Ep.83 – Wilson Road - A Creature is Loose in the Woods!
Two cousins saw something BIG and furry in the woods, now they have to investigate as the sun begins to set... We know curiosity killed the cat, but what did it do to the WOLF?
Wilson Road by Charles Campbell Buy the book at http://valleyboypublications.com
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Produced by Daniel Wilder
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There is nothing like a dirt road in the Deep South. The dust kicked up by your truck when you race up the hill after a long day of hard work. The occasional deer that looks back at you curiously when you round the corner is a sight to behold. There are snakes that slither across the dirt road to get to the other side of the woods. You will see hawks scoping out prey from the trees as you move down the dirt road. There are many surprises when you go up or down an old fashioned, in the woods, authentic dirt road. I should know. I grew up in a big house at the top of the hill of one of these roads. A road that was named after my family – Wilson Road. There is one story above the many that stands above them all. It was late summer and my cousin came running up the road. He was out of breath and it was a night none of us would ever forget. “Danny! You got to come down the hill!” Tanner hollered. He had his hands on his knees as he sucked in air like no tomorrow. “What happened?” Danny asked as he rose from his seat on the back steps. “I saw something down there. It took off in the woods. Go in the house and get the shotgun real quick,” Tanner said, finally catching his breath. “Was it a deer? You know we can’t shoot a deer with a shotgun,” Danny said and began to sit back down. “Don’t get back on your ass! Get in the house and grab the shotgun! It wasn’t any deer. I don’t know what it was exactly, I just caught a flash of it but it was big and it was an animal.” “You probably just saw a dog,” Danny replied as he turned to open the door. He’d grab the Remington that sat just inside the doorway. What the big house was not low on was shotguns. There were a few Winchesters, a couple of Mossbergs and four Remingtons. Danny grabbed the box of shells and Tanner was waiting for him at the edge of the dirt road. “Come on, I’ll show you where I saw it.” “I ain’t shooting a dog, Tanner, just telling you that now.” “It weren’t no dog! Come on!” Tanner wasn’t a small guy. He was a seventeen year old that hit his growth spurt at thirteen. He was six foot three and still had a little growing left in him. Danny was much smaller in stature by comparison, standing at just five foot six with a slender frame which made it kind of funny that he was the one in charge of the shotgun. Tanner lumbered down the hill like Sasquatch with Danny following close behind. Tanner pointed, “It was down there near the bottom of the hill, off close to the creek bed.” “Alright then,” Danny racked the Remington and stepped off the dirt road and led the way in front of Tanner. The two of them made their way down to the creek bed and Danny noticed something right off the bat. There was a litany of broken branches lying about. It was as if someone tossed them about haphazardly all over the ground. They were definitely out of place as the tree line was approximately fifteen yards or so from the edge of the creek bed. “You see anybody dumping their sticks down here?” Danny asked Tanner. “No, there ain’t no tire tracks. I don’t know why they’d lug all these branches down here by foot; be easier to run them over to the Langley dump,” Tanner answered. “Well, these limbs didn’t magically fly from the trees. We ain’t had no big winds in a couple of months at least and I was down here at the creek two days ago and these weren’t here,” Danny said. He did a three sixty to see if anything else jumped out at him. Tanner acted as if the limbs weren’t a big deal. The big deal was the something he swore he saw. “I don’t know nothing about the stupid sticks but what I saw was standing about where we are now.” “You see any prints?” Danny asked. Tanner was looking at the ground looking for that very thing. “No, but you know how this ground is. It don’t hold prints that good.” “True,” Danny said. “Let’s walk up the creek a bit.” Danny took the lead and Tanner followed. It was going to be dark soon but the two of them knew these woods better than they knew just about anything else in the world. “Keep your eye out for moccasins,” Danny warned. Tanner rolled his eyes to signify that Danny must have forgotten who he was talking to. Tanner fancied himself as the moccasin king. He had so many skins hanging on his wall that he lost count of them. “I don’t know where it could have gone. We’re almost up to the old finishing plant,” Tanner said. “You think it might have went in the plant?” Danny asked. “Could be. I just got a quick glance before it took off. It was big and dark. You’d think I was going crazy but I know what I saw and I ain’t smoked any weed in the last week if that’s what you’re thinking. That bad shit I got from Frog last time taught me the error of my ways,” Tanner said with a nervous chuckle. “Yeah, I don’t know where he got that shit. He must have grown that out by Langley Pond. It messed you up pretty bad. Glad it didn’t kill you,” Danny said and chuckled himself. Darkness was creeping up around them. They could