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You know how there always people out there who would tell ya wild tales. This guy claims that this happened, some other guy say that happened to him. Never did I buy it. Too many people out here in the sun, drinking beer in the dry heat; might as well say the lord almighty himself came down from heaven and made them the new chosen one.

There was one such guy, Darrel Jameson, an old man who lived off of Interstate 15 just outside of Baker. Back in '94, he came into town one day, coming back from Mojave. He claimed to have seen something rather strange. I don't know if I believe him but, I don’t know.

Now he came back from a week of camping out in the desert. He was always the adventure type, been that way since he was a kid, stayed that way 'till he died. This time he was out for his annual camping trip. Being a bachelor all his life, he always had time to go and camp, hunt, fish, and such. He was a man of simple pursuits.

Darrel was a handyman, taking odd jobs, doing whatever he was hired to do. Hell, he even served as a guide for anyone wanting to go site seeing in the desert. 

He came into Jimbo's that day, my friend John and I were a booth near the pool tables. At firs,t he stands in front of us, I assume adjusting his eyes to the change of light, and then he turns around and recognizes us. John moves to offer him a seat; he took off his flannel shirt and sits down. He looked around the room before looking at the half full mug in front of him.

"How’d it go?” I asked.

I looked at him, his eyes were distant. He wasn't in the room, he was still out in the desert; whatever was on his mind, it weighed heavily on him.  

"Darrel," I said loudly at him, he returned to the bar. "What happened out there?" He reached into his pocket, pulled out his pack of cigarettes and lit one. He tapped his fingers on the table, called the waitress for a cup and a fresh pitcher of beer. "Keep us in the dark why don't ya." I told him.

"Fact is," He sighed, "I don't believe it myself." I poured each of us a glass of beer. He scanned the room, then poured himself another glass and drank it with as much vigor as the last one.

"So," he started, "I'm up there for the third week, and yeah. You know, of all my years of going out there, seeing the land, feeling the air, tasting the water; I come to realize I was there."

“What?” asked John.

"I did. My Mecca, if you will." replied Darrel. He may have found what he was looking for out "there", but something else was on his mind.

"What's it like?" I asked.

"Kinda like those new pictures Hubble started taking, without description."

John poured himself another glass, the pool tables that made their cracking sounds, the classic rock soundtrack that played in the background; the other conversations of patrons, all that noise went silent. All I heard, was what Darrel had to say.

I camped out by Macedonia Canyon, just off of Kelso Cima Road. This time of year the mule deer would be grazing around. Plus, it's one of the few places left where I haven't been. It seemed long overdue, and hunting deer is always a plus. I had to keep myself outta sight since I wasn't supposed to be there with all the other camp sites nearby.

I wanted to be alone, just me and Mojave. Over the three weeks I was there, I spent time hunting the mule deer that were grazing. Also took the Ranger up to the river to fish; took me the whole day, wouldn't get back 'till an hour after sundown. By the time sundown came, every which way was dark, but damn how beautiful the night sky covers the ground with light.

I brought a small propane bottle, and a portable stove as well as a lantern; campfires would bring the attention of park officials. The last week while I got to camp to cook dinner, I sat in front of the tent, with the stove on, skillet getting hot, when to the east, towards the direction of Black Canyon, lights shine to the sky.

The light was concentrated, and very bright. It stayed on, for what I'd say, was 'bout four hours non-stop. At first I thought it must have come from other campers, since they were at the official campsite, and me being new to this area, felt it was one big ass night light. After it was finally gone, I cleaned up and turned in. The surrounding silence was so peaceful. The next day, as I tracked a small heard of mule deer; they led me to Black Canyon. I passed the campgrounds, and headed into the canyon. As I walked, I noticed black sand on the ground. I crouched down to picked some up and it had a rather strong burnt smell.

