Eyes In The Night

Myself, my wife Kimmy, and our friends Ryan and Alyssa, also a couple, decided to go hiking/camping. It was to be a four day trip. We’d hike for a day, sleep for the night, hike the next day, sleep, then turn around and take the same way back. We did research to make sure that it wasn’t an Indian burial ground, that no one had died there, that there weren’t Bigfoot sightings, pretty much everything to ensure our safety from at least otherworldly things, because, I don’t know, you can never be too careful.

We left on Wednesday and drove to the campsite, got our parking pass, and got all set up to go. We had chosen a more difficult trail to go on, as we were all relatively experienced hikers, although this would be the first multi-day hiking trip any of us had ever taken. The campsite was about 5 hours from the town in which we lived, in an area with dense, tall trees. We got there at about 9 am and prepared for our first day of hiking.

Going through the hills of the wilderness we’d chosen was downright cathartic. Though is was physically exhausting, being in nature that raw and seemingly untouched was almost therapeutic, and certainly relaxing. After about 11 hours of hiking, we were losing daylight, and decided to set up camp for the night.

Ryan and I got a fire going and set up the tents while the girls cooked hot dogs over the fire. We sat around for a while, eating, talking, laughing, and hypothesizing what the following day was doing to bring us. At around 11pm, we decided to call it a night, and headed to our tents.

Though exhausted from the hiking we’d all done that day, I couldn’t bring myself to fall asleep. I laid there for a while, listening to the sounds of the outdoors that surrounded us.Cicadas and crickets chirped, trees blew in the wind, and in the distance, animals roamed the land they called home. It wasn’t until after I had fallen asleep that a noise was made that woke me up, one that I knew wasn’t natural.

The initial noise woke me up, and I was at full alert immediately. I sat, my ears perked up, halfway sure that there hadn’t been a noise at all, and that I’d just dreamt of the disturbance. That is until I heard it again. It was leaves and twigs crunching on the ground. Naturally, my first thought was that it was some kind of animal, so I used my cell phone to call Ryan, who answered on the first ring. He had heard the noise too.

We agreed to meet outside with our flashlights the next time we heard the noise. The first time, the noise had been relatively distant, the second, it was much closer. The third time, it was within the area we’d allotted ourselves to camp. I readied my hunting knife, and with the (mostly) silence that surrounded us outside, I was able to hear Ryan do the same in his tent. At that moment, more leaves and twigs crunched in what I was assuming was the animal’s footsteps, this time, they sounded closer to Ryan’s tent.

By this point, Kimmy was awake and afraid. I assured her nothing was wrong, it was just a wild animal and she had nothing to worry about; Ryan and I were going to take care of it. I heard Ryan begin to slowly unzip his tent, which prompted me to do the same. My tent was open just enough so that I could get a decent view of the area in front of our tents. Nothing seemed out of place. The firepit we’d constructed was as we’d left it, embers smoldering quietly as the rising smoke was whisked away in the wind. Another footstep-sounding noise once again broke the tranquility of the night, this time it sounded as if it were coming from directly between our two tents.

I heard Ryan quickly finish unzipping his tent and jump out to confront whatever animal it was outside our lodging for the night, and I did the same. There we stood, knives in hand, with nothing in front of us besides our tents and significant others. There was no animal, nothing out of the ordinary. We took a brief stroll around the area we were in and found nothing of concern. It was when we were just about back in our tents that I noticed it.

I don’t know what made me notice it, as it was admittedly quite unremarkable, but in the little moonlight that shined through the towering trees, I saw the reflection off of them. A pair of eyes looking back at me from probably 25 yards away. I whispered to Ryan to look out there, and gave him the best description of where to focus his gaze to see them. To my surprise, he found another set, this one looking at him.

As the seconds took forever to go by, the two of us noticed more and more sets of eyes, all of them white, with an off-white color as the iris’, and small black pupils, staring back at us. New sets began opening as we surveyed the woods, horrified at what lied, seemingly in wait, beyond the trees. Ryan and I looked at each other, unsure of what to do, but knowing that keeping our significant others safe was top priority.

Then the eyes began to move. In almost perfect unison, every set of eyes we could see, and all the new ones that would open, began swaying back and forth…back and forth….so slowly….if it weren’t for the pure darkness the bright white eyes were set against, we probably wouldn’t have noticed the movement. But they moved, ever so slightly, and after a short time, we began to see what looked like the eyes getting bigger. Only they weren’t. They were getting closer.

At this point, we had to tell the women what was going on. They were, understandably, very frightened at what we were telling them, and that fear wasn’t alleviated at all when they stepped out of the tents and saw the swaying eyes in the darkness. We looked around us in every direction, and they eyes completely surrounded us. I don’t know what I was more afraid of, the eyes, or the fact that I had no idea who or what the eyes belonged to.

After what seemed like an eternity, the swaying eyes began disappearing, one pair at a time. They had gotten within roughly 15 feet of us, and at that point, they began slowly moving backwards. Our attention had been so focused on the eyes closing in on us that we didn’t even notice that the sun was beginning to rise east of us. After about 15 minutes, there were no eyes in sight anymore.