still see the lights from the big house but it was quickly receding. “Wish I would have grabbed the flashlight out of my truck,” Danny said. “You want me to run up there and get it real quick?” Tanner asked. “No, you about died when you ran up there a little while ago. I’m not telling Nana you died of a heart attack while we chased your fake monster to the finishing plant. You got your lighter, don’t you?” “Yeah.” “We’ll just light a few sticks if we need to. We know our way around here.” “That we do.” There was a crash. It sounded like a boulder was dropped from the second story of the finishing plant. The two of them looked at one another and they knew they were going to find out where the noise came from. Danny broke into a jog and Tanner fell a little behind. The boys came up on the tricky part of the trek. They had to cross a narrow pipe on foot. One misstep and they would go tumbling into the creek below. Danny could walk it in his sleep. Tanner could move quickly across it in the stark light of day but he took measured steps in the narrow light. He could tell that he would probably have to take the long way back to the hill when they were done at the plant. No way could he balance back across the pipe in complete darkness. Good news is that Danny would take the long way with him. Danny stood at the end of the pipe patiently waiting on Tanner to finish crossing. He stayed quiet as not to startle his large cousin. “Alright, let’s go,” Danny said once Tanner cleared the pipe. The boys walked the grooved out path to the old plant. There was a redneck Hansel & Gretel trail of tossed cigarette butts and rolling papers. The abandoned plant was a cool place for the Valley kids to break shit. Danny suspected the crashing sound they heard on approach was one or more of those said kids screwing around the decrepit building. And it was probably one of those kids that Tanner saw at the creek bed. The sun was almost fully set with only the last haze disappearing, surrendering the day. It was a good thing they were wearing shoes with heavy soles because the crunch of broken glass under their feet as they got closer to the building was now prominent with every step. The darkness finally enveloped them completely and the night sky was star filled with a full moon that provided adequate light. There were no clouds in the sky and that was good. What the boys didn’t need was to be stomping around the inside of the gutted plant with zero visibility. Danny was very good directionally but complete darkness would definitely test his skill. “Let’s just stop for a minute and listen,” Danny said as he held the shotgun by his side. “I think you saw a buck, Tanner.” “It weren’t no deer, I know what a damn deer looks like,” Tanner whispered angrily. “Alright, shush,” Danny replied. The boys got quiet and listened. The wind had ceased and the crickets weren’t as noisy. They could hear some of them but not the overwhelming chorus that was common for this time of the day, in this part of the woods. Danny finally broke the silence. “Well, Tanner, I ain’t going in there unless we hear something. I don’t feel like tripping over something and breaking my neck. We can take the main road back. I know you can’t cross that pipe now,” Danny said. “Come on man, I didn’t make it up. Let’s wait about five more minutes and if we don’t hear nothin’, then we can scoot back. Just five more, ok?” “Alright then, five more and then we are out of here,” Danny replied. “Five minutes then,” Tanner said and no sooner did he get the words out of his mouth, there was another loud crash and it definitely came from the second floor of the plant. “Let’s go,” Danny said flatly. The boys entered the plant from what would have been the back entrance when it was functioning. Now there were entry points everywhere that the walls had crumbled. It certainly wasn’t a safe place to be screwing around, especially at night. What remained of the old stairs near the back entrance was a precarious stack of bricks that resembled stairs but there were chunks missing where you would have to really stretch to reach the next usable step. This wasn’t a problem for Tanner but presented a challenge for the shorter legged Danny. “Let me hold your lighter real quick,” Danny motioned for Tanner to hand it over. Danny flicked the Bic and carefully took the lead. Tanner stayed close behind so he could grab Danny if he fell backwards. The boys paused when another crash broke the silence. “Shit, it’s up there, all right,” Tanner whispered. “It’s not an it, it’s just some kids and they’ll piss their pants when they see us come up there,” Danny said. “Cuz, hope you’re right. What I saw weren’t no kids. Make sure that shotgun is ready,” Tanner said. There was no jest in his voice; there was a calm clarity that Danny didn’t recognize in his cousin. Tanner was never clear about anything so this gave Danny some inner pause to hear this unfamiliar tone in his voice. The two of them got to the second floor. Abandoned spindles were spread all around and the light from the night sky peeked through the many holes and craters in the walls. There were a number of large holes in the floor that would send you on a rapid descent to the first floor if you stepped fully into one – unintended booby traps that the boys would have to navigate in order to get to the sound’s source. There was