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The Stranger's Tale [ACF2016] [non-writer]

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posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 07:08 PM
The Stranger's Tale - [non-writer] [ACF2016]

A stranger wandered into a campsite, looking worn out, dehydrated, and perhaps a little in shock. Phil, his girlfriend Sue, and their buddy Ted offered him a place by the campfire, and some food and drink.

"Hey, thanks for sharing your fire, and the food! There were times I thought I'd never enjoy such simple things again."

"So, what happened to you, man? You look like you've seen a ghost.", stated Phil matter of factly.

"I know you won't believe me, but everything I am about to tell you is true. I wouldn't believe it myself, had I not been there, and had my friends not seen it all as well. I'd think I was crazy, which is no doubt what you'll think when you hear all I have to say. I can't help that, and you need to know. Your lives could well depend on it! You shouldn't be here.

"It all started with Mark, James and I decided to do some weekend hiking and camping, way back in the wilderness. Work, for all of us, had been really stressful, and we wanted to get away from people, save close friends, and just enjoy nature. We loaded up Mark's truck with our gear, and started off for the trail head."

"Is that the red truck in the parking area? We thought it was abandoned!", exclaimed Sue.

"Yeah, that's it, and well, I guess it is in a sense. Mark won't be back for it."

"Dude, seriously, what happened? Maybe we should contact the rangers or something." Ted was starting to think that this stranger eant business, and wondering, a litte, if he wasn't a threat himself.

"You can, but it would be better to just pack up and leave. It's not safe here."

"Come on, I am not buying that. Sure, there are bears and all, but we are being careful, and there hasn't been an atatck in ages." Phil wasn't buying this guy's claims.

"It's not the bears you have to worry about. This is something else."

Sue began to look nervous, "Something else like what?? Bigfoot?? UFOs? What? Maybe we should leave."

"Relax, woman!", Phil said, "He's just trying to scare you. We are safe here. We have guns, and we know the area. Been camping here for years. There isn't any threat."

"I wish that were true. I'd give almost anything for that to be true." His voice broke, and his slumped shoulders began to shake with sobs. Sue moved over to offer some comfort. "Hey, it's alright, just tell us what happened."

He took a few deep breaths, then continued, "We spent the first night here. It was too late to do any real hiking, so we planned to go in the morning. Morning came, and we folded up the tents, got our packs ready, and headed out. We stuck to the trail for a while, but then took a detour, wanting to avoid any other hikers. We headed up toward the ridge, planning to stop at the head of the falls. The weather was great at first, sunny and clear, and not too warm, but then it changed. It got cooler, fast, like a storm was coming in, but there was no wind. Then the fog came. Never saw anything like that! First it was just a mist on the ground, but ot got thicker fast, and in no time, we couldn't see more than a few feet ahead. We moved on, carefully, trying just to find a spot clear enough to set up the tents. No way could we safely make the ridgeline!

"Finally we came to a clearing, and that's when we really started to worry. We've taken this route before, and thought we knew the area, but this clearing was no place we'd seen before. Much larger than any we expeted to come across, and oddly barren. Just a little grass, and the place was a bit too round as well. With the fog so think, though, we didn't have any choice; we had to stop or risk falling off a cliff.

"We set up the tents, and then Mark said he was going to gather some wood for a fire. James told him not to go too far, and to try and stay in sight. He said he didn't feel like it was safe. We all felt the same way. There was something menacing out there. We felt watched. Mark went off, but he ddn't stay gone long. After no more than a few minutes, we heard a blood curdling howl, and Mark came running back, 'There's something out there!! We need to go, now!'

"I tried to calm him down, and ask what he saw, but he was frantic. You have to understand, Mark is a big guy, and I never saw him scared of anything. We were stalked by a grzzly one summer, and he never once worried. Seeing him like this was as big a shock as that howling."

Sue couldn't handle this any longer, "Howling?!?!? Phil, baby, let's go, please! This is bad, I want to go!"

Phil was mad now, "Alright, buddy, that's enough! We were being nice, sharing the beer and burgers and all, but this is gonna stop now. I don't know what your game is, but it's over." He pulled the pistol from his hip, to emphasize his point.

