A man sees his son as a reflection of himself. Creating his son is a way to validate what kind of man the father is and what he has passed down. It is a father’s hope that his son will become not just a man but a noble, trustworthy man of honor and kindness. Especially if he is lucky enough to be raised with conviction and love. I always knew my son, Jamie, was that for me and I took pride in bringing him up in this world as rough as it can be.
It was a typical Saturday morning my wife, Sarah, was making breakfast while I was on my computer analyzing the stock market, something I did a lot of lately given the state of our ever-changing economy. My children Amelia now fifteen going on 30 was sitting in our breakfast nook playing on Snapchat with a boy I’m pretty sure I had told her she was no longer allowed to talk to.
One clearing of my throat when I walked by looking over her shoulder and she quickly turned off Snapchat and went about texting her best friend, Sidney. Her face as red as the toenail polish she was wearing this week. My son Jaimie was playing with his new PS4 game I had bought and conveniently forgot to tell my wife. She was a bit old fashioned and liked to take our kids on hikes outside rather than allow them to live vicariously through video games and their phones. Jaimie was ten now and adept at learning how to manipulate his mom.
“Amelia, go get dressed it is almost time to leave.” Sarah put a plate of sausages and eggs in front of me and then walked over to Jaimie and kissed his head. “Aren’t you going to miss your ma? I’m going away for such a long time!”
“Mom, it’s only four days you and Emelia will face time me.” He moved his head to try and see his game but my wife purposely followed his head blocking his view.
“Perhaps I should superimpose myself inside this video game.” She stood shaking her head.
“That would be cool mom.”
“I bet.” Sarah said rolling her eyes turning towards Amelia once again. “Amelia what did I tell you?”
“I’m going. I don’t understand why I have to go anyhow. Sidney and I were going to get our nails done at the mall.” She stomped across the family room towards the stairs as loud as she possibly could so that we knew the full extent of her teenage angst.
“Because it is important that we keep some of our Cherokee traditions at least on my side of the family. It is what your grandmother wanted.”
“Learning how to bead things and cook isn’t my idea of a fun weekend.” Amelia quipped at her mother which my wife ignored and went about packing the last of her things to be back by late Tuesday evening.
My wife had been trying for years to hold the traditions of where she came from and I admired her for it. She was an artist and worked at the museum in town and over the years I watched her make things like beautiful dream catchers. We weren’t allowed to throw things away because everything could be recycled for art. She would create her art out of things around the house. In other words, garbage. We had chimes on our back porch made of forks and spoons she had collected from around the woods surrounding our house. Sarah tried hard to teach our daughter the importance of family traditions, especially those of Native American origin. This weekend was mother and daughter weekend where most of the older women on the nearby reservation spent the long weekend teaching the younger generation the traditions that had been passed down.
My son and I were none too glad to see them go. We had an entire weekend of horror movies, video games and junk food planned. We planned to eat everything my wife forbid us to eat when she was around. Everything she made was health conscious, heart smart or organic. Those were all admirable things, however, you needed variety.
Amelia stomped down the stairs her long dark hair draped under a snow cap and I laughed when I saw the sour look on her face.
“Amelia, perhaps you could try to be a little more interested in what your mom has planned. If anything, do it for her.”
“Dad there isn’t even reception where she is taking me which means I can’t even text Sidney.”
I laughed glad that Sidney wasn’t the only one she wouldn’t be texting this weekend. “Just try to have a good time, okay?”
Amelia rolled her eyes and stomped into the snow towards our SUV as she and I helped load the car with their suitcases and supplies in case of something happening on the six-hour drive. I kissed my wife goodbye and watched them pull out of the long wooded drive out into the road. The recent three feet of snow was now melting under a light drizzle of rain. The cold air and rain began to dampen my shoulders and I felt a sudden chill as I hurried back into the house. The fork and spoon chimes blew in the wind and made a weird clanking sound that my wife had called “pleasing.”
I stepped back inside the house and looked at my son who was grinning ear to ear. “Party time dad the girls are away so the boys will play!” he laughed and we took out the new Friday the 13th video game and started it.
