Off the Trail of Deception Mountain
A small fire broke out in the mountains surrounding a small town. We were sent up there to assess the area and put out anything left behind. We hiked up 3 miles uphill on an old trail. You could tell it wasn’t used too often. No tracks, footprints, and nature taking it back. The fire had traveled up the mountain on a such a slope that it was near 90 degrees. One wrong step and we could have fallen all the way to the base of the mountain. Fortunately, there wasn’t much left burning. We mainly spent time loligagging as we were marking damaged trees for our sawyers to take down. We even had one close call with one tree, almost crushed me as it feel on its own accord.
That is when I looked up to see her. It was probably a hiker who snuck past the road blocks that were put up for the public’s safety. Me and my partner yelled for her to come over here, but she turned around and ran. Me and my partner ran after her. It was too dangerous for her to go deeper into the burnt areas of the mountain, so it was our job to escort her off-site. We ran, and at times tumbled down the side of the slope, trying to catch up to her.
After both of us fell to the ground, we found ourselves in an artificially made clearing. Where the trees were cut down, and fire line was dug. Looking at the ground, it was easy to tell that this is where most of the fighting took place to take the fire out. Plenty of smoke still rose up from the burnt, decimated land that still threatened to rise up and fight us again. There was no sign of the woman we were chasing.
We followed the line between what was a fire and forest. Eventually we heard the sounds of a chainsaw ahead. We reached the source, to expectantly find another guy in a uniform matching ours. He didn’t notice us walk up, as he continued to chop up a tree that had fallen and crossed the fire line. He jumped when he saw us from the corner of his eyes, almost cutting his head in the process. We asked if he saw a woman run by here. He told us he hasn’t seen a single thing move in this forest, but he might have been too distracted to notice. We were about to head further up the line to search for her, when he reminded us that we didn’t radio the boss when leaving our area. So we decided to turn back and avoid getting fired, figuring she might have gotten off the mountain by now anyway.
Not long after we turned back though, we saw her run by in the forest. Once again, we pursued her. This time we were able to catch up closer, and I was able to get a better look at her. I noticed some strange things about her. For starters, she was barefoot. That is not a good idea to run without footwear around here. Second, one of her arms seemed to flail around like she couldn’t use it anymore or was broken. And her head seem to jerk back oddly as she ran. Before I could get any more details on her, she turned behind a tree and disappeared. Me and my partner looked around to find nothing, once again.
We then heard a woman screaming, and we bolted. The forest ended, and once again we were standing in the fireline, where the tree had fallen. There the other fire fighter was again. “Did you hear that scream?” I said to him. “Nope, it was probably my chainsaw. It was sounding weird a while ago, so I’m having to maintenance it now.” I’ve lived around the woods, most of my life. I know a chainsaw when I hear one, and I was certain I didn’t hear a chainsaw. I nodded at my partner. My guess was that guy and the woman we’ve been chasing were playing some weird joke. We’ve had our share of pranks, but this was too far in our book. My partner started to radio in what we’ve been doing. We got a response from our boss to patrol the fireline for anyone who wasn’t supposed to be there. When the sawyer heard this, he seemed a bit ticked off. “You know, it be best if you followed the black line. It doesn’t matter much if she’s in the forest. I mean, its not like she’s going to get a tree to fall on her on the unburned side.” He tried to say that with as much authority as he possibly could. Something was off. We thought it was clearly just a prank he was pulling. My partner looked at me. “Our turn,” was what I read from it. I walked up to him, “You know I’m pretty good with a saw. I bet if you let me look at it, I could get it fixed in a jiffy.” He nearly barked it out, “NO, AND STAY BACK I HAVE AN UNMARKED TREE NEAR THAT COULD DROP AT ANY MOMENT.” I grinned, I caught his bluff. I walked up, and climbed over the large trunk of the fallen tree. At the corner of my eye, I saw blonde hair. The woman we were chasing had blonde hair like that. I thought, yes, I found your little skank.
It was the woman alright, I recognize the hair, and the clothing she were. She looked up at me with wide eyes. They were dead eyes. Her face was frozen and pale, pleading at me. Telling me to stop. She was crushed underneath the tree. Her neck seemed to be pulled out of place, as if she was trying to escape from underneath the tree. An arm was stretched away from the body, badly broken with bone sticking out of the elbow.
I screamed for my partner, he jumped over with his tool ready. He looked at her and joined in the accusing stares toward the sawyer. Shakily, I asked, “why? What on earth were yo-…” A scream came from behind him. My partner pushed the sawyer to the ground, as I rushed to a pile of cut branches and foliage. Underneath it was another woman. This one, was covered in blood and mud. She gasped for air, going in and out of cconsciousness Her chest was badly cut, as if he decided to carve her up. she was restrained to a large branch with razor wire. I almost vomited as I reached for my radio, calling for a helicopter to pick this woman up.
She’s now in an intensive care unit. Probably will be, for the rest of her life. When we asked the sick freak again, why he did this to them, he just laughed. He told us, they should have never came up here all alone. They wanted to have some fun with some strangers, and they got their wish. Ironically, it added up to his story. The survivor’s sister came to thank us. She told us, that those women were talking about sneaking up the mountain to find some firefighter and have a little wild fun.
So this brings me to tell you ladies something. Unless you think its really worth the risk, Never go off the trail.
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