I went to the nearest campground and asked around about the light many said that the light was bluish in color; and they felt a heat coming from that direction, and when the light disappeared, they heard a boom sound last night as well, but figured it to be a rifle or something.

The people who were closer to the light said they could hear what sounded like a hum from the light. Even after the light had gone, the humming was still there, and when they heard the boom, the hum had stopped.

I walked to Black Canyon, following a trail of deer; small drops of blood appeared on the ground, the drops get bigger as I kept walking. Just over a small hill, there was a bush that was soaked in red. As I approached, this stench filled the air; flies were swarming around the bush. I walked around it, and saw a mule deer. It was cut open, and split down the belly. All its insides were taken out.

I turned around to see a pack of coyotes behind me. I readied my rifle just in case, but they stood there, whimpering. Give it to animals to sense danger way before us.

There was a shallow crater just about ten feet from where the deer's body lay. Walking to it, I felt heat rising from the ground. Looking around, most of the surrounding plant life was burnt down to nothing but branches and twigs. I kept going; keeping my eyes fixed on the ground, I saw impressions on the ground. They looked like boot prints, but they were massive.

After three hours or so of being there, I nab myself a deer, and carry it to the ranger. I go to the campgrounds where I parked, and people who I spoke to earlier approached me. They showed me polariods of the light beam. It was a solid bright white light. Some pictures tried to capture the source, but all it the got were clouds.

I get back to my camp, and begin to skin the deer. Several coyotes who followed me sat around hoping to get whatever they can. After I get what I needed, I tossed the rest to them. By sundown the coyotes nestled near my tent, I start cooking a small portion of deer for dinner; and for a second, an intense flash lights up the sky. I heard a very loud pop, and the light once again appears.

However, this time it's brighter, and it seems closer. The coyotes start whimpering, and many started running away. I picked up my rifle, loaded a few rounds, grabbed a flashlight and walked in the direction of the light.

I could hear some of the coyotes barking at me. I got to the road, and then I stopped. I don't know if it was fear, caution, or what; but I couldn't walk any further. I looked back at my camp, and then back to the canyon, whatever was out there, it wasn't bothering me. I walked back to my camp, sat with my rifle on my lap just in case.

Early morning, I walked to the canyon, the coyotes who were with me last night stayed put. As I walked through the campground, I could not believe what I saw. The ground was covered in black soot and ash; there were still small bushes on fire. Tents looked as if they were ripped open, things like sleeping bags and lamps were scattered everywhere. Small spots of dried blood were near many of the tents.

As I go went through the tents, there wasn't anyone around. Out of twenty tents, some big enough to hold five, there was not a soul. I walked through the bushes, around Joshua trees; I even walked to the crater from the other day, but Nothing. I thought of The Roanoke Colony as I walked around the grounds seeing the aftermath of whatever occurred.

When I get back to camp, the coyotes were gone. I decided to take the ranger and drive down an unnamed road, as I drove down some ten miles I spotted a payphone. I called the park office; at first they thought I was drunk. After a while they agreed to send a park ranger down there as soon as someone was available.

It wouldn't be until the next day. The night before there was no light (I left that detail out of the phone call). I kept at a distance to see what the park ranger would do. He surveyed the campground, talked to someone through a radio, and went back to wait in his jeep. Two hour later several vehicles came to the campground; I went back to my camp and packed my things before they noticed I was there.

As I as leaving, I turn on the radio, all I heard was static while turning the knob. I drive for ten minutes in silence, when static comes through the speakers. I look at the radio, but it was off. I pull over and turn off the ranger. No noise came from anywhere, everywhere was quiet. I get out, feeling a slight breeze on my face, all of a sudden the static come back, louder this time.

Now, through the static, I could hear something else. It sounded like someone speaking, but for the life of me I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I turned the volume knob down, but it was already down, making the radio off. I move the other knob, and whatever was “talking” on the other side seemed to change the way it talked. 

