I saw bigfoot for real, and it’s so much worse than any of the old Cryptid stories you’ve ever heard. Also, I thought it would be easy to find someone who would believe me. Like a scientist or someone from the government or something. Oh, I found people who believe me alright, and those people are nuts. So now I need to find a SANE person to believe me so we can deal with this bigfoot disaster… And, I also need help with the psycho I attracted while trying to find someone to believe me…
Let me backup. I guess if you’re going to believe me, you need to hear it all.
I mean, I guess the official point this all started would be when I landed in Washington state. But, I keep thinking about this one weird thing. This one stupid thing that happened. I used to think there was no meaning and connection to random life events, but my memory is stuck on this and now I’m not so sure…
So, here’s how it started. The pandemic struck. I think we can all mostly agree that it was about the weirdest thing that has ever happened in our lifetimes, right? But maybe my problem was that my life was already mostly weird. Even before all that happened and shut down the world… Stopped time… Turned everything back and down… I was already untethered. I don’t know how to explain it really. I guess it’s pretty regular for young people to drift. But I think you’d say I drifted more than most.
I’d only been a legal adult for a couple years and had entered adulthood with the strange perspective of being utterly alone and suddenly receiving a crap ton of money. My whole family was dead but apparently they had money, which was left to me upon my 18th birthday. I wasn’t being stupid with the money, but I also didn’t exactly know what I was supposed to be doing with it either, seeing as how I grew up in the system and had no family or mentors to speak of.
That’s why I drift.
Anyhow, right before the pandemic, I’d already been feeling that familiar pull of it being time to move on. I was living in a bland little apartment in a complex in Ohio, working a cashier job in a gas station. Nothing was particularly thrilling about life.
Therefore, when widespread lockdowns started happening around the United States and the world, my wild spirit really queued up. I immediately quit my job. Actually, I didn’t officially quit. I just didn’t go back, and when they called me, I blocked their number. I was apparently, “essential,” but at $8.50 an hour, I didn’t feel all that essential, and besides, I was already rich. There probably weren’t a lot of rich people riding out the pandemic behind the register of a Seven Eleven, but that’s just a guess.
The day I quit my job, I went for a hike. There was a small forest near my apartment complex. I’m not THAT much of a nature buff, so I had not thought to explore the forest before. Nor was the town I was roosting in at the time particularly nice or safe, so it hadn’t occurred to me to go traipsing about the woods. But for some reason, that day I did.
The forest was apparently fairly well traveled as it was sadly littered with a lot of empty beer bottles and other various discarded garbage of garbage people who treat the earth like a garbage can. It was so distracting that I couldn’t really even focus on the pretty setting because it was so defiled by trash. That’s probably why I spotted it.
It was mostly hidden, nestled among some rotting leaves at the base of a tree. It was a small doll, made out of twigs, dried grass, and leaves; bound together with hemp. Something about the thing drew me to it, and I stooped down and swept it up.
Not going to lie, it looked like a straight up voodoo doll. I don’t know what possessed me to pick the thing up, but I did. Most people probably have the good sense to not pick up strange forest voodoo dolls, but like I said, it was a weird dang time, so I did.
Then, I did the next dumb thing. I carried that thing home, and once there, I snapped a picture of it, and I posted it in a Facebook group I belong to called, “Hippity Hoppity I am now the fae’s property.” I added the caption, “Thoughts on this? Found it while hiking.”
Now in case you’re not hip to the lingo, fae is a word describing fairy folk. Posting in the fairy group about the strange forest voodoo doll is where things officially started getting weird. I know, shocking, right?
Who would anticipate that posting this in a Facebook group dedicated to fairies would turn out to be some sort of militant uprising of Pagans and other various forest creatures? I certainly didn’t. But that’s basically what happened. I made that post, and it BLEW UP. And not in a good way. It blew up because every Zennial on all of the interwebs lit into me about picking up someone else’s spell thingy, or ritual something or other. Everyone was CONVINCED that I had destroyed some poor magical fairy’s life or something because I just bumbled in and screwed up some sort of magical working that was neither within my knowledge nor my business.
