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As the music faded, and lights were turned off one by one in the motel bar, Alexander Wood waited until every last guest and employee had driven away. Watching from the motel balcony, he grew impatient as people filtered out, first in pairs, then one at a time, until finally that last waitress.
The coast was clear. He had told the hypnotic Ayla what he’d be doing after she fell asleep – he told her over on the slight hill across the road from the motel, because their room was quite likely bugged. The entire shoreline of Rock Creek was, he believed, under constant video surveillance.
Last year, when he and his former lover Willow had discovered the tree structures and stick symbols beyond the tree line, men on two occasions parking their cars in line with them on the lengthy dirt road leading up to the best fishing spots on the lake. As the couple snapped photographs of the bewildering wooden monuments, their amazement seemed to somehow attract and manifest these men with a rather odd parking choice (the best parking was at the cement divider at the edge of the lake, the best place to cast). They got out of their cars with their rods and took the unnecessary hoof to the shoreline, Willow dismissing Alexander’s paranoia.
To the suspicious musician turned sleuth, however, his conviction was substantiated one day when he finally saw one of THEM – a hairy figure swimming across the lake – and a truck ambled up the shoreline toward him. The truck scared the hairy swimmer away, and this would simply have been consistent with his string of rotten luck in having his first sighting, but for what happened next.
As the truck inexplicably turned ‘round and went back the way it came, its work apparently done, Alexander suddenly felt a burning sensation. As if radiation had been shot into his body, a prickly, unnatural invasion commenced, irritating the space underneath his skin. Just as suddenly, Alexander’s thoughts declared their own campaign of extreme and dark depression, a massive mood swing unlike anything to which he was accustomed.
Alexander looked toward Willow, walking so far away from him at the very end of the shoreline, and thought, “Willow hates me. The Sasquatch hate me too. I should go home to Canada.” It was if someone else’s voice was speaking through his mind, the negative thoughts fuelled by this radioactive assault. Wood had no intention whatsoever to leave this Ozarks crockpot of mystery, nor Willow, and he knew it. The thoughts of leaving struck him instantly as not being his own – and neither did he relate to the depression. As far as he was concerned, he had just been assailed by mind control technology, what conspiracy theorists referred to as “electronic harassment.”
It was Willow who had identified that term, finding it as the subject of a Coast 2 Coast AM show. Despite the revelation of all he experienced in her Ozarks domain, Willow had ultimately disappeared from Alexander’s life. She had not even answered his cry for help when the attacks became ominous and threatening.
The psychic attacks began in earnest about three months after he had returned to Vancouver. One day he was confronted by the electro-magnetic impressions of the heads of six different beings, floating in the air, seemingly leering and hissing at him. As such, there was a combination of reptilian beings, “Grey” extra-terrestrials, and even creatures who looked like the movie-famous E.T. himself.
As the evil visitation progressed, the malign, ugly faces of the creatures, shimmering with a green and white luminescence and reddish-pink dots for eyes, became more and more substantial, almost physical. Alexander could increasingly perceive the dinosaur features of the reptilian’s faces, as they floated about his living room almost gleefully. He became afraid that they would eventually manifest physically, perhaps to end his life. The pain and uneasiness that they inflicted became unbearable, Alexander lowering himself rapidly down to the kitchen floor.
After several minutes with his face to the floor, the Rocker’s inner resilience returned and he raised himself to his feet. He was to survive this major assault, the foolish demons fading away to consider new strategies. Thus the psychic attacks continued, and though Wood most certainly gave his assailants Hell, the immoveable predicament seemed a poor way of life. And this was why, six months later, he waited in the motel in the remote Ozarks village of Stone Cliff, almost next door to where it had all started - the little bungalow where he stayed for two months with long lost Willow, now moved on to a small town in Illinois.
The massive, hairy men known to most as “Bigfoot” or ”Sasquatch” were the only ones who could help Alexander now. His first sighting was simply of an adolescent, as tall as the six foot three inch Alexander, caught unawares by the investigator’s habit of waiting for them to swim to his side of the lake. The black, chiseled, muscular figure stood motionless in the last shallows of the lake. A yard light from one of the mountain houses across the lake illuminated his impressive form in the dark of the night.
