“Come on, up with ya, seems like you’ve veered off the trail,” The man, standing above Connor, said kindly. His hand still reaching out but his head and eyes scanning the distance, “So if you are trying to get back over to the parking lot near the reservoir I’d say the fastest trek is the blue path just past that fallen log, and if you are simply trying to get over to the cliff, I’d stick to the yellow trees over that a’way,”
Connor, still, shocked at what he was looking up at, reached for his camera to make sure the red light was racing, he didn’t yet point it at the man.
“You’re the forest…man, right?” The gentleman tilted his head.
“Well if you consider 21 to be a man, then sure! I’m the forest man, but, as it seems you haven’t run off like most, you can call me Sawyer, Sawyer Edgemont, and you are?” Asked the forest man now known as Sawyer.
“Well nice to meet you Connor! What can I do for you?” He then asked warmly and patiently. He helped hoist him back to his feet.
“So, I am a local filmmaker…well, college student, but I was actually looking for you,” Connor started off which caught Sawyer’s attention as his eyes raised and head tilted in interest, “you see, so many people have been spotting you around town and frankly, I think have the wrong idea of who you are and I just, ya know, was hoping to maybe make a little video for one of my classes about what you are up to, I guess like your day-to-day life, is…is that alright?” asked Connor.
“Hmm,” muttered Sawyer softly, his thoughtful sounds radiating more than just in his head, “Surely, I don’t see what’s that to fuss about but, why not! Ya know, the company would be appreciated,” He then said with a soft smile, before nervously wiping some dirt off his forehead in a failed attempt to look less shabby, “where shall we start?” he then asked before spinning around frantically in a shallow attempt to seem like his day-to-day life was more than what was already occurring.
Over the course of the next hour or so Sawyer ran and jumped through the woodlands paths. He attempted to, and often failed, to climb trees, pick up large rocks and even show Connor how to defecate comfortably amongst the forest.
Frankly it was an unfortunate sight. All of it, not just the pooping thing.
“Sawyer!” called out Connor as the forest man trekked ahead emphatically to show off another one of his wilderness treasures, “Out of curiosity, if you don’t mind me asking. People claim to see you outside of the woods too. Is that true?”
He stopped in his tracks. Looking back at Sawyer he took a deep breath and motioned a sigh before spinning around and confronting Connor’s question.
“From time to time, sure. Yeah, I do go into town on occasion,” Connor nodded, Sawyer looked around and then spoke up again, “I guess, even though I threw away the trappings of civilization, I do have cravings…from time to time.” Connor looked at him with a tilt of the head.
“Cravings?” Asked Connor cautiously. Would the legend finally come to fruition? Would Sawyer magically grow those fearsome paws and claws that the alleged survivors have spoken of?
“Yeah, ya know. Sometimes when I’ve been up here awhile, maybe it’s been a hard rain or snow and I just need to blow off some steam I go down into town,” Sawyer’s gaze moved from Connor’s and his stare became tense, “I do a little bit of stalking, ya know, I scope out my prey,” his words became sharp and his eyes became dull of emotion as he continued on, “and just before I pounce, just before I become feral and overwhelmed with desire and lust for what I have sought, ya know?” His words hung on by a string, was this about to be the man so many have feared? But then, like a pull of the blinds to the innocent reality that is Sawyer, he said, “I head to the local pool and wash off some of the dirt and use one of my geo-caches to grab cash and then I get myself that slice of pizza and I head back off into the woods.”
That was a roller coaster.
“So you go into town for pizza?”
“Yeah! Sometimes burgers or ice cream too,” Sawyer noted while nodding proudly, “I like watching the Cold Stone people do their thing.”
“But there was a spotting of you like, last week? And the week before that, how often are you heading into town for food?” asked Connor.
“Well, not often I don’t think, time and me don’t really coexist, I kinda just assume that if I’ve seen the moon like two or three times it’s probably been like a month so I just assume that the coast is clear and it’s been enough time.”
“So you wait, like, two days?” Connor questioned. Sawyer stared at him blankly.
“Is that really how long two moons are?”