Then static took over again, I was standing there in front of my door, unable to move. I thought, what the hell was that? Somebody call Peter Ruckman, even he ain’t gonna to believe this shit. I slowly get back into the ranger, turn it on, and keep driving. I needed to get away from here.

I headed over to the Mild Hills campground. About twenty minutes of driving leads me to think: what on earth was on the radio, and what happened to the campers? I reach the Mild Hills campgrounds when I’m stopped by a park ranger. I sat in my truck for a while before he finally gets out of his jeep. He walks beside my door and signals me to get out. 

“Howdy,” He said, “You coming from Black Canyon?”

“Yeah.” I replied.

“Camped around there?” he asked. He seemed to have a relaxed look on him, but his voice was rather serious.

“I did, I-“

“You called the office yesterday?”

“I did, something wrong?”

“Well, were you camped at the designated campgrounds?”

“Yeah, can I help you with something?”

“You playing stupid?” he toned turned on a dime.

“No” I replied, “I called to report people I met there went missing.”

“How do you know they were missing?”

“I met several of them few days ago.”

I could feel him staring through his dark sunglasses, he didn’t care what I said, he made up his mind.

“Those people,” he said, “it was a company retreat. Office types, couldn’t hack it out here. You understand? They left abruptly ‘cause they weren’t fit to be out here.”

“What? What about the cam-” I tried to ask.

“They left in a hurry,” he immediately replied, “they left, they’re gone. Nobodies missing, they went home, I suggest you do the same.”

“The campgrounds were wrecked, blood and torn tents everywhere…”

“They left…”

“…Did you find a mule deer that got the hell beat out of it…”

“…they're safe at home…”

“…you got animals scared as shit and you tell me nothing that could explain any of it-“

“Enough!” he shouted, “Enough, you get in your truck, you go home, you never come around here again. If I find you here again, I’ll arrest you for trespassing. Got it? Get in your truck, and leave.”

I obliged, as soon as I’m driving; I look into the rearview mirror, he stands there the entire time ‘till I turn on another road. Driving down Mojave Road, I spot another parked jeep, this time this one follows me. All the designated campgrounds were behind me.

Once I’m out of sight from any lawmen, I turn onto a dirt road, and take the long way back to Black Canyon. I wait ‘till dark and drive slowly up to the site. There were small posts with a yellow crime scene ribbon wrapping around the camp. By ten o’clock with a lantern I head out to see for myself what was up. If I got there and if Mulder and Scully were there, then something was defiantly going on.

As I walked through the camp, there was almost nothing here even some of the trees had been uprooted. Some bushes were also removed. The dirt on the ground looked fresh, they must have taken samples, or evidence. I walk along the same path that brought me to the crater, it was still there. It was still perfect, untouched. After a while, I notice something, silence, there was no animals, no coyotes howling, or owls calling, or bugs buzzing. No plants, no animals, no people, no sign of life.

I sat on a large boulder with the lantern off, the light from the moon and the stars cover the camp. It’s dim, and quiet, but it’s peaceful. Looking towards the east, the plains looked totally black, with the outlines of the mountains dividing the land and the sky. To the west, the plain stretches beyond the earth’s curve, and ocean of black sky with islands made of stars are the only thing around.

I hear footsteps, and get up and hide behind the boulder. It was a park ranger - a woman - with a flashlight up to her head, she was scanning the area. She walked up to the crater and kneeled down, maybe for a better look. 

She was short, looked to be in her late twenties, early thirties; but it was too dark to make out her face. She did have big shoulders, and had a small head. She kneeled down, her back turned towards me; I lightly run out of there. As I stepped towards some bushes I step on something that let out a loud crack.

“Who’s out there?” She hollered. “I’m a park ranger for the Mojave National Preserve, and have the authority by the state of California to act as law enforcement. Show yourself.”

“Okay,” I replied, stepping into her light, “No need for trouble.”

“What are you doing out here? This place is sealed off to the public.”

