I have been a woodsman my whole life. Growing up in the state of Alaska, I've spent a great amount of time in the wilderness. Countless days tracking down massive bears, Moose, and caribou, Weeks at a time Mushing sled dogs across frozen rivers, and being a guide on the most difficult hunts taught me survival skills that most of my colleagues will only dream of. Which is why I have made my living off the land on a remote homestead in the Mat-Su valley south of Denali national park. Being considered one of the best hunter-trackers in a land full of them is what brought me to the attention of the F.B.I when they needed a very dangerous... animal, found and killed.
It was a cold winter day when I first met Special Agent Jones, I was just done Feeding my huskies the usual mix of hot water, salmon, and the best commercial dog food you can get. Trudging along towards my modest little log cabin to warm my cold body I heard the whining of a snowmobile engine coming up the trail. it was unusual to hear a snowmobile on a Tuesday with the weekenders gone home for the time being. So patiently waiting for it to continue west toward town it suddenly turned North, towards me, ten minutes later a smaller man wearing a fish and game winter jacket on a newer trail model pulling into my yard. The dogs, hearing a strange machine pull into the yard began barking and howling with glee. The man was quite cold as he quickly killed the two-stroke engine and walked up to me. He pulled off his glove a stuck out his hand, I quickly took his hand and greeted the man.
"Special Agent Jones," he said. I looked at the man and seen instantly he was out of his element. Cold Hands, red nose and the constant shivers told me everything, So I said to this ill-prepared man.
"Come on inside, agent Jones, it's mighty cold out here. Once inside and seated with a cup of coffee, I finally asked "what would an F.B.I agent want with a Bush rat like myself." the man straightened himself and said,
"The F.B.I would like to employ your services as a tracker, sir." Huh, well I guess I was good at what I do but I wasn't expecting this.
" I see, and what exactly do you want me to track," I asked.
"Well, uh..." he stuttered, "We're not exactly sure".
"Not sure huh," I said, puzzled. He explained what happened, A couple of teenagers were found on the Old Pearl River, one with there skull smashed open and one with his chest crushed." no scratches, bites anything on them" I asked, in bewilderment.
"Not One," he said. "And where the hell is the Old Pearl river at."
He looked at me goofy and said "Louisiana."
"I've never been before," I said, "and I don't think I would do much good to you down there."
"But you will" He assured "we have been searching for the best woodsman in the country and we found you," He said confidently. "I'll be damned if I flew my happy ass up here, and froze my balls off on that snowmobile to go all the way back down south and settle for second best." He quipped'
"Well then, You got yourself a hunter then," I answered.
That is how I found myself alongside the old pearl river waist-deep in the swamp water sitting next to a swamp man named Shelby. Shelby was an alligator hunter that was hired for the use of his knowledge of the area and, more importantly, his airboat.
"You boys got anything yet," said Jake. Jake was a marine scout sniper until he was very recently recruited to be on this 'task force'.
"Sorry Jake, not shit," I told the sniper.
"Well let's pull out for the night, I'm freezing out here and my feet are wet" Jones whined.
"Fine" was all I said in return. Jones was more of a desk jockey than a field guy, but this was his team and he was determined to be with us every step of the way."
"Let's get going then" Shelby whispered. We quietly crept back to the airboat.
"You're back," said Sarah. Sarah is a exotic wildlife biologist and agent Jones said she could be of some help.
"Yeah we are back, only been gone 6 hours" I retorted. Ignoring my sarcasm, she said
"I've been doing some research, and I think I know what we're dealing with."
Doubling down on my sarcasm. "What, you don't believe what Jones told the public, ya know a bear that crushes people instead of chewing em' up." She grinned and proudly stated
"Nope, not even a little." Shelby fired up the boat, went and picked up Jones and Jake and we all decided to regroup in the morning.
"Swamp Ape huh." Jake sneered. Sarah glared at him through her sunglasses and I spook
"Sure as shit wasn't a bear Jake, You saw the bodies."
"Yea, that wasn't no black bear." was the short, athletic man's only reply.
"How do we kill it?" Shelby asked.
