The man in the orchard

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This story has been haunting me for a long time. However, just typing this is making me feel better. Anyways, this took place when I was thirteen. I’m fourteen (almost fifteen in September) now. I’m a girl who still enjoys listening to horror stories and creepy shit like that. Now, I’ll just get to the story and stop boring you with facts about me.

it was around May, I think. It had been a colder and wetter day, and after school let out, I was dreading the walk home. It was drizzling and the roads were foggy. It looked like a scene out of The Walking Dead, if I was being honest. The smell of wet cement was my only comfort. Don’t ask. I’m weird. Anyways, I wrapped my jacket tighter around my shoulders and stepped outside the school grounds, shivering. The wind was picking up, causing leaves to skitter across the ground like animals fleeing from a hunter. I looked up at the grim sky and began my cold walk home.

I have to walk through an orchard in order to stay away from the main roads, and I was usually in my element there, surrounded by trees. But today, I was a tad bit jumpy for no real reason. Mist was swirling at my feet as I walked, and I couldn’t see barely three rows ahead of me. I let out a yawn as I hefted my backpack higher on my shoulders. Damn weather, I thought angrily as the drizzling slowly became a downpour. I flipped up the hood of my gray jacket and I picked up the pace, hating life at that moment.

I suddenly stopped as I heard footsteps behind me. I turned around, thinking Haha! All those horror stories are finally having an effect on my mind! but… I was wrong. It wasn’t my funky imagination playing tricks on me again. Dimly, I saw a dark figure walking through the fog a few rows back, in my direction. Nothing creepy about that, I thought with a small and nervous snicker. However, a cold shiver ran down my spine as I turned around and began to jog, feeling uneasy. I was a soccer player, so I could be fast if I had to. All those horror stories I’d always listen to on YouTube wasn’t helping this situation. I had a dark mindset, always thinking the worst was to happen.

As I turned around once more to look back at the man, I noticed he was closer. Shit, I thought, then burst into a dead sprint as I got a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach. Terror, I realized like a punch to the jaw. I barely heard him begin to run after me. I ran as fast as I could, quickly outpacing him at first. Even with a five pound bag strapped to my back. Though, the man was fast as well. I let out a yelp as I glanced back and saw him gaining on me. That glance had slowed me down, and I hated myself for my stupidity. The rain slapped me in the face and my hood blew back as I tore out of the orchard and onto the street located next to mine. I slowed my sprint, breathing heavily. The man was now standing completely still at the edge of the orchard, not making a move to follow me. I screamed profanities at him and flipped him off. Two things I’m not proud of to this day. I was trembling as I watched his figure disappear into the orchard, then turned and walked down the street. I occasionally glanced behind me in fear I was being followed still. I wasn’t, thank god. I purposely took the wrong turn a few times to further make sure I wasn’t being followed. I was now completely paranoid, mind grasping at what terrifying things could’ve happen to me. After around five minutes of walking in pouring rain and slashing wind, I finally decided I was safe and stepped onto my street. I was soaked head to toe, cold and still shaking from fear. I couldn’t calm down for another hour and a half.

I’m not exactly sure what would’ve happened to me if I had never noticed the man. I don’t like to think about it. Probably because I always think of the worst scenarios possible, as I said before. This may seem like every one of those fake “a stranger followed me home” stories but unlike those, this was scarily real. I don’t care if you think it’s made up. It was surely real, and I had leant the cold reality that there are twisted people in this word wanting to prey on young and vulnerable girls and guys alike. Be careful when walking home alone, and keep an eye out over your shoulder.

Side note: The truly horrifying thing was, was that we got an amber alert the next day, saying that a girl that went to my school, and that was a grade older than me, had vanished while walking home from school yesterday, and hadn’t returned home since. My parents don’t know about my close encounter with that man in the orchard, and they never will. That girl was found a few days later, dumped in the same orchard I used to walk through. She was alive, but terrified beyond anything I’d ever heard of. It wasn’t a huge event, as I live in a pretty small town in the country, hence why probably none of you have heard of this. That isn’t an excuse to say it’s not fake. I dot care what you guys think, as I said before. All that matters is that I survived, and know it’s real.

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