It was a boring day like any other, and i had the week off. I should note that im a 22 year old man living on my own with a lizard and a dog. But i have my friends. One whom i met in elementary which loved Pokemon like me, and he had the same birthday as me. Elijah was his name. I sure do miss him. The second was Logan. I met him later on in Highshcool. But anyway, it was going to be a boring week so i had the thought of going camping in an unfamiliar location with nothing but stuff to lasts us a week. Yes, a week out in an unfamiliar location with nothing but trees. My hand reaches for my phone, and opens our group chat to call. I wait there a few seconds in silents with the ringer of the phone. Logans the first to pick up. “Hello?”
“Hey whats up! Wanna go camping?” I say. I think i rushed the conversation because he didn’t reapond for a few seconds.
“Sure!” He forcibly said. I then hear a pop in my ear. Its a notification telling me someone has joined the call. Seconds later i hear Elijahs voice. “Why hello my friends ” He says stupidly. I’ll save you some details of our conversation and fasts forward to us getting in the car.
“Who’s driving?” Logan groans. We all look at one another, and i get in the back seat and buckle my seat belt. Logan follows my move, leaving Elijah out the car door. He glares at us, and i toss him the keys. We all smile and laugh.
“Uhm, i put it in the GPS” i respond to Elijah. He glances at the GPS and sighs.
“Be prepared for an hour drive” Logan beams.
Leaving that parking lot had me thinking off all the myths and legends my grandma told me when i was young. I begin to think deeper as i watch tree after tree go by. All the goblins, demons, spirits, ghosts, monsters, and cults she would tell me made me paranoid of our trip to this unfamiliar forest.One monster she told me that made me scared was known as the Wendigo. She said you can only find one if your not somewhere your supposed to be, or it wants specifically you. But i must have been thinking for a long time as my thoughts where soon torn from my head when Elijah hit a speed bump. “Where here!!” He booms and looks at me through the rearview mirror. But for some reason i had this feeling where i didnt want to even open the door, i had to though because logan and Elijah where already unloading.
“Hey look at that.” I point to a map billboard. I also noticed the billboard was covered in posters. I edge closer, to soon realize there not just posters. There missing posters. I remember how much there were. A total of 17. All scattered. And the scary thing was the Last Seen dates where all 3 weeks ago. “Maybe we shouldn’t be here” Logan mumbles.
I look at him, and he looks at me. We just sat there in silence. “Wait look a rangers hut. Its 5 minutes from here.” Without a word, Elijah begins walking to this hut he spoke of.
“Hey! Wait up we didn’t even talk about this!” Logan follows. I can hear his voice echoing through the forest. It gave me a dark unwelcoming vibe. But i force myself to ignore it and follow my friends. The first 3 minutes we just walk in silence, but it was soon broken when we heard country music playing. And surely enough theres a rangers hut. As we stepped apon the steps, Elijah reached a hand for the radio and shut it off. “What are you doing?” I freak out.
Elijah looks at me, and responds with “What? I dont like country ”
“Yeah but the people who are here probably do” Logan says as he tries to turn it on. He flips the switch, but the radio just screams with static. He freaks out and flips the switch. “Lets just go in” i say as i open the door.
Im the last one in the hut. But my friends are blocking the door way. I try to get a glimpse of what there looking at. I can’t though, but there where papers scattered on the floor and a plant knocked over. “Uh…sir?” Logan whispers. I try to stand on my feet but i cant as im too short. Nudging my way through them im met with a old man, back turned facing us.
“Sir?” I repeat.
“Can you help us?” Elijah says. Yet the old man ignores us.
“Where kind of lost.”
Finally, the old man makes some sort of interaction, but i wish he didnt. He slowly turns to us. I could see his face. An old man, maybe in his 50s. He eyes us up and down, and begins to…growl at us. He opens his mouth and shows yellow teeth all the while his growling is intensifying. I take a step back.”Sir…?” I put a hand between me and us, just to put some protection between us. Then, all of a sudden his growling stopped and his face became a friendly smile. “Hello! How can i help you? Are you guys lost?”
We all look at one another, and then the old man. “Uhm yes. We are looking for an open camp sight.”
The old man goes to his computer, and scrolls through it. Something was off with this old man though. The way he walked. It seemed like he had something wrong with his knee, which would make sense but it seemed forced. And his skin, he was almost translucent. “Ah yes there is!” He beams. The old man reaches for a map, and opens it.
“Right here” The old man circles our location with a marker and hands the map to me. I grab it, and my finger brushes his. His boney cold finger felt like it was broken. The bones and everything felt misplaced and bumpy. I got all that detail with a simple touch.
“Thank you” I say politely ”
Elijah is the first to walk out, and logan and i follow. But as i walk down the second to last step, i can hear the old man growl. I can hear his glass mug and other stuff being knocked down. I didnt hesitate to run. I must have triggered my friends reaction because they followed. Taking left amd right turns out of fright we stumble apon an empty camp. “Is this it?” I say between breathes, and look at the map.
