Hear Them Calling – Pt. 2

Read Time: 7mins | Episode: 2

If the weather was indeed changing, they would have to call off the search. Heavy rains were predicted, and this would not be good for the search effort, and most certainly not for Alice. Officer Dalrymple was a worried man. If he was uncomfortable, then Alice was most definitely freezing, alone, and afraid. That’s if she was still alive. He needed to think positively. She is still alive, and they needed to find her.

“Travis, where would someone find shelter in these woods?” He asked Travis.

Travis had warned against them speaking too loudly, and it was obvious he was reluctant to respond, but the piercing gaze had waited until he found the courage.

“We left safety behind a long time ago, Officer Daly. Only evil awaits us.” He hugged his tattered jacket tighter.  

“Officer Dalrymple?” Mr. Lee called the officer forward, and he handed him one side of a pair of pink clogs.

“Is it hers?” Officer Dalrymple asked.

“Bertha says it is, and that’s good enough for me. Her nose doesn’t lie.” Mr. Lee responded. “We should turn back, Officer Daly.” Travis was visibly petrified.

“What if it was you, Travis? Wouldn’t you want us to come find you?” Mr. Lee asked him.

“Aint nobody pay old Travis any mind for a long time.” He walked in tiny circles to stay warm, his eyes a blank stare. His words had stung, but they were truthful.

Officer Dalrymple was struggling to come to a decision. He had made a promise to Mrs. Kathy to find her daughter. More than anyone else in the search party, he understood what was at stake. The event was a distant memory, but the emotions were still a constant companion. The agony she was feeling; the guilt, the fear, the frustration of having to sit at home waiting for news, good or bad. He didn’t want to have to tell her that they had abandoned the search this early.

“Her odds of survival are diminishing. I say we press on…least till the rain comes.” Officer Sanchez insisted.

“Chopper needs to go refuel. They been up there most of the evening.” Another officer informed them.

“How much longer?” Officer Dalrymple asked.

“They estimate another fifteen before they have to leave.” The officer was eager to continue, and his eyes pleaded with Officer Dalrymple.

“Mr. Lee, you’ve been out here hunting before. Where would someone on the run be likely to hide?” He asked.

“Aint no hunting allowed in these woods. They’re sacred lands.” Mr. Lee lied tentatively, then deflected to Travis.

“Officer Daly, sir.  Even if I was high, and regrettably I can inform you that I am not, I would never ever contemplate hiding in these woods. Something evil prowls these lands.”

“Travis, for the last time, there is no Douen… and there is no Devil.”

“I know what I saw.” He bounced on his heels.

Bertha stood up suddenly, her nose pointing into the woods.

“She’s got something.” Mr Lee gave her some slack and she ran off.

Everyone pressed forward but Travis stood his ground. The chopper radioed that they had detected a heat signature, about sixty yards ahead. Not human.

“What do you mean, not human?” Officer Dalrymple asked. He paused, waiting for a response, his hand resting on his firearm.

“It’s a bear. Pull back! Pull back!” he shouted to the others.

There was a thunderous rumble as the large beast blitzed its way toward them. The bear growled and charged at the line of armed men, and as all the lights were suddenly turned on her, she stood up on her hind legs. She was a towering mountain of rage and raw power, a dreadful sight to behold, as grown men, scampered to the limited protection of trees. Sanchez fell over and ate a mouthful. Then a shot rang out… and then another. The bear grunted and dropped to all fours. She had been wounded but scooted back into the safety of the darkness. The sudden commotion had awakened every creature in the woods, and now, everyone was on edge.

“Oh lord. We’re all going to die out here.” Travis was cowering in fear.

Officer Dalrymple holstered his firearm. “Which one of you idiots fired?” He asked.

Several hands went up and he shook his head.

“Travis. Shut up!” He snapped.

“I told you. Don’t hurt the animals.” Travis whimpered in protest.

