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The Shadow and the Shade

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Water-plants

There was nothing particular about the town which is our setting, nothing special about its backwoods American history or the rugged people who populate it. I only mention it out of duty. The reasons why the couple was there and then I do not know. I, your unfortunate writer, only relate the evidence myself and a trusted friend have found.

The year is 1997 in Emerson County, the month August as the summer’s heat began to fade away and the winds became colder. Enter a young couple visiting from a southern state, the man, possibly in his twenties, and a woman, possibly of the same age or younger. He was the adventurous one where she only reluctantly followed. With his camera on record and her in tow, he ventured into the woods just beyond the town.

Their footsteps crunched on the forest floor the deeper they went. Insects buzzed and the birds chirped high in the cottonwoods that populated the forest in great numbers. The couple continues walking until the man stops, spotting something and zooming his camera in on it. It was a ghostly, human-like being, and its form seemingly warped the space it inhabited. He continues to train the camera on it as he pointed it out to the woman beside him. “Hey, you see that?"

She was distracted when she jerked her head up to look at him again. He gestures the camera slightly at the being.

“Over there, look!” he whispers repeatedly, “Look, look, look!” Her eyes wander over to where he was focusing his camera on. They widen when she notices the wraith-like being in front of them only a few yards away.

“What the heck?” She says in confusion as she stares at it, unable to move from her spot in growing fear. The misty being begins to move to the left, fading in and out of sight. Her male companion moves his camera with the shadow, not wanting to miss a second of the strange occurrence that was happening right before his eyes.

A faint hissing comes father from their left and his attention is immediately on it.

“Hey, wait, wait, wait,” He whispers excitedly, “That was it again.” This being had a similar presence to the first, but this one was on all fours and looked like a large dog.

“Right there, right there,” He said, pointing it out to his companion, who quickly looked in that direction.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait.” He muttered to himself, now noticing the differences between the two beings.

“I don’t like this.” His companion was becoming even more scared and he asked, “You see that? Right there! Look, look, look, look!” He was becoming more excited. Fear though, was creeping into her voice as the encounter went on.

“Oh god!” she said as it growled at them and began to shift side-to-side, as if becoming agitated. “It’s like an animal. I don’t like it!”

The frightening air of the situation was finally realized by the man as fear also crept into his voice. “Okay, okay, okay,” The camera began to shake as he went on, “Come on…” Then the animalistic shade made a loud screeching noise and charged at the couple.

“Go, go, go!” he shouted and both he and his reluctant companion turned and ran as fast as they could back through the forest. The screeching of the shade followed them and the woman cried out,

“Oh god!” as she ran.

It was then that the still recording camera was dropped by the man, the screeching and slight hissing sounds fading away as the shade chased after the couple. The only sight now was a hole in the forest floor, the insects still buzzing and the birds still chirping high their trees as the battery slowly died.

It wasn’t until early November of that same year when a game hunter discovered the camera on the forest floor. In all likelihood he saw the video on that camera and set off the series of events that eventually landed the footage in my hands.

No one knows, not even I know, what had become of the couple. They may have escaped, or met an unfortunate fate at the claws of the shade. No human remains have been found, but no one has come to claim the camera and its shadowy video either.

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