The dull golden hue of midmorning light cut through the branches of the dead, but rising, early spring forest. The chirp of now long awake songbirds and ever so forgotten deer deep in the heart of this glorified hill that the local townsfolk so claimed was a mountain radiated across for what could fool a hiker as miles.
Among the ruffling leaves and wind-swept woodland debris was a legend that teased the community below with intrigue and wonder. Tales of a man, not much less than a beast, who roamed this hallowed hill for weeks, if not years or centuries beyond that.
Some claimed to have seen such a sight amongst the trees. Swinging from branch to branch, only lit by moonlight. Others, the more fearsome of the bunch, have weaved stories of harrowed escapes from the clutches of its bearlike paws without ever seeing but yellowed eyes amongst the dark cover of the night. Then, there are those who make the outlandish claims that, from beyond the roadside which ensnares the dark and tumultuous forest, on the tracks which the trains run and the parks that children roam, the half-beast mountain man has come and gone for all but a moment before trekking either deeper into the world, or back into its grove.
It’s this tall tale, this local haunt, an urban legend that permeates in the fantasy of those who dare to dream of what lies beyond the pine trees.