May 25th

Having been to the grocery store and local shops I needed to get away this afternoon. I decided the quite of the woods could let my mind wander. Luckily, they lie behind my home. I grabbed my walking stick and set out along the paths for a nice hike.

After about 25 minutes I had come to realize that while the brisk New England weather invigorates me it does nothing for these old joints. Deeper in the woods the afternoon shadows grew darker, much earlier than they should have. I knew I had to turn back to make it home by dark. As I turned to set back home, I heard something large shuffling in the dying brush. My nerves already on edge lately seem to take over me. I jogged back down the path.

I could hear it following me. I looked behind me and saw nothing, but I could hear it snapping branches. I jumped off the path moving a little deeper into the woods trying to confuse the beast. The silence of the woods enveloped me. I stumbled through the orange tinged air as the sun began to sink through the trees.

While circling back to my home I found a small rocky cave. I couldn’t see inside but it smelt as if something had died. Was it home to the forest animal that was following me? I dared not take another step in. One peculiar thing of note was the animal skull hanging from some twine over the entrance. Who else has been here?

I emerged from the woods exhausted and barely made it across the threshold of my home. Hopefully whatever was out there would fall of a cliff and perish. Never had a felt so in danger in the woods I had explored as a child.

-H. Walters