01 Feb My Friend Is Camping Alone, His Texts are Starting to Scare Me Part 4
My head was spinning. My hands were shaking so much I nearly dropped my phone as I handed it to the officer. He read my texts.
The officer was probably in his late 50s, tall, and was still strong for his age. His deep voice demanded respect.
The officer excused himself, and went to his unmarked car to make a call. I couldn’t help but notice a limp as he walked. He looked nervous as a small crowd of tenants had gathered, drawn in by the red and blue lights. Dylan lived in an apartment complex inhabited mostly by college students and young professionals. They are townhome style, so each unit has 2 floors and a back yard. There were about 30 townhomes in total. Dylan’s complex was at the end of the neighborhood, backing up to a large clearing and dense woods. Most of the tenants had already left for holiday travels. A short while later, the officer got out of his car, and walked over to me. I was sitting on the curb when he spoke:
Officer: “I just spoke with the chief. We believe that you may be at risk. We do not want you to panic, but we need you to be safe. I am going to hold on to your phone for now. Any texts you receive are considered part of this investigation. You are not from Colorado, correct?”
Me: “Uhh—no sir.”
Officer: “I need you to get in the car with me. You’re not under arrest but we need to get some statements from you down at the station.”
My heart began to race as I replayed the memory of hitting the ranger.
Me: “I need to tell you something.”
Officer: “We’ll have plenty of time for that.”
He opened the back door of his cruiser. As we started our drive my anxiety grew. After about 20 minutes, I couldn’t help but speak.
Me: “I’m sorry, but last night I went out to look for Dylan..
He cut me off.
Officer: “Just stop talking. I was trying to keep this operation smooth and you just decided to fuck it all up.”
I noticed we were driving further away from the city.
Officer: “Your friend told you too much.”
Officer: “I told you to be quiet. But you were too curious—decided to do some of your own investigating, didn’t you? Jimmy, the ranger, told me what he could before he died. I could barely make out what he was telling me.”
My stomach started to turn. I looked to the door handles, but knew they wouldn’t open.
Officer: “You must have got him good. Was only conscious for a few minutes. Good riddance though, he was getting too soft. The rest of us were worried he might start talking. Said he didn’t want to do this much longer.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Me: “You killed Dylan didn’t you. You sent those texts, wrote those notes, set up the scarecrows.”
Officer: “Hahaha, well I didn’t kill your friend. I just help facilitate the deeds that must be done. We supply a food source to keep civilians safe.
Me: “What are you talking about you sick fuck!?”
Officer: “Well she has to eat something! You don’t want her coming down from the mountain, do you? Can’t get rid of her either. Sacrifices must be made to ensure that the majority survive. You might call me a murderer, but I don’t see it that way.
I froze as he continued.
Officer: “She’s been eating more than usual. That’s why we have a nice pile of meat down in that cellar. Homeless people, mostly. But I can’t help it if she wants to pick off some lone campers.
Me: “You’re insane! What are you feeding people to?
He laughed again.
Officer: “I can’t have you running around telling the media. Could you imagine the chaos this would bring? All the victim’s families wanting justice? Exposure and rock climbing accidents make much more sense.”
We had been driving a while. I could tell we were getting close to the trail. A camper, walking a brown dog alongside the road, waved to us as we passed. I wished there was some way to tell him I was in danger. We continued the drive in silence. I was trying to comprehend the situation. When we got to the trail head, the officer parked the car and got out. He drew his pistol, opened my door, and motioned for me to start walking. The walk was slow as he limped behind me.
Officer: “I’ll tell you where to go. If you try anything, I’ll put a bullet in your skull and throw you in that cellar with the others.”
It was a long and silent walk up the trail. The cold air stung my face as we trekked along. Even in my panicked state, I knew we were in the same area as the cellar.
Me: “What are you taking me to?”
Me: “What’s her?
Officer: “Not sure.”
