Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Stalker Between the Worlds: Not By A Long Shot

*Warning: Photographs and information in this ongoing series might be upsetting to some readers. Discretion advised.*

This will be an ongoing series chronicling a couple years' worth of encounters with bizarre, horrific, and taunting interplay between one innocent citizen and a stalker that defies description (at least in our known world).

This was an exceptionally well-documented series of events that may at times be too graphic or horrifying for some readers, but it is our hope that by sharing this experience, someone out there might recognize a set of circumstances that are similar.

We have advice to be given to anyone encountering what I am at a lack of words to accurately describe, so henceforth refer to it as…the stalker between the worlds.

Other prior installments:
Installment #2 "Dem Bones"
Installment #3 "Too Close To Home"
Installment 4: "Encounter"
Installment #5: "Roadside Horror"

Installment #6:  "Baffling Kills"

Not By A Long Shot

The Walker would never forget the incidents that occurred on his walking circuit in his own neighborhood in a bucolic rural setting in the South. Every time he went on his constitutional, he felt a twinge of anxiety approaching the areas of the displays, the space between the driveway and the quarry road not so far apart. 

A neighbor broke his distant thoughts as the Walker passed by *Mack's driveway.  

"Hey, ya really are serious about this walkin' business, huh?"

The Walker chuckled and nodded.

"I got somethin' weird for ya." Mack motioned the Walker and he entered the yard where one of the dogs rushed up to him and then another. The Walker instinctively gave the pup a brisk petting.

"What's going on?" The Walker asked as the dogs calmed down and started tail wagging and circling him, taking the occasional sniff of his own dogs on him.

"Sam," Mack nodded to the older dog with graying muzzle. "He went into the woods and came back out, his eye had popped out of its socket but not an injury on him." The man patted the dog's head as if the sound of its name brought him over to see what was up. "The vet got it set again, but craziest damn thing I've ever seen!"

The Walker frowned. Anything having to do with dogs and injuries unsettled him at this point. There seemed to be a running theme, but then perhaps he was just touchy because of the killings. 

"There's been a bunch of dog killings along the roadway." The Walker nodded his head in the direction. "Purposeful kills."

"Someone's killin' dogs?" Mack howled. "Holy hell!"

The Walker nodded in agreement. Sam looked like he was seeing okay and not too disturbed by the freak "accident." 

"Well, keep those boys in close to the house. Whoever's been killing the strays, might see a wandering dog as fair game." The Walker warned.

Mack nodded gravely and called the dogs with him as he walked back to the house.

The Walker frowned as he picked up the pace and got back onto his circuit. It was a fluke, no doubt. Still, how did one pop out an eye without any other injury? A wild cat or something, would have left puncture marks. He forced his thoughts once again toward the days ahead and his to-do list and every time it meandered back to the dogs, he pushed it back.

Days went on and it seemed rather good, almost normal, at least, as normal as it could be walking that familiar circuit. Mack was at the end of his driveway getting his mail when the Walker slowed down to chat.

"Air dried out, feels kinda good." Mack nodded.

"Yup." The Walker took a deep breath. The air had an almost tiny hint of coming autumn, the shadows just a shade longer than they had been and the nights a touch more refreshing.

"Damndest thing!" Mack shook his head. "Polly came back to the house two nights ago, one eye popped out, just like Sam."

"No injuries?" The Walker felt his pulse quicken.

Mack shook his head. "Nope. No injuries. Vet put it back in place. I'm keepin' them in the house except when I let them out to toilet. I keep a watch on `em." 

"Good plan." The Walker took a deep breath, trying to keep his mind from galloping away with terror. The Stalker so far had been attacking the strays, now he was going domestic. The urge to rush home and check on his dogs was overwhelming.

When he got home, the Walker checked on his dogs. They didn't travel away from the yard and he kept a good rein on their antics, but still he felt unnerved. He raised his head and studied the woods around his property. What had once seemed a protective haven now seemed like a hunting blind for some kind of predator.

The Walker picked up his pace past the bad spots on the circuit when his eyes automatically scanned the roadway to notice something out of place. He stopped and looked down and at his feet, he saw something that made his gut clench.