“You don’t need to tell me I know all about it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I called the office, and told them about this place, they then tell me to leave the park and never come back.”

“What are you talking about?” She seemed nervous.

“If we calm down,” I tried to put her at ease, “I’ll explain myself.”

We stood there in the dark, and I told her what I knew. I don’t think it helped much; it seemed to rattle her even more. I took her back to my truck, and got the last two cans of beer I had. We sat on the flatbed door, facing the Providence Mountains. After some time, she seemed to calm down; she didn’t want any beer, settled for warm bottled water. 

“Why are you out here?” I finally asked. She took some time to answer; at first I thought she didn’t hear me.

“I was told to patrol along Black Canyon Road,” she said, “they did say someone was lurking around, and if I ran into them, arrest them; if they resist, even in the slightest, shoot them dead.” Her voice was soft and fragile. “They didn’t tell me anything,” She continued, “I guess they meant you, but they didn’t say why you’d be out here.”

“They didn’t say anything about what I told them?” I asked. She shook her head. “Those sons of bitches, sending a green deputy out into the wild, no clue what to except. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I been in the desert most of my adult life. And I’ve never saw anything like it, not the light, not what remains.”

The radio in her patrol car went off and she had to get going. As I saw her drive off, the moon hung over the mountains. Sitting on the Ranger, I turn on the radio, nothing but static.  The night covered everything; as far as I could see, it was all black everywhere.

I tried to look at the direction of the canyon, of the camp, of the crater; but I couldn’t be for sure on where it was exactly. I turned on the Ranger, and just drove away from here.

As I turn onto next road, it gets bumpy. The dry heat and silence didn’t seem so bad; it was nice outside. Why, why was I being forced to leave? I’ve always thought of this place as my home away from home. I wanted the stay here. This place was so tranquil, and everything I needed was here. It’s selfish to want this place to myself; it just seemed like the ideal place to be.

I drove for ten minutes, when in the distance behind me there was a light. I slammed on the brakes, and turned my head, it was the same light from my first night, and the night the campers went missing. It was as intense as those nights were. I got out of the ranger; I had to see it for myself.

The light was bright, and bluish; I couldn’t get my eyes away from it. I looked up at to see if there was source, there were clouds in the way, but these clouds weren’t still; they seemed to move around the light, as if what was making them were using them to cover up whatever was there.

The radio switched on again, at first static, it sounded rather violent. I quickly turned to the truck, but the sound came from the speakers, just like last time. I got in, turned on the truck; and tried turning the knobs in hopes of getting rid of it. But nothing.

Something must’ve been said, but for the life of me I couldn’t make anything out. After sometime I turned off the truck but the noise never stopped. I got out and saw lights was coming from far away. They were coming towards me very fast. It must have been some rangers, I ran passed the truck so they couldn’t see, just in case. 

They ran passed me, and as soon as they were out of sight; the light from the canyon stopped immediately. It was dark, totally dark. I got into my car and started driving as fast as I could. The only sound I could hear was the Ranger’s engine. It was dark, I put my high beams on, but from the left hand side dust was coming over my windshield.

The dust was becoming thick, and I couldn’t see past the end of the hood. I had to pull over, but as I did I noticed something about the dust. I tried to wipe off the dust, it but as the wipers went up dust followed right behind it making it impossible to come off. In the rearview mirror, I could see the light start to dim. As the dust settled, and the light grew stronger. I slammed my foot onto the gas, but nothing. 

I look at the tachometer, the needle went well into dangerous territory, and the Ranger’s exhaust caused serious smog. I gave everything I got, dead set on getting away. I look to the side, a Joshua tree seemed to pass me. I was moving backwards. The light was getting closer. Slowly, very slowly. I couldn’t believe it. What the literal fuck was going on?

Then something came over me I got out of the Ranger and ran as hard and as I could. I was surprised that I could run. My truck went further towards the light. I ran to the opposite direction. Soon the dust comes up again, now I was fighting to breathe as much as running to get away.

