There Is A Trail Up In The Rocky Mountains That You Should Never Hike, And For Good Reason

I ran as fast as I could back into the tent and dove at my pack. I started stripping it of everything I figured I didn’t absolutely need until it was about as big and heavy as a standard backpack. I threw it on my back, clutched my hunting knife and crouched facing the opening of the tent. I zipped up the opening just to where I could peer through a tiny hole.

I tried to keep my breathing in check when I saw a dark figure step past the opening of the tent and stroll up to the fire, his back facing me the whole time. All I could see was a shaved head, black shirt, black pants, black boots and a long, shimmering knife hanging down out of a hairy, greasy palm.

The figure stopped just in front of the fire and unzipped his pants. He proceeded to piss on the last of the fire and let out a heavy sigh.

Once the ashes cooled, the figure walked past the fire and headed over to the cliffside where Ezra and I threw our empty bean cans. He stuck his head over the edge and looked down for a few moments.

The figure let out a snickering laugh, reared back for a moment and then did a graceful swan dive off the cliff.

“Holy shit,” I muttered to myself.

I let the zipper of the tent down just a little bit further. I had enough of this and I was sure whatever was out there wasn’t going to be thwarted by a little bit of nylon if it wanted to get to me.

In one swift move, I rushed out of the tent and started running in the direction from where Ezra and I had come. I was going to run all the way down the mountain in the middle of the night.

At least that was what I thought until I saw the face of the bald man I just watched jump over the cliff.

Standing still in the path I was taking down the mountain, the black-clad man, had a pale hairless skull, but his lack of hair was far from what was most alarming about his head. That was his mouth. His mouth jutted out in a canine snout as opposed to the friendly gaping hole of a human mouth. The man looked to have all the features of a human, except for possessing the mouth of a coyote.

I screamed and ran back the way from where I had come. I was running out of breath, but kept chugging along as fast as I could because I could hear the feet of the bald coyote man gaining on me from behind.

I ran directionless for what had to have been a few minutes until I realized I had no clue where I was and my lungs were going to exploded. I slowed to a gallop and started better taking in my surroundings.

The trail I was on cut through the thick trees with an uphill grade, but it changed a little bit just a handful of yards ahead of me. It appeared to lead into a wood-framed mine, cut into a wall of thick rock.

I gulped down the last of the oxygen I had and raced out the last of the distance like a racing horse closing on the final furlough until I was completely enveloped in pure darkness in the mine.

Once inside, I whipped my flashlight out from my pack and steadily kept moving forward until I clicked on the light and illuminated the world around me.


About the author

Jack Follman

Jack has written professionally as a journalist, fiction writer, and ghost writer. For more information, visit his website.

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