Who Goes There?

Ancient Man had good reason to fear the dark. In the lightless expanses of the night predators roamed their world, taking what they wanted from humanity's defenseless number and leaving little behind to mark their passage. In time we found the means to keep those predators at bay. But not all of the dangers of the night have been conquered. Alone in the forest Janet Harrow is pitching her tent, the night closing in about her. If she is lucky she may live to the dawn...


6.31pm

Mel
Hey Janet. I heard you pulled the short straw. :)

Janet
You heard right.

Mel
Where's John and Guthrie?

Janet
Both ill. The Prof needs the data so it looks like I'm up here for the weekend.

Mel
That sucks. Where are you now?

Janet
Near the second stream location. Laying some cages.

Mel
You got any of the trail cams?

Janet
Yeah. Set up a few along one of the main trails.

Mel
Where will you camp?

Janet
I think I'll set up just south of the stream.

Mel
And its Water Rats this time?

Janet
Yes it is. Forest Service wants an update on introduced rodentia.

Mel
And you drew the short one on that.

Janet
I did, but the location is stunning.

Mel
Yeah. Been there myself.  The forests around Olympic are pretty spec.

Janet
What's your plans for the weekend?

Mel
Off to the slopes. Got a cabin booked.

Janet
Bitch.

Mel
:) Don't worry. Next time I'll take you with me.

Janet
Any word from Pria yet?

Mel
Not yet. Said she would let you know if the grant's approved by the 14th.

Janet
Still 2 weeks.

Mel
Look. If you get the grant you won't be spending anymore of your weekends in tents.

Janet
That is something I truly look forward to.

Mel
I'll get in touch tomorrow. Enjoy your evening.


7.17pm

Louis
Hey Janet.

Janet
Hey LooLo. What's up?

Louis
Please don't call me that. My mom hates it.

Janet
Well she named you Louis Lopez. Sounds cool anyway.

Louis
Yeah maybe. Got a job for you.

Janet
What do you need?

Louis
I think I gave you one of the old trail cams by mistake. Can you check the serial numbers for me?

Janet
What are you looking for?

Louis
Anything starting with SD on its serial number.

Janet
What's the problem?

Louis
The older cams take a standard SD memory card. I've given you only MicroSD cards.

Janet
And?

Louis
The new trail cams'll be OK. The older cams aren't compatible.

Janet
Hell. I won't be able to check them until morning. Too dark now.  The cards seemed to fit Ok though.

Louis
That's a relief. Can you still check them in the morning?

Janet
No problem.


8.32pm

Pria
Janet. Not too busy?

Janet
Open for business. Just organising extra batteries for the morning.

Pria
Just wanted to let you know I forwarded your grant application this morning. Did Mel give you the timeline?

Janet
Yeah. Its going to be a long two weeks.

Pria
Will you be taking Mel with you if you're successful?

Janet
Couldn't do the research without her.

Pria
Does she know you're considering her?

Janet
Not yet.

Pria
You should let her know. She'll be a hundred percent on board with it.

Janet
I'll talk with her after this weekend is done.

Pria
Good. See you next week.


9.44pm

Janet
Mel. You on the road?

Mel
In a diner. Where are you?

Janet
In my tent. There's something outside.

Mel
It's a forest. There's probably plenty of things outside.

Janet
No. Something big.

Mel
What. Close?

Janet
Can't tell. Heard this weird hooting sound.

Mel
Like an owl?

Janet
No. More like a whoop from something really big.

Mel
Geez Janet. You know where you are don't you?

Janet
Olympic NF.

Mel
No. Sasquatch country. Smack in the middle of it.

Janet
You're not helping.

Mel
No really. Big Foot's big around there.

Janet
I'm a scientist Mel. Not a nutcase.

Mel
Then what made the noise?

Janet
I don't know. Haven't heard anything like it before. Scared the hell out of me.

Mel
What do you want me to do?

Janet
I don't know. I'll text you if I hear anything else. God I hate camping.

Mel
join the club. Text me if anything happens.


10.06pm


Janet
Mel.

Mel
Just pulling off the road. What did you hear?

Janet
A strange knocking sound. Like someone hitting a tree with a stick.

Mel
Oh, you really have got some problem there girl.

Janet
Why?

Mel
Those sounds are associated with Bigfoot. Hitting the trees is supposed to be some type of communication.

Janet
How do you know that?

Mel
Hey. I read. Sometimes.

Janet
This is freaking me out.

Mel
Where's your car?