There were thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS of comments stacking up on this post. They raged out at me, then they broke out in virtual fist fights with one another as they argued about the nature of the ritual I’d messed up, or the type of person/entity/magical creature had been conducting said ritual.
Then the messages started rolling in. Literal hate mail and death threats over this. Why didn’t you delete the post, you ask? Well, heck I don’t know. Looking back, deleting the post actually seems like the best course of action. Also, I should’ve taken that little voodoo doll back to the woods and yeeted it back to where it came from.
But, I didn’t. It was like a train wreck. I wanted to look away, I really did. But I just couldn’t. Plus, it kept my mind occupied while the world around me seemed to totally come undone.
Anyway, it turns out some people get REALLY mad about magical practices and the inner workings of fairy life. That’s how I got my first stalker. It was a guy on Facebook with crazy long dreads, black eye makeup that sort of just made him look dirty, big gauges and all sorts of face piercings. Honestly, he was the type of person I would normally find interesting looking and be drawn to. Except in this particular instance, he was in my inbox calling me vile names and threatening me in very vulgar, no uncertain terms, detailing the ways that I should die and he would delight in making it happen.
It was so hard to believe and surreal that this was happening in a group about fairies because of a post about goodies from the forest. Why were murdery people even IN that group? Did the admins know?
I blocked the guy, and the group moderators eventually “turned off commenting” on the insanely controversial forest doll post. The hullabaloo died off, but I kept that doll. And, crazy as all those people had sounded, maybe they were right. Maybe I messed something up by picking up that dirty little thing made of dry, brittle, dead things.
By the time two weeks went by, I had all but forgotten about the incident in Hippity Hoppity. However, I had also contracted Covid 19. Don’t ask me how, since I never left my apartment and had absolutely no one in my life. But, it happened. And I’ll be honest, it was pretty bad. I did end up hospitalized.
Fortunately, although it did get a little dicey, I bounced back pretty quickly in the hospital. Trying to sleep in a hospital would suck even if nothing was wrong with you. But, something is always wrong in the hospital, so it’s next to impossible. Between feeling horrible, endless beeping, the whir of medical machines, voices and footsteps perpetually outside your door, and a stream of nurses and doctors in and out, there’s just no way to rest there. Which is why on my last night there, my eyes fluttered open, and I caught him standing there.
I gasped and scrambled up in my bed, trying to squirm away from the man. I could instantly see he was not hospital staff of any sort. He was small and dressed in a black suit. He wore a white button down with one of those old fashioned skinny black ties, as well as a bowler hat. I’d seen them in movies; never in honest to goodness real life. He carried a leather satchel like some sort of old timey doctor bag, and had a neatly trimmed mustache above a small impish smile.
“I apologize for frightening you, miss,” the man said in a strangely childlike voice.
“Who are you?” I demanded, my voice quickly working toward a shout. My eyes darted between him and the call button that I could reach if I stretched my arm around him.
The man gave a tiny bow. “I am Mr. Jones. We are delighted to see your speedy recovery. Now that you’re on the mend, you are invited to participate in vaccine trials for a Covid 19 vaccine. Trials will begin shortly.”
I stared at him, and he stared at me, still with the small smile. Now that my initial panic was subsiding, the groggy hospital fog was settling back over my mind. I glanced at my bedside clock. It was 3 am.
At the time I was thinking, sure, I guess it makes sense they’d try to drum up participants for that at a hospital. Also, I was half crazy by that time with a desire to get away or do something ANYTHING different.
“Oh, OK,” I replied. “What all does it involve?”
The man moved with prim and precise motions, opening his satchel and withdrawing a small rectangle of paper, which he handed to me. It said:
“Thank you for your interest. As soon as you are able, please email Mr. Adams for details. Have a nice evening,” he said, smiling bigger and showing little tic tac teeth. Before I could say another word, he turned and left.
