ease. Let me just verify my age, I was 22 at the time.

I’ve walked the trail I was planning to go to plenty of times before hand at night, and nothing ever happened. Despite knowing this, I always brought a pocket knife with me, as I’m a very paranoid person. Let me try to describe the entrance of the trail, it has been about a year sense I’ve been there so my memory of it is a little rough.

There’s a lot of grass, a huge open clearing surrounded by woods. Behind you are a bunch of houses, and above you is an old, rusty green bridge. There’s some kindof “modern art” inspired statue on the right of the pathway that leads to the trail. I believe it was 9:00 or ten o’clock at night. I was almost exited to get lost in the sounds and sights of the woods at night. I began to walk down the trail.

My destination, was the old stone house like structure located close to the top of the trail. Some people called it the witches hut. I know that’s what I called it as a kid. It was covered in graffiti and moss, and the inside smells like piss. After 10 or 20 minutes of walking at a fast pace I reached the building.

Nothing strange had happened up until that point. Aside from the overwhelming feeling of being watched, I caught myself constantly looking back as I walked up the trail. I heard nothing odd, aside from the occasional hooting of an owl. I hadn’t seen anything particularly odd either. I sat on a log outside the witch hut, behind me was a drop off covered in bushes and vines, at the bottom was a small river.

I had been facing the hut before I whipped around, startled by a sudden rustling noise that came from below. I looked down, squinting at the river below me. I shit you not, something came darting out of the bushes from one side and into a bush on the side closest to mine.

I don’t know what the hell this thing was but it somehow managed to scale the cliff in a split second, an darted around back of the hut. This all happened before I even had time to react. My heart felt like it was about to explode out of my chest,no could barley make out any off its features, nor did I want to.

My flight instinct kicked into high gear as I sprinted down the trail. It sounded like there was a second pair of smaller lighter footsteps in rhythm with my own. This boosted my adrenaline by ten times what it was before. My body couldn’t keep up that running for much longer, I hadn’t heard the footsteps for about a minute or two and decided to stop and turn around. Huge fucking mistake.

Whatever that thing was, was sitting on a decaying tree stump staring at me, completely silent. It sat like a dog, and had a human body, it’s elbows bent outwards and it had no hands. It’s eyes were two tiny close together yellow dots. It’s head was small and oval, it had no hair and was a deep purple color. I felt like I was staring at it and it was staring at me for hours. It didn’t move a muscle. I thought I had been imagining things. Until it fucking blinked.

I finally regained my common sense and turned the other way and bolted. I don’t think I had ever run that fast in my whole life. When I reached the bottom of the trail do you think I stopped running. Hell no, I leaped in my car and rolled down my window, staring at it one last time. It hooted. Just like an owl. Just like the Owls I had heard on the way to the witch hut. It turned around and lept back into the woods a flash of white light came from the forest, then came a low humming noise.

Like nothing I had ever heard before. Needless to say I didn’t stick around to find out what that was. I haven’t told this story to many, in fear that they’ll think I’m crazy or something. I honestly don’t know what that thing was. It was almost otherworldly.

Owl creature or whatever you were, lets not meet again.

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