A local redneck driving an RV suddenly appeared and Alexander and Willow bid him good evening. The completely black, athletic figure had typically disappeared, swimming back toward the other side of the lake. Alexander had heard him and another swimmer, the pair about a few hundred feet apart, and was not surprised he had finally achieved his first Sasquatch sighting. The second swimmer had also turned back toward the opposite shore. This interrupted sighting was unsatisfactory, so Alexander ran to the edge of the water to get a better look. As he kneeled forward and strained to see anything at all, he heard a loud “clump!” in the sand, ten feet to his right. A large rock had been thrown and landed exactly in line with him, though thankfully ten feet away. That rock sounded heavy!
“Willow did you do that?” He couldn’t think of any other explanation.
“What?” She sounded bewildered.
“Did you throw a rock in this direction?”
“No.” Of course she hadn’t. She was standing not far from the spot from where the rock was likely thrown, but remained unmolested. He was then certain of who was behind the rock-launching scenario, and quickly stood up and spread his open palms away from his body, declaring his regrets. “I’m sorry, sorry,” he projected across the expanse of lake and shore. Alexander felt ashamed. He had frightened the big hairy people enough to provoke them into rock-throwing, opening the possibility that they might not trust him again. At least now he knew, without doubt, that they were real.
With this dubious beginning to his relationship with the Hairy People, Alexander, throughout a two month period, improved his etiquette quite nicely. He went from this rock bottom, to instead receiving recognition from the Hairy Ones with a rock – stone-clacking was a way to announce one’s presence in their culture. Over the coming weeks, this led to drumming with sticks and stones every day with one of their children; to catching one spying on him while he filmed U.F.O.s; to having meetings with the Big Hairy Men in the dead of night.
It was one such meeting which was his top secret mission tonight, telepathically arranged and known of only by Ayla. Alexander left the motel balcony, walked through their room past the sleeping Ayla, went out the door and rounded the corner away from the motel. He crossed a minor road and walked past the neighbourhood Baptist church, a flat-roofed rectangular building that looked more like an oversized trailer than a church. It was here that the Hairy Man he nicknamed Samuel had peeped over a guard rail to observe Alexander filming U.F.O.s. One was stationary, one was throwing itself wildly at the other but never hitting it.
The tall, long-haired Canadian continued across another minor road and past the bungalow he had shared with Willow. Now on the main road, he crossed, walking by the old house where a reported sighting had occurred in 1977. Alexander had no idea who owned the next property, but he knew the story of its front patch of trees well.
It was here that the men who called themselves E-Takan-Tatanta gathered every night to work their magic and pray to the Creator. This name was telepathed to Alexander by his shamanic teacher Ekata'a, and meant “Men of the Woodlands and Spirit Realms.” Therefore, Alexander called this wooded patch on a relatively large property “Shaman’s Grove.” From here, each night, could be heard the calming yet pervasive “Whooo’s” emanating from the Hairy Folk. Alexander had first thought it was a night bird, an evening dove of some kind; then an owl. As it turned out, though the E-Takan-Tatanta speak a language like our own, they rarely speak vocally – but often vocalize in this melodious, emotive manner.
Now facing Shaman’s Grove, Wood stepped down the incline that was the ditch off the road. Entering the tree line, he was not surprised by the additional two-foot drop into the trees. Last summer, he had walked straight up to the area and the giant men to make an apology and resolve a misunderstanding. Their shining eyes averted his in the dark, at the same height as his own. Because he was, at the time, propped up two feet on the incline of the ditch, Wood had assumed they must be eight feet tall, adding two feet to his six. When returning to the spot during the day at a later date, he had discovered the two foot drop at the tree line. This added two feet to the previous estimate of eight feet, making the Hairy Men a full ten feet! Even today Alexander had a hard time conceiving of a man-like being of such a towering height.
