posted on Jul, 5 2014 @ 11:44 PM
My uncle J.D. saw the cursed thing back in ’83. Before he passed, he’d routinely get drunk and ramble about it. He’d crack open a can of steel
reserve, light a chesterfield, and begin with a sentence with his unique dialect that I can only try to replicate.
“Have I ever told you the story of how my old buddy Bill really died? He, they, them damned cops… They always what lie to you, you know. Can’t
trust em worth a hog’s penny… Them bastards called it one of them animal attacks, or somethin’ like that. It weren’t like that at all. If this
damned thing’s an animal, I’m the pope. No, Ronny, this thing weren’t no damned aminal-.. Animal… However the hell you say it. I digress…
No, this thing was a goddamned monster.” He’d crack his knuckles at this point, look each of us in the eyes, and then call out the skeptics.
“Bet y’all folks don’t believe in monsters. Bet you think ol’ J.D.’s had a few too many drinks, eh? Son, I’ve been to ‘Nam. I fought
the goddamned V.C. for three tours of duty. But the thing me and Bill were attacked by, by Jesus, it was worse than anything I saw in the war. You
see, boys, there are things out in these here woods around here. Things that iff’n you’re in your right mind, you’ll get the hell of out dodge,
if you see them. But we didn’t. Me and Bill, well, we were young, dumb, and fresh out of the army. Funny thing, war. Makes a man want to shoot
things. Now, that might’n not be true for everyone, but it was for me. We went out to that forest to hunt.” He’d pause dramatically, and then
“We went out to this nature preserve to hunt. Big ol’ place, stretched on for miles. Nothin’ but trees for miles and miles. There were so many
of the damned trees that in some parts of the place, you couldn’t even see daylight. We went up there to hunt, but something was hunting us. Tell
you the truth, the moment we went there, I felt something was wrong. You know… The feeling of being watched, hearing twigs crunching every now an’
then. The whole place felt eerie, unnatural. Still, knowing Bill and I, we weren’t about to bug out because of a little paranoia. Honest to God,
though, we should have. But if you’ll excuse me, I have to see a man about a horse. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” This was usually after his
third or fourth beer, and J.D. was a big fan of both intermissions and bathroom breaks.
“Where was I? I forget.” We’d recap the last few sentences for him, and he’d usually get back to where he was.
“Day we went out to that forest, we cracked jokes about the Viet Cong in the trees, telling each other to watch out for landmines and such. We put
up a deer stand, built ourselves a fire, and kept an eye out for anything moving. If it were an animal, we’d blast it, be it a crow, or a squirrel,
jackrabbit, or a deer. We had ourselves a good old time, getting drunk, and killing wild life.” At this point, he’d squint at the audience,
appraise their expressions, and accuse them of some sort of gibberish insult against their masculinity. Then, he’d start up again.
“Thing is, you kill that many things, and you don’t eat them, it starts to brew up a stench, mighty bad. That was what attracted that awful…
well, I don’t rightly know what to call it.” He’d dramatically pause, and one of us would ask what the thing he was talking about was. Then,
he’d turn cagey, and explain.
“We smelled that rancid scent, and we knew what it was. That weren’t no smell of an animal carcass. It was the smell of dead man flesh. But we
convinced each other it had to be some sort of rotting animal, a raccoon what done died in a ditch or something. But up on that tree-stand, we were
nervous. The normal sound of the forest had changed. No longer was it the sound of crickets and birds and what-not. It weren’t silent, before you
folks get that impression. There was noise. Just, the kind of noise that what don’t sound like it belongs in a forest. Closest I can describe it is
like a refrigerator compressor, or an air conditioner gone haywire, sort of. It’s hard to explain. But we heard that noise and we were scared. Not
just unsettled, but scared.” Again, he’d usually eye the audience and judge their reactions, and then reassert his courage.
“You all’d be scared too, iff’n you were there. It was like watch duty, back in the army days. A lot of the time, it wasn’t what you saw, but
what you didn’t see that freaked you out. The waiting, and all the expectations.” He’d always be chain-smoking at this point in the story, his
eyes wide, as if he was flashing back to the event.”
“It was Bill who saw it first. He points out across the top of the tree-line and says something about a deer. The tone of utter confusion made me
laugh, but looking back on it, it weren’t funny. I take a look, and damned if there wasn’t the head of a twelve point buck as tall as the
goddamned tree-stand we were on. I sure as hell didn’t know what to make of it. But Bill, him being the person he is, shot first and asked questions
later.” He’d shiver, having roped himself into the story as much as he had the audience.
“Every day I pray to God I never hear that sound again in my life. That damned droning became so… Well, loud isn’t the word for it. Hell, I
don’t even know if I’d call it a sound. More like a vibration. I could barely think. There was more to it than that, though. The thing that looked
like a deer, it didn’t shriek. It screamed. It screamed like a man and then shifted through a slew of voices, as it ran. It didn’t leave though.
It stayed, watching us, just out of sight, and kept up the noises. It tried to lure us, a baby crying, off in the distance. A lusty female voice,
calling out. And then… the voices of family members.” You could hear a pin drop, the room had grown so silent. J.D. had their complete attention.
If my uncle was good at anything, it was telling stories.