For a lot of the time when I was young, me and my father would go on hiking trips in forests around our home, which were very much filled with hills. There was one that he was very weary about called “Veiti Grounds”, it was huge! You could easily get lost in it, it was about a quarter mile from our house, it being the closest one to us, which is why I had been so interested in it, but not for mystery, just so I didn't have to walk as far.
There has been a few times where we’d venture out there but there was something he had told me always. “Once you get in, quickly run to the middle, away from the edge!“ which I never understood, most forests, he’d tell me that the edge was the safest area to be in, though we’d go towards the middle. That’s when the fascination with the mystery became a part of my every day life.
I had went out once by myself, late at night, to see what it was I could find. I had decided I should figure out what was at the edge. I had snuck out past midnight, to be sure I would not be caught. I had snuck down, the walk was a breeze, even for young me. I had finally come to the edge with the sign I had always seen, Never Travel Alone, which, being my young self, I took as a challenge. I am strong! I am tough! I will stay by the edge! I had done it! I hugged the side of the forest like it was my lover.
That is when I had noticed a strange shadow in the distance, right at the crossing where my father had told me that I needed to get to for every visit we had done. I couldn’t make out what it was, all I felt was confusion, what was this? Is this my imagination? I had quite a wild one until I was about twelve, then everything became about girls and whatever new thing had appeared.
I had no idea what it could be and I felt I should hide somewhere. I had stayed close behind a tree as I saw whatever the creature creating that shadow was slowly get up and shrink until I couldn’t see it anymore. I decided I should run as fast as I could home and I had gotten scolded by my father.
The experience had left my mind for a very long time until it had come into my thoughts again. It wasn't just interest, it was obsession, hardcore obsession with the forest, and the edge, and the creature, and everything. I had to go back, I lived an hour away from my old home and ran down, I couldn't even start my car, I had to get down there as quickly as I could, which took a long time, but I had made it. The sign had the last word scratched off so it had said “Never Travel”, which I had done, but the rules had been broken before, so why would I care?
I had walked to the edge, the very outskirts of the forest, with adrenaline pumping in, when I felt a hand on my shoulder, being my dad.
“Why are you here? Why are you back? Why would you come back?” he yelled
It was a rush all at once, and I was terrified, but what terrified me more was that the shadow had appeared once again, in the same spot, but instead of getting up and walking away, it walked towards us. I didn’t want to move, my adrenaline had collapsed and I felt I had to run, but couldn’t. The shadow grew and grew until I had a sudden burst of energy and escaped, my father behind me.
He had scolded me one last time and ran back to the old home, while I had to walk back to my house, with so little energy that it took twice as long to get back. I had a lot of time to think during then, like why did I have the urge to go there? What is with my energy? Why am I so tired? If my dad died years ago, who was that?