It was still dark when I woke up. Not dark in the creepy sense. Dark in the sense that the break of dawn was still a couple of hours away. The sun wasn’t up yet. There wasn’t much activity going on around me. This camping trip had been a dud for all I knew.
I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t relax. My fingers constantly twitched, fidgeting with anything I could get my hands on. The fact that I had left my phone behind didn’t help at all. It was supposed to be a retreat, yes, but I’d almost decided to give up. I got out of the tiny little cabin where I’d been staying with my friends, all of them fast asleep, snoring.
It took some time for my eyes to adjust to the light, but I made my way through the cabin and out onto the porch. The wilderness lay ahead of me, stretching for miles and miles. There was nothing, except the occasional howl of a far-away wolf and the wind whistling as a gentle breeze blew between the trees.
I got out for a walk, the twigs and dry leaves and pebbles crunching as I stepped on them. The air was cold and it cut like knives every time I inhaled. There was a strange feel to the air around me, though it’s hard to describe. Like it was less dense, like I could walk through it with no resistance.
I’d walked quite some distance when I noticed it from the corner of my eye. A slight movement, so faint that it might have ceased to exist had I looked closely. I turned my head around and that’s when my vision made it clear. That’s when I saw it.