The Mysterious Man In The Woods Part Two
Read Part One here.
The police released statements saying they were continuing their search for the campers. I’ve been trying to determine if that means the bodies they found weren’t of the campers or if they’re covering up finding the campers for some reason. I’ve driven by the area where I saw the bodies being investigated; it seems that the investigation has ended. I am planning on going back after work today and doing some investigating of my own. I don’t know why this story of the campers has intrigued me so much. I know other reporters have been reporting about them, but none of them saw what I saw. None of them saw the lifeless bodies lying there, surrounded by police investigating them. None of them saw the bodies get zipped into thick black bags and loaded into the back of the coroner’s vehicle. Maybe that’s what has me obsessed with this. I need to know who those bodies belonged to. What kind of people were they? What killed them?
After being in the office all day writing up drafts of this week’s reports, I finally grabbed my jacket and headed out to the investigation site. When I got there, the caution tape had been removed. From the road, everything appeared normal. If it weren’t for the house across the street where I stood and watched, I wouldn’t have even noticed it. I parked my car in the driveway of the house. The house was so run-down it didn’t appear anyone would mind. I only had about an hour before dark. I grabbed my jacket from the car and made my way over the guard rail and down a steep, leaf-covered hill to the site. I could see areas in the leaves where people had walked and tried to follow them.
After a few minutes, I saw a bare area. It was big enough for a body to be covered up under leaves. A chill ran down my spine, giving me goosebumps. Is this a warning to leave? What happened here? I took a deep breath and squatted beside it. Some of the mud was darker, and I assumed where blood or other bodily fluids might have seeped into. There were even a few maggots and other bugs feeding on whatever it was. It looked like that area had been dug into. Maybe the police took a sample from the area to help with identifying the victim? Other than the bugs, nothing was standing out.
I got up and looked for the next body site and heard a rustling in the leaves. I stopped for a moment and looked around but didn’t see anything. It didn’t sound big, maybe a raccoon or something. I continued to search for the next site when I noticed something odd. There was a shoelace sticking out from some leaves. I went over to it and looked around. How did the police miss this? It was a white shoelace that had red and brown stains on it. Blood maybe? Suddenly, I was swept off my feet. Something knocked me backward and held my mouth and body.
“Don’t you dare scream and don’t even try to run. You won’t get away,” said the voice of a man behind me, holding me.
Tears filled my eyes. I was terrified. I jerked around as best I could, trying my best to loosen his grip on me, but I couldn’t. He was too strong. It was starting to get dark now, and nobody would see him holding me here. As if anyone would drive down this miserable road anyway. I regretted not telling anyone where I was going. Rule #1 of being a reporter. How could I be so stupid? He began dragging me away, and I did my best to make it as difficult as possible. He was practically carrying me by the time he got near a vehicle—a dark SUV. The passenger door opened, and someone else stepped out and moved toward us.
“Come on. We need to hurry,” the man who came out of the vehicle said.
I couldn’t make out his face. He was wearing glasses and some kind of mask. He moved closer to us and grabbed my legs. I began moving violently, anything to get them to break their grasp. But their strength won, and the one holding my arms and mouth moved into the back of the vehicle, still holding me. The other closed the door. I looked around the vehicle as best I could, but there was a black divider between the trunk and the seated area. I couldn’t see out the windows, not even the outline of a tree or anything as they drove. Maybe the windows are tinted?
This is it, I thought. This is where I die.
“Open your mouth,” the man in the trunk with me said. He pulled a pill bottle out of his pocket, releasing my mouth.
“I’m not taking a damn thing you give me,” I shouted.
“Listen, we’re not going to hurt you. From here on out, you listen to us. You do what we say. You keep your mouth shut and you follow our every order. If you do, you’ve got a chance of getting out of here. If not, we kill you.”
He grabbed my mouth and forced it open, hurting me as he did. He quickly shoved a pill into my mouth.
“Swallow,” he demanded, loosening his grip slightly.
The pill tasted bitter as it sat in my mouth, no water to help me bring it down. I struggled hard to swallow, and I wanted to spit it out, but I knew it would be bad. I swallowed the pill and that was the last thing that I remember about that car ride.