I hear some high pitched harmonies and see some faint lights in front of me. I thought I was trapped. Caught between the ascension of Hell, and its gatekeeper making sure I reunite with the campers. It was a cruiser, the female trooper. She slams the breaks and I get in the passenger side before I eat another pound of dust.

Rather than try to drive away from the pull, she guns the cruiser towards it. The winds grow more violent. The Ranger must’ve been doing forty backwards. “You know what you’re doing there?” I hollered. She seemed frightened but was determined to go towards the light no matter what. And then it stopped. The wind, the dust had died suddenly. 

The light started to fade out before it got dark completely. She pulled over and took some heavy breaths. I saw the Ranger roll down the road, I got out of the cruiser and rant to it. 

I get in and hit the brakes just as the Ranger backs off the road. It crashed into a tree, which falls over broken in half. I drove onto the road and she meets me there. 

“Thanks for the help,” I said, “I never did get your name.”

After some hesitation, she said, “My name is Melissa, Melissa Ryder”

“What on earth made you drive towards that light?” I asked.

“I saw someone out there,” she answered, “didn’t know it was you, again. What’s your name by the way?”

“Darrel.” I replied. We stood there on the road in silence, only the lights from the Ranger and cruiser were on. I sat on my seat with the door open. I was tired of all this excitement.

“Look,” Melissa whispered, “I don’t know what’s going on here, I just started a month ago, and since being here I’ve experienced some messed up shit. But this, this is too much.”

“What’d you do before this?” I asked, I felt sorry for her neither of us understood what was going on.

“I worked up north, in Yosemite.” She replied, “I was offered a spot here, so I took it thinking it would be nicer than to be frozen half the year.” A call from her radio suddenly came through, it startled her.

“Deputy Ryder, are you there?” it spoke. 

Melissa got in the cruiser and grabbed the mic, “This is Ryder.” She responded.

“We need you to come to the station,” the voice said. 

“Copy that, I’m on my way.” Melissa got out and turned to me. “I have to go, and so do you. I won’t say I saw you, but I think you should go. They’ll be coming down here looking for something”

She got back in her cruiser. “Follow me.” She said, and closed the door. For a moment I thought of turning the other direction. Instead, I followed, no sense in getting into more hot water. It was fifteen minutes before she suddenly stopped, I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting her. I got out and walked toward her door. I looked into the window, but she did not seem to notice me. She just stared forward. 

I knocked on the window, but nothing. I looked at her hands, they were clenching the steering wheel. I tried to open the door, but it was locked, so I banged on the window again, louder. “Melissa!” I shouted, “Open the door! What’s going on?” I run towards the front of the front of the cruiser. There was a sheer look of fright on her face. I turn around, but saw nothing. 

Then she must have slammed her foot onto the gas because the engine let out a loud roar. The cruiser accelerated so fast there was barely anytime to run out of the way, so I tried to leap out of the way but got slammed onto the windshield. I rolled off the side of the cruiser breaking off the side mirror as I fell. Melissa just kept going, faster and faster. The red tail lights got smaller and smaller as she drove, eventually the disappeared. 

I picked myself up and limped back to the Ranger. I got about three miles and saw Melissa’s cruise off to the side. I got out to see the cruiser had driven into a decline and into a large boulder. I stepped down to where the cruiser crashed, I look to see Melissa in the driver seat, he airbag went off, and her seat belt was on. I called to her, “Mellissa, are you okay?” but no answer. I open the driver door, and reach to unbuckle her, she quietly moaned. 

I did my best to pull her out when I noticed my right forearm was badly cut; must’ve been either from the windshield, the mirror, or hitting the ground. A voice came from the radio, “Deputy Ryder, are you on your way?” I reach past her and grab the microphone.

