It wasn’t a cougar...
My Grandpa died when I was ten years old, they ruled it out as a cougar attack, as the area we live in is known for them and i’ve heard them at night, their howls sound like a woman being murdered. we live in a small rural neighborhood in Arkansas where the nearest town is about a twenty five minutes drive , there’s not much to do but swim, fish, and hunt.
My Grandpa used to hunt the area near the lake, as deer and other animals thrived around this lake during the winter and all year round. I used to go with him, until I was around seven, when both my father and my grandpa told me I could no longer go hunting until he had killed the cougars that lived near the lake. Even though I was small, I always heard that cougars didn't usually attack people in groups, but I obeyed them without question.
Sometimes though, my family would go to the lake to camp or have a picnic, my father always told my sister and I to stay away from the darker area of the woods near the lake, always justifying his orders saying that they couldn't see us if we went in there, or that it was very snaky; We obeyed him of course.
Now I am seventeen. And sometimes I take a walk to the lake with my dog Heinrich, who is a two year old German Shepard. The lake is about five miles away from my house, so the walk takes a little more than an hour. I left the house one morning in the late spring to walk and clear my mind a bit, as my parents recently divorced and my search for a job wasn’t really going well. I absolutely love nature and It has always comforted me. I told my father where I was going and what time I planned to be back. I left with my 45. and a machete that I kept sharp. Heinrich happily followed because he knew where I was going. It was a beautiful day out. Not a cloud in the sky and the wind was very calm.
After walking for almost forty minutes, Heinrich started barking and ran after a large rabbit. I wanted to go after him but he always comes back eventually.
I kept walking and As I was about ten to fifteen minutes from the lake, I heard a really strange noise, like a painful groan but from an animal. It sounded roughly like a dog or an injured deer . I feared Heinrich had come across a cougar, somehow without me hearing it I ran toward the groaning noise and then I heard foot steps running fast behind me. I spun around to see Heinrich right behind me... he looked absolutely horrified but otherwise unharmed. I was perplexed.
Then I realized the groaning had stopped and ... so did everything else. I know it’s cliché but literally there was absolute silence. No birds, no squirrels or rabbits running and playing. Nothing. I was kinda disturbed. Then I realized that I was in the part of the woods that was darker than the rest. The one my father had always said not to go in.
Heinrich started me when he started growling, he was staring at something in the distance. Then I saw movement, it was light brown like a deer. But it looked wrong. It's head was NOT a deer’s head. Nor was it’s legs. It wasn’t a cougar either. Not at all. This creature was frail but large, with yellow eyes and it’s face. It’s fucking face. It looked like someone put a rat in a meat grinder head-first. It had massive fangs and matted, wet fur. It noticed us. Heinrich had alerted it.
The creature. This Fucking thing stood up on it’s back legs and walked toward me. I panicked. Hoping a 45. would scare it away or hurt it enough that I could run in time, I fired three shots. I know at least one found home because it screamed the most awful fucking sound i’ve ever heard. It was like a woman screaming but darker, like it was on those silly voice changers you play with as a kid. I ran and screamed for Heinrich to follow, he did and we booked it.
I heard heavy footsteps and breathing behind me. I took my pistol out again and glanced behind me to fire. This thing was too fucking close. At least fifteen feet away. I shot twice and ran harder. Another scream and then I didn’t hear anymore footsteps. But I did hear something else. Something that made me stop cold in my tracks..
“Gavin, don’t go too far son.”
It. It was my grandfather’s voice. This creature was using my grandfather’s voice to fuck with me. I was now more angry than afraid. I turned around and looked down the path. I took my 45 out and reloaded it. I heard it say my name again “Gavin. Come back over this way”.
“Wouldn’t want you to get hurt”. Heinrich growled and started barking at something to our left.
It was IT WAS MY FUCKING GRANDPA. He was decayed and rotting. We was dressed in his hunting clothes from the day he died. This fucking thing took shape of my grandfather. I unloaded on this thing and almost all of them connected with it’s head and torso. The creature fell to the ground an writhed in pain, i took this opportunity to run. Heinrich wasn’t far behind me and We finally reached home. As soon as I opened the door I slammed it and collapsed on the floor. Heinrich laying beside me just as tired and traumatized.
“The hell are you doing son?!” My dad demanded.
I couldn’t speak. I just looked at him. He saw in my face that I was horrified. He asked me a million questions and asked if a cougar had tried to attack me. I looked at him and the the only thing I could manage to say was “ Not a cougar”
He looked a bit confused. I took a deep breath and Said “ it wasn’t a cougar that killed grandpa.”
I told him the story and he seemed believe me. I know what the fuck I saw, and something makes me think My father does too.
Now the memories of my grandpa are tainted because of this fucking creature, everytime I see his picture in the den it sends shivers down my spine
That was eight months ago. I sometimes hear my name being called from the woods. I dread that that thing is out there. Waiting for me. I’ve got to end this.