Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
I haven’t got much time left, but I’m going to try and write as much of this down as possible. right now I can hear it looking outside. It must have gotten Anthony too, making me the only one left. The story and events I am going to tell you may cause you to doubt my sanity, but I pray that you will be open minded and listen with the up most attentiveness! For by the time I finish writing out this tale, I’m sure that the Thing will have found me and I shall pass into the long line of victims it has claimed. I leave this letter behind for some unlucky wanderer to find and share with the world.
About a week ago I went on an anthropological expedition into the forests of Manitoba, Canada to study the history and culture of the local Cree tribes. I was only accompanied by my trusted friend, Anthony who was himself a member of the Cree Indian tribes of the area, and my colleague Quincy Robbins. Originally I was going to go up with only Anthony accompanying me, but it was recommended that I bring Robbins along to gather more information. To be honest neither Robbins nor I had any high regards for one another. Where he looked at local folklore and superstition and turned up his nose, I saw great opportunity and knowledge. Perhaps he viewed this as a childish game,or a waste of time or both. Frankly I didn’t give a damn. But now I really wish I did, as I may have been able to help him later on by arming him with insight.
As Anthony guided us through the dark wilderness of Canada, I noticed that the deeper we got into Cree territory the stiffer and more anxious he appeared to get. I didn’t understand why at the time and thought it might have been due to fact he hadn’t been home in awhile. Or at best, I imagined it could have been the surroundings we found ourselves in. After all there are still many uncharted parts of wilderness here in Canada, and the ominous shadows that hung around would make any brave man shiver a little bit. Even old Robbins, the“intellectual” of us three looked very uneasy. To be honest so was I. I had been in many forests through out my life, both as a professional researcher and as a child living in Montana. But I had never seen any woods that held such menace and vile mysteriousness.It felt as if we where being watched by something malevolent. But as far as we knew, we where alone.
As we walked deeper into the darkness we noticed that it was starting to snow. No surprise to us as we where in a very cold part of the world.But it didn’t lessen our nerves to any degree. Suddenly it started to fall heavily, so much we all where blind. I called out to Anthony to figure out where he was. The direction his voice responded couldn’t have been more that 10 feet away from me. I called out to Robbins, and I heard a frantic cry for help! I called out again and determined he was further back down the path. Why the hell was he back there? I slowly stumbled around trying desperately to find our missing person among this veil of white. Although I had slight contempt for Robbins he was a human being, and I couldn’t leave him to freeze to death in some god forsaken forest.
I found him lying on the ground surrounded by a blanket of red snow.When the storm hit us he must have lost his balance, stumbled and accidentally stabbed himself with his hunting knife, leaving a horrific gash in his leg. Thankfully Anthony followed me and with his help we managed to bandage his leg up to the point where he could walk. Seeing as the snow wasn’t going to lighten up anytime soon,we decided to make camp and wait out the storm. As we pitched the tents, I noticed the smell of blood. The wind was spreading the sent from Robbins wound around. It was a very ugly wound and I knew that if I could smell his wound he needed medical attention fast. I was telling Anthony that we had to abandon our travel and head back soon to get Robbins to a medical facility, as he was losing blood fast. It was then we heard it for the first time.
There was a scream, a horrible howling scream that echoed around us and paralyzed our ears. I had never, and will never again, hear a sound so demonic, so spine tingling, so blood curdling. It didn’t sound like any animal I was familiar with, but it must certainly wasn’t human. I had no idea what it was and had no desire to see the source of its creation. I glanced at Anthony, and if I ever live through this ordeal, I will never forget that look of horror and fear on his face! I had known Anthony for a good number of years and had never seen him look frightened. And Anthony was a man who wasn’t scared easily. We heard the howl again, this time it sounded farther away. I wanted to turn away from the direction it came from, but I couldn’t move. It’s as if something had a hold over my body and refused to let me go. Then there was silence. We quickly got the tents up and went inside.
