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There are so many things that I wish could be buried in the deepest parts of my mind. There are things that I pray could be locked away forever. The truth though is that once something like that happens, there really is no way to get away from it. I guess that is why I felt the need to share my story with everyone. The only way to stop it from eating away at my mind might be to let others know what happened to my friends and I that weekend. You see, school had just gotten out and I wanted to do something noteworthy to start off summer break. I was always a sucker for the outdoors so I talked to my best friend Michael about going camping in the forest. He was a little sketchy at first but we had been on these types of trips before; during those times things always turned out great so he agreed and from that point we got others to join us. In the end it was me, Michael, Jessie, and Samantha all packed into a single car driving down the highway. Our trunk was stuffed to the brim with food, tents and all the gear we were going to need. Of all the places we could have gone to in Canada we chose the Aspen Parkland.
I can’t remember what it was that made me choose that place; when it came down to it I remember pointing to the closest place on Google maps and we started our journey. It took us about three hours to drive up there but when we stepped out of that car and felt the breeze push against our skin we knew that it was well worth the wait. I hopped onto the hood of my car immediately and closed my eyes as the wind blew through my hair. Jessie and Michael were out running through the field of grass trying to race each other and Samantha of course had gone to the one spot upwind and lit up a cigarette. The smoke made me open my eyes immediately just to see her sitting in the grass like a Native with her legs crossed. I was planning to yell at her but I didn’t see the point so I slid off the hood and unlocked up the trunk. All of our bags had been packed before we got there so I grabbed mine and jimmied it over my shoulders. Samantha bolted up from the ground and ran over to get hers on “We’re heading out already?”
“Might as well” I said back to her. And with that she got her pack on and we both called out to Michael and Jessie who got theirs on. The four of us felt like explorers of some kind when we set off into the wilderness. The weather was a bit chilly but the adventure in our hearts was far beyond that of any child. Maybe that is pulling threads a little to thin but I am just being honest with the way I felt. We must have walked for a good mile before we reached the forest line that we had spotted earlier. I was the first to enter the brush and I beckoned the others after me. They followed close behind since I was the only one with any real outdoor experience.
More than once a few of them jumped back in fright at the sight of a squirrel, or anything that moved for that matter. When we had reached an opening in the trees we had found a small creek to fill up our canteens. As I filled my canteen they all stopped dead in their tracks to look up. My head rose to meet their gaze and the four of us saw it. There was a beautiful Canadian moose just a few feet away from the creek we were resting at. We watched as it drank from the creek, completely ignoring us. Samantha struggled to get her phone out to take a picture while Michael tried to get closer to so that I could whisper out some moose trivia. It stayed there at the creek for only about five minutes before leaving but it made an impression on all of us. I wish that could have been where we headed back to the car and set up our tents but fate had other things planned for us.
Just as the moose was out of our view, we saw something else emerge from the forest. On the other side of the creek, at the top of a small hill was a completely naked man. He was tall and muscular with hair covering his chest and legs like a wild beast. His sideburns were like delicious lamb chops of fury; his eyebrows were angled strongly enough to invoke fear into all of us. We were scared the second we saw him; we became petrified when we saw the hand axe clutched in his right palm. None of us dared speak but he saw the four of us there at the creek with our canteens in our hands. And he called out to us in his thick Canadian accent.
“Aye you youngsters. What are you doing around these parts? Don’t ya know there is a serial killer round here trying to kill people?”
Michael locked eyes with the man and shook his head in despair. None of us dared to look away from his naked body for even a second; we kept our vision dead square upon him. He would occasionally scratch his junk while the soft wind blew against our faces and in that moment it felt like we were in a swamp filled thick with maple syrup. I tried to stay calm but I knew that he was seriously messed up when he procured a stack of pancakes from out of nowhere and then began to eat them right in front of us. I tried to resist the urge to go and join him and luckily my willpower was strong enough to hold me back; Jessie’s willpower was not. He removed his pack and began stepping towards the naked Canadian; we tried to warn him but he was in a trance. He stood beside the crazed Canadian “Mind if I have some?” Jessie asked. The Canadian raised his knife and brought it down into the stack of pancakes, cutting them dead in half and then handing the other half to Jessie.
