The story I'm about to tell you happened around 2009. I was really young at the time, so bare with me.
It was September in Flagstaff, Arizona. The trees were beginning to change their color, and the air felt cooler than the usual blistering heat. My family and I were taking a trip for a reunion, sadly I don't remember the name of the place, but I can describe it vividly.
We decided to rent a lodge out by dogtown lake, we all had our own cabins, though some of us stayed in the lodge itself. The grounds looked so beautiful; the trees were rustling, the path ways were very well kept, pretty much what you'd expect from a lodge.
I remember I was running around the grounds with my cousins, we had permission to explore the woodlands around the cabins, we just couldn't go too deep into them. My cousins decided to play hide and seek because of the fact that there were so many places, and it was getting dark. I didn't care what we played, as long as I got to explore the grounds.
I had the pleasure of hiding with the three others, while the oldest got to count. We all scrambled to different direction, with me stumbling a little behind my cousins Marcy, and Angel. They were both significantly faster than me, so I just decided to stray off and find my own spot, giving up on trying to catch up with them.
The spot I chose was fairly deep, with the brush starting to thicken gradually the deeper I went. I stopped for a moment to catch my breath, taking the chance to crouch down behind a tree. I was a giddy little kid, so I wasn't being too quiet; I heard footsteps clomp about a couple yards away from me, that's when I started to quiet down.
The footsteps sounded heavy. I didn't think much of it at the time, thinking it was just my cousin stomping through the leaves. I was attempting to keep from laughing, covering my mouth, when I suddenly caught a whiff of a strange scent. It smelled like a combination between a skunk, wet dog, and raw sewage. It made my nose crinkle when it first hit. It hit me hard, like someone smacked me in the face with a rotting fish.
I tried to remain out of sight, trying to keep myself from gagging while also trying not to be spotted by my cousin. I heard the steps come closer, and I immediately hit the ground. I couldn't see much of what it was, but it sounded huge. If I had to measure it, I'd say it was perhaps a head taller than the lowest branch of the tree I was behind, which was maybe six feet, eight inches.
The thing kept on going, but it made a sniffing kind of sound, like it was tracking something. The smell was stronger, and I nearly threw up, but I couldn't move. Instead I began to slowly army crawl the opposite direction until i knew it was safe to run.
When the smell was clear I ran back to the cabin grounds, now it was darker, so I was a little more freaked out than I was at first. The sun was behind the trees, and my eyes were barely starting to adjust to the lighting. I started to feel the typical sense of something watching me, but I was too afraid of looking to see what it was.
The feeling grew to paranoia, and I eventually started to run, my heart rushing in the fear of being caught by whatever was in the woods. When I got to my cabin, I found myself giving into the temptation of looking back, so I peeked toward the treeline. The figure I saw looking back at me was a sight I wouldn't forget for years to come. It was a very large, almost wolf like creature. It was hunched over in a sort of stalking kind of position, but the way it looked was a little strange: it was crouched on it's hind legs, with one hand on a tree, and the other by it's side.
I was shocked. I really didn't know what I was looking at, and I was frightened. I couldn't get myself to stop looking at it, afraid that if I took my eyes off of it, the thing would run at it, so there I was. Face to face with this dog-ape thing, whose eyes glowed in the darkness in a slightly amber-orange tint. The creature stepped out of the treeline, allowing me to get a better look at how massive this thing was. My feared immediately grew once I saw its full height, and it growled at me. Terrified, I tore through the cabin door, and locked it, keeping away from the windows and cowering. Hoping whatever that thing was wouldn't rush at me.