Within the safety of this tent we combined our intellects to figure out what we heard. Robbins, although half faint from blood lose, was certain it was nothing more than the wind. I was convinced it was from some wild animal, although I couldn’t figure out what kind. So Robbins and I bickered back and forth, all the while Anthony kept silent and looked past our material world into another space. He then spoke.“You both are wrong”, he said in a low quivering voice. “What we heard wasn’t an animal or man. And it certainly wasn’t the wind”. Robbins being the self proclaimed man of reason asked what it was then. Anthony’s voice didn’t change, and he made no eye contact with us. “It was an evil spirit. One that has lived in these woods for hundreds of years. My people have known about this creature for just as long. Some have even seen, but never survived the encounter. You may call it a legend. We call it a reality. It is the Rikatah”.
The Ritatah, as Anthony told us, was a hungry spirit that lives in the forests of Canada. This thing lives off of the flesh of human’s and any man who finds himself caught in the Rikatah’s gaze is most certainly a doomed man. I had heard tales of a cannibalistic beast that lurked around the wilderness of Alberta, and have personally seen what was said to be the remains of a Rikatah victim. I wanted to brush Anthony’s claim off, but I couldn’t. That howl was definitely not a folk tale as all three of us heard it. But why would it come near us. I then saw Robbins leg, and remembered how strong its scent was outside. It all hit me then. The creature was hungry!
We sat in silence for god knows how long, until the silence was broken by that horrible sound again! Closer than ever before this time, and sounding more menacing. I asked Anthony what chance of defense we had against this monster. He said there was none. Once the Rikatah claims you, your life is over. I begged him to think of something! Anything! He looked at me, his eyes filled with fear and sadness, and simply said “pray”.
I wasn’t going to sit there and wait for some blood thirsty thing to come and take my life without putting up some sort of fight. And neither was Robbins, the first time I had ever seen him show a backbone. Together we grabbed our hunting knives and stormed out the entrance. Although it was dark and still snowing, I could make out some kind of form in front of us. Whatever it was it was very tall, almost the size of two full grown men. It was very lean, as if nothing but skin and bones. It’s arms where very long, extending well past the knees. I would venture to say that the outline looked very human like, with a long mane of hair and long claw like fingers. But though its may have looked somewhat human, it snarled like a wild animal. And those eyes! Like two pits of darkness, black and hollow like a skulls sockets. And they were poised in our direction. I felt myself stepping backwards, knowing that I was in its territory and there was no way to fight this thing, whatever it was. Robbins thought differently and with a loud war like cry he limped forward, waving his knife above his head.
I saw he was close to the beast when it let out another scream, which knocked Robbins down from its volume. I tried to run forward but found myself paralyzed. It rendered me completely immobile with its sound! This was hopeless. I watched in horror as the monster lurched toward Robbins and picked him up as if he was a child’s doll. It walked off and I heard Robbins screaming at me as he was dragged away, begging me to save him.If I could I would have, but my body wouldn’t budge an inch. Before long the beast was gone, and Robbins screams faded away.
I finally freed myself from the strange bondage I found myself in when Anthony rushed out with a gun. He asked which way it went and that he was going to try and save Robbins. I told him he was foolish but still insisted. He told me if he wasn’t back in 15 minutes that I should abandon camp and get the hell out of here.
That was an hour ago. I know for certain that both he and Robbins have been caught by this thing. Even now I hear the rustling of the snow,of something slowly coming this way toward the tent. So why am I still here? I don’t even know the answer to that. I fear my time is up and I want to end this story with a warning. Not all legends are merely folktales; there are some that are as real as the sun in the sky. And I wish I could make you believe me but I’ll never get that chance. Perhaps its best to leave this as it is, as just a story. But there may be others who shall experience this horror themselves. I pray to God no one else will have to. That’s all I can write now. It’s all over.
Here it comes….
Credit To – M. Bumgardner