gazebo_king
My story begins outdoors. My friend, who I’ll call Ricky, and I enjoyed hikes through the woods. We always found it a great way to relax after the work week, and so every Saturday, we’d make the thirty or so kilometer drive to Mt. Edziza. It’s a beautiful national park in northwestern British Columbia, featuring a huge amount of woods that climb the gradual slopes of the mountain. This day was no different from our usual. We were working our way up a trail, occasionally photographing the natural scenery.

Now, keep in mind this park is very isolated. As in, it’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s a minimum hour drive from the nearest town, and the lack of accessibility led to it being one of BC’s less popular parks. Very rarely do you ever meet another person on the trails. That’s why when he first mentioned it, I thought he was messing with me.

I was bending down to tie my boot when Ricky quietly says “woah” out loud.

I look up. “What is it?”

He glances at me before turning and searching up the path. “I just saw some girl up there.”

“Where?”

“Up there,” he pointed with his finger to the end of the visible trail, “she was looking at us, and then she disappeared up the path.”

I was puzzled. “What did she look like?”

“I dunno. Barely saw her.” 

I felt pretty strange after this. After all, it was late August. The weather was cloudy, and there was even a little bit of rain. We rarely saw people during peak hiking days, so it was extremely unlikely he actually saw a person today. Despite that, Rick wasn’t the type to lie for no reason, so I figured he really did see someone.

We continued walking up the trail. As we neared where he said he saw the girl, we began to pick up on a smell. It was faint at first, gradually increasing the closer we got to the bend in the path. The best way I could describe it was a bouquet of flowers. If you ever spent time in a florist shop, you know what I mean. It was heavy, and concentrated, like we just walked into a room filled with nothing but roses. Still though, something about it was off in some way. It was… distracting. And it made me want to follow it.

“Do you smell that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Ricky inhaled deeply through his nose, “what is it?”

I shook my head, not bothering to reply, because I really didn’t know. We looked around, and despite how strong it was, we didn’t see anything that could’ve been responsible for the peculiar odor. Now, the forest along the mountainside is lush and full of life, but it’s predominantly trees. There are few wildflowers, and there’s no way the floral aroma should’ve been this strong. We stopped at the bend in the path to drink from our water bottles, sitting on the large fallen tree. There weren’t any people or anything else out of the ordinary, aside from that strange smell. Eventually we moved up the path again. After about fifty footfalls, the flower smell seemed to stay the same, more or less, no matter how far we walked.

We worked our way through the rest of our hike pretty quickly. And yes, the flowery smell remained constant the entire time. We eventually theorized that some rare, extra stinky flower was in bloom on the mountainside, which served as explanation enough. A medium fog seemed to settle over the mountain, which wasn’t anything new. As we walked, though, we began to realize something was off. I was the first one to notice; it felt like I was being hit with a wave of deja vu.

“Hey Rick, does this tree look familiar?”

Ricky looked at me, and followed my hand, seeing where I was pointing. “Wait, didn’t we pass that half an hour ago?”

Somehow, without being aware of it, we were back at the fallen tree we took a break at before. We followed the path the entire time, and we knew it didn’t loop, so it was impossible we were back here. “Seriously, what the hell? How did we get here?” Rick seemed a little alarmed.

“I-I dunno man. Should we just head back?”

Rick looked at me for a moment, before nodding. “I guess so,” he whispered.

Remember how the fallen tree was right at the peak of the path, before it turned? That let us see all the way down the hill, and so we should’ve been able to see approximately where we entered from. When we looked down the trail though, preparing to head back, what we saw was unnerving. The path went down like it should, but right at the lowest point, where it should’ve swerved left into the opening of the woods, it went back up the hill again. It was like the entire forest was mirrored somehow.

And at the very end of the hill, we could just make out two men standing there, wearing the exact same clothes we were.

“Dude, d-do you see that?” I was already staring when Ricky frantically pointed towards the other peak, where our duplicates stood.

He walked forward a little. “W-what the hell, man?”

That’s when we noticed that the man who was dressed exactly like Ricky seemed to move further away. Rather quickly, given the circumstances, we were able to comprehend that the people we saw were mirroring our movements; or perhaps, we were mirroring theirs.

My friend looked at me with his hands on his head. “What do we do?”

“I don’t know, dude. L-Let’s just try to get back.”

So without another word, we started descending down the hill. As we did, the other pair of men seemed to go down their hill, and so they faded out of our view, to our relief. Keep in mind, the smell of flowers was still potent in the air. We finally got to the low point between the two slopes, and as we did the rain picked up from a light drizzle to a heavy one.