Now inside the trees, Alexander looked for signs of the Wild Men’s tree arrangements and soon found them. Three thirty foot trees had been leaned up against each other, forming a pyramidal structure. Beside them, a similarly-sized tree had been broken and wedged horizontally in the crook of another’s branch. It was placed at the perhaps not-so-tall man’s height, so he supported himself on it with his right arm and waited.
Soon enough a large electro-magnetic face appeared; this being Ekata'a, psychically tuning into the scene. Prolonged exposure to the extreme electro-magnetism of the mountainous area – which was crossed by two ley lines miles wide, had resulted in Alexander’s ability to perceive such phenomena. It seemed that both the mental and energetic power of the E-Takan-Tatanta and the various E.T. species was so great that their telepathic activity left electro-magnetic impressions of their heads.
And so Ekata'a’s head, outlined in electric green and inlined with fading white translucence, waited for Alexander to communicate. It appeared to him to be about three feet in height; the larger size indicating intense concentration. The head’s red eyes stared at him and Alexander felt at home once again, in this place he called “the craziest place I’ve ever been.”
Meanwhile Wood had noticed what appeared to be a Hairy Man moving cautiously from tree to tree, a long black arm hanging down beside a tree as he moved in absolute silence. Alexander employed his usual technique and ignored the bizarre incursion. “Ekata'a, what do I do?” he asked telepathically.
“Our friend is ensuring that all is well, do as I ask and then we may begin.”
Alexander took this to mean that soon the spiritual men of the woodlands would be taking him with them for the medicine he so badly needed. He got on one knee, lifted his right arm upward, and averted his eyes, cocking his head to the left. He had learned the importance of not looking at the Hairy People in the eyes – an act which an old Indian had told him could bring about the end of his life.
Thus averting his eyes and practicing proper etiquette, Alexander waited in this position for the next instructions. “Move forward four steps,” Ekata'a commanded. The expectant human did so, reassuming the pose he had struck previously. Waiting as such for a few moments, Alexander was then asked to “take four steps to your left.” Then, “Go back four steps.”
Finally, he was asked to traverse to his right, arriving at the three-tree pyramid. “Please stand,” said Ekata'a. Alexander stood by the trees the giant men had lifted like twigs. He propped up his right arm along the horizontal one.
As if satisfied, there was a fractured second where all was silence; and then suddenly it was broken by the beating of powerful wings and the agitated calls of a mysterious flock of birds. They sounded somewhat like swallows or loons. They seemed to flap away in the otherworldly Ozarks moonlight. Alexander never believed the birds were actually there, nor did he see them with his own eyes. They were somehow vessels for the E-Takan-Tatanta; but exactly how, was something Wood puzzled over to this day.
Never missing a beat, the Hairy Men stepped forward. ONE, TWO, came down the sledgehammer-like steps of a big man just twenty feet in front of him. Alexander’s mind immediately went wild : he knew it was a Hairy Man, but now the part of his brain that sought to level all to a conventional playing field took over. It was the owner of the property and now he was in trouble. It was a good-sized mammal (with two legs) and now he was going to be eaten. They were evil aliens who had come to kill him.
“Hell-ooo,” quipped Alexander, perhaps to eliminate the first possibility. No reply was made, and he knew it was the Hairy Men. He was disappointed that they chose not to reply, though he understood it was best not to attract attention. Although a state of loneliness and alienation began to surround him, Wood simply dismissed it as a distraction. He was now the lone human surrounded by what appeared to be a group of approximately seven Hairy Men. They lurked behind trees and went from one to another as they are wont to do, and Alexander walked into the pyramid.
To calm his nerves and ensure spiritual protection lest he was mistaken regarding the identity of these massive men, Wood chanted the Hare Krishna mantra. “Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Rama, Hare Hare.” Alexander had also wanted to pray with the giant shamans in Shaman’s Grove, and this was his chance. He swayed to the rhythm of his chanting, this swaying matching the manner of the Sasquatch people. Ending his solo chant, he once again dropped to one knee, offered his outstretched hand, and looked away at the ground.
