Here is a short story, for your enjoyment and pleasure, my first foray into this medium. Note that the place names have been obscured since I would never forgive myself if any of you were subjected to the same terror, or worse, as a result of reading this. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Please be gentle with me.
Tree Stump Collision.
It’s a curious story. I will warn you right now. You may not believe it. I know that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it either. But I did, and this is the only reason I am telling you now. It is a story that will fill you with incredulity and disbelief. You may laugh at me pitifully. You may call me a liar, a crackpot, a man of diminished capacity even, but I assure you that every word you are about to hear is true. It may be a short story, but it is a chilling one.
It all began back in August when we were on a family vacation. We had decided to take a road trip up Highway 101, the Pacific Coastal Highway, starting from Northern California and continuing on up through Oregon and Washington state to the Canadian border. It was the trip of a lifetime. The car was a very serviceable vehicle, although a little small for the six of us, along with all the camping gear. We had rented a Dodge Grand caravan, a dull grey colour. This was probably a good choice for us, with our penchant for getting lost and taking random roads that lead, well, we never know where they lead. That is half the fun of a road trip with us.
So, on with my story. Everything began as one would expect. It was a trip where the only plan was no plan. We had meandered slowly up the North Californian coast until we reached XXXXX, Oregon. This is our favourite place in the world. My incredible, beautiful wife loves it there. Our four amazing children love it there. I love it there. We had intended to stop there for a few days, maybe even a week or so, this being the only part of the trip that was planned. And I use the term planned in its loosest sense.
We spent the first night at a hotel, having arrived late in the day, figuring that we would get a good night’s sleep before the rest of the family were subjected to the thunderous, bear like snoring that I am apt to make whilst camping.
The next morning loomed foggy, but with the distinct impression that this would soon burn off to reveal another fine day. We had decided that we wanted to camp for a few days at XXXXX Beach camp ground and went to make the necessary arrangements. This was where we hit the first hurdle. There was no room at the inn, or rather no room at the camp ground. This was disappointing news. The whole family had been looking forward to camping there, close to the ocean. There were camp fires to be had, with potatoes baking in the embers, hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks, pancakes with freshly picked blackberries. What were we going to do?
There was another option. It was not really one that we wanted to take, since it meant camping on a site that was eight miles from the coast, up a long, bumpy road that was in a terrible state of repair. Still, we had little choice, so we set off up the long, windy road, avoiding the sunken grades and dips as best as possible. I have to admit that the views of the azure coloured, gently weaving river we followed were breath-taking. At least the parts that I saw whilst trying to stay on that abominable road were.
Eventually we reached the XXXXXXX State Park. Our destination. We slowly cruised around the main ring of the camp ground looking for available pitches. We made an entire circuit, noting down any of interest, and then began our second loop. We had spied a couple of sites that piqued our interest, and we stopped at the first to gain a closer look. My darling wife and I stepped out of the car and indulged in a cigarette whilst inspecting the earth. Too uneven and mainly rock was our considered opinion. That would not do at all. We returned to the car.
On to the next pitch that we had liked the look of. Hopefully this would be better and the ground would be soft enough to sink tent pegs into, and to sleep on. Now this is where the story gets interesting. You will have to excuse the sense of confusion that may creep into my writing here. I experienced a great shock and my thoughts may appear muddled and incoherent in places. This is, I believe, only natural. I still get a shiver down my spine when I recall the events of that day. My heart begins to race and my mouth goes dry, a feeling of nausea rising rapidly.
I pulled the car up just past the entrance to the camp site, pitch number 11, and prepared to reverse into it. Nothing behind me. At least nothing that I could see. Long experience of Dodge’s has left me with the certain knowledge that there is always some pivotal blind spot, some obscuration. I slowly pressed the gas pedal and the car began to move backwards. I checked the rear view mirror, then the side mirrors, and deftly guided the car in to the camp site.
Bang! The car stopped dead and we all jerked forward in our seats. I looked around the car checking that everyone was alright. I glanced into the rear view mirror again and that is when I saw it. I froze. What was that? I could see a face. A gruesome looking face that sent a chill through my whole body. It was a mottled pink colour, more brown really, and resembled a human face. But what a face. The most disfigured, deformed human face that one was ever likely to see, with great teeth protruding from the overlarge mouth. And the eyes. I cannot bring myself to describe the look of sheer hatred and loathing that emanated from them. The face was surrounded completely by dark brown, almost black, hair. But this was not just some ugly guy with long hair and a beard. This was something else entirely.
Then, to my shock and surprise, a massive arm appeared beside the enormous head, furnished with a hand, proportions the like of which I had never encountered. The hand was clenched into an angry, furry fist. As I watched transfixed, the creature shook its fist menacingly. Uncurling its long fingers, it pointed one at me, then clenched its hand into a fist again. Virtually catatonic with shock I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, I wasn’t sure I was still even breathing.
