Vampires? I think I've had my fill. Walk into a bookstore and there is a whole section of fiction devoted to them. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a vampire book. I'm just saying this so it doesn't seem like I'm hopping on the Transylvanian train (do books even talk about vampires being from Transylvania anymore?), even though what I'm about to share could easily be interpreted that way. Anyways, the following are actual events that are so befitting the holiday season that I couldn't pass on sharing it.
Again, ACTUAL EVENTS, believe it or not. Here goes.
So, a few weeks ago, right around the beginning of the month, I was out riding my bike on some paved trails in the woods behind our house. It was around four o'clock in the afternoon, one of the few sunny days between all the rainy ones we've been getting down south lately. As a matter of fact, I remember looking up through the canopy of the trees and not seeing a single cloud in the solid blue sky. A cool breeze blew over my face every once in a while as I splashed through some puddles leftover from the previous day's showers.
Strange thing number one that happened. Out of the that perfectly, solid blue sky, it started to rain. For a moment I stopped and looked up through the branches of the trees and scanned the sky above. Not a single, solitary rain cloud, but it was definitely raining. The breeze had stopped, and I exhausted pretty much every juvenile theory I could come up with about the rain being blown from somewhere else. It wasn't a heavy rain, but enough that I was glad that I had partial shelter from the trees. I was about half a mile from my house so I decided, despite the cloudless rain, to go ahead and finish the two mile loop that would eventually return to my backyard.
It only rain for about five minutes. It wasn't like an invisible baby rain cloud was moving across the sky. It seemed more like it had only rained in that little spot of the woods for just that moment, leaving me a bit perplexed.
When I put my feet back on the pedals of my bike, lowering my eyes from the sky to the path in front of me, and started off again, I saw strange thing number two: an old, grey bearded Hispanic man walking toward me wearing an old, faded blue jean jacket that looked like it was from the sixties, a pair of worn khaki slacks, and old black, scuffed dress shoes. It was like he appeared out of nowhere. There was no one in front of me when I looked up for just a moment to search the sky for clouds, and all of a sudden, there he was, not but a few feet away from me. He looked like he may have been homeless, maybe even a bit deranged, walking with a slight limp and a spaced out look in his eyes. I don't know why, but I didn't want to offend him by suddenly turning around and zipping off in the opposite direction. Before I knew it, we were passing each other. Even though I glanced over at him, he never once seemed to acknowledge me, looking straight down at the ground with those spaced out eyes.
I let myself get a short ways up the path before I looked back, and that's when I saw strange thing number three. The guy was gone. Completely vanished. No joke. No fiction. No story telling. Just gone. But that wasn't the strangest part. Near where I thought he should have been, I saw a single coyote, trotting off the path into the woods. I actually stopped completely, set my bike on the path, and took a few steps back to get a good look at the coyote and try to see where the man had gone to. But he was gone. And the last I saw of the coyote was his tail disappearing into some shrubs.
At that moment, those chills hit me again. If you read my last post, you know what I'm talking about. Those weird chills you get when something extraordinary seems to have happened, even when you have no explanation for it. Anyways, I just stood there, looking around the woods and down the path as a warm, post-rain mist rose up from the it.
Now, I'm not saying the guy turned into a coyote. I'm not saying that. But what would you think? One moment here's this creepy guy and the next he's gone and there's a coyote you hadn't seen before.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not crazy. At least, I don't think I am.
So, since that little encounter, I've notice a few signs having been posted around our neighborhood over the last month about coyote sightings and even some incidents of animal mutilations, people's cats escaping the house and being found somewhere...well, uh, you know, like something had savagely attacked them. There have been no coyote sightings in the woods for years until now.
I don't think coyotes are savage animals who tend to attack anything larger than they are. I've never heard of any coyotes anywhere near where I live attacking people. So I suppose it's not too much to be concerned about.
I've been on those trails several times since I saw the man. I Haven't seen him since and no one else has mentioned anything about having seen him. But the coyote is out there, somewhere.
My more faithful readers and friends are probably surprised that I found no way to tie this in with the Polar Bear Project. Just give it time, and I'm sure the Beast will turn up somehow in all this...