June 4, 2022.
By Henry Dumas
“You look like crap; do you still want to go duck hunting?” Steven asked.
“I worked a double shift at the warehouse. Came home and fell asleep on the couch with my clothes on. Now I’m standing here at two a.m. What do you expect?” Robert scowled.
“Have you packed everything you need? I hope there’s room in the jeep for all your stuff?” Steven replied.
Robert stood in front of Steven, blurry eyed, loaded down with hunting gear, looking like a pack mule. He held his hand in front of his face, counting fingers and naming items. “I have my gun, shells, lunch, and my dog.” He tossed his equipment on the back seat of the jeep.Read more
Robert looked at the black female Labrador wagging her tail in anticipation and motioned with his hand toward his dog.
“Up,” he said.
The dog leaped into the back of the jeep, circled around like she’s chasing her tail, found a soft spot and nestled down on top of the hunting gear.
“It’s a long drive to Duchesne, Utah,” Steven said. “I don’t like the road we’re driving on with its long-isolated stretches, and I don’t like the weather forecast. It looks like it’s going to snow.”
“We’ll be driving past Skinwalker Ranch,” Robert replied. “On the news last night, they talked about weird things happening at that ranch. UFOs, people disappearing, and strange wolf-like creatures.
“If we see a wolf-like creature, we can chase it down with the jeep and run over it,” Robert exclaimed. “It will make a splendid trophy on the wall.”
“I remember two years ago on that same stretch of road,” Steven said. “We both dozed off and woke up four hours later in front of a cafe and couldn’t remember how we got there. I’m still a little skittish about that night, so zip your lips on UFO talk.”
Several hours later, they were in the middle of nowhere, driving in a blizzard. Robert and his dog were sound asleep, snoring like chainsaws.
As Steven drove down the road, it took all his concentration to keep the jeep from skidding into a snowbank.
“The weatherman was right,” he said. To no one in particular, as snow flurries gusted horizontally, sticking on the windshield, causing the wipers to work double time.
The dog growled.
“What’s the matter, girl?” Steven said, looking at the dog. “Is there something upsetting you?”
Without warning, a seven-foot tall, dark, hairy human-like creature passed in front of the jeep inches from getting run over. It stopped, looked at Steven with its glowing red eyes and effortlessly jumped over the four-foot-high barbed wire fence. Seconds later, it vanished into the raging snowstorm.
The dog barked.
Steven slammed on the brakes and let out a scream, his hands clutching the steering wheel and his eyes wide open with fear.
Robert woke up with a gasp, turned to Steven and shouted, “what in the Hell’s going on?” Prompting his dog to sit up and bark louder.
“I almost hit something. It was big and walked on two legs,” Steven shouted. “We made eye contact, and it wasn’t human.”
“Was it a moose or bear?” Robert asked.
“No,” Steven replied.
It stopped snowing; the sky was clearing, and the shadows from a full moon lit the road. Steven backed the jeep up, rolled the window down, and pointed at large tracks in the snow.
“See,” Steven said. “It looks like a barefoot human footprint, only larger.” I can’t imagine a human running in the snow barefoot.
“Is that blood?” Robert said, pointing out the window at a blood-soaked trail in the snow.
“You hit it,” he cried out.
They scrambled out of the jeep and looked around for signs of the creature.
“Let’s load the guns and chase it down,” Robert said.
Robert reached for his shotgun, pointed the barrel toward the ground, and slid a shell into the chamber.
“I’m not chasing that thing down; we don’t have the firepower,” Steven said. “A shotgun is no match for what I saw. If you want to chase it, go right ahead. I’m staying close to the jeep.”
“It looks like you don’t have a choice,” Robert said, pointing at the barbed wire fence. “It came back with two friends, and they look like they want to kill us.”
Steven Slowly reached in the jeep, pulled out his shotgun, slid five shells into the magazine and pumped one into the chamber.
He sighed and spoke, “let’s do this.”
The creatures jumped over the barbed wire fence and ran toward them, quickly closing the gap.
Robert laughed. “I want that big one. He’s going to make one hell of a trophy.”
They both discharged their shotguns at the same time.
Bang…, the sound of the guns thundered in the canyon.
The creature at the front of the pack fell to the ground, screeching and rolling in the snow. Robert’s dog jumped out the open passenger side door and ran toward the creatures. The hair on the back of her neck stood up like porcupine quills as she barked and snarled at the two standing creatures. They froze in their tracks, petrified of the dog.
“Let’s get out of here while we can,” Steven shouted over the barking dog as he ran around the front of the jeep and jumped in the driver’s seat.
“Sounds like a great idea to me,” Robert shouted. As he ran toward the open passenger side door.
“Come,” Robert shouted at his dog. They both jumped in the jeep at the same time.
Steven smashed his foot down on the gas pedal. All four tires spun on the slippery, snow-covered road. The jeep did not move.
“Go faster!” Robert shouted.
One creature bent down, trying to help its blood-soaked friend as the other creature ran toward the jeep. Its fingers reached out as it tried to get in the back window.
The tires found a dry spot in the snow, and the jeep jumped forward picking up speed. The creature’s fingernails scratched the rear window as it fell face down in the snow-covered road. It stood up and ran toward the jeep, stopped in the middle of the road, and let out a blood-curdling shriek as if to say, this is not over yet.
“Holy cow, that was a close call.” Steven shouted over the sound of the barking dog. As they sped away.
“Quiet,” Robert said to the dog, rubbing her ears.
They both took a deep breath, looked at each other and spoke in unison, “no one’s going to believe us.”