We played for a few hours and then both of our stomachs began to get grumbly. I ordered a couple of pizzas from my phone which seemed to have saved the last ten orders. With one press of a button and one saved credit card our pizza delivery was on its way. The phone app said that our food would take approximately thirty minutes or so to arrive so I stood up and began to get plates ready. I pulled out a beer for myself and a root beer for my son. I happened to look outside noticing there was a fog so thick outside that I couldn’t even see to the end of my back porch. I turned on our outdoor lights and noticed it didn’t seem to matter the fog was so thick it loomed outside our door like a cloud of smoke.
I cleaned up some of the mess we made and by now my son had grown bored of his video games and had moved on to some Disney show he liked to watch. The television was at full blast and I stepped into the family room to tell my son to turn down the tv, only when I stepped in there he was nowhere to be found. I figured he was in the bathroom and as I walked over to turn the television off I saw something out of the corner of my eye giving me pause. There was a flash of red coming from the big window of the family room that overlooked our back deck and sliding glass doors. It was strange but I gave it no more thought and went about checking my phone which now showed the pizza was approximately twelve minutes away now.
“Jamie! You okay in there? Did you fall in?” I yelled laughing to myself. “Make sure you wash your hands!”
I saw lights coming up the driveway and Jaimie ran into the kitchen. “Hey son, want to go grab the pizza for me?”
“Yeah do we tip him?”
“Yes.” I sighed handing him a ten and went back to cleaning off the counter. Trying to find a clean spot was a bit of a challenge. My wife had art projects all over the house while my daughter had nail polish, books and sweatshirts laying about. The door was left open and it seemed like he had been out there too long. I figured he was giving the poor man the third degree as he sometimes got to talking to people and would ask them everything under the son. I didn’t want our food to get cold so I went to look out the door. The damned fog kept everything cloaked in its cover and I could only see dim lights from our driveway. I walked towards the light and when I reached the delivery driver’s vehicle, neon sign adorning the top of the little ford focus, the driver’s side door was wide open but both the driver and my son were not there.
Confused I tried my best at searching for them but both were now gone. “Jamie!” I was beginning to panic as the fog seemed to swallow everything within a foot of where I was standing.
The fog broke as I walked through it and it reminded me of the tall grasses surrounding the marsh I grew up around as a boy. I cut in and searched with my eyes using the dim light from the delivery driver’s car. Then I heard it “Dad come look!”
I walked toward my son who was standing by the delivery driver and I was perplexed as I looked at them. The driver was still holding the pizzas in the warmer bag when I approached them. They appeared to be watching something as I came up behind the two of them. I looked over my son’s head and saw what the fuss was about. There was some sort of goo that was draped over the snow and hung on the trees. An opening appeared above us in the fog as a full moon popped out as if gazing down at us, causing the mysterious goo to glow brighter. The fog slowly rolled back over our heads covering the moon again and the brightness of the goo dimmed.
“This is weird man, but I have to go finish my deliveries.” The driver mused thanking us for the tip and drove off.
My son stood watching it for a while longer and I now stood holding hot boxes with pizza inside of them. I figured it had something to do with the snow melting and perhaps a chemical from the recent rain that was now turning back into snow.
I led my son back into our house and we sat down to watch a movie shoveling food in our faces. An hour into our second movie, my son falling fast asleep on the sofa, I smiled as I watched him. I stood up to turn down the television and covered him with a blanket. I crept into the kitchen and started to clean yet another mess of candy wrappers, pizza boxes, and soda bottles. If my wife saw all this evidence I’d never hear the end of it.
I looked at the clock realizing it was nearly midnight and I had yet to hear from my wife. Picking up my cellular I made a call and immediately got her voicemail so left a brief message to let her know I was checking in on her. I went to set my phone down but held it in a tight grip instead as something outside caught my attention. Startled by what I was looking at, I dropped my phone to the kitchen floor and stood looking at the deck. The fog seemed thicker than it was a few hours ago except for one thing, red eyes. They met mine and it was made only worse by the fog illuminating their glow into the night and into my own gaze. I took a deep breath it had to be a wolf or some other wild animal. I turned off the kitchen light and as I did the eyes melted back into the fog.
I reasoned with myself that it was nothing, but even I had to admit to myself that there was something about those eyes. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my son on the sofa for the night and I budged him to get him to come upstairs to his own bed. He wandered half asleep up to his room and I into my own.
My head hit the pillow but I spent a restless two hours half in and out of sleep that wouldn’t come. I kept seeing those eyes staring back at me.
A loud bang at my back door had me sitting up out of a dead sleep. I took a moment and then got out of my bed and went towards my son’s room. He too had heard the loud bang and was standing in his room.
“Dad what is it?”
“I don’t know son, stay here.”
As usual Jamie didn’t listen and was slowly following me down the stairs. I crept into the kitchen and motioned to Jamie to stay where he was. This time he did as told and I looked at the back door to which I noticed blood smeared down the sliding glass doors. I heard Jamie again behind me and this time I had had enough. “STAY BACK FOR GOD SAKE! Can’t you listen to me for once?”
He stepped back realizing how angry I now was. “Sorry dad.”
I walked towards the door and could see there was some sort of dead animal laying on my deck. It appeared to have been thrown against the glass. I wasn’t sure if it was still alive. Although my instincts told me this was a bad idea, I opened the sliding glass door and looked around. I couldn’t see anything from the fog. Looking over at the creature I realized it was a dead bobcat. It looked as though something had bit into its neck nearly severing the poor creature’s head clean off its body. How did it end up against my door?
I felt it then, a rush of fear and so I went back into my house and locked the door. My son was looking at me. “Dad what was it?”
“A dead animal is all. I’ll get it in the morning go back to bed.”
We were walking towards the family room to go upstairs when all the lights in my house went off. With the electric out that also meant the heater was out as it was also powered by electric.
“Shit!” I muttered and grabbed a flashlight from the junk drawer in the kitchen.
My son stood behind me and I put on my coat and boots walking towards the back door again, only this time to go outside and turn on the back-up generator. Because of safety it had to be a fair distance from our home and so I slowly slid open the glass door again and walked onto our deck. I turned and once again my son was standing behind me. “Jamie go back inside.”
“No dad, I’m scared I don’t want to be in here alone.”
“Get your coat then.” I said walking back into the kitchen.
Jamie quickly dressed and together we walked back onto the deck. He didn’t seem to even notice the dead animal and I looked back a few times to ensure he was behind me. I think his fear made him too scared to care about it.
We got to the generator which was held up in an old shed that was more of a standing cover than anything. Holding up the flashlight to look for the switch I turned towards Jamie. “Son stay back a few feet this can be dangerous.” For once my son listened to me and for once I wish he had not.
I looked back and noticed I couldn’t see him because of the fog. “Jamie maybe you should come over here so I can show you how this thing works in case you ever need to know.” When he didn’t respond, I figured he was just pouting because I wouldn’t let him help me at first. I turned on the switch and the sound encompassed my ears. I saw lights in the distance so I knew the kitchen lights were now back on. I stepped out of the open shed and walked in the direction of where my child was.
I didn’t hear anything from Jamie just the mechanics of the generator. I walked back towards where we had just been and yelled. “Jamie come here!” I yelled again but I heard no response. I began to panic and even though it was cold outside I felt sweat on my brow from frustration.
I walked towards the light of my house, my flashlight shaking in my hands. I was growing worried shivering at the wet cold that seemed to bury itself into my neck. Light bounced off the trees of the snow-covered meadow near our home as I walked onward.
I felt it. I stopped abruptly as a warm gust of air hit the back of my neck. I was shaking harder and this time it wasn’t the cold as I could hear something come up behind me, sniffing. I closed my eyes and stood as still as I could manage and then I felt it something rubbing up against the thick of my coat and then into my hair. It licked the back of my head. My first fear was that it was a bear. I only wish it had been a bear.
I turned looking at this creature who stood nearly eight feet with a head like a large dog or wolf, eyes so red they glowed. My fear worsening as the fog above us separated to the view of a full moon and then the creature seemed to separate its large jaw from inside its mouth shaking its head from side to side like a dog it howled. Then I heard more howling coming from all around me. I bolted from my place thinking only of my safety nearly all at once forgetting Jamie. I tripped and fell over something that felt human. Dear God, no please don’t let it be.
Horror subsiding but only momentarily, it wasn’t Jamie. It was the leg of a large man that when I looked again I recognized as our pizza delivery guy. His throat had been torn out of his neck much like the bobcat on my deck. Some ways from him I saw his car mangled after sliding into a ditch near the end of our driveway. The moon began to disappear and once again the fog grew thick torturing my mind. I had to find my son!
I stood up to run, thinking only for a second of the poor man whose body I was leaving behind, when I saw more eyes greeting me from the forest. They were getting closer. I had to get to my house, I had to run for my life, I had to find Jamie.
I heard them all gaining up on me from their hiding places in the woods, but I was determined to get to my house. I hoped that perhaps Jamie had went back to the house when I was fixing the generator.
I heard it first the ripping of my pant leg. I was only a few feet from the steps of my deck when I felt the pain. It caught on to my leg. Sharp things like steak knives were cutting into me. Only when I stood up long enough to peer over my shoulder did I see fur and claws. Tripping I fell onto the dead bobcat from earlier. Blood smearing onto my face and chest. I managed to crawl into my house and stood up as fast as I could manage.
Shutting the glass door so hard it began to crack I quickly locked it and began to run towards my son’s bedroom hoping that I would find him there. I was bleeding and with each step leaving a puddle of bloody footprints behind me.
When I didn’t see my son, I knew that I had to find him even if it meant leaving the confines of my safety.
I went into the bathroom and wrapped my leg in bandages as quickly as I could. Tears fell from my eyes but I didn’t have time to think of my pain, Jamie was out there alone with those dog men.
I moved slowly towards my bedroom and inside I rummaged through my closet until I found an old pistol. I had never felt the need to use a gun, I wasn’t even a gun type of guy, but my child was out there. I looked as quickly as I possibly could but realizing to my unending horror the bullets were nowhere to be found. I put my head in my hands tears falling down my face. Then I thought hard as to what I was going to do. I recalled there was an old ax in my basement I used for chopping wood. It wasn’t much but it was something.
I stood in my closet and then I heard something. Just above my head was the attic and there was a sound coming from it. Footsteps walking around above my head causing dust and pieces of the ceiling to crumble and fall upon my head.
I walked slowly towards my bedroom door and shut it. I moved throughout my upstairs as quietly as I could but those damn creaky stairs gave way to where I was each time I stepped down them. I could hear this thing above me and it was following me with each creak of the steps moving closer to where I was on the ground floor. I heard a loud crash and I ran towards the basement stairs. I knew the ax was in the corner of the basement.
The dark basement.
When I tell you I prayed, I asked God to get my son to safety and I didn’t care how. I crept into the dark basement and was slow but I was able to find my ax and being the only weapon, I could think of right now, it was better than nothing. Moving quickly, I thought of the only other place my son could be. Just behind the house there was a little tree house he and I built together. Perhaps he was hiding inside of it. It was worth a shot and so I moved towards the kitchen to turn off the light so they couldn’t see me moving about the house.
Sound. What was that? Something was coming down the steps.
A basketball bounced down the stairs and landed near my feet. I looked up into the darkness that was where the ball had come. Then another object was thrown down and then another. Finally, I heard it.
Laughter? The sound of someone laughing came out of the darkness only it was as though a human being was laughing. Then I saw red glowing eyes slither above me at the top of the stairs and they were laughing, taunting me. The creature threw a doll at me that had been my daughter’s when she was a little girl and then stood up and walked slowly in my direction.
With each step the stairs broke beneath them one, two, three, four. I knew one more stair and it would be directly in front of me. It laughed like a hyena and then it crouched down with a roar jumping directly on top of me. Something made a noise and then blood covered me splashing into my eyes and dripping over my chest. It’s weight was heavy and I could barely breathe from the crushingly enormous size. I was on my back staring into its cold dead eyes as light ttrickled in from the television in the family room. It landed directly upon the ax I held in my hand and it went straight through its heart.
Pushing it off me I at least knew they could be killed.
Dad! I heard it. Jamie? Could it be?
It was coming from outside. When I looked out of the window I saw them, hundreds of them watching, waiting. I found the strength to keep moving but I was already failing. My leg was badly injured. I could hardly walk and running wasn’t an option.
What did they want?
Just then a miracle arose, the fog began to lift moving up and away from my yard and these dog men seemed to move with it. Their eyes disappearing into the woods following the dissipating fog. Red to pink to nothing.
I opened the front door watching them scatter as I noticed the moon fading into a morning sky. The sun was coming up just beyond the horizon and I looked towards the meadow where one single tree stood. I was right. My son had escaped to his tree house. I ran to him and he met me halfway into the meadow. Tears of joy stained my face as I held on to my son.
I looked at his face and I took a deep breath. “We need to call the police.”
I had to get back to my phone and it was in the kitchen still laying on the floor where I dropped it. I had forgotten it when I went to bed. I walked into the house with my son and when I saw it he and I didn’t even flinch.
The creature was gone, in its place lay a man naked as the day he came into the world.
“You should get that leg looked at Dad.” Jamie said pointing to my injured calf. The bandages were put on so quickly that coagulated blood covered my leg and ankle.
I looked at it and noticed something strange. A patch of gray and white hair covered the wounds and I stood up to go look at it in the bathroom. I pulled off the bandages and tried cleaning my wound but oddly enough there was no wound. Around where the wound used to be was the same goo-like substance I had seen only last night outside my house. I washed it off as best I could and then when I looked in the mirror I noticed my eyes. They had an odd reddish tint to them now.
My heart broke realizing what this meant. My son was standing next to me watching the pained look upon my face now looking into my eyes.
“You’re one of them now that it hurt you.”
I looked at my son’s wise eyes, tears welling up in mine. Unsure what I should do or what I should even say. I only knew I could not remain here, not now. I couldn’t take a chance on turning into one of those things and hurting my family.
A depression fell over me as I stood up. A dark cloud hung its ugly head over me now.
“Dad, I’ll tell the police I don’t know where you are. I’ll tell them these people broke in and you tried to save me but were gone when I got back from hiding in the treehouse.”
I nodded not sure where I was going to go.
“Don’t worry dad. It’ll be okay. We will figure it out.” Jamie ran to hug me.
“What a man you have become. I’ve raised a very smart young man.”
“I am the man of the house now. I say we will figure it out.”
Jamie helped me put some supplies together for a week long trip. He placed them in his boy scout bag and some food handing it to me like a soldier acting on duty.
I hid outside and watched the cops come and I saw my wife finally arrive, then they all left again, I guessed to be questioned by the police. When it looked like the coast was clear, I put on the backpack my son helped me put together and I began my hike into the woods. Someday, I hope to be able to return to my family.
I was only a few yards into the forest when I heard a whistle. I turned my head to see an officer walking towards me. Part of me wanted to run but then he did something I didn’t expect. He stopped and winked at me. Coming closer I noticed his eyes they too were reddish in color when the sun hit them a certain way.
“You’re one of us now. Welcome to the sons of GOD.” He dropped a business card on the ground.
With that he walked away from me with a cocky sort of look and I picked up the card. There was nothing on it except for a symbol of the sun and moon and a canine creature. I’m not sure what any of this means, and I have yet to find more information about it.
Since all this happened, I have researched and struggled to find answers. I tried finding others that may know more. It’s been nearly a month since I have seen my family.
I still can’t locate the officer that I met in the woods that day, but there is a full moon coming in a few days maybe I’ll know more after that. So, wish me luck and say a prayer.
I’m going to need it.