The next day, I tested negative and was released from the hospital to self quarantine for 14 days until I would be tested again so I could be released from quarantine. The first thing I did when I got home was to email Mr. Adams. I know, if you’re reading this still, you are thinking I am just the DUMBEST person. But just remember how frantic and pent up you felt in the beginning of the pandemic, and remember I already felt that way anyway!!! So, I guess that basically fueled all the dumb stuff I did.
I soon heard back from Mr. Adams and discovered the trials would involve weekly trips to a facility in Seattle, Washington. Numerous injections. Constant tests, a couple sleep studies even, just a whole bunch of stuff. I was asked if I had the ability to get to Seattle, Washington on a weekly basis.
Now, one would probably get some alarm bells at this point, if alarm bells had not already gone off, over the fact that some rando was mining for people willing to cross the country to submit to experimental risky testing. Why would he not be looking close to him? Certainly there would be trials happening all over the country, why would I agree to go so far?
*sigh* I’m getting a headache. Please don’t stop reading after I tell you what I was thinking. You’re going to be so mad. But, I didn’t have alarm bells. What I had was a thrill of excitement that I could pick up and move to Forks, the setting of the Twilight Saga. Also, home of a really cool artist I follow on Instagram.
I didn’t even finish reading the whole email he sent with the details of the program before I googled how far Forks was from Seattle. It was like four hours, according to google, so I thought that was totally doable once a week and didn’t really need to hear anymore…
The next two weeks zipped by in a whirlwind between emailing back and forth with Mr. Adams, and making arrangements for my trip. I rented a little cottage on the outskirts of Forks, sight unseen. I wrapped up things with my Ohio apartment, and I waited for the two week quarantine to go by.
On the day I tested negative again, I walked from the hospital where I took the test, to a nearby used car dealership. I bought a used Ford Fusion with cash, and then I hit the road.
I will say this about all the dumb choices I made. The air is different in Forks, Washington, just like you’d imagine it if you’re a Twilight fan. Despite everything that has happened, I don’t regret coming here. I hope I can stay, if… Everything works out.
My little cottage was the most perfect place ever. So perfect, I thought about posting IT in Hippity Hoppity, but I was still a little hacked off at the fairy folk of Facebook. It was perched on the edge of a forest. And not a tiny, man made, littered forest like the one next to my old place. A vast expanse of nature in its wildest sense. At night, noises that were actually terrifying came out of the forest, and I thought how cool it was to finally get a real taste of how powerful nature can truly be. I figured it was probably just bears, or maybe werewolves! And if it was werewolves, I knew they were just out hunting vampires and wouldn’t bother me. Within a few nights, I didn’t even notice the roaring shrieks from the woods that came after the sunset.
Thus far in this story, I have yet to meet Mr. Adams in person, and I don’t know if I ever will even if I end up living past today.
But, the place I had been directed by him to go to for my first day of trials was a surprisingly large and modern institute. Given that my only reference so far of this whole experience was a strange little Men in Black sort of man and another mysterious character who l only knew through email, the institute wasn’t what I expected.
Inside its lofty metal walls was a little more on brand though. Cold and dimly lit, it was populated with a staff of nurses wearing uniforms so old fashioned it almost seemed like everyone was dressed up for Halloween. Yes, I know, this would’ve been YET ANOTHER ideal time to do the dip. But I was into it. I thought it was all very retro and cool. Maybe if I can learn to be less extra in my life, I won’t get myself into these situations.
My first three weeks of visits there went relatively easily and the people who worked there were actually very nice. At home in Forks, I grew more and more in love with the place. I got a dog, and I even made friends with a neighbor up my road while walking the dog. I suffered absolutely no ill effects from anything I’d yet endured in the trials, and I’d actually begun to feel pretty good about the prospect of really helping a lot of people.
