Anna enjoyed walking in the woods alone. It seemed to calm her mind and ease all the worries in the world. She took in the scents of wood, fallen leaves, and fresh water. Something nagged her today. She couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong and it drove her to quicken her steps and rush along the path that usually took a few hours to walk. When she reached an open area, she checked her phone for any missed calls or messages. None. She took in a deep breath and from the corner of her eye, she noticed something in the woods. She eased over to the spot, but couldn’t see anything that would have caught her attention. She shrugged and continued moving along the path.
After a few more steps, Anna felt as though someone watched her from behind. She stopped and turned. Nothing. Feeling a little uneasy, she decided to turn around to shorten the length of her walk. Anna didn’t get far before she heard a blood-curdling scream. She ran. Her heart pounded in her chest and every sound seemed amplified and menacing. When she reached the head of the trail, she leaned over to catch her breath.
A couple and their small children were playing in the open field next to the woods. Anna approached them. “Hello, I’m sorry to bother you, but I have a question.”
The father and mother smiled then seen somehow that Anna was distressed. The mother swooped up her kids on the pretense of chasing butterflies and left her husband behind to talk with Anna.
“Is something wrong?” he asked.
“Did you hear someone screaming just a few moments ago?”
He scrunched up his eyebrows and shook his head, no. “Sorry.”
“That’s okay,” Anna said. “Probably, my imagination. Thanks.”
Anna walked back to her car and turned one last time to look at the woods. A white spot moved through the trees. She waited for the person to reach the head of the path, but no one ever came. Once the white presence reached the open, it disappeared. She shook her head and got into her vehicle and left.
The next weekend, my aunt and I went for a walk on another path in the same park. When we came back home, we took the long way home which meant passing the trail head where I had my encounter. The road was blocked. Police, news crews and a coroner’s van sat in the parking lot. I looked at my aunt. She returned the glance. Later that night, I found out that a woman had been murdered a county away and her body had been dumped in the very woods where I had my encounter.
She is also the author of: The Legend of the Travelers: Willow’s Journey