July 17th , 2024



4 months ago


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The lush temperate rainforests of British Columbia hold stunning natural beauty, but also potential dangers for the unwary. A visiting student learned this the hard way one fateful evening hike.

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, had come from Northern Europe to study abroad for a year in a small village nestled in the mountains. Eager to explore the wilderness surrounding the village, the 17-year old often went on solo evening hikes through the dense forest. While crime was low in the area, the student's host family worried for their safety with bears, cougars and coyotes roaming the region.

One afternoon, with teachers away for training, the student embarked on an ambitious 12 km hike to a waterfall they had visited before with classmates. Leaving at 4pm, twilight would descend rapidly but the student felt up for the challenge. After two hours on the trail, they reached a fork: continue right to the falls, or left down an unknown “river trail.” Curious and with some sunlight left, they chose the river trail.

Almost immediately, the student felt unsettled. The trail showed only footprints and handprints headed one way, away from the fork. With darkness gathering, sounds from the bushes put the student further on edge. Still, they continued down the unfamiliar path.

The trail ended in a clearing with large stones in the centre. Approaching, the student discovered a grisly sight on one of the rocks - a severed, rotting finger. No cell signal meant calling the skeptical local police would have to wait. Just then, a sound came from the bushes. Menacing laughter rang out, too deep to be a child’s.

Frozen in fear, the student could only watch as a humanoid creature rose from the bushes. Well over six feet tall, its facial features were obscured in the fading light. As the student walked closer, its visage became clear. Bulging eyes, a gaping wound for a nose, grinning razor teeth - this was no human. Dressed in a cloak, its twisted limbs bent at extreme angles.

The creature stepped toward the student, now only meters away. The student turned and ran. For a few moments, silence...then the sound of fast pursuit on all fours. Risking a glance back, the creature was rapidly gaining ground. The student pushed themselves to run faster through the dark forest.

In one perilous instant, they tripped. Pain flared in their right knee and they struggled to stand. The creature pounced, flipping the student onto their back. Hunched over its prey, fetid breath choked the student as it giggled with glee. Prayers had no effect. When the creature spoke, its message was chilling: “Your God has forsaken you.”

The smell of rotting flesh emanated from the beast. When asked what it wanted, it replied "You're not leaving tonight. We will dine on your flesh." The student saw more creatures emerging from the trees. The one on top of them turned and giggled.

Seizing the distraction, the student grabbed mud and flung it into the creature’s face. It wailed as the student broke free and fled once more. The sounds of numerous pursuers followed.

After endless running, the student reached the fork again. The creatures waited at the river trail entrance, but did not step onto the main path. One called out “Soon we’ll find you and make you ours.” Then they retreated into the forest depths.

Exhausted but sensing safety, the student ran the rest of the way home. Their hosts were alarmed at the late and dishevelled return, but the true story was unbelievable. The student simply said they got lost.

The creatures were never seen on the main trails again, though glimpses and sounds around the river trail persisted. When the student went back to Europe, they were relieved to be far from the reach of the entities. But lately, similar shapes and sounds have invaded the local woods at home. The creatures’ promise to find their escaped prey was not idle. Now they lurk ominously closer each day on the path to school.

The student stands ready to share their account before venturing outside, where the creatures surely wait at the trailhead. Their fate remains unknown, but their warning is clear: should you ever hike in those forests and come across a river trail fork, turn back. The horrors hidden in the depths are real, and ravenous.

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