The Strider by Pruzel

It was late afternoon and I was walking home. I was almost out of the forest when I saw a bush rustle and I heard quiet steps, they were rapid. I thought it was a deer, there aren't many deer and I loved to see them so I followed the noise. It lead me to a clearing in a part of the forest I had never been in before. When the creature walked into the clearing I was shocked. It was almost 15 feet tall and had black, shaggy, thick fur. Its face seemed oddly dog like and it had large, almond shaped, blank black eyes. Its legs were long and spindly and ended in a sharp point. I had never seen a creature like this before and there was blood on its mouth. It paused for a moment, as if sensing what was nearby, then it looked directly at me.

The moment it set eyes on me I knew it was a mistake to follow the strange noise. It seemed like the creature could see my soul. I ran as fast as I could in one direction but what seemed like hours of running and I still couldn't find the end of the forest. I knew I had only followed that sick creature for a few minutes but hours of running couldn't get me back. I was lost. I checked behind me for the creature and I saw it wasn't following me.

I relaxed a little, but I was still tense from that fact I can't get out. I hear a voice ahead of me so I sprint to it. I finally emerge from the forest on the side walk. The voice had been the police. My mother ran over and hugged me from behind. I screamed thinking it was the beast. I guess I had been in that forest for a while and my mom got worried. I got home and forgot all about that monster and the endless forest.

I sat up in bed and put on my glasses to see the clock. 2:39 it read. I wonder what had woken me for a moment then I decided I just had a nightmare but I don't remember it. I try to go back to sleep but it eludes me. I go to get a drink of water and I hear a tapping. I look out the window but it's too dark to see anything. I dismiss it as a branch. I get my water and hop into bed. I fall sleep after a while and wake up with a jolt from my nightmare.

I was being chased by that beast endlessly until its extreme speed had gotten it close to lunge a meter in the air and landed straight on top of me. I checked the clock. 9:34 it said. I had slept in with a nightmare. "Great," I thought, "I wasted a few hours of my day and I got scared out of my skin." I walked downstairs to get some breakfast but oddly no one else was there.

"Probably went to work early," I told myself, but I felt like someone or something was watching me. I knew I didn't have a guardian angel because if I did then that creature never would have looked at me. I thought a bit about the creature and that it might have kidnapped my parents, or worse, it could have killed them. I went online and searched around. I only found a small bit of information about the creature.

It was called a Strider. It hunts animals and tears off their legs before feasting on their bodies. If a human follows them then they will hunt down that person until they are dead. The thought that the strider would not stop until I was dead is unsettling. I researched until lunchtime and only found that no one that encountered the monster survived more than a few months after the encounter. I also found a few other names that people called that thing, Stiltwalker and Forest Strider.

It was time that my parents came home from work for their break but they didn't. I called their work but I was told that they hadn't come. I called 911 to report missing people. After the police left I decided to end this. I walked to the forest and followed the tracks I had made in the mud to the clearing.

The strider stood tall and strong over a decapitated cow elk. There was gore and entrails everywhere around the carcass. I felt like I was going to be sick but I spoke to the creature "If I give you my life, will you leave my parents alone?" I yelled at the hideous animal.

It quickly looked at me and began to slowly creep towards me. It made no sound as it stalked. When it was close enough it lunged at me, just like my nightmare, only I didn't run away. Months passed and the news on the murdered child had died down. No one had seen me or my parents since the murder. The strider still walks the forests, in search of its next meal. If you enter the forest in late afternoon then be prepared and don't follow that strange noise.


Artist's representation of the creature.