What seems like a few hours ago, I left my house for a little excursion; a simple walk in the hills where I live in North Colorado. I packed a few supplies, nothing for a long trip. I was sure a couple of energy bars and a bottle of Mountain Dew would be enough to keep me going. I left the car at an empty parking lot by a creak at the foot of the hills and began to hike.
At no point did I feel comfortable during that walk... Whether it was the eerie mist settling over the pine covered hills or the Indian food I had eaten the previous night, something was troubling me.
An hour into the walk I discovered a small camp near a pond. The camp was long abandoned and the owners were nowhere to be seen; I reckoned I was the only person in those hills. I found a backpack in the pond that only had a few scraps of paper inside. Any attempt to read the scrawl written on it would have been useless, but it almost certainly was written in a hurry. I returned the backpack and its contents to the camp and noted the landscape before continuing deaper into the hills.
A couple of hours later I found an excellent spot by a cliff with a view almost all the way back to the creak where I parked. I decided it would be a nice spot to enjoy an energy bar. I parked myself down on a rock and rummaged in my backpack to find something I definitely did not pack. My hands grasped around a damp, leather-bound journal instead of a plastic wrapper. I pulled the journal out of my bag and just stared at it in shock and awe for minutes. So much wasted time.
I'm not sure what compelled me to open that thing, but now... I find myself here.
September 9 - 9:32am
Just arrived at the creak this morning. I'm so pumped to finally be spending some time with the guys! (The guys being Max, Shaun, John, Tracie, Jess, and Kerri). About to start walking up into the hills and find a nice place to pitch.
Camps been set up in the woods by a small pond. Quite a nice spot, if it weren't for Tracie throwing balls of mud at me. Oh, that girl...
About to finally get some shut eye. Spent all evening sitting around a fire and talknig. Max and John fell asleep on each other and Shaun keps frightening the crap out of Jess. I'm proud to be friends with these guys.
September 10 - 1:14am
Struggling to sleep particularly well. I keep hearing what sounds like whispering but everyone's asleep. Oh well, must be the wind. Paranoia? Already? Hah.
Finally mananged to get a decent amount of sleep after forcing out those whispering noises. Shortly after waking up, Kerri told me about her dream. Some really creepy shit. I always feel so awkward when comforting girls but she seemed pretty creeped out.
We (Me, Jess, Kerri, Max and Shaun) left the camp to explore the area. Maybe we would find a cave with some arrowheads or something. Heh, I doubt it. Shit, I've gone and got myself separated from the group. I'll continue writing after I'm back in camp.
I found the guys. We got back to camp. From the moment the tent was visible through the mist, I knew something was wrong. Shaun was missing and [the handwriting became visibly shaky at this point] Tracie is dead. She had been drowned, her face forcefully ploughed into the mud at the bottom of the pond. Jess can't stop crying and Kerri is just staring at the body with no expression. We can't call for help, no signal. We can't find our way back, Shaun took the map.
Max suggested we leave the camp and try to find Shaun. Nobody argued. We gathered our gear and left as quickly as possible.
September 11 - 8:41am
No one slept well that night. But? I guess we all must have drifted off at some point to be woken. I was the first to wake. The whispers banged on in my head, forcing me to wake. I opened my eyes to find Kerri's delicate face facing mine. She looked so calm and peaceful when she slept. My thoughts were interrupted by muffled screams followed by a loud, wet thud. Everyone woke and charged towards the source of the noise, a cliffside with a perfect view. We all looked over the cliff, knowing exactly what to expect, but even so what we saw we could not handle. At the bottom of the cliff in a crumpled bloody mess was Shaun, His face just visible amongst the gore and mist.
At this point I slammed the book shut, suddenly realising that the cliff with the perfect view was the one that I was sitting on. I jumped to my find and peered over the edge, only to be met by a thing layer of mist on top of leaves. I sat myself back on the rock and thought hard for minutes. More wasted time. I was again compelled to continue reading, so I opened the journal and continued.
Max, John and Jess have headed back in the direction of the creak to try and get some help, leaving Kerry and I in a small camp near the cliff. She is just sitting there, staring into the fire, her eyes tearful and her face expressionless. Did she know what was happening? Had the dream warned her? We were both too tired to show any emotion, let alone talk. And? I can hear the whispers returing. I'm going to try and get some sleep.
September 12 - 00:11am
[the handwriting in this entry was very disturbing, almost as if it were scratched in with a claw] THESE HILLS ARE BURNING. LET THE MIST TAKE THE FIRE. LET THE MIST TAKE THE FIRE. LET THE MIST TAKE THEM AND ENGULF THEM. EMBRACE IT AND WHISPER WITH THEM. WHISPER WITH THE MIST.
Upon finishing this entry I heard a very distinct noise from not far behind me. Perhaps a yound child snickering, but I didn't stick around to find out. I sprinted as far away from the cliff as I possibly could manage. I ran for hours until my legs gave way and I collapsed beside a stream in a clearing. I had to finish reading. I had to know what happened. I opened my backpack and pulled out my last energy bar and the journal and prepared myself. I opened it to the next page to find it stained orange with blood. The handwriting was shaky, very shaky. Fear had gripped me.
Oh god. My hands, my arms, my mouth. So much blood. Kerri? What have I done? Why wont you answer me? Why wont you fucking talk!? I keep punching you and all that comes out of your mouth is blood! You wont talk, not even a whisper. Not like Tracie. Tracie spoke too much. I had to shut her up. She joins the whispers.
Oh god. What have I done.
And here I am now. Alone in the hills constantly being watched. I can't run any longer, but I must. I must run before the mist settles.