The forth weekly visit to the institute was different. It was going to be the first sleep study, so I was staying all night. I’d been briefed on what to expect and I’d heard of others having these before. When I arrived, everything went basically as I would’ve expected. Nice nurses talked to me and stuck all sorts of electrodes on me and then tucked me safely into a hospital bed that was sort of half heartedly made to not look like a hospital bed. For this particular study, I had been allowed to use a sleep aid.
So, the lights went out, and I soon fell fast asleep.
A roar woke me up.
I lurched up in the bed, my deeply sleeping mind jerked instantly into a confused awareness. It was unearthly silent. So silent that it struck me as weird, since my recent hospital experience had me conditioned to the sounds. My heart hammered and I mentally willed myself to… Hear harder? I knew I’d heard something, but not what it was. So, I waited for it to come again.
Just as I was about to settle back into my bed figuring I’d imagined it after all… It finally came again. A roar more terrible than anything I’d heard before in my life, but with a dark familiarity. I sucked in such a quick breath that I choked on it. It was a horrible sound, and part of what made it so horrible was that it did not belong there in the institute.
I looked around the small room I was in, uncertain exactly how this worked. Were there cameras in here? Was I being watched? Would these electrodes somehow alert someone if I got out of bed?
I decided, I didn’t care. I absolutely had to know what made that noise. I had to. I know, I have now become every person in every horror movie ever who has to investigate the noise, like an idiot, but… Here we are.
I stole out of bed and out into the hall. Looking left and right, I found the long corridor utterly empty and mostly dark. There was an intermittent blue glow coming from beneath a door here and there along the hallway, probably from the medical machines behind the doors.
I scampered off in the direction that I thought the horrible roar had come from. I heard it again, closer this time, and I knew I was going the right direction. I heard it one more time as I rounded the corner into another corridor, and I followed it right up to a big metal door that had one small square window in it. The window was black. I had to stretch on my tiptoe to peek into it.
That’s when it bashed into the glass.
I screamed and blasted my body backward with the momentum of unadulterated horror. I slammed into the wall on the other side of the hallway, hit it so hard that I bounced and fell to the floor. Operating under the influence of a violent rush of adrenaline, I instantly scrambled back to my feet and turned and sprinted back the way I’d come, screaming my fool head off.
In a blind terror, I ended up crashing into the outstretched arms of an orderly and a nurse. They shushed me and stroked my hair, attempting to calm me down.
“WE HAVE TO GO WE HAVE TO GO THERE’S… IT’S… THERE’S A MONSTER IN HERE!” I shrieked.
A couple more employees surfaced and joined in trying to calm me down, and eventually I did stop screaming.
They tried to convince me I’d been dreaming. Or that perhaps I’d seen one of their more unusual patients.
What a laugh. Patient. I’d only seen it for a split second, but I’d seen it clearly. That was no patient. It was bigfoot… Except… Different. I know, there are no actual credentials for how bigfoot looks since we formerly knew him to be, you know… IMAGINARY! But he didn’t look right. His giant body looked as you’d expect. Huge, muscular, and covered in long brown dirty hair. And his face actually looked about like all the urban legends we’ve all heard too. Except for the glowing green eyes. And the peeling skin, goo dripping teeth, and deathly shriek. He was a bigfoot, and a ZOMBIE.
The institute staff finally convinced me to get back into bed. I didn’t really feel like I had much other choice. If I left, I couldn’t drive right now because of the sleeping pills. And I had come here for the institute. I had made it my entire life. I couldn’t imagine staying in a building with that monster, but they swore to me that I was safe. And I also couldn’t imagine walking away from the institute. The institute was turning me into a person who was special.
And, the pounding and the roaring had fallen quiet since the staff members had embraced me. So, I got back in the bed. I went back to sleep.
The next morning, the technician told me he’d heard about my “nightmare,” and explained sleep aides will sometimes do that to people.
