Creatures in the woods
My name is Daniel, and four years ago I went on an ill fated camping trip to Klamath National Forest.

It started off rather normal, with me arriving a couple minutes early for check in, however the host of the camp was able to get me in, so I found my spot and got set up in time to get a fire lit and my dinner cooking before the sun began to set. The night was uneventful, and the next day was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to hike along the paths, which is where things took a turn for the worst.
I was halfway through a trail when I saw a young boy run across the path and into the woods, and from the glimpse I caught he looked worried, so I picked up my pace until I reached the point where he'd entered the treeline and looked into it but couldn't see him, so I called out,"Hey, kid, you okay?"
There was no response, and part of me thought I should head back, but the sun was starting to set and I couldn't in good conscience leave the kid out here, so I double checked I had my phone and buck knife before heading into the woods. I must have walked over two hours before finally deciding I needed to head back, but when I turned around I realized the error I'd made, as I couldn't see the trail and the sun was so low now that I couldn't properly move without risking injury to myself, so with a sigh I found a decent sized tree and climbed it, settling on a thick branch and using a rope to secure myself to it so I didn't fall out of the tree.
As I sit there, I heard something moving down below me, and while I wanted to turn on my flashlight and look, something told me that wasn't a good idea, so I just stayed quiet and eventually the thing moved on.
The next morning, I began heading in what I thought was the right direction to reach the campsite, but after three hours of walking around I was still deep in the woods, so I stopped by a stream for lunch, thankful that I'd packed some snacks for my hike, but I had to be careful as I didn't have a lot and wasn't sure how long I'd be out there.
As I sat I checked my phone and was annoyed to see that I had no service, so I had no way to call for help, so I set the SOS feature on my phone so Search and Rescue could find my location before pressing on, and that's when I came across an odd sight.
Roughly twenty-three yards in front of me was what appeared to be a small town, with a torn up road and dozens of buildings with vines and other vegetation growing over them, and curiosity took hold as I made my way to it, and this is where I saw something disturbing, dozens of partial skeletons laying in the road, like something out of a horror movie, but the worst was yet to come.
As I stood there in shock, a creature crawled into the road, and it took a second to realize that it was a person on all fours, long black hair drapped over it's face, until it's head snapped up and it looked at me with a human face, but it was wrong, her face guant and pale with two orbs of obsidian for eyes that radiated hunger and madness as it's mouth formed into an unnaturally wide grin revealing two rows of jet black teeth filed into savage points, and then it screamed and charged at me, moving impossibly fast.
I started stepping back as I drew my knife, then she reached a distance of thirty feet and stood up to be just under six feet tall as she kept coming, so I hurled my knife and managed to sink it into her stomach causing her to cry out in pain as she crumbled to the ground and I took off running down a side street, the screams growing louder as the woman started chasing me, but at some point I managed to get away and ducked into a nearby store, taking cover behind a country as the woman ran past. I waited a minute before slowly standing up, seeing that she was gone, and slowly looked around, realizing that I was in a gun shop, and despite the outward appearance of the building, the inside was pristine.
There was a scream off in the distance, but it didn't come closer, so I decided that I needed to re-arm myself, taking a .45-70 lever action rifle from the rack behind me and loaded it to max capacity along with a .357 revolver. That might be excessive, but I wasn't risking it, so I also grabbed another knife, and made my way back onto the street which was now growing dark as the sun began to set lower in the sky, and I wasn't willing to risk tromping through the woods in the dark with that thing to out there.
I took shelter in a dinner and barricaded myself in the office as it didn't have any widows, and when I turned around I saw the boy huddled in the corner, clearly terrified, and he wasn't alone as a woman was holding him close with a knife pointed towards me, so I slowly raised a hand and sat down on the opposite side of the room to show I wasn't a threat.
The woman was still holding up the knife, but after a second she lowered it and eventually calmed down, but it was clear that they still weren't sure if they could trust me completely.
"I'm Anya", the woman finally said after a while in a thick Russian accent,"and I'm sorry I threatened you with a knife. I thought you were one of those things".
