More people have disappeared in the past few months than ever before…
Meno County is small; there’s not a lot of people but there is a lot of land. I worked for the local paper and for the past few weeks I was desperately trying to get this story out. It started with a few bizarre disappearances in late October. A few local kids were playing by the river and found some bloody clothes stuck on a tree. The only reason I knew about this first incident was because my nephew was one of those kids.
The clothes matched what 57-year-old Greg Pinemen was wearing the last time he was seen. We have a fairly large homeless population here. Meno County has many places for anyone who wants to live in isolation. Greg was known to wander around. He was a bit strange but no one minded him compared to other bums. When the sheriff arrived he told everyone not to panic and that it would be best to not say anything about what was found. He made it clear that anyone sharing information about what was found would be called into the station immediately. The only items they managed to find were Greg’s yellow jacket, red hat, and one sock.
A few days after Greg’s belongings were found two of his pals disappeared. The local homeless shelter tried to report it but were immediately shut down by the sheriff. Disgruntled employees reported it to our local newspaper. When my supervisor questioned the sheriff he explained that it was likely that the homeless bunch ran off to another town and not to worry about them. The sheriff asked for the newspaper to not run any stories about the disappearances. My coworker overheard their conversation and explained that a bloody boot and sock were found a few feet behind the shelter.
Within days more people vanished, and although no one was reporting them the locals began spreading rumors about it. Anytime the sheriff would walk in to a local shop or diner the townspeople would immediately begin to ask questions. The sheriff always remained calm and repeated the same thing every time.
“We’re still investigating. Once we have more information you’ll know it!”
The news spread like wildfire once a teenage boy vanished on Christmas. This was the first disappearance that didn’t involve a homeless person. His mother asked him to get something from the house out back. The family had a full house that night and nothing out of the ordinary had happened that day. The mother came to me after he disappeared and pleaded that I help her find him. She explained that her son was only gone for a few moments. His brother followed him out to help him carry something inside the house. Expecting to find his brother looking for the item their mother had asked for the boy found the fence door open and his brother gone.
The boy claimed there were drag marks on the snow. However by the time he told an adult the tracks had been covered by the heavy snowfall. He said that he was less than a minute behind his brother and that there was no way his brother could have ran across the backyard that fast without him seeing him.
A few days after his disappearance some local volunteers found the boy’s left boot. The boot was neatly placed in the middle of an open field. The volunteers didn’t find anything else even after searching the whole area. One volunteer immediately abandoned the search after catching a glimpse of what he stated looked like, “A feral black animal that ran from one tree to the next while stalking him.”
More children around town vanished, my nephew was the second boy to disappear. My sister had him wait in the car while she quickly ran back to grab her purse from the house. She was gone for a few seconds, the car was shut off and the doors were closed. Locking the house door behind her she dropped her bag when she noticed her car was on. All the lights were turned on, the wipers were going back and forth, the windows were all down and all the doors were propped open. She began yelling out my nephew’s name and desperately began looking around, her car keys still in hand.
I demanded the sheriff to ask other counties for help and even threatened to expose what was happening. He became aggressive and threatened to arrest me for disturbing the peace. He grabbed my chest and told me to shut my mouth, saying he had the situation under control. I was fired from my job the next day after my supervisor told me I wasn’t being professional enough.
I didn’t stop investigating and found something I was not prepared for.
I should’ve mentioned that Meno has many mounds. No one knows who made them and they’ve been around since before Meno became what it is today. Years ago a state university funded a group of archaeology students to learn more about some of these mounds however the funds were immediately cut after only a month on site.
The thing is, periodically smaller mounds would suddenly appear deep in the forest and no one ever cared enough to inspect them. Days before my nephew disappeared he said something while he napped. It was almost a whisper but I heard it from the dining room.
He whined, “I don’t like the little mountain.”
Yesterday I hiked around a lesser known trail and went up to one of the smaller mounds. I walked around the mound a couple of times but didn’t find anything strange. The cold air dried my skin, I shivered and blew into my hands hoping to warm them up as I began walking back to the trail. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to get stuck outside alone miles from the nearest house. I was walking away when I heard a branch break behind me. I turned around worried that I had stumbled upon a wild animal. I scanned the area around me but didn’t see anything and turned back around.
My hands began getting sweaty, my chest tightened as I continued to look around me and up at the trees. A ruffle in the leaves on the ground made me stop, something began charging behind me throwing the dead leaves to the side. I turned around stretching my hands in front of me ready to stop whatever it was that was about to charge at me. My heart dropped, I looked around baffled that there wasn’t anything in front of me. Even as the chilly air blew in front of my face I could still feel the sweat drops running down my face.
I took a step back and almost tripped over an item that had been suddenly placed behind my feet. I dropped to the floor and began sobbing when I saw my nephew’s gloves neatly placed on the ground. Next to his little gloves was one right black boot, too big to fit my nephew.
I sobbed uncontrollably on the ground, a faint step on my right caught my attention however I couldn’t bring myself to look over until it started charging at me. Without looking I threw the boot that direction. The boot landed a few feet away from me but didn’t seem to hit anything. The sun was slowly making its way behind a cloud darkening the area I was at.
Being on the ground I caught a whiff of something rotting close by. Hoping that my nephew was still alive and nearby clenching his gloves tightly I got up and began following the smell.
I walked a few more feet, the smell reeked as I approached two large trees. I carefully stepped around the trees and found another mound, much smaller than the one I looked at earlier. I clung to the trunk of the tree to hold me up as I covered my mouth from screaming. This mound was partially completed, it looked like the other ones on one side but was clearly not finished.
Broken limbs poked out from the underneath the mound. One body’s face looked like it had its jaw broken, it hung to the side while others expressions were of fear and shock. A nearby bush began moving, my teary eyes slowly looked over. The body looked like it was wrapped up in itself. Its bones cracked as it began stretching out of the bush.
I darted out of there, the cold wind pierced my skin as I ran. I could hear something chasing me, breaking sticks and ruffling leaves. It stopped once I reached a main trail, an older couple was walking their large dog. The dog began barking and growling, I fell to the ground in front of them exhausted from sprinting for so long. I looked down at my hands and realized I had dropped one on my sprint back.
I didn’t report what I’d found. I know that the sheriff will somehow find a way to hide the evidence. I can’t go back without risking my own life to take photos of the spot. I’m convinced that there has been a cover up and I’m still trying to find a way to prove it.
This morning my little niece shared something with me during breakfast. I asked her if she had slept well, she shook her head no. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and in her broken words told me in the most innocent tone, “I saw you and Eli sleeping!” I picked her up and rocked her trying to explain that we’d find her brother. She looked up at me and said, “I know! You found him and both of you slept in the little mountain!”
She gleefully pulled out a small black glove from her pocket.
“Look!! It was on my window today!”
I convinced my sister to move with me that same day, convincing her that our entire family was in danger. I’ll return soon and I’ll have help, I am determined to burn every single mound in Meno County.