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I turn slowly to look around the tree trunk in the hopes to catch a glimpse of what it is. Also to see where exactly it's looking. In the event I need to make an escape, I know where not to run. My hand starts to shake a bit. My nerves are trying to get the best of me. Trying to, ever so slightly, move as to not give away my position to this thing. Eyes wide open, I finally see the creature making the noise.
A deer, a damn deer grazing for food on the ground. I let out a deep sigh of relief. It scared the shit out of me. I thought it was that thing. Where did that thing go? Did it go back? As long as it's not near me I'm ok, for now. The deer is grazing along when suddenly it stops dead in its tracks. Looking ahead of it, ears twitching, as to focus on the sound it heard. I can feel my heart start to pound in my chest. I try to look in the direction of the deer's gaze but all I see is trees and shrubs. The deer looks scared as shit which, in turn, makes me feel uneasy. I don't know if it's just regular wildlife predators or if it is that thing. I slowly get to my knees preparing to make a run for it if I need to.
"MEL! MEL, WHERE ARE YOU?" A woman cries out.
The deer runs off. I look towards the area the deer was previously staring at and I can see the figure of a person stumbling through the trees. I try to strain my vision through the trees to see who it is.
It's Cristal, she is alive. She yells out for me again. She doesn't know where I am but she is making her way towards me. I get up and run while crouching behind every other tree, carefully observing my surroundings I try to hurry to her.
She is loud, she is going to draw that things attention if she hasn't already. I can see her a few yards out. She falls to the ground sobbing. "MEL!"
"Shhhh, I'm here." I say quietly as I approach her. She looks up at me with tears in her eyes.
"Oh my god, I'm glad you are alive!" she reaches up to hug me.
"Shhhh, not so loud, we have to be quiet. We don't know what's out there." I tell her with a stern voice.
She nods her head trying to stop crying. I pull her close to a huge tree and sit her down. The tree has a tree trunk knocked over next to it. It provides some cover. The tree must have fallen in a storm. Tree trunk looks old and rotted away.
I sit up a bit and look around cautiously, making sure I don't see or hear anything, my attention turns back to Cristal.
She is wiping her face trying to collect herself. "You left me. You left me when I tripped." She mumbles. "How could you?" she looks up and asks me with tears forming in her eyes again.
I look down to her. Her face is filled with hurt. "I don't know...I just kept running. I didn't have time to think." she looks away. "I'm sorry" I say in a whisper.
I turn to look around again. There is a cool breeze coming through the trees. It's almost calming.
I jump a little at the touch of a shaking hand grabbing mine. I turn quickly. Cristal pulls me down and points in the direction in front of her. Her eyes are wide with terror. I scan the area quickly trying to see what has her in fear. I don't see anything.
"What is it?" I whisper to her. She grips my hand tightly.
"I saw something run past." the words escape her mouth. "I don't know what it was, but it was big."
We sit there staring ahead for what seems like hours. But nothing. There isn't anything. She lets out a small sigh.
"Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me," she concludes.
I partially agree with her. This whole thing has been a lot to deal with. Then again we should keep out eyes open, I think to myself.
"What are we gonna do, Mel? Where is Charlie and Erica?" she asks me.
I shrug my shoulders. "I don't know what happened to them. All I know is we need to get back to truck."
A weekend out in the woods, hiking near place that is supposed to be off limits. We just had to see what was hidden from the world. Had to know why the huge area on the maps were blacked out. Had to know why the area was fenced off.
Government cover up? Local cover up? I don't know, and wish I never wanted to know why. All I know is that whatever is in here with us is not friendly in anyway. Dangerous. Very fucking dangerous.
I look up to the sky. I can see the sky through the tree tops, not a lot, but enough to know that the sun is starting to set and it will be dark soon.
We don't know what other dangers are out here. We don't have flashlights, lighters, or anything to protect ourselves. I don't have my phone or a radio to call for help. No one knows we are out here. We told the story to others that we were going to the coast. The opposite direction of which we actually went. Really stupid idea.
Why did we do this? I wanted an adventure. I wanted to see what was so important that it had been wiped off all physical maps and digital maps. This is all my fault.