“Sure thing aye, have as much as you like, I got plenty with me”
Just when we though the horror was over, the Canadian lowered his hands again and pulled up several more plates loaded with pancakes. I tried to be polite about it when he offered them to me “No thank you sir, I’m not very hungry” but every time I rejected his offers I felt a knot tie inside my heart. I knew the polite thing to do would be to accept the pancakes but doing so would mean my doom. It was already happening to Jessie; the Canadian man was talking to him and making him feel nice and at home. But I could never trust a fully nude man since the incident at summer camp, maybe a semi-nude man but definitely not a completely naked one. So there Jessie and the man sat, right at the top of the ridge by the creek. The two of them sat there eating those fluffy light pancakes with sweet sticky syrup topping and it made the rest of us water at the mouth. But our pre-assumptions were broken and we learned how bitter the syrup could be.
The Canadian stood up after finishing his plate of pancakes and he pulled out a large pot (once again I have no idea where he was getting these things). He lifted the pot above his head and we could see steam rising through the top; before we could warn him, we watched as boiling hot syrup was poured all over his body. Jessie screamed out so loudly that it seemed his mouth was about to break.
“Sorry about that aye, my hand slipped” those words swept through us like fire and we knew he was still the sadistic and polite Canadian we had known him to be. But what could we do? He apologized and because of that it would be rude if we ran away, and so we stood still and gave him some common courtesy, Jessie included. I was shocked to find that although Jessie was in agonizing pain he stood still and tried to finish the pancakes; there was not much else he could do in the presence of such a polite man. I took my eyes off of him for one second and found him again with his hand upon his knife and his knife inside of Mike.
Mike’s body twitched with the blade deep in his belly and uttered out the words: “W…Why?”
The Canadian smiled and placed one hand against the back of his head and said “Geez aye, I just seem to be a klutz today. Sorry about all that, didn’t mean to stab you.”
“DAMN IT” I thought to myself; with all of this politeness he might just get the best of us. Sam and I clutched our hands together and closed our eyes. The last thing we saw was the Canadian walking towards us with his knife waiting to accidentally run into us with it. We waited for the blade to pierce us but it never did; instead, we heard nothing but silence. Then we smelt it; the fresh aroma of maple leaves. When we finally had the courage to open our eyes we saw our red clothed savior standing between the killer and us.
It was a Canadian trooper in full apparel with his entire body in the Master of Manners position.
“Don’t worry kids, you’re safe now”. My soul flew back into the realm of existence when I heard him say that to me. I doubted his power at first but the two Canadians were locked in battle of politeness and every second that they fought was a second Samantha and I would be alive. Nothing happened for the longest time, it was just the wind blowing and a few hand signals between the two; occasionally they would bow. But our hero was turned into a monster when the naked Canadian said to the trooper “Would you please kill that girl behind you?”
Shit, he did it again, he asked politely and now the Canadian trooper had his hands around Samantha. Tears rolled down his eyes as life left her body and the blood disappeared from her anguished face. She collapsed and the knife was now deep inside the trooper with the naked Canadian behind him whispering into his ear “Sorry about that aye. I was just trying to murder you.”
“No problem aye” said the trooper as he fell to the floor with the knife still firm in his back. I know for certain I would have been next if it weren’t for my quick thinking.
“Excuse me sir, would you mind if I ran back to my car and escaped your murderous rampage?” the words came blurting out of my mouth and I ended up having to say the phrase twice, but it worked. The naked man grew tired in his eyes as he waited patiently for me to escape his bloodlust, so I did just that.
I ran at a steady pace all the way to my car and when the keys met the ignition my foot met the pedal and my memories left that place behind. I told the police about it several days later but they never went to search for him because doing so would be “impolite” by Canadian police standards. They did however find the dead bodies of my friends in that forest; the polite and murderous Canadian had properly buried them. It was a nice gesture but only I know the truth about his intentions, only I know the true shades of his swelling predatorial nature. To this day the scars of my psyche remain apparent in my life.
No longer can I eat pancakes; the smell of syrup makes me nauseous. My hands begin to shake whenever I turn on the hockey channel. Even though I know he is gone I never know for how long, even now I still have haunting of his presence. I have found Maple leaves in my mailbox and sometimes when I go shopping there is someone politely holding the door for me. But most of all I still hear his animalistic call.
“Aye” it says, “Aaaaaaaayeeeeeeee” the voice calls across the distance between us.
The words themselves bring chills to my spine and to this day I wait for him to return and finish me off.
Credit To – Brandon Puff