“Officer down,” I said, “Uh, officer down, Mel- Deputy Ryder has been in an accident.” There was no answer. “Hello?” I try again, “There was an accident, she drove off the road and hit a rock, she needs an ambulance!” Still nothing.

“Deputy Ryder,” The radio started, “Come in Deputy Ryder. Where are you?” 

I tried again, “Hey officer down, needs ambulance!” And again, nothing followed by someone on the other side asking for Ryder again. I keep trying to talk to dispatch, but nothing. Then I start smelling something in the air, I look around and from the front of the cruiser, smoke star floating up.

I wrapped my arms around Melissa and pulled the out as fire started to crackle from under the hood. I started dragging her away from the cruiser and towards the Ranger. The cruiser caught fire quickly, and my shoulder gave out as I lifted Melissa off the road and into the Ranger. I put my good arm under her shoulder and dragged her as best I could. 

As I opened the passenger door to let her in, she seemed to wake up. Her eyes were blinking rapidly, and her breathing intensified, but she wasn’t fully there yet. It took a lot of time and effort, but I managed to put her in the back seat, lying down. By the time I got into the driver seat, the cruiser had been fully engulfed in flames.

“Don’t worry,” I yelled to Melissa, “Soon as we get you out of here, to the station, they can get you help.”

“They’ll get you,” she replied very weakly, “I was sent to arrest you if I saw you, they’ll think you did this to me.”

“That doesn’t matter now,” I said, “we need to get you to a hospital, that’s what matters.”

I push the gas as far back as it goes and hauled ass on the dirt road, in hopes of finding a bigger road. From the rear-view mirror I could see the cruiser burning, it was the only thing that was lit for miles I bet. The farther I drove away, the less it could tell it as a fire, more of an unfocused glow.

Driving through the night at this speed made me nervous, but I needed to get Melissa to a doctor. At one point I noticed a crossed road and tried to turn; only I was going so fast that it lost control of the ranger and nearly flipped it over. Might as well been driving on Thunder Road. I tried to regain control, but found myself swerving off the road. I was lucky not to hit anything, as well as the Ranger not driving into something that I couldn’t get out of.

I slowly got back onto the road, and stopped to turn and check on Melissa, thankfully I strapped with as best I could with the seat belts, so she didn’t get hurt any worse than she already was. I turn my attention to the road in front of me. I push forward, minding the both Melissa and the road. I try to focus and look at the distance, the wind was picking up, and the dust was getting thick.

It didn’t take long for the dust to completely cover the windshield again. I had to stop and let the winds pass, however it only seemed to get worse. The winds were becoming faster; I could feel the Ranger starting to sway side to side. I had no choice but to put it in park. The rocking was getting worse; I looked over to Melissa, who hadn’t move for a while. 

I reached over and nudged her a little, she let out a soft moan. Her face was bruised, and a little bit of blood came out her mouth. Poor girl, I couldn’t comprehend what came over her, and I don’t think she would know either.

I turn to look though the wind shield, but nothing. I push onward, slowly. The dust didn’t just cover the windshield; it seems fixed in place. All of a sudden I felt the Ranger move backwards. I floor it, but as loud as the engine roars, I didn’t move.

Trying so hard to get away from whatever the hell had us, I felt something. It felt like we were being elevated, like we were floating. The Ranger began to shake, and as I tried to look beyond the dust, what I could see seemed to move downward. We were being lifted. By what, I don’t know. The Ranger then came crashing down. The dust fell suddenly as well, and what I saw before me, it was ungodly.

There was someone, or something in front in some distance. Maybe a man, he was certainly huge; even from that distance I could tell his size. There was I blueish light above him, from what I could see; He wasn’t wearing normal cloths. I thought maybe some sort of suit. He began to walk towards me, I was stuck there, drawn to him. I had this feeling at the pit of my stomach, I couldn’t shake it.

