The Tree Diver

A small bit of backstory before I start, I live in a somewhat rural area, but still in a decently compact neighborhood, but the woods are insanely large and dense made up of a swamp and multiple square miles of just old land with fields or paths. Maybe there is a reason why they are old and unused. When I was in 7th grade, I had 2 friends who lived right behind my house and one day we decided, insanely stupidly, to go ride our bikes down the path. The only issue was that W. didn’t have a bike suitable for the rough path and lots of roots, seeing that he was 2 years younger than I was. So we rode bikes while he walked with us.
Now onto the story, Once we got to the forest, note it was a summer morning, it was dead silent. We began to ride down the path until we reached a large puddle. J. (W.’s older brother) had on large rain boots so he said he’d move the bikes across while we went around. Now the only issue was that it was dense forest all around, like just green and brown were the only colors we could see, so we began to walk. When I said it was a large puddle I wasn’t lying, it was a good 30 feet from the center to where it dried up.
But we never went around that puddle, because as we began to reach the edge, we heard a huge splash, like one of the bikes had fallen over, and J, Screaming at the top of his lungs, “GET THE F*** AWAY”. He had a hunting knife on him since his family owned a farm farther away from here and they went hunting out there, but as we looked back all we could see was water everywhere, I told W. to start running back the way we came and he was already gone before I finished the sentence. I ran back to J. and saw him hiding under a log with the bikes covering his quivering body. He didn’t move for 5 minutes, it was then that I realized that W. was alone, so I hastily grabbed my bike and petaled harder than I ever had before. Luckily I found W. on the road (in front of many houses and in the sunlight) anxiously waiting for us. J. was, thankfully, only a minute behind me, I guess seeing me run off like that made him too scared to be alone.
He didn’t say anything about that day, until later that year when they were moving away. I was helping them load their car, when he pulled me aside and told me to never go into those woods again unless I was armed, and I didn’t own any guns neither does my family, he told me that he was getting the bikes under the log, when he saw a gray dot spring out of a tree into the water, he screamed and hid under the log with the bikes. The thing ran off when it heard my footsteps. But one thing he told me was that every night, he dreams of those black, empty eyes looking at him as it jumps down onto him in his sleep.
A month after he left, it was summer again and I decided to go back to the forest, this time it wasn’t dead silent as I could hear birds chirping above and that somewhat kept my sanity in tact. The bike path we had ridden on was covered in claw-like holes as if something had tried to dig up the ground by stabbing the ground with a shovel then throwing the dirt behind it, then moving on. And there was a tree that seemed to be ripped from the ground and then fell onto the path with several deep cuts into it. lets just say I noped it out of there real quick. I am a fan of dark and creepy stories and many I just listen to while doing homework, and I know what Skinwalkers and Wendigos are but this was not either, it wasn’t slim or walking on four legs, J. told me that it was like a man with large bird-like flaps between its torso and arms.
Before I end this story I have 1 last thing to say to hopefully help you all sleep better. A new set of higher-end houses are being built near that forest and construction has been set out, meaning that the forest has been cleared for demolition. I hope this thing gets chased far far away from my home, and everyone, believe me or not, can’t say this world is exactly as we see it.

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