The Figure from the Woods

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I grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, with plenty of land and wildlife around. Our house and farm were the only ones for miles around, with a thick patch of woods surrounding us on both sides. I thoroughly enjoyed the wide open space and lack of intrusion from the outside world.

While I loved the peace that the barrier of trees allowed us from other people, I think something else lived in those woods. Something not so peaceful.

One of my favorite hobbies was stargazing, made wonderful by the lack of light pollution in the country. The ideal place to throw down a blanket was out past the barns in the alfalfa field, where it was pitch black and quiet. It was where I found myself most summer evenings, laying back and watching the dark sky.

I remember the mood of our peaceful farm changing one summer day when my brother and I discovered a fresh deer carcass in the back of the cow pasture, near the beginning of the trees.

We were horrified and ran to inform our father quickly.

He assured us that it was only a pack of coyotes in the area, and told us to stay out of the back parts of the pasture and away from the woods. Still a little weary of the incident, my brother and I listened, trusting our father’s knowledge. Here’s the thing though, the deer hadn’t been eaten, only killed. Even at a young age, I didn’t understand why the coyotes wouldn’t eat the deer, only kill it.

It wasn’t long before the next carcass showed up. Another uneaten animal from the woods appeared in the fields, this time closer to the house. The mood of the farm animals began to change, too.

The cows and horses would make panicked sounds late at night, coming from the fields, that we could hear all the way to the house. One day walking the fields, I found the detached spine of an animal.

A massive spine! With the rotting flesh still hanging onto the bones.

There are no elk this far south, so I couldn’t understand what this spine could be from. It was much too large to be that of a deers, or really anything else native to these forests. My father continued to blame the coyotes, but it was clear he was confused by these things, as well.

Like I mentioned before, my favorite way to relax after a day’s work was to take my blanket out to the field and stargaze.

My parents would have never approved given the recent happenings in the area, but my father had told us over and over again than it was merely the work of some coyotes, and that coyotes would be too afraid to attack a human. Thinking I wasn’t in any danger, I was convinced I was relatively safe to sneak out for an hour or two to watch the stars.

Once in my favorite spot, I unfurled my blanket and laid down, trying to relax. Everything was calm and peaceful as usual, as I lay in the warm air with the sounds of crickets and cicadas chirping, and the animals rustling in their barns.

All of a sudden, it was like the world around me was put on pause. The insects and the animals went silent, and I felt my core turn to ice. I was instantly aware that something was wrong. I instinctively knew that there was something else in the field with me.

I was paralyzed with fear, knowing that whatever it was, it wasn’t good. I slowly raised up from the blanket and began scanning the field. As I ran my eyes over the area, my heart stopped beating and turned to ice. At the edge of the tree line, about 100 yards from me, was a massive figure, darker than the night. It was pitch black and HUGE. Standing maybe eight feet tall, and standing straight up. It wasn’t moving, but I could tell that it was facing me, and staring right at me.

I panicked and dove back down, trying my hardest not to scream or cry. What was this thing? It wasn’t an animal, it was standing up on its back legs, but it was not human either.

It was too tall and skinny, with long, thin, humanoid arms and legs and pitch black.

I don’t know how long I stayed crouched in the tall grass trying to stay low. It felt like an eternity. Why was I hiding? It already knew where I was. So why wasn’t it already tearing me to pieces?

After what seemed like an hour sitting in the black silence listening for any sounds, I decided I had to make a run for it.

It was about a 300 yard run to the back door of the house. I didn’t think I could reach the door before it reached me, but it was better than sitting and waiting for it to come find my spot in the grass. I stood up and sprinted as fast as I could for the back door without looking in the direction of the woods.

I knew that if I looked at that thing again I would lose my nerve and crumble back down to the blanket. I had no idea where this thing was at this point but I could still feel its presence in the field. I cried hysterically as I ran to the house. I reached the back door, after what seemed like years, flung the door open, and flew inside.

I slammed the door shut and crumpled to the floor, sobbing.

That was the last time I stargazed from the fields. I knew that I would never feel safe again in those fields after sunset. I still have no words for what I saw that night, or any idea of what it was, and I never told anyone. However, I’m sure that that night was not the first time that thing visited our farm, and maybe it wasn’t its last, either.

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