Janet
Up the trail about three clicks.

Mel
That's no good. You better stay in your tent.

Janet
It's just a tent. I won't be safe.

Mel
I read somewhere that Bigfoot doesn't attack things it can't see.

Mel
Stay in your tent and it should leave you alone.

Janet
I should try and get back to the car.

Janet
OMG

Mel
What?

Janet
Heard the banging sound again. This time closer.

Mel
Stay in your tent girl. Trust me. Hunker down and let whatever it is pass.

Janet
It's so dark. I can't see anything out there.

Mel
Don't try. I'll ring the Ranger Station and see if they can get someone out your way.

Janet
What will you say?

Mel
I'll tell them there's a bear.

Janet
Oh shit. That's just as bad.

Mel
Don't worry. Give me a few minutes.


10.31pm

Mel
Got onto the local Ranger tower. One of them will be out your way in a half hour.

Janet
Thanks Mel. Reception here is rubbish.

Mel
Stay in your tent.

Janet
I'm not going anywhere.


10.44pm

Janet
Mel. There's something outside.

Mel
Near the tent?

Janet
Walking around the camp.

Mel
Can you see what it is?

Janet
No. Too dark. Fire's nothing but embers.

Mel
How do you know something's there?

Janet
I can hear it rummaging through the equipment.

Mel
Could it be a bear?

Janet
I know what a bear sounds like. This is on two feet.

Mel
You heard it walking?

Janet
Yes.

Mel
Shit. Got one of your cameras with you?

Janet
Why?

Mel
You should take a photo. A picture of Bigfoot would make you famous.

Janet
I am not worried about being famous. The thing sounds huge.

Mel
Well stay in the tent. Don't make a sound.

Janet
Oh God. It's leaning up against the tent.

Mel
Janet? You OK.

Janet
Oh shit. Oh shit.  Its still here.

Mel
What's it doing?

Janet
Pulling apart my food box.

Mel
Sounds like a bear.

Janet
But its not. Had a quick look. It was definitely on two legs.

Mel
Jees. That was a risk.

Janet
Couldn't help myself. In the moonlight it looked enormous.

Mel
Any sign of the Ranger?

Janet
None.

Mel
I'll give them another call.


11.04pm

Mel
Janet. Still there?

Janet
Yes. At least I am. Haven't heard the thing for a few minutes.

Mel
Ranger's been delayed. Another camper was attacked near the main camping ground.

Janet
Oh no.  When will they be out?

Mel
Not long.

Janet
Do they know what attacked the other campers?

Mel
Not yet. Best thing you can do is stay in your tent.

Janet
Shit. Shit. Shit. It's coming back.

Mel
Tell me what it's doing.

Janet
Its walking through the camp site.

Janet
Now its near the fire.

Mel
Be quiet.

Janet
I have nothing to defend myself with.

Mel
Don't worry, just turn off that torch.

Janet
How do you know I've got a torch on?

Mel
Just figured you would.

Janet
Mel. Where are you?

Mel
On my way to the slopes.

Janet
Where exactly?

Mel
Oh crap. OK you caught me.

Janet
Jesus Mel. Where are you?

Mel
About 20 metres to your west.

Janet
You shit! What are you doing?

Mel
Sorry. Couldn't resist it. When the others couldn't make it I took the opportunity.

Janet
To scare the shit out of me?

Mel
Sorry. :)

Janet
Was it you walking through the camp?

Mel
Yeah. I got a Bigfoot suit in town.

Janet
OMG. If I actually see you I'm going to kill you.

Mel
Cool your jets. Look on the bright side.

Janet
And what's that?

Mel
I can't get back to my car tonight so you'll have some company.

Janet
Which part of "I'll kill you" didn't you understand.

Janet
You're going to have to stop it Mel. It's not funny at all.

Mel
Stop what?

Janet
Hitting the trees. I just heard you.

Mel
That wasn't me.

Janet
Don't lie to me. I heard it as clear as day.

Mel
I'm telling you Janet, it wasn't me.

Mel
Anyway, I can't hear anything in this damn suit.

Janet
You better get here quick. I can hear something running.

Mel
What?

Janet
Mel. Get to the camp. NOW!

Mel
Now you're just trying to scare me.

Janet
Jesus Mel. Run!




9.31am


Louis
Hey Janet. Sorry I couldn't text earlier. Had the phone charging downstairs.

Louis
Got a message from Pria last night. Hope the application goes well.

Louis
Where you able to get those serial numbers?

Louis
Janet?

THE END

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