01 Feb Skinwalker in The Woods
I live right next to a Navajo Reservation and have made friends with many of the people there my age. We like to hang out, play video games and just be normal teens. I walk over a lot since my best friend lives a little less than a mile away from me. This isn’t a long trek and usually only takes me about 25-30 minutes.
I’ve made this trip dozens of times and have grown very comfortable with it. I know the people along the way so I’m not scared or on edge. There is a patch of forest, however, about midway there. It’s a little unnerving sometimes. There is always that feeling of being watched. This was a regular occurrence for me so I tried to just ignore it and shake it off as my mind playing tricks on me.
This day I spent more time at my friend’s house than I meant to and when I left it was already getting dark. I reached the stretch of forest right as the sun disappeared from the sky. I shivered a little as I readied myself to begin the journey through.
I was 10 steps in when I heard a branch snap. You know the sound, the one that screams there is definitely someone or something there with you. I froze, not sure of what I should do next. Should I run? Should I turn around and book it back to my friend’s house? I didn’t know the best option in this situation.
I whispered, “hello?” hearing my voice crack as the words fell from my lips. I don’t know why I even opened my mouth, but it was out there so I listened for any reply. My heart sank when the answer came back in the sound of my voice, “hello?” I started to breathe too fast, my heart pounded against my chest. I felt like I might faint.
“Hello?” My voice came again, but not from my mouth. I wanted to run, but my feet felt cemented to the ground. I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t reply, as my voice echoed over and over from a short distance away. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from, it sounded like it was everywhere around me. “Hello?” “Hello?” “Hello?” It repeated. “Stop it!” I finally managed to tear from my lips. Everything went silent.
For a long minute, nothing happened. The air grew stale, and I realized for the first time that there were no typical forest sounds. There were no bugs, no frogs or crickets; nothing. I stood there, terrified, waiting to see what would happen next. “Stop it!” It mimicked back. I’d had enough and was willing my heavy legs to move. Before I could take a step, I heard rustling in the bushes 20 feet to my left.
I watched in horror as a deer head with huge antlers protruded through the brush. As it came further out and stood up on twos, I took off. I flew out of those woods and all the way home in record time. I said nothing to my mom when I got there, I just went up to my room, laid down and thought about what happened.
My mother came in at some point and asked me if everything was all right. I replied that yes, I was just tired. I don’t know why I didn’t tell her. I guess I might have been afraid of how she would react.
I called my friend and told him everything. He freaked out and told me that no matter what happened that night, to not reply or look out my window. This terrified me even more. He said to call him the next morning and he would explain more, and that he had to speak to his grandfather as soon as possible.
That night I didn’t sleep, at all. I stayed awake listening to every little sound the night brought. Around 3:00 a.m., just as I was about to drift off, the air changed, the night sounds quieted. I felt my heart begin to pound. I lay there and waited, pulling the covers up over my head like a child, far too scared to move.
It came after a long moment. “Hello?” I cried; it was all I could do. “Hello?” “Stop it!” It mocked what I had said in the woods again. It was terrifying enough when it copied what I said, but then it did something new; it called my name.
“Amy.” My mother’s voice. “Amy. Amy, come here”. “Hello? Stop it!” My voice again. For the rest of the night, the creature outside my window called my name in my mother’s voice and repeated what I said in the woods over and over.
In the morning, when the sun broke through the dark, it finally stopped. I fell into a fitful sleep. I woke around 12 to my friend calling to tell me he had spoken to his grandfather and could explain what happened to me.
He said there was a creature they called Yee Naaldlooshii: He who goes on all fours; or a Skin-Walker. He explained that it was an evil witch that used dark magic to transform into an animal with the attributes it required and that it had caught my scent and knew me now. I was also given a warning, that since it knew me it would always follow me, that I would always have to be careful.
Last night I heard scratching on my window, then a low hum. The creature began saying my name again, but also adding in things I hadn’t said, in my mother’s voice. At one point it started calling my name, but drawing it out really far like, “Aaaaaaaammmyyyyyy”. It tried to get me to come outside, or to open the door and let it in my house. This went on all night.
At this point, I feel like I’m going crazy. I don’t know what to do. Is it seriously going stalk the shadows around me for the rest of my life? I don’t think I can take that.