another crash; bricks exploding back in the darkest corner of the second floor. It was completely engulfed in darkness and Danny was beginning to second guess their decision to chase Tanner’s beast. Maybe it wasn’t as imaginary as he’d thought just moments before. “It’s back there,” Tanner said and pointed. He had no reservation in his voice. It was more determination. Determination that they were going to find out what he saw and if they needed to pump it full of shotgun shells then so be it. “Watch your step,” Danny whispered back. “Stay close and follow my exact steps. It might still be some kids screwing around back there and I’m not shooting anything until I can see it.” “Gotcha,” Tanner replied in agreement and understanding. The wind picked up just a bit. The boys got closer to the dark side of the second floor and there was another explosion of brick against wall. Danny flicked the Bic again and held it out in front of him just for a second. He would have to give it to Tanner to hold the shotgun properly but he wanted to see if anything would reveal itself before they completely walked into the darkness. The boys heard the shuffling of what could have been claws but they still couldn’t see anything. “Ok then,” Danny said and handed the lighter back to his cousin. “Keep it lit.” Danny paused for a couple of seconds, held the shotgun out in front, ready to fire and hollered out, “Who’s back there?! Come on out now!!!” Tanner was steady with the lighter and his breath was measured. Danny couldn’t believe how calm his cousin was. Danny didn’t scare easy but he was beginning to feel something approaching fright but he fought the urge to be trigger happy. The boys stepped completely into the darkness and that’s when the red eyes turned to look at them. “Oh shit, shoot it, Danny, you don’t need to see it!” Danny fired the Remington into the darkness just below the red eyes. There was a growl of anger that shook the boys to their core. Danny chambered another shell and it screamed out of the muzzle with nothing but death as its intent. The red eyes were still there and the beast moved quickly. Danny was in the process of racking the third shell when the barrel of the Remington was sliced in half. The beast was in front of them now. Danny couldn’t believe his eyes. It was straight out of the movies, only it was much worse. The creature’s eyes were blood red and its canines were bared. It stood a good foot taller than Tanner and twice as wide. It was haunched on back legs. Tanner and Danny stepped back into the lit part of the plant and the creature walked toward them. The boys couldn’t just turn and run; they would surely step into one of those death traps. They had to back away slowly and hope for the best. As they stepped, the creature continued to follow. They should have just left this thing alone in the dark. Finally, the boys got a full body look at the monster. It was covered in black fur from head to toe. There was burnt hair and scorched flesh where the shotgun shells found their mark but did little but really pissed this thing off. It had the ears and snout of a wolf. It was a creature of muscle and destruction. It snarled in anger and had a hunger in its eyes. But, it also didn’t attack. It looked at the boys. Tanner and Danny were silently making their peace with the Lord as the creature was almost on top of them. They were going to die; no doubt about it. Tanner and Danny closed their eyes and wished for a quick death. Danny could feel the hot breath of the creature on his forehead and then it moved to Tanner. The calmness Tanner displayed just moments before was all gone. He pissed himself. The creature jumped into one of the craters in the floor and disappeared into the woods. Tanner and Danny kept their eyes closed for another minute or two. Tanner was the first one to open his eyes and he poked his cousin in the back. “I think it’s gone,” Tanner said nervously. Danny opened his eyes. He was still holding the shotgun. The creature had turned it into the sawed off variety. “Let’s just wait here for another couple of minutes before we go back out. Just in case he’s out there waiting,” Danny said. “Let’s not. If that thing wanted to kill us, he would have. Let’s just get out of here, get to the road, get back to the house and don’t say shit to anybody about this. That was a damn werewolf, Danny.” “Yeah, I wonder what it was doing back in that corner.”
“Well, we are on a need to know basis and we don’t need to know, let’s go!” Tanner shouted. And...that’s exactly what the boys did. They went home. They were asleep in their beds when Grandpa climbed up the back of the house and slipped into the attic. He’d transform and be down for breakfast. Grandpa was a good man. He wouldn’t kill someone unless he had to. When he transformed, he’d take out some of the deer around his property and then take his aggression out on the many bricks inside of the plant. It was better than ripping out throats and bringing the weight of the world down on his family. Grandpa was happy that the curse had skipped over Tanner but Tanner’s kid, if he ever had them, would be subject to the curse. And maybe that kid would succumb to the animalistic urges of the hunt. Fortunately for the Valley, the man that currently lived at the top of Wilson Road did not. THE END
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