Out Past the Shadow's Edge
David Tester, UT, USA
Every time I think of this story it still gives me the chills even after all these years. I remember that night very vividly...
This happened to me about sixteen years ago right after I had gotten my drivers license and got to use my dad’s car by myself for the first time.
My girlfriend and I were excited to go to a dance at our high school that Saturday night - and I was more then a little nervous about driving the stick shift without Mom or Dad in the car with me as I had a habit of killing the engine when I tried to start it.
It was early October, but the air was still warm and the moon was yellow and in a sickle form. There were dark storm clouds looming over the Wasatch Mountains and moving closer into the Salt Lake valley.
My girlfriend and I went to the dance and had a great time - staying way into the night. When the dance was over and after everyone had been sent away by the dance/school staff we moved on. We drove around looking for some place to go - as the newness of being on our own with the car would not wear off for several more months.
I picked the old grade school that we had both gone to when we were children. We were fairly close to where we lived so we felt safe and there was nothing to worry about except the looming rain clouds. We parked in the parking lot behind the school and walked into the huge grass playing field and the play ground behind the school. The field was lit by one huge stadium type lamp that cast a circle of dim light on the playground and playing field surrounding it.
She and I sat on the swings talking WAY late into the night. It started raining a cool mist that was very pleasant. But after an hour or so it was enough rain to make the ground under us muddy - so we were careful not to stick our feet in the mud (this is important in a minute).
It became quite and we were both very tired by then. We suddenly looked up at the same moment... the hair stood up on the back of my neck... as we both felt the need to look back and over our left shoulders. Something had caught the corner of our eye. About two hundred feet or so away there was SOMETHING crawling on it’s stomach out past the shadows edge of the light that the giant stadium bulb gave off.
We both stared in horror not saying anything. We watched as the thing MOVED towards us, just keeping on the boarder of the light shadow. It was humanoid looking - a dark color with no clothes on. It was laying flat on it’s belly... it’s arms down, held close to it’s waist.
But what frightened me the most (besides the fact that it had been coming up behind us) was the way it moved and the structure of it’s legs... It was inching forward moving NOTHING but it’s feet to push it forward. And the legs... If you look at a normal humans knees - the knees bend forward... This things was reverse - the joint bent BACK and away. (Imagine laying flat on your stomach with your hands pulled in at your sides to your waist and your knees are UP OFF the ground instead of against it.)
We stared for several seconds... we both had stopped breathing and the only sound was the rain falling. The head of the thing looked up and I saw nothing but black pools where the eyes should be...
My girlfriend and I JUMPED off the swings onto the wet grass and lunged into the car about 50 feet away. There was several seconds of panic when I couldn’t get the car to start - and I was terrified to look up. I didn’t want to see "IT" closing on us - I didn’t want to see those knees bending in the wrong direction and the black, soulless eyes. I was afraid I would pop the clutch in the car and not be able to start it again. I kept my head down and looking at the steering wheel. The car engine turned and caught - we tore off into the night.
I called my folks from my girlfriends house and told them about what had happened. They allowed me to stay there with her and her Mom until the sun came up in a few hours. We waited and passed the time by telling her Mother our story - which scared her (as well as my parents) badly.
When the sun came up early that Sunday morning - we drove back to see if "it" was still there. This time bringing weapons. But there was nothing as we searched the field. As we poked around the swings we had been sitting on earlier... there were large bare foot prints that had tracked through the mud ALL AROUND the very swings we were on. We both had - had our shoes ON and as I said before, we were careful NOT to get mud on them. And we HAD NOT walked around and around like these tracks had. We found nothing but those bare tracks.
Every once in a while I get brave enough to go back to that field late at night (never alone though). I sit by the school field side in my truck with the high beams on searching the area, but I’ve never seen "IT" again...