Just then, they all heard it, a distant sound from the dense forest, a primordial howling that raised the hairs on the backs of their necks! The stranger froze, stock still, hie eyes ready to burst from his head. "I told you! It isn't safe! Now it's too late. We'll never get out of here."

Ted was convinced. "Alright, guys, clearly there is something going on. Maybe we should head into town for the night, and see about getting someone up here to check things out."

Phil looked angry, but he couldn't argue with the logic, and started tossing gear together. "I'll take this stuff to my truck, and ya'll gather up what you can. The tents can wait till tomorrow." He picked up the gear and headed down the trail to the parking area. The others started picking up loose items, tossing stuff into packs, and trying to get as much done as fast as poossible. The stranger just sat there by the fire, staring into the flames, a terrible haunted look in his eyes.

Phil came running back up the trail, still carrying the gear, "Someone hit the truck! The tires are flat. Hell, both trucks. We aren' going anywhere, man!"

Sue began to cry now, "I knew it, I knew it! Why did I ever agree to this trip? A nice B&B, some shopping, but no! We had to go camping!"

Ted tied to tune this out, and look around. No more howling, which should have been reassuring, but the forest was too quiet now. No insects, no frogs, nothing. "Alright, bub, since we appear to be stuck, how about you tell us what else happened. And remember, we are armed, so if you and your friends have anything planned, it won't go well for you."

(continued in post #2)
edit on 11-6-2016 by LadyGreenEyes because: status added to story

posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 07:09 PM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes
(continued from post #1)

The stranger sighed, and began again to speak, "As I said, Mark was freaking out. The howling, even though it stopped, scared us all, too, and we decided to move, fog or no fog. We grabbed the packs, leaving the tents behind, and headed back, as close as we could, in what we hoped was the direction we'd come. We couldn't see any better, just a few feet ahead, so we had to move slowly, but everything in us screamed that we should run, run fast, or we'd never make it. Then, with no warning, something grabbed James, and he was gone, just like that, screaming, then silence. Mark grabbed a stick, waving it around and belowing like a madman, 'Come on! Come get some!'

I wanted no part of that! 'Mark, man, be quiet! Let's go, man, we can't do anything else.', but Mark was beyond listening. Then, from what seemed like all around us, the howling again! The sound was deafening, so loud I covered my ears. Next thing I knew, Mark was gone! Just gone, like he's been snatched up from above, and I coldn't see how through that damnable fog! I took off then. Cliff or no cliff, I had to get out."

"You didn't see anything??", Phil asked, "Nothing at all?"

"Nothing, just the fog, and my friends gone. Then running, and nothing, for a long time. I finally collapsed, out of air, and crawled under a bush. Waited there till daybreak, then started looking around, trying to get my bearings. Thought I'd never make it, wandering all day, night coming on, and nothing familiar in sight, till I saw your fire." His voice trailed off, and he resumed staring into the flames.

The rest were ilent for a moment, trying to take all of this in, trying to decide if his storyw as true, or if they were being set up. Ted and Phil kept the pistols in hand, wary for any threat, and Sue just looked around, into the dark forest, trying to see anything, and clearly on the verge of hysteria. Then she notived it. "Guys, look! The fog! The fog is coming in."

posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 07:46 PM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

SF, awesome story!!!

posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 07:48 PM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

Go to the top of your story and edit and add Non Writer there are two levels here, on for non writers to get writer status and for the winning writer to pick the next story

posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 08:53 PM

originally posted by: Quantum12
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

Go to the top of your story and edit and add Non Writer there are two levels here, on for non writers to get writer status and for the winning writer to pick the next story

Thanks! Had it in the contest thread, but not here.

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 06:48 AM
a reply to: LadyGreenEyes

Excellent story, very well written!

Well done Lady.
Well done!


posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 02:22 AM
a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

Many thanks! The entire household really enjoyed yours!!

posted on Jun, 16 2016 @ 01:39 AM
Ace that. GAve me goosebumps!

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 02:21 AM

originally posted by: SprocketUK
Ace that. GAve me goosebumps!

Awesome! Just the effect I hoped for!

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