The makeshift leash that had been around the first doberman's neck was lying in the spot where the doberman had been left. It was intact. 

How did he get it over the dog's head? 

The Walker didn't want to know. He kept walking, though he cursed himself for not looking around more, but his instincts were that it was left for him to find. There was no reason to go back to the scene of the crime and leave that bit of evidence unless the Stalker wanted him to see it and be uncomfortable. Him rooting around the spot looking for more details would only excite the Stalker more. 

Nights later, the cat screamed outside. The Walker got up from bed and rolled his eyes. He had left him out and apparently he wanted in. The excitement in the cat's voice was telling. The Walker was fully awake now and sprinting to the door.  The cat took off past him into the house, quiet now and happy to be indoors. The Walker instinctively turned on the porch light and stepped outside to get a look around. 

Some metal flashing looked as if it had been stepped upon and crunched. When he turned and headed back to the house, the Walker glanced down at the dog bowl to see a single drop of blood.

There was no other blood anywhere around and no obvious footprints. 

The Walker lifted his head to the darkened wood surrounding the circle of light. 

What do you want???

He closed the door, kept the light on, locked it, and went back to bed where he lay staring at the ceiling in the filtered moonlight through the curtains.

The next day, tired from lack of sleep, the Walker opted to not walk the circuit. He was allowed a day off now and again. He threw himself into his work and then headed to bed early. In the morning, he awakened to go outside and start his circuit when he realized his jeep had been broken into. Someone had opened it up, tried to climb inside, messing the visor up and catching their foot on the rug and tearing it out from its place.

He had left the jeep unlocked because everyone in the rural setting did. And, it didn't seem as if anyone wanted to steal the vehicle, just had a very awkward time climbing in and out. He clicked the lock, shut it, and determinedly did the circuit walk without letting it ruin his routine. Breathe in, step. Breathe out, step. Breathe in, step. Breathe out, step. Still, the Walker couldn't convince himself everything was just fine.

Every nerve in his body tingled when the Walker saw the strays darting out from the quarry road, just like the dobermans used to do, scanning the area nervously as if trying to get their bearings, as if someone had taken them to a new location and they were looking for home. They weren't approachable, but they were on the alert, darting in and out of the roadway from the quarry path.

The dogs wouldn't come, but their actions were so much like the dobermans that the Walker was very concerned. 

Days later, he noted the new person who moved into a trailer down the roadway seemed to be leaving out bowls of food for the strays. Perhaps the bit of kindness might help domesticate them, but the Walker had grave concerns about these dogs and their futures. A family member worked to get the beagle caught and taken in by the beagle rescue, but the other two dogs were too sporadic on their arrival to the roadway and way too hyped up.

It quieted down, except for the Walker being now on the alert for the dogs, hoping to see the strays darting out of the quarry road and not laying dead somewhere. 

The Walker came to a screeching halt in the area where the dogs had been killed, finding a bloody patch in the roadway but no animal carcass anywhere around. 

The Walker circled around to search and then came back and stared at it, his eyes adjusting. If he didn't know any better, it was shaped exactly like a dog. Had a car ran something over, the carcass would be there and the tire would have spread the blood. 

Even though his logical mind told him that blood on a roadway had to have been by car, that stain vexed him. The Walker needed to see those strays again and be sure they were okay. Perhaps the only thing that led him to believe they were still safe was that their bodies had not been left on display in that weird vortex-like area where grotesque offerings were placed.

No matter how he tried to maintain a semblance of order, the Walker had to admit to himself that these walks that were once about preserving his health and sanity were now a danger to them both....

**Update - The Walker spoke to another neighbor who also had a dog that came home with the eye popped out but no injuries, just as another neighbor had two dogs on separate occasions come home like that with no injuries. A little research led to the knowledge that pulling the skin back from the face, holding the dog by the scruff of the neck, can dislodge an eye in any breed of dog. So, we might now know how this Stalker is causing this sort of injury. Why and who is yet to be determined.

*Name changed to protect identity

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