Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Stalker Between the Worlds: There Is No End

Prior installments

*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.

There Is No End

Two of the many strays in the area were picked up by a neighbor and taken in which was a great relief to the Walker who wanted to be sure the animals were okay because recently he had been on his walk when he heard a dog howling for its life in the woods and it sounded like a distressed bark. It brought back in his mind what happened to the other strays....

Taking his walking circuit on a brisk morning, the Walker stopped and studied a stone on the ground at his feet. 

His love of rocks made it easy to recognize petrified wood. He picked it up, felt its weight, looked around him and frowned. That was not something found in his area. He took it with him, but pondered while he walked the route, where did it come from?

Days later, the Walker headed along the roadway, mind ahead to the holiday season, eyes lazily scanning the natural wonder around him when his eyes locked on something just over a fence line in the field beside the road. 

He stepped over and peered down at a dead hare. It was not bloody. This was just like the other "offerings." He squinted against the light to see that the head had been torn from the hare and one leg, as well. It was not bloody on the ground. It was simply dismembered somewhere and left there. In fact, the fur wasn't even bloodied.

He felt the immediate dread of knowing this was just like the other ones. There was no head, but the leg was lying near the body. That was no way for a normal predator to kill and leave it uneaten. It seemed to just want the head. It surely didn't tear them off right there, or there would have been blood everywhere. So, it did the kill, kept the head, dropped the body and the arm. Had it pulled the head and arm off at the same time by yanking in two directions? The Walker swallowed a bit of bile. 

Then, it dawned on the Walker, as he studied the sunlight, today was the winter solstice. The orientation of the body was a north-south one. It seemed to support some kind of pagan practice. That would mean intelligence and forethought, as well as spirituality. 

As he viewed the hare, a breed that was from the swampland area, the Walker realized it was an exotic offering, like the baby boars that were also from the swamplands below. Come to think of it, the sacrificed baby boars were at solstice time too! Was that purposeful or coincidence? Was a sacrifice from the swamplands in the hill country particularly important to the Stalker? 

The Walker paced himself, trying not to walk away too fast. Each footfall was a bit more firm as he was feeling more anger at this point. There was no sense in killing but not eating a creature. That was just senseless and if It hoped to upset him, It wasn't going to see him crack. The Walker's eyes scanned the horizon, wondering just where It did perch itself to see his walk and notice if he found the "offering," and what It felt when It saw that Its work had been recognized. The Walker's stomach lurched a bit and he continued his pace home.

It was impossible not to be curious about this stalker. The way up from the swampland to the hills was a ravine that ran right past the rock quarry. Where the quarry driveway met the main roadway was a major place for the stalker to leave "offerings." He had long wondered if the quarry was the lair of the stalker. The Walker looked at the top of the ravine, considering how it might enter the area if It used this path to go back and forth from swampland to hills. 

There in the damp ground was a footprint. The print was most unusual. It was about the size of the Walker's foot, but it appeared to have three, maybe four toes with one of them being sort of an accessory toe. It could have been like a dog, but also like a human.

The Walker thought about it and rain was coming. If he was going to try to lift a cast of it, he'd have to go for it as soon as possible. 

It wasn't a great lift of it, but he could make out the toes (at the bottom toward the viewer). He was really baffled now. It should have been a footprint of a crazy human or a rogue Bigfoot, not a... Dogman? 

As he studied the incidents, the Walker considered all the dog-related issues the Stalker had, from killing three dogs to potentially popping the eyes out of two dogs and then there was his own dog food bowl and dog food bag near his home that had been tampered with with drops of blood left behind. He didn't know much about this creature called Dogman, but he did assume they weren't normally prone to provoking people or having interactions. 

The Walker let a few weeks go by before breathing easy again. The print was odd, but then so was every other thing happening on his quiet circuit in the countryside. Still, without seeing who it was, everything was speculation, including whether or not it was one person or "creature" doing it or if they happened by nature somehow or.... Well, he continued to try to talk himself out of it the more quiet his life remained.

Then, one night, the Walker's dogs took to barking and getting quite upset. The Walker wasn't used to such a prolonged reaction from his pets. No one had arrived, as he gazed out the front window, but still the dogs were unsettled. It was crisp night and he wasn't about to go out and mess it up with skunk or whatever else might be aggravating his pups. 