I couldn’t look away, I felt the air get heavier, I began having trouble breathing. As he got closer, I could see him more clearly. It looked like he was wearing some sort of spacesuit. He walked very slow, very mechanical. The light stayed in place and turned at an angle, giving the man a silhouette. Suddenly Melissa began to stir, it was enough to brake my concentration on what was in front of me. 

I immediately put the Ranger in reverse and turned it around, and I began to speed away. I didn’t get far, I floored it but the Ranger got stuck. I looked into the rearview mirror, the man was still walking towards us. The air became heavier, and it was getting harder to breathe. 

“What happened?” Melissa asked, I didn’t answer. I kept trying to get the Ranger to move, but it was no use. The man kept coming. Eventually I stopped trying. 

The man’s reflection in the mirror left to one side, I looked into my right mirror, and saw him standing next to the Ranger. 

“What?” Melissa shrieked, I didn’t look at her, all of a sudden she screamed; she must’ve seen the man next to us. She kept screaming, she tried to unbuckle herself, but wasn’t able to. 

“I’m stuck,” she cried, “I’m stuck, help me!”

I turned to her, the man was still outside the door. The light was still fixed in place, but I had a clearer image of him now. The suit didn’t seem like one an astronaut would wear. It looked like it was made of metal, like one that these deep sea divers would wear back in the day. The helmet was huge, it had various eye holes on it. It had a ring around it, which connected the helmet to the suit. 

Melissa froze with fear, the air was still heavier, and I couldn’t move at all. He put his hand on the window. The giant metal glove covered it entirely, there were grooves on the palms, maybe so can can grip. He pulled down the window with ease.

Melissa reached for her hip, at first I thought it was to again attempt to unbuckle, be she drew her gun instead. She pointed it to the man, her hand shaking wildly, her breathing was as rapid and deep; she must’ve felt the air’s weight on her too. The man leaned and reached for her. Melissa fired twice, the man retreated instantly. A loud hiss came out, and white gas spewed from where she must’ve shot him at. 

I unbuckled and reached in the back seat floor and got my rifle. I aimed for one of his eye holes. I didn’t fire, I couldn’t. 

“Shoot him!” Melissa cried, but I didn’t. “Shoot him!” she repeated, but I still just sat there. 

He came closer, Melissa pointed her gun again, but he was able to grab it out of her hands. His arms were very long. He looked at it, his hands fingers were too big to get to the trigger. He pointed the barrel to the hole in his suit. He then turned to us, and dropped the gun. I lowered my rifle, and looked at him, at his head, maybe I was staring into his eyes.

Melissa turned to me, she grabbed for my rifle, but I wouldn’t let go. 

“Shoot him!” She cried, “What the hell is wrong with you? He’ll kill us, like he did to the campsite, remember?”

She was right, the campers, maybe he took them, or whatever happened, he had to have done something to them. I leveled the rifle and aimed it at his head. He came to the truck and try to rip the door off. I shot him directly in the head, right through and eye hole. He fell back. I turned forward and slammed my foot on the gas pedal.

“He’s getting up!” Melissa shouted, “You gotta go faster!”

Then without thinking I made a right turn. I was lucky I didn’t veer off the road. I could see to my right the man was upright, he was huge. The light still on him, he seemed to look back at us. Looking at the road all I could see was where the headlights shined at; all I could see was the dirt road.

I kept at it until the Ranger started to rumble, it then came to a halt. I turned the key, but nothing. I kept at it for a while. Melissa was able to unhook the seat belts and sat upright. She looked frightened, her face was pale, her breathing sped up. 

Suddenly the headlights turned on. I looked in front of the truck, there was a phone both right in front of us. There was light coming from a lamppost high above. It was covered in graffiti, the tether that would be attached to a phone book was swaying with the wind. 

The phone began to ring. We just sat there, letting it ring on forever. It sure felt like it, it had gone on long enough that I felt compelled to go and answer. I opened my door and began to slide out when Melissa grabbed my arm.