Me: “If you’re going to kill me, at least tell me what we’re going to.”
Officer: “I can’t tell you, because I don’t know what she is. Clawed her way here from Hell is my guess.“
My heart was pounding, and my legs grew weaker. I didn’t ask any more questions. The sun was starting to set. The only sounds were the crunching of leaves and snaps of twigs beneath our feet. We took countless turns, and the trail had turned to dense woods and uneven ground. I was exhausted.
Officer: “Getting close. I’m glad I didn’t have to drag your corpse all the way up here, hahaha.”
I had already lost all track of time. What seemed like hours of hiking, finally ended. We finally stopped. In front of me was a small pond, perfectly round. Something was wrong though. The water was black, and a thick layer of of fog clouded the surface. It should have been frozen in this cold. Peaking just above the haze, I could see the heads of a hundred scarecrows lining the pond’s perimeter. All were facing me—as though they had been waiting.
The officer began to speak again as he started building a fire.
Officer: “The routine started to wear on us. It was always the same: get the bodies, throw them in the cellar, write a bogus police report, contact the families. It got…stale. And she got tired of the easy meals. So. we got a little more creative. Get the camper scared, get them moving in this direction. Let it hunt. It likes the trophies. (He nonchalantly pointed to the scarecrows) When I saw your buddy’s phone, I took it upon myself to get you down here. I thought it would be more of a challenge, but you basically turned yourself in.”
I felt myself becoming more nauseous as I recalled the events that led me here. Night fell, and the black pond began to stir.
Me: “Won’t she kill you too?”
Officer: “Likes ‘em one at a time, whatever she can get to first.”
I didn’t want to know just how many cops and rangers were a part of this. I considered making a break for it, but I knew I would be gunned down. The officer kept his distance, with his gun pointed at me. He motioned to me to move closer to the pond. I hesitantly obeyed.
Officer: “Stand there, that’s where I put her food.”
The water began to churn as it surfaced. Black ripples formed small waves that splashed against the pond’s edge. It’s dark matted hair was the first feature to break the surface. I immediately smelled the damp, rotting flesh. I was frozen with fear as it moved in my direction and continued to ascend from the dark pool. I cannot fully describe what I saw. The hellish figure had risen from the inky depths and moved closer. It had a tall, thin, form with long hair descending from its head to the middle of its body. It kept this shape…momentarily. Whatever it is, does not belong on this Earth. As the creature moved closer, it would rapidly lose its form in a flash of grey and black static, only to return to the previous shape. I was able to make out a skeletal frame, in between the rapid flashes. It moved closer.
I heard something behind me—the shuffling of leaves and a man’s voice yelling in the distance. I turned around in a panic, only to see a large brown dog dragging a broken leash behind it. The canine walked cautiously as it eyed the officer and I with curious skepticism. A beam of light flashed before us, and a man carrying the other end of the leash appeared. The same man I had seen earlier on the road.
Camper: “Sorry guys…I’ve been chasing my dog forever. He broke off and started following your scent. Is uhh—?”
He saw it.
Camper: “What the…Wha…?”
I took advantage of the moment.
My survival instincts kicked in. The officer was distracted for only a few seconds, and I started running fast as I could. Only to be outpaced by the frightened dog. I heard the first bullet fly by my ear. The second shot came soon after. I’ll never forget the camper’s scream as the bullet pierced his body. His agonizing voice echoed throughout the mountains. I never actually heard his screaming stop, they only grew quieter as I ran farther away from the pond.
I ran for hours, fueled by adrenaline and survival. I knew the officer couldn’t keep up with me, and he had to make sure his new witness could not escape. I will not disclose the details of where I went or where I currently reside. I’m not sure who is reading this. I am safe at the moment. I will attempt to work with the true authorities after I figure out how to tell them what I have seen without sounding insane. Right now I am trying to forget the sound of the man’s screams, and the snapping of his bones.