Then, rising up and drifting around the creature there appeared an ominous mist, that began to thicken and swirl. Round and round it swirled, faster and faster, becoming ever more thick and opaque. For what seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few seconds this continued until the creature was completely obscured. I remember thinking, and this is possibly the only coherent thought I remember actually having during this experience, ‘Wow. The fog has really come in thick and fast.’ Then suddenly the mist vanished and there was no sign of the creature, a creature that I was now positive was the mysterious Bigfoot of legend.
It was as if I was released from stasis. The moment the mist, and the creature, vanished I could move again. ‘Is everyone okay?’ I realised I was saying. It didn’t sound at all like my voice. My head was blurry and my heart was pounding, but I was back. Everyone seemed to be okay. I nervously stepped out of the car to survey the damage and to see what had happened to the creature. I inched my way toward the rear of the vehicle and peered around the back. No creature. There was, however, a tree stump.
Old and knotty, about three feet high, it looked of an identical type to the trees that surrounded the camp site. There was something odd about it though, something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Certainly it was in an odd position, right on the parking area. This could just have been a feature of the site, a curious one if it was though. But where had the creature gone? I knew that I had seen it. There was no way that I could have imagined that. In fact, looking at the ground I noticed large humanoid footprints leading to the tree stump. As I watched, these footprints began to disappear, dissolve almost, for want of a better word. As they vanished, right before my eyes, a small wisp of mist rose from each one, until eventually it was as if they had never been there.
How had I hit that tree stump? How had I not seen it? I could have sworn that it hadn’t been there when I began to reverse into the spot. In fact I began to swear now, profusely. Especially when I saw the damage to the rear of the car. I turned and kicked the stump, expletive following expletive. Kick following expletive. Where had the creature gone? Had it really been there? I began to doubt my sanity, as I am sure that you already have. Then it slowly dawned on me. I had not seen footprints going away from the tree stump, before they had vanished. How could that be? Wait! The tree stump had not been there before, I now realised. It was not the tree stump that the car had hit.
I began to shake, beads of sweat appearing on my brow, as I looked closely, and more than a little fearfully at the tree stump. My mind faltered as I clutched at thoughts, the feeling of terror and confusion taking over. I turned and jumped back into the car. Starting the engine I put it in to drive and pressed the gas pedal, hard, the wheels spinning on the dusty road.
‘What’s the matter, my love. Are you okay?’, my wife said, shocked at my hurried, uneasy manner, my deathly pallor, and the droplets of perspiration now visibly trickling down my forehead.
‘I am fine’, I replied. ‘I will tell you later. We have to get out of here’
She put a worried hand supportively on my knee and squeezed it tightly.
We got out of there as fast as I could manage, and we didn’t stop for nigh on a hundred miles, until we got to XXXXX, Oregon. I was still on edge and nervously looking over my shoulder, jumping at any and every sound. My wife and I had fortunately managed to conceal my anxiety from the children.
We finally found a hotel that had vacancies, although it only had suites left, and we booked into suite 110. One look inside and we knew that this would be a most special place. There was a living room with a fireplace and kitchen. A pull-out sofa for the children to sleep on; a bathroom for them also. Then there was the master bedroom with a king size bed and an en suite shower and bathroom. A balcony overlooking the ocean completed the magic of the suite.
Later that night as we lay in our bed, my wife in my arms, her head upon my chest, the sound of the waves breaking on the shore coming through the open window, I related the strange events that had so affected me. It was difficult beginning, difficult to make sense of the strange things that I had seen and the even stranger thoughts I had and unbelievable conclusions to which I had come. Lying there in that bed though, the soothing sound of the ocean, the feeling of safety that my wife brought, knowing that together we are invincible and can deal with anything, I began to cry and tell her everything.
After she had listened and comforted me, holding me in the supportive manner that was her wont, we lay together for some time, just talking, before making love. What had begun as one of the scariest, most terrifying of days ended with such feelings of intense bliss as I have ever known. Our love making was passionate, but tender, and we climaxed together with the most incredible, explosive release of ecstasy. We fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms, warm and safe, together where we belong.
So that is my tale. It is an odd one, I grant you, but as I have already said, a true one. I felt calmer by the ocean, since as everyone knows, Bigfoot hates the sea. This I feel is as good a reason as any to spend the rest of our lives on the coast. But then if this story tells us anything it is ‘What does anyone really know about Bigfoot?’
There are many things that cannot be explained in this world. One of these is why there have been so few sightings of Bigfoot, and even less reliable documentary evidence such as photographs and video. Perhaps my strange tale, in some way, explains this.