Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Man Who Wasn't There

I was camping with family over a three day weekend. A few of us didn't have to get back to work so we decided to camp an extra night. What had been a full campground was now down to just us. It was my brother, his young son, me and my young daughter.

About 3AM my daughter woke up and said she had to go to the bathroom. She had to drop a deuce so there was no getting her to squat outside the tent. The outhouse was like 100 yards away through the pitch dark campground, The fire had gone out and there was not really any moonlight. I got up with her, grabbed a flashlight, and we headed to the outhouse.

She did her business and I stood outside the outhouse, I'd be lying if I said I weren't a little scared standing out in the woods, in the dark, miles from anywhere with my 7 year old daughter inside a dark outhouse by herself. Luckily she was quick and we stumbled back towards camp in the dark, with just the flashlight to lead us.

The walk back was uneventful, we chatted little, I tried to reassure her were safe out here in the dark as she had gotten a little scared as she realized how alone we were in the empty campground. As we got to about 50 feet from camp, my daughter suddenly grabbed my hand tight and said in a scared whisper yell - "Daddy, who is that!?!"
"Who is what honey, I don't see anything!?!"
"That man, right there, who is that?"
I shined the light where she was looking and I couldn't see anyone. I grabbed her hand tighter and picked up the pace to get us back to the tent which was the only safety there was out there, and I knew that in the dark like this, we were really in trouble if there was some sketcher out there messing with us.

We got back and I got us in the tent and we got in our sleeping bags and I laid there and listened for any sound outside of the tent. Of course there were millions of sounds I hadn't noticed before and each one made me more and more terrified of whoever it was she saw out there. As she started to get sleepy she asked if we were alright. I said yes even though I was completely freaking out. I asked her what the man had looked like and she said he looked like a Native American.

I laid there for what seemed like hours but was probably only 15 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore. I woke up my brother and told him what happened. He is a lot more comfortable in the woods than I so he got up and got the fire going again. We sat by the fire until daylight and nothing ever happened.

The next day I asked my daughter about the man she saw and she didn't remember it. To this day she doesn't remember the event. The area we were camping in was well known for being a historical place where Native Americans had lived and flourished until they were forced into reservations or killed. Neither my brother or me could find any sign that anyone was out there, If they had been walking around the woods we would have heard them for sure. My only explanation is that she was so tired that she fell asleep walking back in a little micro sleep or something and dreamed it, but to this day it still freaks me the fuck out.

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