We immediately began packing our things and began heading back the way from which we had come, deciding that whatever had terrorized us the night before had sufficiently done enough psychological damage to us for us to cut our trip short. It was about 8 hours into our trip back to the car that we reached an area none of us recognized. This, of course, didn’t make any sense, as we had taken the same trails back that we’d taken there. None of us had service on our cell phones (the area we’d camped the night before was much higher up than where we were now), so we couldn’t call for help.

We were all collectively worried, but still determined to get out of those woods. More hours went by and we hadn’t the slightest clue where we were. Even following our compass, it was as if more land had been added to the woods overnight, which of course was impossible. The moon eventually replaced the sun, and we were forced to set up camp for the night.

We got a fire going and Ryan and I decided we’d take turns sleeping, just in case whatever the eyes were came back. I stayed up first and saw nothing. A while after I went to sleep, Ryan woke me up. I came out of my tent and was taken aback by the countless sets of eyes that were staring at me from within the darkness in the woods. Unlike the previous night, the eyes hadn’t gradually appeared. Ryan said when he locked eyes with one pair, the rest of them appeared.

There must have been hundreds. All different heights, some looked as if they were laying on the ground, others were in the trees. And they never blinked. Once they were open, they were open. It was shortly after I got outside and woke the girls up that the eyes began swaying again. Though they swayed at the same, slow speed, they got closer to us much quicker this time. Ryan, the girls and I all stood with our back to each other, each armed with a knife, no one sure of what exactly we were dealing with.

All of a sudden, we heard that sound of leaves and twigs crunching, but it was happening rapidly, and they were getting closer. It sounded like whatever it was had ran right up to us and stopped. Then Alyssa let out a scream. We looked at her, and her eyes were fixed on her tent. In the darkness that filled her tent, the flap of which was open, sat a set of eyes looking out at us.

Ryan yelled out to whatever they were to stop fucking with us, but that obviously didn’t do anything. We began hearing the footsteps, the crackling of leaves and twigs all around us spontaneously, like these things were running around in the darkness. Whatever they were, they were fast. The one in the tent just sat there, swaying back and forth; it was the closest any of them had gotten to us.

We were still unable to see what these things were, what the eyes belonged to. None of us had the courage to go back into our tents, surely not Ryan and Alyssa’s, to grab a flashlight. That’s when I got the idea to light a stick on fire. It seemed like these things stayed in the dark at all costs, and perhaps it was the light cast by the fire that was keeping them at bay. I cautiously moved around and grabbed a thick stick and set it in the fire. After a short while, it eventually caught, and the flames roared at the end of what was now my torch.
I decided to try to see what these things were, so I stuck the torch towards the opening of Ryan and Alyssa’s tent. As soon as the flame got close enough to potentially see what the eyes that were in it belonged to, we heard a screeching yell from within the tent, which then ripped out of the ground, whatever was in it ran away, taking the tent with it. The tent ended up about 10 feet away from us, the ripped fabric in the back of it blowing in the wind, the creature within long disappeared into the darkness.

When that little ordeal was over, Kimmy pointed out that the eyes had stopped swaying. For a few horrifying moments, everything around us was quiet. No cicadas, no wind. Nothing. Then, footsteps, a lot of them, from all around us, broke the ear-shattering silence that surrounded us. We all let out a terrified yelp when mine and Kimmy’s tent was inexplicably ravaged by something we could see. Whatever it was had moved so fast that we couldn’t see what happened; all of the sudden, our tent was out of the ground and in a state of disarray.

I was the first to go. Something swept my feet out from under me and I hit the ground so hard it rendered me unconscious. I don’t know what happened after that, but from what Ryan and the girls told me, the same thing happened to them, one by one. When I came to, Kimmy, Ryan and Alyssa were all unconscious. Sunlight seeped through the dense trees above us, and there were no eyes in sight.

I noticed immediately that my eyes were very sensitive to the light, and the limited sun was almost blinding. I quickly checked on my wife and friends to make sure they were alive, and they all were. Each of them had one thing in common, however. There were scratches around their eyes. I closed my eyes and touched them and found the area to be very sensitive, which told me I had the same scratches.

When everyone was awake, we decided to continue heading in the direction we knew the car was in. After no more than a 10 minute walk, we came to an opening in the trees, about 50 yards away from which sat the lot we had parked in. Our car was there, untouched. We sprinted to the car and drove the entire way back home, though all of us were having slight vision problems.

_____

I don’t know what the eyes in the woods were. I don’t know what they belonged to. I don’t know what they did to us. What I do know is that the color in my eyes as been slowly fading away, getting lighter and lighter over the past few weeks. The same has been happening to Kimmy, and Ryan, and Alyssa. We all got together for the first time since the camping trip yesterday, and there were more similarities between the four of us.

We were each very sensitive to any kind of light, and each of us had inexplicably been having the strongest urges to go back to the woods, like something was calling us to them. We don’t know why, but we’re going back tonight.

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