As he kneeled, the tell-tale signs of the Big Men’s presence seemed to erupt all around him. A figure rounding a tree here, a stick snapping under large feet there, they seemed to tag team each other, one moving closer, then the next. The sensation of being surrounded and crept in on was only somewhat bearable. Was it not for his love for the E-Takan-Tatanta, and his confidence that they were there to heal him from the psychic attacks, Alexander would have nervously and carefully walked away from this scene. Everything had become a hallucinatory blend of gothic forest imagery, interdimensional instability, and unbelievable sights. All was enshrouded by the mysterious moss-covered, mystically-constructed Ozarks trees, the living darkness, and the strains of white moon rays, suggesting a long skeletal arm gesturing to the incredible scene below.
Wood saw in front of him something snaking very quickly through the tall grass, looking like footprints lowering down to the ground to flatten the grass. No one was there to make these footprints, however, and nothing was in the grass. As they moved toward him, Alexander felt what was like a physical blow of drowsiness, and knew then that he would not be running through the woods with the Big Fellows, but would be a sleeping guest. Their plan was to carry him unconscious to the cave where they did their healing, with Tatalanton the medicine man, Antantanee the medicine woman, Aisha the medical assistant, and the rest of their very supportive community. Wood, however, was disappointed they did not want him to travel consciously with them. There was much which had yet to be revealed.
The invisible footsteps in the grass were rushing right up to Alexander with incredible speed, and it became too much, so he turned his back and ran forward a couple of steps. The unseen being now beside him, it slithered its feet through the tall grass with this inconceivable speed, seemingly wanting to ensure that he didn’t fall, as Alexander stumbled about haphazardly. His plan was now to lower himself down into a sitting position, as the shot of sleep overtook, with his back to the encroaching Hairy Men.
Almost like prey with no escape to be had, he sat down on his rump, clasped his hands over his knees, and lowered his head. The sleep spell was still working on him, and though he managed to stay in this position for a minute, he soon had to lay flat on his front in a sleeping position. This signaled the remaining six giant shamans to begin moving forward. Again it was a stick snap here and a footstep there, belying the circular formation around the man. It was such a gradual and yet inevitable process, both cautious and entirely focused on the subject – Alexander.
The sleep spell was not working, Alexander’s notorious insomnia kicking away the powerful mental abilities of the Hairy Men. He began to have an unwelcome sense of being committed to a vital act, but suffering potential failure with thoughts of being anywhere but here, doing anything else but this. Thoughts of being back at the motel with Ayla became a stark temptation – to be somewhere he was used to, unlike this ordeal, an environment he could control.
Finally, Alexander got up and ran a few steps. He was out of range of where he had lain on the ground, his face kissing the soil. He stumbled over to some bushes and reached his hand through them. Surely they would realize, he thought, that this position was easier for him. But as he looked around, Wood discovered he was in the ditch on the side of the road. And that it was dawn, and that the Hairy Men were gone. His mission of healing had failed.
He returned to Ayla and cried to her that his mission had failed, struggling for insight as to why this had happened. After there had been time for the distraught man to relax, Ekata'a telepathed to him, “Do not be ashamed, be proud. I am proud of you. In case you hadn’t noticed, we usually keep a certain distance between ourselves and your people. If I had seven humans surrounding me, I would have ran away long before you did. It is natural to do so. You are brave.”
Alexander told Ayla the healing words from the Ancient Wizard of the Mountains. Alexander had felt like a failure – but now he saw the dilemma more clearly, and could avail himself effectively of Ayla’s undying support. Ekata'a had also revealed what would be required for a successful rendezvous in the future – Alexander would have to be weaned off the antidepressant he took, Parnate. The insomnia it caused not only kyboshed the mission, it had almost done the same to his very life for several years.
The dawn brought on dizzying sunlight to not just a man exhausted, but a man who had seen what lies on the other side. Enjoying the healing power of sleep, the wayward shaman would have to look forward to a successful mission in the near future.
Copyright © 2015 Graham MacSkimming. All Rights Reserved.