“What are you doing?” she cried, “What the hell are you doing? You don’t know what’s going on, it could be that thing baiting you.” I heard what she said, but it didn’t register right away. I got out and walked to the booth. I stopped just in front of it; and I looked behind me, Melissa was getting out of the Ranger, carrying the rifle with looking all around.

I stepped into the booth, I stared at the phone while it rang. I turned to see if I could spot the man anywhere. He wasn’t around, but I felt like he was near, he was watching. Finally, after a good long minute, I pick up the phone. I hold in my hands, after a long time of ringing, the dead silence was unsettling. Not even the wind made a sound. 

I turned to see Melissa walking slowly to me, she was still reeling from the crash. “It might be him,” Melissa said, “see what he wants.” She turned to face the direction we came from with the rifle firmly in her hands, ready (I hope) for whatever may come. 

I put the phone to my ear, at first there was only silence. I was just about to hang up when a low humming sound came though. A voice came through, and spoke slowly.

“You know… me… don’t you?” Said the voice “I… am the one… the one… you look to…” I didn’t know what to make of what he said.

“Do not… be afraid… I… am here… for you.” I looked behind me, I looked past the Ranger only to see the light from above. It was beaming down, but I couldn’t see anything under it. I looked all around, but only saw darkness. I put the phone back to my ear, I could only hear the humming. 

Melissa came closer to me. She took the phone and placed it to her ear, “I can’t hear anything.” She replied. I took the phone and put it to my ear, I also heard nothing. “You hear anything?” she asked. I shook my head; I was about to put the phone back when we began to hear footsteps.

They were heavy, sounding like metal banging the ground. Melissa raised the rifle and backed towards me into the phone booth. The footsteps got louder, but I could not see the man anywhere. I could hear a faint hiss from the air that was came out the hole in his suit. 

“Come on,” I said, “back to the truck!” I put her shoulder over my head and helped her walk back to the Ranger. As I put her in the passenger seat, something grabbed me by my shoulder and turned bee around with so much of force, I almost fell over. It was the man, he seemed to breathing heavily; the hole in his suit was no longer spewing out air, the glow from the eye holes were dimming.

He reached out to me, he grabbed by shirt and threw me to onto the Ranger’s hood. I rolled of the hood when I heard Melissa scream. I got up to my feet as quickly as I could and saw The man grabbed her by the leg and tried to pull her out of the Ranger. She held on the seat, kicking at him with her free leg. I ran to the driver’s side door, opened it and tried to pull her to me. The man’s strength was far beyond mine. I glanced for the rifle and reached for it. 

When I grabbed it and readied it, the man immediately let go. I aimed it at him and he stood there.

“Back,” I shouted, “Get away from her!” He only stood there. Melissa crawled towards me out of the Ranger. I helped Melissa to her feet, while still aiming the rifle at the man. He began to walk around the front of the Ranger, and we backed away from him. The further we backed, the more we began to trip on each other’s feet. 

I fired a warning shot, and the man stopped. We all stood still for a while. The air was cold and heavy, the silence as solid, and the lights in the man’s eye holes went off. The man disappeared in the dark.

“Run!” I shouted.

As best we could we ran back to the Ranger. We get in and lock the doors. “There’s revolver in the glove compartment.” I tell Melissa, she opens it and finds it. She checks to see how many rounds.

“It’s empty!” she tells me. She runs her hand through the glove compartment and finds a box of ammo. She loads the gun and aims it to get a feel for it. I turn the Ranger on and put it in gear, when we see the bright light in front of us. The light this time began to move towards us. I turned to see the man was standing behind us, his eyehole lights were on.

Melissa turned around to see the man. “Oh fuck!” She cried. After a moment, with the revolver firmly in her hand, she turned around and aimed it at the man. “Keep the truck still!” She said to me; and fired two rounds. She hits him in the chest, he falls over.

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