‘It was us or the beast. Now find us a place to shelter. The chopper is leaving. We can’t continue under these conditions.”

Suddenly, there was a whooping sound, and everyone froze. Then they heard it again.

“Alice!” Officer Sanchez shouted and ran off in the direction of the noise.

Then the chorus of voices shouted her name. “Alice!”

They waited for a response. After ten seconds they shouted it again. Silence, except for the whirring of the helicopter overhead. After an agonizing wait, the chopper radioed that it was time for them to leave.

There is no darkness quite as foreboding as a forest on a moonless night. There were suddenly eyes looking back at them from every direction. Officer Dalrymple knew he had to call off the search and return at first light with more help. Then, they heard another sound. This time, it was the laughter of a child.

“She’s near here. That’s her. Alice! Alice!”

The search team spread out, flashlights dancing in between the trees, bouncing off wet, evergreen leaves, exposing nothing but the menacing shadows of the forest. Yet the sound was growing louder… closer. Like the sound of a bull elk during rutting season. It was terrifyingly loud, and soul splitting.

“That isn’t the voice of a little girl.” Travis mumbled.

“What?” Officer Dalrymple could hear his own heart pounding between his ears.

“That is not the sound of a damn child. Officer Daly: We have summoned the minion of the devil himself. I warned you, don’t hurt the animals. Oh God, we are all going to die.”

Travis pressed his back to Officer Dalrymple, peering into the void where the sound had emanated.

“Everyone on me. Form a circle. Quickly now.” Officer Dalrymple commanded.

He didn’t believe Travis, but it was evident that something was coming at them, and coming in hot. The chopper could not have chosen a worse time to leave.

“There!” Officer Sanchez pointed his flashlight at something, but it was moving too fast, and now it was deathly silent. It wasn’t an elk, and it wasn’t human. And Officer Dalrymple had seen it.

There was a thud as someone hit the turf, then a flashlight dropped to the wet forest floor next to someone and was swallowed up in the undergrowth. An erratic, ghostly figure scurried between them. There were several sharp, panicked screams, and the fear factor had risen to extreme levels. Eleven other flashlights were frantically darting around trying to locate something, or someone that reacted much faster than they could. Then it grew silent. Whatever had attacked them, was gone.

“What in the devil?” Mr. Lee was cradling Bertha. He was the calmest soul in all the chaos.

“Douen.” Travis was kneeling, scratching his arm and had his eyes closed. “Douen, won’t hurt a friend of the forest. Travis is a friend of the forest.”

“We get out of here now. Back to Mrs. Kathy.” Officer Dalrymple ordered.

“Sanchez is down sir.”  A lone voice yelled.

All beams fixed unto the location where Officer Sanchez lay unconscious, a wound to his head.


“He’s alive. But would need medical attention. It was Officer Barnes. She was barely three days on the force.

“We carry him. Can’t wait for assistance, Barnes.”

Officer Dalrymple stood still for a second to replay what he had just seen. A slim figure, naked, with a broad conical hat. It had lunged over ten feet; a branch or a weapon of some kind was in its hand. It could have been an animal. No, it had to have been an animal. For there was no such thing as a Douen, he thought to himself.

6 responses to “Hear Them Calling – Pt. 2”

  1. Nigel, the details in this story are amazing. How do you pump out so much quality content so regularly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morning David… I think it’s just hitting my stride, and not being able to get out to the gym or go running. Life is short man, and we gotta do the things that we enjoy, and that makes us happy. Writing makes me happy. I think I mentioned a few weeks ago to you, that I just didn’t have time to do this daily… I corrected that mental posture the same day. I will make time to do the things I love.
      I am happy you think that the content is quality… lol. You know how much us writers second guess everything. Much love bruv.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pretty scary! Good read, Nigel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’ll be dropping some christian fiction next week. Should be fun. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was ONE ANXIOUS read! I love it! Moving on now…slowly…Lol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

April 2023
%d bloggers like this: