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Dear Julie, Part 2

A Night in God’s Teeth

 

From: Daniel [last name and email omitted]

Date: Thurs, Dec 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Subject: RE: FWD: FWD: I need you to read this

To: [full name and email omitted]

 

Well, I’m still alive. So that’s good.

Got back here early this morning and basically crashed. After the night I had, I figured I deserved a rest and didn’t bother to go to work. My boss’ll understand. I hope.

I’ll cut to the chase, Jack and Julie are okay, too. But we had a heck of a time out there in the woods.

God’s Teeth. That’s what Julie’s uncle called them. God’s Teeth. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that I have no idea what god those teeth belong to, but he’s one messed up guy.

Now, I’d only met Ray once. He and Jack were hunting buddies and a few months back he invited me to go along, too. Despite being twice our age, Ray was a pretty cool guy. You know that ‘wild uncle’ stereotype you see all the time? That was Ray. He always had a crazy story about when he was younger, or older, or last week. Anyway, cool dude. His place was about an hour away, so I got there a little after midnight last night. Looking at the email time stamps Jack had like a 12 hour head start and Julie was an hour ahead of him. So yeah, I was a bit late to the party.

I knew better than to try to park at Ray’s place, based on his letter I had no idea whether they’d have a found a body or not, so there might’ve been some cops hanging around. Luckily the area had seen some better days, so there were plenty of abandoned parking lots just a ways down the road. I prepared as much as I could, multiple flashlights including a headlamp, extra batteries, a machete, a jacket, my hunting rifle, and some snacks. Gotta keep my strength up, right?

After I parked and unloaded my stuff, I sort of skirted the woods for while until I was basically behind Ray’s place. I took a deep breath, told myself that I could do this, and started off into the woods. You know that scene in horror movies where a guy is somewhere scary and suddenly he feels a hand on his shoulder, he turns around and, lo and behold, it’s actually a friend? Right, well, I hadn’t been in the woods ten minutes before that happened. Except for the friend part. I spun around, ┬áraised my rifle as fast I could, and found myself staring at what was, up to that point, the scariest man I had ever seen. Luckily my headlamp blinded him temporarily and gave me a split second of extra time. Then his head exploded. Only I hadn’t pulled the trigger, in fact the safety was still on (way to be prepared, me). As he slumped to the ground at my feet, I caught sight of Jack off to the side, gun still smoking. With a forced smile he asked me what had taken so long.

He told me to follow him and to keep my eyes open. And the safety off. A short, and very quiet walk later, we came to what at one point had been a cabin, but was now little more than a hollow heap of moldering wood. We ducked under a beam and stepped inside. I panicked at first when I saw Julie, her shirt was covered with blood, some of it still quite fresh, then I realized that she wasn’t hurt at all. Busy day. We exchanged a few empty pleasantries, but she seemed genuinely glad I was there. Me and Julie we never really friends, but I figured any sane person was probably a welcomed sight.

I’ll give you the short version of her story, maybe someday I’ll go into detail, but the rest of the night was much crazier, so I figure it’s not a big deal. Anyway, she had come out to her uncle’s place ready to get some revenge. And she did. From what she told me, she got a LOT of revenge. She had only made it a few miles into the woods when she got jumped the first time. The lady came out of nowhere, she said, slashing her gnarled hands like claws and hissing like some kind of animal. She didn’t fare well against an angry Julie. I can’t really imagine much that would. After that she started being more cautious. Now that she knew her uncle’s story to be true, it got serious. She told me that they hadn’t found Ray’s body in the garage and that ┬áif she could, she was gonna find him. Her uncle, or at least his body, deserved better than whatever the ‘folk’ had planned for it. She had had no illusions that she might find him alive. It continued like that for much of the afternoon, isolated attacks here and there as she got deeper and deeper into the mountains. She was so jumpy by the afternoon that she almost shot Jack when he finally found her. Jack laughed a little said that all he had to do was follow the bodies. They had a few more incidents as the day went on, but nothing any more unusual than the situation they were already in. Just after nightfall they stumbled upon this shack and sort of set up a base camp. Jack had been coming back from sneaking into Ray’s house for food and ammo when he spotted me heading into the woods. Luckily he also spotted the man that was following me. My head was swimming. I read Ray’s letter, I had sort of expected all this, but being there was too much.

After a quick bite to eat, and a short briefing from Jack and Julie about their plan for the rest of the night, we “suited up” and made our way back into God’s Teeth. They said they’d seen more of the mountain folk near a weird, rocky outcropping they had discovered. They hadn’t found it until late in the evening yesterday, but going in a straight shot from the shack, they though it should only be about a five mile hike. Thank God I wore good boots. I killed someone on that hike. A couple of someones. But like Uncle Ray said, it’s only murder if it’s another human, and these people were as inhuman as it gets. Man, I was legitimately freaking out when both Julie and Jack told me they had killed people, but seeing what we were up against, how these mountain folk acted, you’d understand. Just like I did. They weren’t people. They stopped being people a long time ago. There was just nothing left to them, you could see it in their eyes. I’m still not really over that, but at the time I had to suck it up, there’d be time to freak out later.

Julie indicated that we were running into way fewer folk than they had been earlier and hoped we were doing some real damage to their numbers. They didn’t seem to have any weapons beyond their own bodies, not even having the sense to try and attack with rocks or clubs. We literally had them outgunned. As we made our way deeper into that blasted landscape I began to get an idea of what Ray was talking about with the rocks. I could only see what my light showed, but everything was wrong. They were just wrong. I can’t explain it much better than Ray did, but everywhere I turned there were just these jagged, twisted forms of stone jutting up from the ground. It was like my eyes didn’t even want to linger on them too long. I still don’t really get it, but they felt like they really didn’t belong there, or anywhere in a nice, normal world. These rocks got more and more common as we got closer to where they said the outcropping was.

It was a straight up village, like two dozen lean-to’s made of brush and there were angry folk everywhere. Well, we walked into that place like a band conquistadors and no one was left standing by the time we walked out. We killed all of those…animals. God, they were nothing more than animals. When they all seemed to be taken care of we had a chance to look around that blasphemous village. Bones made up most of the litter in the area, as well as random scraps of meat. You could tell just by looking, not all of it was from animals either. Beyond that, the ground was veritably coated in filth and waste; they even lived like animals. We explored a bit more, finding little except for more lean-to’s and the bodies of those that had managed to crawl away. Then we found it.

It was a pit. Or like a canyon. I don’t know. But it was big. And dark. And Jack almost walked right into it. Luckily Julie saw it first and caught his collar just in time. Now this, this didn’t belong, even more than the rocks. I felt queasy just looking at it. I still feel sick just thinking about it. Even with all our lights on, we could barely even see the end of the chasm. This pit, this giant crack in the earth, was made of rock so black it practically absorbed light. Nevermind about those rocks before, this was wrong. The very definition of the word. As we felt around the edge of this monstrosity, my hand landed on something very unexpected. Cloth. Like actual cloth, not like the rags the folk had been wearing. In the light of our flashlights Julie recognized it as part of her uncle’s favorite coat. We’d found him, sort of. We could only stare down into that abyss and make assumptions about what they may have done with him in the end.

It was a long walk back to the cars. The sun was just beginning to come up this morning by the time we made it out. Wordlessly we split up and went our separate ways. Like I said, I came home and crashed right away and I’ve really only been up long enough to write this and eat.

I figure we’ll try and meet up tomorrow. As much as I’d like to pretend this was some kind of fever dream, I think talking about it might do me some good.

There you go.

Was it wrong? Were those thing people? I don’t know. Oh God.

One more thing, there’s howling outside. And I heard it the whole drive home this morning. Am I hearing things? Dogs? How would they know where I am?

 

Daniel.