Mountains filled with the tallest of naturally greened trees and a bright day showed through all of the distance in my horizons. I was visiting my father, step mother, my step brother, step grandmother and her boyfriend with my older sister in the serenely majestic town of Tallahassee, Georgia. We were camping in a trailer on the mountain side of a beautiful camping park where the creek trickled softly in the background.
Everything around me was pure and thriving with abundant life under the warm summer sun. The vacation get away seemed picture perfect and although houses were being built, it still seemed so untouched by man. My family crammed in my dad’s golden Hyundai Santa Fe which soon went weaving through the curvy streets within the valley while disco beats were playing in the curious air.
When we passed some curves, I began to effortlessly daydream out the window into the open scenery and upon the visually stunning mountain terrain. Such sweet beauty draws so many descriptive meanings upon the inquired mind. We drove into the parking lot of a national park surrounded by tall red woods which filled the space to the brim with pristine nature.
There was a cement path that lead to 90 wooden steps curving down upon the ground of the mountain side. It felt tiring to walk down all that way but my curiosity for the destination passed the trees enticed me to continue with each step pulling me closer. Through the trees and into the clearing of these steps was the bare white face of the other mountain side facing us and below was a metallic suspended bridge.
I heard earlier that day that this bridge was considered haunted since people have jumped off of it to commit suicide in the past. I swear somebody must’ve been crazed to spend all that time walking down a beautiful mountain side just to jump towards their death and into a gorgeously rapid creek only a few miles below. It sounded extremely severe and painstakingly long for someone to travel such an enchanted path on a journey to die from the gorgeous world. To fall on the rocks below and be swept away by the white rapids. I tried not to think about it too much. I was more distracted by the sheer beauty in it all. The wooden steps were nicely polished and smooth to lead our way to the bridge. High above were thick cable wires keeping the bridge stilled in place to connect the two mountain sides.
I began to walk towards the center of this suspended bridge, although I was scared of heights, and that fear became worse ever since this story had happened. I felt incredibly brave and awesome after that visit. After taking some pictures of the scenery, we began to climb back up the mountain from the national park we came from. The sun was still nice and bright in the warm sky because it was only about 6:00pm in the summer evening. But there were so many trees that illuminated the night with deeply sharp shadows towards the earthy floor from the distinguishing light above. The walk back up to the car felt a lot longer than it took to get to the bridge but it was utterly amazing how architects structured the bridge so secure with the naturally rocky terrain. The bridge seemed small but brave against the bounds of nature itself to grasp support. I kept up with my steady steps to keep the stride while stepping up the wooden stairs through all the trees and plants of the forest. Life had sprung renewed to the new year as I spring into step. The image attached to this story is a photograph of the actual bridge at the Tallulah Gorge Georgia State Park.
We got back into the car and drive on down that mountain through a different path to get back to the camp site so that we can get food ready for super. We all sat around the picnic table on the porch with our cold drinks, fresh Caesar salad, grilled zucchini with a butter herb glaze, and grilled hamburgers with all the toppings prepared. Seems a little extravagant to some people’s standards of camping but at least we were blissful. We then roasted marshmallows around the warm and bright orange bonfire to make s’mores for dessert under the millions of stars. It was so easy to see the infinite outer space from these mountains.
I walked out into the dark to pass by the other trailers lining spaciously on the sides of the path down the hill in the park to go towards the bath house to shower and change into softer clothes. I trotted out the cemented cabin and down its coolly cracked sidewalk down the hill where, in the distance, the lunar light seeps through leafy canopied patches onto the ground. I could barely see my hand in front of my face because everything, besides the lunar light, was pitched black in the shadows. I was walking up the hill towards my family’s trailer but then a large dog began to bark viciously at me. I could barely see the canine there but could see the outline of the dog’s size through the spots of light. I tried to take more steps within the next moments just to dare this creature of the dark that could possibly tear my flesh in its sharp teeth. I was worried when everything became quiet for the next few seconds. I began to walk slowly on up the hill and I began to feel relieved even though my heart was beating rapidly inside my chest.
I walked across the weaving pavement, through the rocky driveway, and over the wooden front porch until I was able to step inside the nice trailer. I had to sleep on the floor of the tiny kitchen that lead into the dining room and living room because my older sister and step brother were sleeping on the dining room table that folding into a bed, while my step grandmother and her boyfriend were laying on the fold out bed from the couch, and while my dad and stepmother were passed out in their own separately small bedroom. I almost wished that I could lay under the stars from a tent or just in my sleeping bag in the warm nights like a normal camper but any surface of slumber will suffice. I managed to drift off into a black slumber although a few lights from the appliances glared in the dark.
Normally a sleeping person would jump into alertness from a nightmare or from another person shaking them into waking up suddenly but I wasn’t dreaming about anything at all and no one was beside me trying to urgently wake me up. Instead I woke up in the stillness of the night in shock from what I was seeing from the ceiling of this newly furnished trailer.
I awoke to see a man’s face on the ceiling, staring back at me. He was young, with no remarkable features besides his short light brown hair. There were 6 other people sleeping in that trailer and a dog but I was the only person who woke up to see this person.
With knowing, even at my childish age, that very few people would believe this outlandish story, I began to stare underneath his face. If it really was all in my head then visualizing his body would make it appear as a hallucination. I focused so hard and imagined his physical body being in old jeans, a red shirt, with a tan leather jacket but none of it appeared. I then looked back up at his face and noticed that he was smiling at me. I was caught off guard by his sudden smile.
It wasn’t enough to point out how sinister his grin was, he was strikingly looking through me or into me. Like a predator targeting its prey in the wild for carnage. No words were ever spoken but so much was being read from the intensity of his blue hued eyes. It felt as though he knew something I didn’t, as if he knew that I would be like him one day, lethally insane. His face was like that of a doll, not smiling from joy but smiling from causing fear. As if he had joy from such terror of confusion within me. He looked like a killer, at least this was the only thing I could think of to describe him.
I laid there, still and silent, unable to simply move to wake up anyone. If I moved then I didn’t know what else can happen. Everything seeping from inside was telling me to never forget this moment. Within the next few seconds, his face moved upward on the ceiling and vanished into the thin air.
Who was he? What was his name and what was his life like? Was he someone who jumped to their death by that bridge? Even if he was a spirit, how did he manifest into being so realistically seen? With the particles of atoms in the air and the energy of a conflicted spirit, how was he so real into this physical plane? Why did he choose me to be seen by? Why was his timing so perfect and how did he get me to wake up to see this? Why me? Why then?