I went along with him, but it wasn’t a nightmare and I knew it. I watched his face while he removed my electrodes and made various notes on a clipboard. His expression was pleasant and relaxed, but something told me he knew it wasn’t a nightmare too.
I got out of there as quickly as humanly possible.
I was a nervous wreck driving back to Forks. I felt moderately better when I got home, but still promptly disappeared into a wormhole of googling bigfoot and supposed sightings. I spent the entire day on my laptop reading scads of articles that sounded like complete bull crap. Lunacy. The ramblings of crazy people.
I joined six online organizations, emailed thirteen article writers, and asked to join eight different bigfoot Facebook groups.
By the time night time came around again, I was jacked up on coffee and conspiracy theories, and for the first time in weeks, I noticed the sounds from the forest again. The ones that had scared me the first few nights and then I’d gotten used to them.
They jumped out at me once again because they sounded familiar.
They sounded like the roars I’d heard at the institute. Just like them. Except for, not confined to a metal room. Free, and protected by the veil of the night.
I put down my laptop and drifted to the window, staring out into the blackness. The roars bounced around in the dense forest like a choir of nightmares.
Over the next couple days, I discovered that everyone in the online groups and forums regarding bigfoot are crazy. Nutters. They all thought they saw bigfoot, but they didn’t, they just wanted attention. They just wanted to belong to a community of fellow nutters. I saw bigfoot. And bigfoot is a monster. He’s out there. His family is out there.
And there is no way we are safe. Not me. Not you. NOBODY.
I had a few more days before I was due back to the institute. I didn’t want to not go, but I also wasn’t about to go back to the building where one of those things was. Although, how much more dangerous could they be locked up in a cage than running free in the woods? I had to figure this out before I went back there.
For the first time in weeks, I thought of the group of fairy experts in Hippity Hoppity. Look, clearly those people are their own variety of nuts, to be sure. But listen, they knew what they were talking about. I’d formerly thought it was nuts to believe that fairies were real, and they talked about fairies like they were just an everyday natural occurrence that everyone knew about. But hadn’t I also thought bigfoot was fake too, and look how wrong I was. So I took my query to Hippity Hoppity.
Yes, I did get a quick and steady flow of more of the same type of nuts that I’d already encountered. But then I got a message from Harold.
Harold, in his profile picture, looked like a bland, retired home economics teacher with a sky blue polo, a comb over, and bent gold glasses. In the message he sent me, he cut straight to the chase by PRECISELY describing the creature I’d seen at the institute AND he knew they were loose in the wild and came out at night.
Harold was speaking my language.
Something about him made me believe in him. It made me believe he was exactly the person I needed to connect with, and made me accept his friend request.
Yesterday, Harold and I discovered we are only about an hour away from each other and we agreed to meet up at a diner in Forks.
Which brings me to where I am right now, in the bathroom, at the diner in Forks.
I saw “Harold” walk in and I fled to the bathroom, which was closer to me than the exit. I knew as soon as I saw him that Harold as I knew him didn’t exist, but I sure knew this guy that was walking in. Well, in a way I did.
He was a guy with crazy long dreads, black eye makeup that sort of just made him look dirty, big gauges and all sorts of face piercings. Honestly, he was the type of person I would normally find interesting looking and be drawn to. Except in this particular instance, he was the guy who had been in my Facebook inbox calling me vile names and threatening me in very vulgar, no uncertain terms, detailing the ways that I should die and he would delight in making it happen.
So, that’s what brings me to this moment right now. Cowering in a dingy bathroom stall. I basically want to confront him. I mean, we’re in a public place so I’d be safe, right? Well, as safe as a person gets when her home is surrounded by murderous zombie bigfoot creatures. But, as you can clearly see, I’ve done literally every possible thing wrong that I could do wrong. I do not know how to make wise choices, obviously. What am I even DOING HERE? Here in this stall, here in this town, here in this godforsaken TRIAL???
You tell me what to do. I need help. And I need it right now.