"We don't" answered Sarah while staring at me, "We Trap it," she stated. Right then Jones got a call and went outside.
"How in the hell you gonna trap an 800 pound pissed off swamp monster?" Jake intelligently asked.
"To Trap an animal you must know the animal what it eats, how it walks, how intelligent it is, the way it thinks, among other things," I informed. Shelby then stated the obvious
"So back to square one, find the damn thing." Just then Jones came back to the table."We gotta go, right now," he ordered, "I'll explain on the way."
"Fucking aye" Jake cursed as we pulled up to the scene. 8 pigs dead, 5 smashed skulls, and 3 ripped throats. We got outta Shelby's old Ford truck and quickly investigated the scene. They all were killed maybe three hours ago and large, 3 toed tracks with webbed feet were heading towards the swamp. I told Jones that I should start tracking now and the others should go get Shelby's boat.
"I can't send someone out there alone, I'll go with you," he said.
"No you can't, someone has to stay and deal with the farmer and the press when they hear about this," I explained.
"Jake, what about you?" Jones questioned.
"I left my m40 at my room" Jake confessed.
"What about me?" Sarah asked.
"You ain't got no gun though," said Shelby.
"I'll borrow your pistol" Sarah replied.
"Fine with me, I guess" I approved. Jones simply nodded, and Shelby handed her his old 1911. I already had my .45 colt on my hip, so I pulled my Marlin 45-70 out of Shelby's truck and off into the swamp we went.
For 7 hours we tracked the beast through the swamp. It was quite intelligent, as it made almost know tracks as it moved through the forest. Thus making my task very difficult. Finally, as we crept through the swamp, we heard a noise just ahead. I quickly motioned for Sarah to stay still. Then I saw the monster, It stood approximately 8' tall and roughly 400 lbs, it's arms' had to be at least 5' long and the thing was covered in a reddish-brown fur. Almost the instant I saw the creature I smelled it. I had the horrible stench of rotten milk and wet dog. But the thing that seemed the strangest to me, was its eyes, red, and menacing, with a slight glow to them.
I put the lever gun against my shoulder and aimed. Sarah squeezed my right arm slightly. "Please don't?" she asked. I locked eyes with her and lowered my weapon with a slight sigh. The monster let out a deep, loud howl and continued into the swamp.
That night I laid in my shitty motel bed and thought about why I didn't shoot the monster, I mean, I had a clear shot, even if I told Jones that I didn't, and a 45-70, I could've dropped it before it knew what hit him. I concluded that I didn't take that shot because Sarah had asked me not too. Sarah, she was that kind of person. This whole time she had been trying to capture it, not kill. Needless to say after that night, I was much more interested in my new found profession, and my new partner.
"Perfect," said Jones.
"Hell yeah" Jake agreed.
"So he walks in, hits the tripwire and the gate falls and he can't get out?" Sarah confirmed,
"yep" was my reply. Earlier that morning I had designed a cage trap for our prey.
"Okay, Shelby take Jake into the swamp and find a good spot for this thing. I and you will go into town and get someone to start building this thing." Jones stated.
"What about me?" asked Sarah, "Find out as much as you can about our little friend and we'll meet up when Jones and I are done." Jones simply nodded in agreement with my statement.
"I couldn't find much out on our buddy, but from what I did find, it seems he's a swamp bigfoot, but meaner and with some serious b.o" Sarah said as she sat down next to me. She had decided to get a nicer hotel suite, so she wanted to meet here.
"In my experience, 'meaner' is really 'more territorial'. I softly corrected it.
"Either way, at least I'll have you there." She said with a smirk. "I'll protect you," I said in with a laugh.
"I don't need your protection, I just know I can run faster than you" she confessed with a laugh. I grinned and looked at the clock.
"I better get going," I told her.
"I'll show you the door" she offered. After stepping to the other side of the door way, I turned to say goodnight, She softly grabbed my hand and said.
"Thank you, for the other night...you know...not shooting."
"Not a problem, Your welcome," I replied.
"Goodnight," she said.
"You think it's gonna work?" Sarah asked quietly.
"It will" was all I said in return. The plan was simple, we had figured out he is like a bear, in that he likes his food rotten. It was seen digging up those pig carcasses and carrying one back into the swamp. So, we dug up the rest and are using them as bait. After about 5 hours of waiting, the beast finally showed itself slowly sulking out of the swamp, about 25 yards directly in front of Sarah and me. "Eyes on" I whispered into the radio to Jake and Jones on the opposite side of the trap. The beast rose up and sniffed the air, looking for danger. A slight snap came from my right side. I looked to see Sarah had tripped, and she was now scared shitless. Turning my eyes back to the best I found those big, red eyes were locked on me, as soon as we locked eyes, it charged. I had an idea that I prayed would work.
I motioned Sarah to stay down and started running towards the trap, 25' away. I heard chasing after me, but it was gaining fast. I got directly in front of the traps' door. I whirled around to see it had caught up, he leaped towards me, but I dodged him. He spun around to face me and, with his back now to the door, his face was met with the butt of my rifle. He fell backward into the trap, triggering it, The iron gate dropped, locking him inside. The beast let out a roar, a hell of an angry roar that sent shivers down my back.
"Holy shit" Jake exclaimed, now at my side.
"Yea," I said back "Holy shit"
The F.B.I was finishing loading the beast into a truck when Jones approached me. "What did you think of the team?" he asked. My gaze shifted towards Sarah as she was talking to some agent about the beast.
"I liked everybody" I answered.
Jones, catching my gaze, said with a smirk. "Some more than others?" My grin was my only reply. "Would you be interested in doing hunts like this one again? Everyone else already agreed," he asked in a more serious tone.
I thought for a moment and then said, "Yeah, I'll hunt with you folks anytime."
First you've got to fix your english, your punctuation is all over the place, you've mistaken words a few times, forgot words too. Nothing too serious, but you've to fix it.
As for the plot, why would the FBI deal with cryptids? Why would they go and search for an Alaskan guy to hunt in a swamp? I'm pretty sure people who hunt for Alligators or whatever can be just as good of a trackers for the swamp. Also, I doubt FBI agents introduce themselves with "special agent something" or hire Cryptozoologists.
The setting is kind of off, I'd say, I mean, I hardly believe this whole FBI schtik; maybe go for some private hunting company or a bounty hunter gig. Keep the government out of it because it just requires you use actual governent related terminology and processes and what not. You can't exactly come up with stuff for that.
Also; the insistence of Sarah not to hurt the 8 foot ape is kind of silly, I mean; it could just murder her because she's encroaching on its territory. So instead of "don't shoot", you should've gone the route of either giving your team tranquilizers in an amount sufficient to put an elephant to sleep during the second encounter or let them wound the thing by shooting at its legs.
All in all, this needs some work and it could be a pretty chill piece.
Remove the last sentence however, don't ever put this in your stories... What you're doing here isn't a youtube storytime video.
Bloody Spaghetti pretty well reviewed it. I too think that you can make a pretty good story out of this, but you need to do a lot of work.
That last sentence/paragraph saying that it's a story and that we should comment does kill it.
The grammar, spelling, punctuation, and spacing really all need to be fixed. You have (without exaggerating) about a hundred errors. I would strongly suggest putting this through https://www.grammarly.com and fixing their "free" errors.
Here is a good example of the English errors. It's a sentence from your first paragraph.
Countless days tracking down massive bears,Moose,and caribou, Weeks at a time Mushing sled dogs across frozen rivers, and being a guide on the most difficult hunts taught me survival skills that most of my colleagues will only dream of.
The word Weeks and Mushing shouldn't be capitalized.
That sentence should be rewritten to make it two sentences. It's unnecessarily long.
This is another example.
It was a cold winter day when i first met Special Agent Jones, I was just done Feeding my huskies there usual mix of hot water,salmon, and the best commercial dog food You can get.
You don't capitalize the "i" in "i first met." You capitalize Feeding in the middle of the sentence. You need a space after the comma that follows "water." The word "there" means location like "the ball is over there." You wanted the word "their" for possession, like "that is their ball." The word "just" isn't necessary. You also should break this into two sentences. At "I was just" is a very natural place.
