No Escape

Long rows of coruscating buds twinkled gently under the moonlight, swaying slightly in a cool breeze. The moon was about full this November night, the clearing where the plants grew was well lit. Surrounding the clearing were trees, mostly firs and pines. Beneath these trees it was black.

A lone farmer and his dog slept on a cot near one edge of the plants. The plants were spaced far enough apart that he was left feeling somewhat vulnerable. It was a felony charge to keep a firearm on a grow so he was armed only with a shovel. The plants were about ready and the lighting was about right, he was a perfect target for a robbery.

Now the farmer was very aware of this. He was sleeping here to discourage any would be robbers. They were supposed to take his bluff and think he was armed and ready. Something like that. But the farmer began to have a bad feeling as the night wore on. Yes, as his dog stared into the pitch under the nearby trees and growled low and steadily, he began to have a bad feeling.

Snap! Something was there. Thoughts of lions and bears flashed through the farmer’s mind. Thoughts of putting his hands up as armed robbers came to take his livelihood followed. He stared into the blackness uselessly. Mouth drying. He didn’t even have a decent flashlight.

Snap! The farmer could feel the stare of whatever it was stalking him as surely as he could feel the goosebumps breaking out on the back of his neck. His dog continued to growl viciously. She was only about 25 pounds. Crack! It sounded big.

The farmer stood with the shovel, dog at heel, waiting for the monster to lunge from the shadows. And it was silent. Completely silent.

The farmer stood that was for a long time. Nothing happened. He laid back down on the cot and eventually fell asleep.

When dawn came and exposed the surrounding area he did not like what he saw. There was a tree done up like a Christmas tree with body parts and organs about 50 feet from where he slept. Small intestines wound about the tree like streamers and chopped up body pieces hung by bits of wire like ornaments. A head was stuck near the top about 30 or so feet up, the eyes and mouth stuck open in a horrified scream. It stunk. Flies were already being drawn. It was time to leave.

He turned to grab his keys so he could go. There was a figure standing by his cot. The farmer was paralyzed with fear. The figure wore a dark hood, he was tall and bent. And as this figure stared at him the farmer was about ready to faint. The face was overshadowed but he could still see it was staring at him. But the figure just turned and walked off into the woods. The farmer watched him go deeper until he disappeared. A horrible site on its own. The keys were missing.