01 Feb I Saw Something Weird During the Eclipse
This seemed like the place to put this. Any forthcoming explanations would be welcome.
Me and a couple of buddies live in Tennessee, close to the path of totality for this latest eclipse. Once and a lifetime event and what not, we decided to go to a fishing hole we knew about out in the backwater and watch totality from there.
It was a long drive out, and if you’ve ever been in the back roads of the South, you know there was nothing around but farms, trees, and the odd gas station near us. Hundreds of people swarmed Tennessee to get in line of totality. But secluded as it was, there were no out of towners in sight of the fishing hole.
It might be important to note that the fishing hole hosts a small Trail of Tears memorial, with the trail just brushing the land we walked on. We passed the stone monument on our way down to the hole. It mentioned with sober brevity the removal of the Cherokee from their native land, and the tragedies that occurred in its wake; thousands dying, or having their loved ones die, besides the fact that they lost the home their people had lived on for millennia. At the time we glanced at it, each gave it our private respects, and moved on to fishing and eclipses. Thinking what I do now, I wish, maybe, we had done more. But really, who would have?
The time passed like any other day out fishing. We tangled some lines, snagged some logs, caught nothing, and we’re generally having a good time. Towards the afternoon, the dark shape of the moon started to encroach upon the sun. We sat back and enjoyed the view for a bit. We hardly noticed it until it had happened. The woods went quiet. Birds, flies, fish. Not even the cicadas–can’t get them to shut up for anything in the summer, night or day–even they had quieted. It was like the sound around us had been suffocated. That’s the best way I can think to describe it.
We knew freaky crap went down during an eclipse. It was unsettling, but exciting too. We were getting the full show.
Eventually, we quieted too. I guess the feeling was contagious. The moon crept over the sun’s face. The world got darker around us. Colder. Colors and weird shadows spilt across the ground like an artists’ pallet. It was breathtaking.
I was switching between my light resistant glasses and the landscape around me. Sun. Woods. Sun. Woods. Finally, the moon was full, and only the sun’s halo shone behind it. I took my glasses off to see it, a marvel more than a century in the making.
Then they were there.
They were like…reflections and shadows–it’s hard to explain–projected around us. Standing around us. Dark, human shapes. There was no sound. No movement. With the glasses on, you’d have never known they were there.
There were hundreds. In the woods, behind the trees. At the shoreline, in the water, on it. Like silhouettes, only round, palpable. Real.
I can almost swear I could tell which were men and which were women, if that’s what they were.
I screamed, and fell out of my chair. My friends ripped the glasses off and shot up out of their chairs. We were surrounded. The closest one was less than a yard away.
No one said a word. My scream seemed to echo through the woods, between the still figures. Silewntly, we stood and grouped together, back to back. They still hadn’t moved, made a sound, made any sign that they were even alive. We started moving towards the truck, tight together. One of my friends had drawn his gutting knife, which felt about as useful as a sharp stick. You couldn’t fight these things with knives.
And just as quickly as they’d come, they vanished. The moon moved off the sun, and the figures faded, like mist in the morning, right before our eyes. The whole thing had lasted less than three minutes.
We got out of there as fast as we could.
I think it’s safe to say that’ll never happen to me again. Still, I’m curious–did any of you experience something similar?