But, the next morning, recalling the night's weirdness, the Walker went outside to inspect the yard. As he turned the corner on the house to head to the back, he saw something that was not there when he was weeding - a long series of scratches. They ran the width of the house.

The Walker looked around for anything that might have made it and wondered if during all the ruckus the scratch was made without him being able to hear it over the dogs' caterwauling. 

He stepped back and studied the wall, considered the footprint and the hare with its head and arm torn off on the solstice, the piece of petrified wood and he decided to give his route a better glancing over.

So, as the Walker headed out on the road again, he walked past where the dog sacrifices were left. He referred to them in his mind as sacrifices because they appeared to be left in plain view to be seen as either a warning or appeasement. He had heard in his readings that Bigfoot might kill animals that could potentially hurt a human they felt an affinity for. The boars, the snakes, the wild dogs all had the potential to harm the Walker and his own dogs when he took them on his walks. 

As he rounded the bend away from the dark sacrificial place, the Walker looked out into the field at the abandoned trailer that sat there with vines swallowing it whole. Out of curiosity, he walked through the wild grasses to the ramshackle building, deciding that maybe everything he walked past for years was the great unknown.

There were no signs of anyone coming and going in the broken down structure, but there was a trash can outside. As he turned to leave, something caught the Walker's eye and he turned back to see duct tape in the receptacle. That brought a vivid vision to his mind of the dogs bound in duct tape tied together as a rope. He lifted the tape and looked at it and then looked at the distance to the sacrificial place. It would seem whoever was doing this was killing the animals in one place and then once they weren't bloody and oozing, took them to the sacrificial place and perhaps the trash can was just a place he got the duct tape to make the rope. If the killer had a roll of duct tape, he wouldn't have needed to tie shorter pieces together. So, he was using found items. 

It didn't help answer much of the mystery for the Walker, except it did seal in his mind that whoever or whatever was doing this, was utilizing things it found, so it didn't have access to its own items or home. It was living in a feral manner or it was coming all the way to the area, not sure what it planned to do, worked with what was there, and then left. Perhaps it wandered up from the swamplands through the ravine and the quarry. 

The Walker recalled the first offerings. The boars' tails were left on the roadway and the way in which the one's guts were strewn on the bush above it, showed him that likely the killer had carried them down the roadway and tossed them into the spot, dropping the tails in the road and leaving the half hazard strewn bodies to be found. They definitely were not killed there, as there was no blood anywhere. In fact, none of the kills had blood anywhere except the little terrier whose fur was bloody. It had to be pretty strong to toss the boars' bodies from that distance, he observed.

The Walker picked up the pace on his route again and felt somewhat lighter and more relaxed, perhaps because each time the Stalker did something, it left another clue to help with the puzzle that had gone on for almost two years. How much longer could a feral person or being continue the back and forth? It would appear whoever or whatever it was, was well adapted to the outdoors and making it. It didn't even seem to need to eat what it killed. 

Frowning as he headed home, the Walker's sense of having one up on the Stalker faded and he began to wonder how much further down the rabbit hole this cagey killer would take him.

As he took his next walk, resolved to enjoy a clear day and lighten his thoughts, the Walker stopped at the sight of a shiny white skull sitting on the edge of the roadway. He peered down at it and realized it appeared to be a rabbit skull. 

The Walker looked into the distance, gauging that he was surely three quarters of a mile from where the rabbit sacrifice had been. He studied the ground again. The skull was so clean, but then all the other bones offered up had been spotless. In fact, this was not a real surprise in some ways; the Stalker had left the baby boars followed by a deer skull and ribs it snapped off a road kill, the 5 snake vertebrae completely articulated. Then, it left the dog body and then the dog skeleton right after, and now the rabbit body and a skull. 

None of it showed a pattern or message that was discernible, but somehow knowing that these things were related to the same individual comforted the Walker in an odd way. One being, one threat. It seemed to ease his discomfort a bit to know that an individual could grow bored and move on or be caught when it gets too cocky.

Still, this random pattern of killings and bones, messing with dogs and tampering on his property were all signs of something simmering. The problem with stalkers who simmered is that eventually they needed something bigger and badder to satisfy. 

The Walker felt an involuntary shiver down his spine, lifted his head and walked confidently, making sure to not study the ground anymore today.

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