“Let’s hurry it up,” I said.

Rick didn’t respond.

A rather brisk few minutes later, we were atop the hill, where we were once again greeted by the fallen tree. Both in front of us, and behind us, the situation was the same. Reality seemed to be mirrored, and in both directions, we could see copies of ourselves sitting atop the hill just like we were. Ricky was starting to panic. Trying to be logical, I decided to get out my phone, preparing to document whatever in the world was happening. To my dismay, the device didn’t turn on.

It was a new, premium smartphone, with an almost full battery, and it was completely unresponsive, the screen just remaining black as I pushed the power button. “Try yours.”

Rick got out his phone, and it didn’t work, either.

At this point, the sky was beginning to get dark, and the rain was pouring. “It’s not working! What the hell do we do, man?” I shook my head, having no idea. That’s when we heard a voice.

“Are you boys lost?” The voice was mature, and feminine. It was well enunciated but coated in a thick accent. I’m not very good with dialects but I’d guess it was European.

We both turned, looking to the side of the path and into the woods. About ten feet in front of us, seated casually on a stump, was a woman. But no ordinary woman. The moment I saw her, I felt as if I was intoxicated. She was sitting, but we could tell she was tall. Taller than either of us. She was slim, yet very toned. She had fair skin, with no visible imperfections, and her hair was short, and jet black. I can easily say she was the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen; I inexplicably felt magnetized to her.

Her outfit, though, was the weirdest of all. She wore a dress, like one you’d expect to see at a party, and it was accessorized by a large black sunhat. Very strangely, her clothes showed no signs of being wet or weathered at all, despite us being in the middle of a storm. We both gazed at her in awe.

She stood up, walking towards us. “Well?” She strutted, as if on a catwalk. “Are you, or are you not?”

Rick’s tongue was completely tied.

I managed to stammer out a few words, though. “Y-yea, we are.”

As she came close to us, it became suddenly apparent she was the source of the floral smell. “Hmm. That isn’t any good.” She turned away from us. “Lost on a mountain, especially in all this fog! That’s just a recipe for trouble.”

That’s when we noticed that the fog, which was quite thin before, was suddenly very heavy. We couldn’t even see ten feet in front of us. I nudged Ricky, and whispered “dude, is that who you saw before?”

He whispered in reply. “Yeah, one hundred percent.”

She turned back around, looking at us, as if waiting for us to say something. She seemed to be evaluating us with her piercing blue eyes. “Well, come on then!” She waved her hand, and began pacing down the mountain.

We followed, on command. Again, I can’t explain it, but the woman was enchanting in a very unnatural way, and it left us practically helpless. It was only a few minutes before she stopped. The entire time, though, her dress didn’t get any wetter from the rain. It was as if she had an invisible umbrella, dissipating the drops as they fell. “You can take it from here, I suppose.” She turned back around to face us, and as she did the fog thinned back to regular levels. That’s when I realized that we were back at the start of the trail, only a few meters into the woods. The exit, and the parking lot, were visible. She moved to the side, allowing us to pass.

We walked by, still in a trance. Before we exited the woods, though I turned around. I wanted to thank her, or something. It’s hard to explain, but I wanted to get one last look at her. When I turned around, though, she was gone. I didn’t see how she could’ve gotten out of sight. It was like she just disappeared. I stood there, bewildered, searching up the mountain with my eyes, and seeing no one. The only movement was rain drops.

Ricky grabbed my shoulder. “Come on man, let’s go.”

Without another word I followed him back to the SUV, and we got in, him in the driver’s seat. As we pulled away, though, I took one last glance in the rear view mirror, and just under the glow of the singular streetlamp in the parking lot, I could see a silhouette of a woman, waving goodbye.

We never went back to that park again. That was actually one of our last hikes ever, with me and Ricky growing apart due to the void of misunderstanding the incident created. Recently, he moved, and we lost touch entirely. I never saw that strange woman again. Upon doing some research online, I’ve theorized that she was likely a witch, or some sort of spirit. Whether she created the mirroring effect in the forest, and the extreme weather, I’m unsure. Regardless, I feel indebted to her, as she did save us.

There’s one last thing I’d like to mention though.

Whenever it rains at night, and it does a lot in the interior of BC, I have the same dream. The exact same one, consistently, and I’ve had it ever since the event. Ricky and I are always on a hike of sorts. It goes normally, with nothing weird happening. Whenever we leave though, I always check the rear view mirror of the car, and I see the woman, waving at us.
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mado-95
dang... your story hit close to home. one time I was in the woods and had that creepy reality mirror effect. ended up getting so lost trying to run away from myself.
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