The Lone Walker
The sun was setting over the horizon, and the cold winds began to blow across the desert. A hiker was walking across, it and he stopped and dropped his pack on the ground then pulled out a map. Studying the landscape, he witnessed someone in the distance. The person was too far to see who it was as they moved further away from the hiker. He thought nothing of it and proceeded to his destination. Just as the last light faded, the hiker set up his tent for the night. The small fireplace kept his food warm as he sat down and looked up at the stars. It was a beautiful sight, and he got an idea to photograph it. He grabbed his camera and walked away from the campsite to capture the moment. As he set up his tripod, a sound came from behind him. The hiker moved his flashlight around to see what it was but there was nothing. He resumed his attention to his camera and took several shots. Returning to the fire, a faint voice whispered which caused the man to call out.
“Who’s there?” silence was only heard, a few seconds later, the voice called out. “Hey, whoever is out there I’m in no mood for jokes.”
There were no more sounds, and the man sat back down to eat. Once he was done and was about to sleep, footsteps were heard. He shined his light, and there stood a man. His clothing was worn out with holes as well as his shoes. His face was burned from the sun and appeared cracked.
“Do you have water?” He spoke with a weak voice.
“Um…yeah.” The hiker grabbed his canteen. “Here.”
The man grabbed it and let a few drops hit his tongue. He let out a relieved breath as he closed his eyes and lowered his hands. “You don’t know how long I have been waiting for something to drink.”
“But you only just wet your tongue.”
The man opened his eyes and held the canteen to the hiker. “Been days since I drank anything, so I have to do it slowly.”
“You can have the rest. I got another one.”
“Thank you.” The man walked over to the fire and sat next to it. “Why are you here?”
“I’m a photographer. I’m looking for some great shots for my next print.” The man nodded and gave a low moaned. “Are you all right?”
“Yes, just a bit hungry.”
“I have some protein bars.” The hiker grabbed one from his pack. “Do you want one?”
The man extended his hand and grinned. As the hiker was about to give him the bar, a rustling sound was heard in front of them. They looked in the direction and got a glimpse of a glow. The hiker jumped up to his feet and slowly moved towards it, but the man shouted not to go.
“It's not safe out there in the dark.” The man looked around him. “That thing has been following me for a few days.”
“What thing? And what happened to you?”
The man sighed. “My car stalled on the highway and I decided to walk. That was a big mistake. Once it got dark, something was following me and was closer. As soon as I was able to see who it was,” the man shook his head. “my God, I should have stayed in the car. The face was so horrifying that I ran the whole night until the sun came up.”
The hiker looked at the light as it moved away from them. “What was it?”
“I have no clue but don’t you dare go out there.”
The hiker smirked. “I think you had sunstroke and saw things.”
“It was no stroke!” The man shouted. “I know what I saw, and I won’t let that thing get me.”
The hiker looked back at the light, and it was gone. He returned to the fire and sat down. After a few minutes of speaking to each other, they went to sleep. The man slept underneath the stars while the hiker slept in his tent. After an hour or two, something disturbed the hiker, he opened his eyes and listen. It was quiet, and only the man’s snoring was overheard outside. The hiker went back to sleep, but again something made a sound. He slipped on his shoes and walked out. The fire was still lit, and there was a slight breeze blowing across the desert. A strange glow was coming from the far distance, and the hiker went to it. As he left the campsite, the man hugged the blanket to his chest and shook his head.
As the hiker walked in the moonlight, he took a few shots of the scenery. He followed to light to a dark cave and saw it glowing inside. He looked back from where he came from and wondered if what the man told him was true. A voice called out, and the hiker stared at the cave. He turned on his flashlight and proceeded into the cave. After a few minutes inside, a loud scream was heard, and it echoed. The man covered his ears and closed his eyes and whispered something to himself as something crept towards the campsite. The fire was slowly fading as the footsteps came closer. With each step, the man begged for mercy, then it stopped. He slowly opened his eyes and saw that it was the hiker. He got up and asked what happened, but the man was stunned for it was the hiker’s face on top of the thing. The man screamed as blood splatted around.