Chapter 1 – Sunrise
The dawn on this Sunday morning in glorious mid May was a serine thing of natures beauty, the red and orange hues as they danced off the green horizon is like watching a laser light show made just for you. Seventeen year old Danny Simms and his buddy Joe Walsh are up early, braving the mountain dew and looking for their first big buck of the hunting season. The camp is a good forty minutes away buried in a remote but beautiful valley in the Mt Massive wilderness area, five miles North West of the serine Turquoise Lake and not far from the “Homestake Reservoir”. The Elk here are plentiful during the cull each year and not many other hunters venture this far in but the bucks are huge and challenging to bag because of the dense forest, but even if they don’t get a kill the area is simply put; breathtaking! The only real danger to either of them was their own personal hygiene, or should be lack thereof! But neither could have anticipated what happen next.
“Snap” a twig in the distance, Danny heard it first and held his fingers to his lips as a shhhh to Joe. The two dropped low and Joe being the lesser experienced of the two had his eyes on Danny for the next move. He motioned with two fingers to move quietly around to the left, army style, and to still stay low. Joe moved slowly still crouched to a tree stump covered by tall grasses but could not make out the figure off into the distance. With his rifle now wedged firmly into his shoulder looking through his high powered scope, all he could see was the general outline of a shadow figure dancing in the dappled morning light, but his brain could not determine exactly what his eyes were seeing. It seemed to be on all fours but then up on two.
Both boys moved like seasoned Afghanistan snipers with barely a noise between then only hand signals and the occasional low grunt. They made sure they moved up wind of the figure as it huddled over something in the distance. Joe thought he was witnessing his first glimpse of Big Foot as it didn’t look like an animal forme through the scope as it stood on two legs at times, but then down on all four to what he thought was a feeding acting. The grey blue moon was Low in the sky almost touching the mountain top but still remarkably full in the sky adding to the minutes they were loosing of twilight as a weapon of surprise against the unknown prey. Danny circled around the other way and was obstructed by trees and motioned for Joe to take over as he had lost sight of the creature. Joe gave very precise instructions for Danny to stop as he went in closer.
He closed the distance of about 30 feet in five minutes being careful not to disturb the creature as it fed. He looked away for a fleeting second at Danny and gave him the “OK” signal with his left hand, looked back to the area where the thing was feeding only to be greeted by Nothing! The tree line was darkened in the dappled light from above and the morning light streaming in just above the horizon now filtered into the trees adding difficulty to the task. Joe looked at Danny and shrugged with a puzzled look of its gone written all over his slightly spotty teenage face. The area they needed to get to was dry grassland about knee high and a few feet away from the rocky outcrops they had been sticking to, if they crawled it would take forever.
Joe was unsure about their next move and as he knelt to take stock of the situation he happened to glance over at Danny. The look on his face was not something he had seen often in their years as friends and it took him back to the third grade playground when Danny wouldn’t climb down the high steps. He started to rise and walk over towards his friend but was transfixed by the sheer look on his face, no mistaking that it was FEAR!
Joe’s mind twitched for the blink of an eye but he never had a chance to understand what was happening to him as his throat was removed with one deft lunge, blood gushing like a broken tap sprayed the surrounding area to about three feet away. Danny sat stunned and transfixed by fear and the unknown, what the fuck was it? It moved so damn fast he didn’t have time to register what in hell it was. He stayed low his first thought now about self preservation as he knew Joe was dead. Pulling the high powered rifle to his shoulder he scanned the area slowly and methodically, too scared to make a sound, but he knew he needed to make it to a clearing it was his only chance to at least see the beast coming. His heart was pumping at 100mph pushing oxygen and adrenaline around his body at an alarming rate, this mixed with not breathing properly started making him feel light headed and a tad nauseous. “Breath you idiot” he thought to himself.
He dare not move but he knew he had to if he was going to survive, his whole being telling him not to move, to wait until daylight proper and then get in the open space about fifty feet to his left, so he had a full view of his surroundings. It would be a forty minute trek back to camp and a phone signal to call for help as they were in a remote area near the dam. As Danny scanned the area in front and each side he slowed his breathing to a manageable state, placed his eye to the powerful lens and scoped the area efficiently using his cadet training. As he scanned the area his mind drifted to the scene of Joe having his throat ripped out by what can only be described as something evil, not human but nothing like he had ever seen before. The Jaws were distended and elongated but only to the point of say a small pug dog the hair was sparse and not thick but ragged and knotted by earth and undergrowth, but it was the eyes he remembered now the most his eyes shut he saw those amazingly beautiful blue eyes. His senses snapped him back to reality.
A single drop of moisture fell on the back of his neck and he could not think why, as the morning was clear and warm. He froze and it was within this split second he smelt the acrid coppery taint of blood, mixed in with what can only be described as sweat and dirty moist carpet. His right hand left the rifle and touched the thick viscous fluid at the nape of his neck and he proceeded to wiped it away. As he then brought the hand into his own field of view his mind froze with his impending mortality.
Danny swallowed slowly, closed his eyes and lowered the rifle slowly holding the shoulder strap in his left hand. His bladder released without warning and he felt the warm sensation of his own urine run unnervingly down his left leg as he heard a low guttural growl and felt the fetid warm breath on his exposed blood soaked skin. In mere milliseconds, he thought of his girlfriend, his mother and father, his sister and then Joe. With that final thought, his spinal cord was split in two as the beast clamped its extended vice like jaws around his solid youthful neck and ruined it forever decapitating him in one fluid motion. The last sight Danny had was the beast devouring his torso for breakfast and then darkness, all encompassing darkness no bright light no tunnel just death.