“I think so.” Logan whispers. Hes looking at another billboard map. Along with more missing people posters. I dont think to much of it, and let my eyes drop from all the posters. But that’s when reality itself failed to comprehend with the world. Right there in front of my face, was a missing poster in bright red letters. It read, “MISSING MAN LAST SEEN AT RANGERS STATION. NAME: DAVID LAWS
IF YOU FIND THIS PERSON CALL…”
And it gave us a number. I drop the map, and let it blow in the wind. I was horrified, knowing we literally JUST saw that old man in the rangers hut. The one that gave me the map. The one that semed off. I rip off the poster and shove it in Logans face. He shoves me back at my sudden outburst, and grabs hold of the paper in my hand. “Whats wrong guys?” Elijah says.
I just point at the paper, and whisper to myself “Whats going on…” Elijah looks startled, and Logan hands him the paper, and starts packing his tent up. “Where not staying here you guys.”
I agree with logan, but if we where to leave it would mean going back to that Rangers hut and to our original path we had took. I noted logan this, and he looked down at the ashes of the used camp fire. “What do we do? Im for sure not going around that hut again” Eliajh claims.
“Then how will we make it back? We practically ran here without knowing where we where going. ” I shoot back. We all sit there, not knowing what to do.
That all changes when i hear the country music from before echo from the forest. Then, the most bone chilling voice rattles the trees. “Make it back?” The voice mumbles.
Logan looks at me, eyes wide open. Wider then they could possibly go. My head completely abandons all fear and is driven by fear to run the way we came. I hear footsteps behind me, knowing its my friends i keep running. In less then a minute the hut is in view. I race faster, but trip over my own feet from fear. Fear made my legs like jello. But Logan quickly picks me up. I couldnt help but look back as im being lifted from the ground to motice that Elijah wasnt with us. No sign of him. “ELIJAH?” I call out.
In respons i got screaming silence. Thats when i noticed that the forest was quiter than before. When we stepped in there was no birds no bugs no animals but just wind and water. Now i couldnt even hear that. Yet it seemed like the world stood still. Thats when i hear something again. Something screaming back at me. “EH LY JAW”. Logan looks at me, dumb founded.
“C’mom Elijah this isnt funny” I call out to him.
Then this voice comes again. This time more clearly. “Elll Yy jahhh”.
I freeze knowing that Elijah is gone, knowing what ever is out there has my friend. This thing is trying to say my friends name. And it comes one last time. “Elijah here”. The voice screams over and over, growing louder and louder each time it screams “Elijah here! Elijah here “. But this voice… it sounded as if there was 3 different voices speaking simultaneously. Each with its own different pitch and tone. But i knew all to from my grandma it was one being speaking. I knew it all to well we had to forget Elijah from our lives or else we would be like elijah.
I shoved Logan as hard as i could to the direction of the car, and followed him. But as soon as i snapped my head to look at that rangers hut, i caught a glimps of this being at the corner of my eye. It was talk, towering over a bear if one dared stand next to this monstrosity. Its face… or if you cann call it a face. Its head had a deers skull, with masive horns. Its body was pale and skiny. Skinny enough to where you could see the bones pearcing the skin. It had fingers and hands like a human, and a torso like a man thats starving. As you went down to the legs you could make out hooves.
I wasted no time. We didnt belong here. I ran as fast as i could towards the car… But froze when i realized Elijah had my keys. He was the one who drove us here. That didnt stop me from breaking free of that woods. Logan was right there by the car, tugging at the handle. “OPEN IT!” He screamed at me.
I looked at him, and cried. Between tears i said Elijah had my keys. I sat there, waiting for the worst to happen… but nothing at all happened. Logan had the audacity to call the cops and have them pick us up. After all that happened, he acted as if nothing happened.
We waited, and an hour and 15 minutes later the cops showed up. They questioned us. One cop looked angry. “Why are you out here you guys? You know this place has been abandoned for more than 10 years.”
I look at logsn and he looks at me. “But this place was listed for camping sir.” I notify the cop. He looks at me and asks if i take any medication. He thought i was crazy. That’s when i snapped and remembered that Elijah was out in there. I told the cops this practically screaming, saying there was something evil that has our friend. One officer calmed me down while another called for back up and a search party.
3 hours of waiting, the cops break through the forest… with out Elijah. Darkness has fallen and it’s hard to see there faces, but they all look terrified. “Report Bear attack over” The cop tells the other female officer. I break down, knowing there’s nothing i could do. Logans next to me, shocked and frozen. One female officer breaks from the group and looks at us. “There are more then just bears. Im sure you know. But its important you dont speak of this. For your safty and others.” And she walkes away.
I still hear that country music at the back of my head.