"I'm Thomas", I replied with a kind smile,"and it's alright".
I thought a moment before asking," You said THINGS. There are more?"
She nodded before explaining that there were at least five more, mostly adults but there's a few that look like children as well. I nodded, then asked when they were most active.
"Mostly at night", she replied as she stroked her son's hair while he slept," but as you've seen, there are a few that come out during the day. I think they lived here at one point but something happened to them ".
"Have you tried leaving, to get back to civilization?"
She nodded explaining how they'd been there a few weeks, and had tried to leave twice but were chased back here by the smaller creatures.
I nodded, starting to understand the gravity of the situation. Eventually I fell asleep, and when dawn broke we decided to work together to get out, and set off to gather what supplies we could from the town before heading into the woods.
As we walked down the street I asked why I saw her son by the camp yesterday, and she said he managed to escape and came back to guide her but got caught by one of the creatures so he was stuck again.
"Well, hopefully between the three of us we can get back to safety", I replied, however as we approached the gun shop the woman reappeared and charged, but I quickly raised my rifle and fired a round into her chest which staggered her, so I fired again, aiming for the head and watched as the back of her head exploded outwards in a spray of crimson before she collapsed to the ground, and I drew my revolver and put one last round into her head before being sure she was dead.
I turned to the woman and said,"One down".
That's when a chorus of animalistic shrieks filled the air, so I gave Anya the revolver and we took of running, heading into the store and behind the counter where I traded the rifle for a shotgun, loading it to max capacity before dumping the remaining shells onto the counter for easy access as the rest of the creatures appeared on the road.
"Stay down!", I yelled at the mother and child before racking the shotgun and aiming the gun, firing as the first of the smaller creatures reached the window, the slug ripping through it's body and launching it backwards as it's companions continued forward, undeterred as I continued firing, missing more than I hit, though I managed to hit a bigger one in the face, blowing half it's head clean off, but soon the gun ran out of rounds and I immediately drew my knife as one charged me, so I caught it by an arm and pinned it before stabbing it several times before getting tackled by another one, only for it to be shot dead by Anya, allowing me to stand up and continue fighting, but now the creatures were retreating.
I took a deep breath and that's when I felt a sharp pain in my left side, so I looked down and saw three long slashes weeping blood.
"Well shit", I breathed before chuckling in disbelief,"ain't that a bitch".
Anya came to me, worry evident in her eyes as she asked what she could do to help, I told her to get the First Aid bag out of my pack, and slowly walked her through the process of cleaning and bandaging my side until finally I wasn't bleeding everywhere anymore.
"We need to get moving", I grunted as I went to stand but felt too dizzy from blood loss.
"Your too week right now", Anya said as she helped me lay on my back with my jacket bundled under my head as a pillow,"we'll go when you can stand".
With that, my eyes closed and darkness fell...

When I woke up, we were in an office with a small window as a fire burned in a small metal trashcan which Anya used to cook what looked like two rabbits.
I slowly sat up, wincing a little as pain shot through my side, drawing Anya's attention as she slowly turned the rabbits on a spick.
"How are you feeling?", she asked as she came over and helped me sit up completely.
"Sore, but not as dizzy", I replied,"where are we?"
"It started getting dark, and those creatures started coming around, so I dragged you in here before getting the rabbits, then barricaded the door and opened the window to vent out the smoke".
I nodded, then with her help slowly stood, regained my balance, and moved closer to the fire to stave off the chill of the night. The food was bland but better than starving, and soon the streets were a buzz with activity, so I looked out of the window and saw dozens of the creatures roaming around, in buildings, and they looked like they were looking for something.
"I thought there was only five", I said to Anya who looked just as terrified.
"So did I", she replied in a shaky voice," oh God, we're never getting out of here..."
I turned to her then and gripped her shoulders saying,"Yes we are. At first light tomorrow we are leaving".
"But how can we? There's so many of them out there".
"Yeah, but I'm a Marine with access to guns, and in case your unaware, we have a long history of being very dangerous creatures in our own right. I promise you that I will get you and your son out of here".
