Brother Bear

October 31st
Most people know it as Halloween. Many others know it as Reformation Day. I know it as something else entirely. I know it as the day I almost lost my Dad.

As a little bit of background before I really get into the story, my dad is a very restrained man. Always soft-spoken and very calm most of the time. He was a little husky in terms of weight, a soft belly protruding against his 2XL men's shirt. 
This all being said, if something does rile him, it's rarely pretty.
This day was the first time I had seen him brought to blows, and it was the scariest thing I have ever seen. 



Halloween 2011 started out like any other in the rural Midwest: quiet, crisp, and cool. The leaves on the trees had been turning, many having already fallen, so the little kid in me liked to run through them just to hear them crunch underfoot.
We lived way out in the country, surrounded by trees, so the colors of the changing leaves were a sight to behold. It was a Saturday morning, school was out, and I had the woods surrounding my house, basically, to myself. Any late teen guy's dream, right? How wrong I was that day. 



I had set out into the woods early that day after feeding and playing with our Golden Shepard, Rascal, in the hopes of getting a good five-mile hike and run in before lunch. The hills and valleys in the woods made for a great workout and as I neared the little stream I used as my halfway point to stop for a break, I pulled out my water bottle to get a refill.
Now, before any of you get onto me about it being unsafe to just dunk a water bottle into a creek for a refill, know that this particular creek is spring fed, clean and clear as glass. 

As I was filling up my bottle, I heard some rustling in the bushes behind me. Thinking it was just a racoon or other small animal foraging for food, I kept filling up. The longer I sat and drank, the more I was convinced that this was no animal.
For reference, if you spend enough time in the woods, you begin to learn the sorts of sounds each animal makes as it goes about its business. This sounded... off, somehow. I cut my break short, taking a short whiz at a nearby tree, and started back towards the house. 


As I got close to home, there was a dense patch in the forest with a narrow segment of trail leading to the trailhead. My gut knotted and red flags started going up. I wasn't safe here, I had to get out.
I was about halfway through the patch and starting to feel claustrophobic, but I could see the trailhead. All of a sudden, out of seemingly nowhere, I hear the soft, eerie tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel" being whistled.

From the trees, four men stepped out, each holding something in their hands. Upon further inspection, I came to the horrifying conclusion that two had K-Bar knives and two had 9mm pistols. 
I realized how vulnerable I was out in those woods, the view from the house blocked by the trees. All four of the creepy men started toward me. I was surrounded, the oldest tree in the woods at my back, the creeps in front of me. I started sobbing. I knew what these men wanted. They were looking at me like my dad looks at tacos. 


Rascal must have heard my sobs, because all of a sudden, one of the men scream as Rascal jumped and bit him in the shoulder, dragging him to the ground. My dad was right behind him. In the blink of an eye, my dad's fist collided with the jaw of one creep sending him to the ground, his lower jaw caved and hanging limply.
The other two tried to get dad, and as they went for him, Rascal bit down on my pant leg and started trying to pull me away to safety. Knowing through my fear riddled mind that this was what he was trying to do I ran as I had never run before, attempting to reach the assumed safety of my yard and house. 


All of a sudden, as Rascal and I reached our yard, I heard something that I hope to NEVER hear again. I heard wails for mercy from all four of my attackers and the eerie sound of groans and rocks being crushed. 

Turning, I saw something that will haunt my nightmares for eternity. Daddy was behaving almost as a mother bear would protecting her cubs. Letting out a wordless bellow, he threw himself at the men. Even with Rascal desperately pulling at my pants, I couldn't move, for fear had crippled my ability to run the rest of the way to the house.

I stood and watched as Daddy slammed into the men with more strength that belied his outward appearance. Quickly, he snapped the neck of one man, killing him almost instantly. Turning to two of the others, he lifted a log that no man should be able to lift and swiped at them. The force of the log sent one of them rag dolling into a tree and I heard his spine snap as he hit the trunk and slid down the tree, lifeless.

The other crumpled to the ground, but I could still see he was breathing. Dropping the log on the man, daddy slumped to his hands and knees and worked his way over so that he was hunched over the crippled man. With an unnatural roar of fury, he flung his head down to the man's neck and bit down, and lifted, ripping the poor man's throat out. 


Standing up, Daddy opened his blood-stained maw, dropping the remains of the man's throat and, throwing back his head to (apparently) display the blood streaming down his own throat and chest, let out a bone chilling, low toned and guttural howl. I could see for the first time the huge fangs in his mouth, huge and stained in blood. Lowering his head again to face me, he started to walk back toward me, assuming that the man whose jaw he had caved had run.  


As Daddy neared the end of the patch of thickly spaced trees, the fourth and final of my attackers' face appeared over his shoulder and jerked a little as if he had sunk a knife into Daddy's back. Before Daddy limply slumped forward, I could see that the man's mouth was moving, whispering into his ear and turned to run. Falling all the way down face first, I could see the handle of a K-Bar Knife sticking out of Daddy's back, 'round about where his one working kidney should be.  


I didn't bother with the man. All I cared about was Daddy. I ran to him as Rascal gave chase, but I didn't care. I was in tears, and rightly so. I pulled out my phone to call for an ambulance. Knowing that the cops would want fingerprints, I didn't touch the knife, also assuming that with it being hilt deep in him, it was a bad idea to yank it out of him. 


As I waited for people to show up, Daddy rolled to his side, his face contorted in pain. He took one look into my tear laden eyes and his face softened. With what strength he had left, he lifted his free, blood-stained hand up to my face. "Shhh" he said, "It's *hacking cough* ok.
I'll be..." *sigh*


And with that, he passed out, his whole body going limp. I couldn't take it anymore. I curled up next to him and just let everything out until I had cried myself to sleep. 
Sometime later, I awoke in a hospital emergency room to find out that my own dad had been seconds away from passing away by the time they were able to stop the bleeding. I almost couldn’t handle it anymore, but I knew that he had saved my life and couldn’t take that from him.

I can only hope and pray that he doesn’t do something like this again, but knowing how protective he is, I wouldn’t put it past him. 
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Military rebel
Ok black on black is not a good idea.i can't read it well without focusing on the lines too hard
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Dissolved_Fatale
Brother Bear,
I changed your font to white so people can read it. Also, your format was a violation of the rules. I added spaces to your paragraphs which is required of every submission. Thank you for your story.

 

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unkown."
-Lovecraft
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