It was a Tuesday when Connor trekked into the forest in search of this mythic beast.
Conner was a 19-year-old film student at the university not far from the base of the hill. He was in the early stages of his second year of school. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, he had heard plenty of stories of local legends and foul wilderness beasts whose notoriety was as fearsome as some dastardly and dirty outlaws. Yet, the last thing he expected upon his arrival in New Jersey was for there to be a similar tall tale being spun here? Ghosts, sure. The Jersey Devil, maybe! But a bigfoot type creature not so unsimilar to the sasquatch stories of home, something seemed off.
The trail in which Connor followed with only a camera in hand was narrow. The path ahead was marked with yellow paint for the hikers who, as of now, wouldn’t dare tread on this haunted ground. Alas, the young filmmaker moved onward.
The sounds of the forest surrounded him as he came to an opening in the trees. The clearing was flush with dead leaves still not blown away from last fall and a trail map encased in graffitied plexiglass was held up by a few deteriorating pieces of plywood not far from the base of a rocky incline. With his camera rolling he stumbled toward it mumbling to himself, he wasn’t lost but he surely knew not of where he was going.
Where was he? And what was he even looking for, thought Connor aloud. For a time only his voice filled the soft spring breeze.
With the red camera light still glowing he moved up through the forest, now veering from the marked trails. If anything was to cross his path it would likely be where the trees had no names.
As Connor moved through the enclosing path which grew more wild with rocks and thorns his footing became weaker and his attention fell thinner. Then, as the pebbles beneath his shoes shifted and the branches hung lower, his knees gave way and the weight of his body, backpack, and camera came crashing down.
“Oh dear, oh my, are you okay over there fella?”
The voice came from not so far away. From the ground, Connor looked frantically around before rolling onto his back, if he wasn’t with his back to the ground he’d likely jump out of his own skin, for a man encased in dirt and bruising was stood above him, hand extended out reaching to help aid this fallen and weary traveler.