During March 2008, a group of four 11-year-olds decided to get together and go camping in the northern woods of Florida. Only one returned; this is his account of what happened.
My friends and I decided to defy our parents and go out into the forest outside of our neighborhood and camp there. It was a fantastic idea at the time. What kid wouldn't want to go? A campfire, snacks, soda, and just hanging out with your friends - with the added excitement of being a "Rebellious Preteen" by defying our parents.
After a long walk into the privately-owned woods, we experienced any first-world teenager's worst nightmare - getting lost in the woods. Then we realized Sarah had brought her cellphone. As our luck would have it, it had no bars. We were lost in the Floridian wilderness without a way to contact anyone and had only enough food to last us a couple of nights. Our situation was dire, and we all knew it. It couldn't get worse than this, right?
When we finally set up camp, everyone started panicking, crying and yelling out, "HELP! HEEEELP!"
Thank god that I bought a lighter and gasoline, or else we would have been lost and cold. Lost and warm was better than lost and cold. After collecting firewood and making a stone fireplace, we set the wood ablaze. It was a flame of hope - a chance of survival, a speck of light in a black, foggy world. Alyssa and Tommy decided to go to bed. Me and Sarah stayed out by the fire. I could see it in her eyes. She knew she was going to die. I didn't want to accept it, but I knew I was going to die also.
Thoughts were rushing through my mind. "Will I live? Am I going to die? Will I ever get to see my parents again? What will my little sister do without me?"
It was hard to fight back tears. Sarah opened her mouth and quietly whispered, "Kenny, do you think we're going to die out here?" I didn't want to say yes, but it was the truth.
"I - I don't think we're going to make it back to our home alive," I said, in a soft, agonized tone. We climbed into the tent with Alyssa and Tommy and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke to screaming. I scrambled out of my sleeping bag so fast that if you looked, you would only see a blur. As I came out, I saw Sarah's mauled and bloody body paralyzed where the dying coals of last night's fire laid. Her phone was lying beside her, with the recording app on.
I picked up the phone, because she had taken a photo of our campsite I was curious about. Upon closer inspection, I could see something disturbing in the photo. I didn't know what it was and I still don't. From what I could make of the photo, It looked like it was around 5 1/2 feet tall. It was so skinny that it brought a new meaning to "just skin and bones". Part of its spinal cord extended around 6 inches out of its back. The skin was stretched so much that it looked like it was about to rip. Its entire appearance was like something out of a nightmare. Something that would make a grown man piss in his pants.
I picked up her body, in tears. Someone that I had known for 7 years was gone. Dead. She no longer existed. Only her corpse remained. Tommy said,"What are we going to do with her body? We can't just leave it here." We decided to dig her a grave. We placed a log on top of it so she wouldn't be disturbed.
Confused on what to do, we decided to go back to camp and await our inevitable deaths. As night came, the only thing I could think about was the thing I saw on Sarah's phone. It was an instinct. Alyssa and Tommy were also disturbed. We decided to stay outside until morning came. After waiting for hours and hours, I started to become delirious.
I was seeing my life flash before my eyes. My lips became dry, no matter how much water I drank. I became weak, so weak that getting up and getting something to drink was a challenge. Two hours later, I heard something. I dismissed it until it happened again, 30 seconds later. A shrill howl coming from the undergrowth. A line of bushes rustled as we began to panic. I heard the howl again. I saw a pork-brown humanoid figure move past the bushes to my left. My heart was pounding while Alyssa was crying and Tommy was paralyzed from the shock of another howl. One second later, it burst out of the bushes with its primal yell, and grabbed Tommy.
It grabbed his tongue, and ripped it out of his mouth. Alyssa screamed, while Tommy tried to but was covered by the blood pooling in his mouth. The creature took a chunk of meat out of his head, causing Tommy to die. Alyssa, in a final attempt to protect herself, ran over to me. The creature came over screaming, and I grabbed Alyssa and said, "TAKE HER, NOT ME!" He started devouring Alyssa while I ran. I ran and I ran until I was certain I was miles away.
After walking for miles, I found a road again. A kind old man picked me up and gave me some water and food, and took me back home. My parents were shocked to hear my story. And so were the police and Tommy, Alyssa, and Sarah's parents. I regret that I didn't get the photo of it. Today I still have nightmares about it, and I never want to think about it again.