She smiled then and hugged me, so I wrapped my arms around her to comfort her.
The next morning I re-evaluated the gun shop and found they also sold body armor, I grabbed a vest and began outfitting it with extra ammunition for the shotgun which I had sawed the barrel and stock off of, and then traded the revolver for two 1911 .45 caliber pistols. All together, I had over a hundred rounds of buckshot and eighty-four rounds of jacketed hollow points for the pistons, and if those weren't enough I made sure to grab a machete and secured it to the back of my vest.
Anya decided to keep the revolver and.45-70, putting extra rounds of each in her pockets, so between the two of us we had a fighting chance, or at least could hold our ground longer enough for her son to get away again to get help.
Once we were set, we stepped outside and began walking down the main stretch, relying on her son to guide us as he knew what way to go.
Everything was fine, until a large creature charged from a building and I blasted it in the face with buckshot, completely destroying it's head, and that's when the rest came from behind, climbing down buildings and over cars in an effort to catch us, so I pushed Anya forward and took the rear, occasionally firing backwards into the writhing mass to keep some distance between us until we entered the woods.
Tree limbs smacked our faces and legs but we kept going, determined to leave the nightmare behind, and thanks to her son we found were able to cover a lot of ground in a short time, but our progress was halted by a creature bigger than all the rest blind siding Anya and launching her into a nearby tree.
I pushed the kid behind me and dumped every round into the thing until it finally roared and slapped the gun out of my hand, only for me to draw my pistols and open fire, but again all this seemed to do was irritate it as it swatted me aside.
I crashed to the ground, feeling pain explode in my left side, but I pushed it away and got up, drawing the machete and charging as I let out a defiant yell, and when the creature swiped at me again I ducked under it's massive arm around slashed it's body with the blade. It roared in pain and anger before gripping me by the throat and hoisting me into the air, but I quickly swung the blade down and severed it's hand, causing me to fall to the ground as Anya managed to get to her feet and blast the thing with the rifle.
I landed by the shotgun and took the temperary distraction to load three rounds into it and fire at the beast, punching craters into it's thick hide before it collapsed to the ground, at which point I reloaded and fired one last round into it's head, but we weren't safe yet as more of the creatures came at us, so I found the pistols and told Anya to take her son and go, and she did just that.
"Come fuckers!", I roared as I opened fire,"I'm right here!"
They continued coming as I backed away, firing round after round into the mass until the gun clicked empty, I I took a moment to run and reload, then continued to fire until I'd exhausted my rounds and switched to my pistols, refusing to let them get passed and get to Any and her son.
Eventually the pistols ran out too, so I found a good spot and drew the machete, begining to hack and slash at every creature that came my way, but they to got some licks in, delivering several cuts to my cheek, leg, and arms, and one of the smaller ones even jumped on my back and bit into my shoulder, but I pushed the pain aside and gripped it by its neck before ripping it off me and hurling it into the mass.
I'm not sure how long this went on as I was souly focused on what I was doing, but eventually they stopped coming, and I could see a path of destruction in front of me, but as the adrenaline left me I became more aware of my wounds, then found myself laying on the ground as darkness settled in....
When I awoke, I was in a hospital room with a good portion of my body wrapped in bandages, and Anya who'd been sitting in a chair by my bed was overjoyed to see me alive. Apparently, her and her son had found the camp which had called for search and rescue when I hadn't come back, and she immediately told them where to go, and two teams of black clad soldiers followed the search and rescue team while a man in a black suit took her statement, the same black suited man who had both of us sign an NDA about what we saw, however he also set a card on my bedside table with a small grin saying,"Not many survive an encounter with those things. We could use someone like you".
It's been two years since then and I've taken the man up on his offer. I still keep in contact with Anya, and she says she'll never forget the American who saved her and her son.
Take this take as a warning, there are things in the deep woods we aren't ment to know about, and there is a branch of the government dedicated to finding these creatures and making sure that they can't hurt any other people. So if your ever alone in the woods, make sure you find your way back, or something else just might find you...
© Hades582