Those are just examples. You have many, many more errors that you need to clean up.
I'm not going to address plot or story. To me, a girl saying "Don't kill it, please" seems pretty reasonable.
Why bring an alligator hunter to Alaska?
You're in Kodiak bear country. A MP40 is not proper medicine. I'm not saying that it might not kill it. You might get lucky. I'm saying that this "Jake the sniper" guy seems like a doofis and a jerk for bringing a 9mm submachine gun, and then leaving it back at his hotel. You can guess the odds of it still being there when he gets back. Also, a MP40 is hardly a sniper weapon. It really seems kind of loony.
A male Kodiak bear can weigh a ton and when standing can be ten feet. Can it crush a man's skull with one swipe of a paw? Yes. Can it cave in a pig's skull or rip out its throat? Yes.
If I were going to bear country, I would be packing bear spray. Statistically, your best way of getting out of a bear encounter is bear spray. If they know the territory, they would each have a can on them.
A 1911 isn't a good choice for bear medicine. The penetration is WAY too low. Maybe a .44 magnum? I'd prefer something more like a Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum though.
Why is he comparing Louisiana and Alaska? I don't get it.
Cryptozoolists generally are pretty loony. Sarah could be a "exotic wild life biologist" or a "zoologist" and be far more credible. Also, that would give her more motive to save the creature.
First off Thanks DrBobSmith for the review, but I think you might have mistaken some things.
First, I totally agree about the grammer issues, thanks for pointing some out for me.
Second, The most of the story takes place in Louisiana, Only a small portion takes place in Alaska, and none of the story takes place on Kodiak Island. This should explain why Shelby was carring a 1911, Also should explain the comparison of Louisiana and Alaska.
Third, I agree the MP40 isn't a good bear gun, or any sortofhunting weapon, but Jake was refering to the M40 snipers rifle commonly used by USMC Scout Snipers. (link [])
Fouth, I agree, "Exotic wild life biologist is a far better term.
The M40 is far less unsuitable, but it is too bloody heavy realistically. What are those things, fourteen pounds? How long a shot are you going to get in a Louisiana swamp? A hundred yards? But yeah, that's gun geeking.
Why hire an Alaskan guide to fly down to Louisiana? He doesn't know the terrain or the area. Why not hire a local who knows those woods well and may even be familiar with the swamp ape?
Thank You BloodySpghetti for your review, Let me try to address some of your issues.
First, I know my grammer sucks, I've always been horrible at grammer. I'll fix these mistakes when I get a chance.
Second, My line of thinking was that the F.B.I often tries to solve mysterious/strange murders/deaths. Thus would be called in to solve this strange crime scene as described in the story.
Third, the F.B.I wanted to hire me/The Alaskan because for two reasons. 1, I'm well-known to be a great hunter and trapper and, 2, because I'm a registered big-game guide= my skills are for hire.
Fourth, I semi-agree with your idea of being hired by something other than the goverment, but I don't know where exactly in my story I messed up "goverment procedure" or the like. If you could provide examples I would really appreciate it.
and Fifth, Sarah wanted to capture the ape, instead of killing it, I was thinking she wanted to study the creature rather then just shoot it.
P.s The final line will be removed, This is original reddit pasta, and I just copy and pasted here. Thanks again for your review
Well Everyone, I think I corrected most of the grammer problems using grammerly.com. If you see more let me know.
DrBobSmith, Yeah the m40 is quite a heavy gun, but then again it is what the character Jake is used to using, so its what he uses. It's about like my neighbor went on a antelope hunt with a 375 H&H when a 30-06 or something similar is much more practical, but he is used to his rifle so... Yea.
And as for why a Alaskan guide would fly down to Louisiana to hunt this thing, I suppose there is several reasons, but I really thought it was showing his sense of adventure more than anything. I wrote this story with a series in mind, Basic outline of this team/group travels around hunting different monsters etc. If that helps clearify
They did also hire a local, the character named Shelby is a local that was hired for this reason.
Thanks again for the advice, as a first-time writter I really appreciate it.