A young boy is forced to stay with his grandfather on a rural farm, and is stalked by a black fox
“Dad, please don’t make me go, you know how boring this place is.”
“It’s only for a week, your grandfather hasn’t seen you since last summer; do it for him” my dad hastily replied.
I was sitting in the passenger side of a pickup truck. My dad was in the driver’s seat right next to me. I had a bag packed with clothing in the backseat. We were speeding down an old country road, trees towering over the side of us. Once a year, I had to go stay with my grandfather. He lived out alone in the middle-of-nowhere. He lived in a small, old, run-down cabin. My parents said that he had lived there his whole life, and that he couldn’t let go of the house. I never liked the place. It gave off this creepy vibe. There was no one around for miles, as far as I could tell.
Every year I would beg my parents not to take me, and every year it would still end the same. They would say that my grandfather is getting old, and that he is lonely. That he didn’t have much time left to see me. With this speech I would give in. It was no different this year. I was quiet for the rest of the ride, watching the trees blur outside of the window as we zoomed by. Eventually, we came to an old rusted gate and stopped. My dad got out of the car, and unlocked and pushed the gate open. We drove down the dirt road, dust kicking up behind us. After a while an old steel windmill and white wooden cabin came into view. We stopped and got out of the car. The door to the cabin swung open and an old man came shambling out. An old hound dog followed him out of the house.
“Hey hey hey son!” the old man shouted as he and my Dad hugged. I came up and joined them.
“I gotta lot of work for ya son. Lot of stuff needs to be fixed ‘round here,” he laughed at me.
“Gee I can’t wait,” I said with an etch of sarcasm.
I was happy to be with him, but at the same time; I was not looking forward to all the work I would do. My Dad and Granddad had a long talk, and then said goodbye. My Dad got back in the truck and took off with my summer of freedom leaving a cloud of dust behind him.
“Why don’t ye come inside and set yer stuff down. I can’t wait to hear all about your year,” said my granddad with guarded curiosity.
I followed him inside and went to go set my stuff down. There were only two bedrooms in the cabin. It was tiny place, but surrounded by acres of land. There was a huge cornfield in the front of the house, and another huge planting field behind the house. At the edge of these fields tree lines for a massive forest stood. I used to be downright scared of this place when I was a kid. Of course now, I didn’t believe in ghosts, or monsters, aliens, or any of that sort. Although I still probably wouldn’t willingly walk through the forest in the middle of the night. There was no internet here, and no entertainment but a radio and an old black and white TV with one blurry channel. I went to sit on the old dusty couch. Grandad followed by sitting down on his favorite beige chair. We had a long talk about school, sports, and stuff like that. He poured me a glass of nice lemonade he had made. After a long conversation he made me get to work outside.
The heat was irritating and I was exhausted by the end of the day. I came inside and read a book I had brought with me while Grandad cooked dinner. He was making some steak with baked potatoes and a salad. After eating the delicious meal, Grandad went to bed and I went to sit on the porch on the front of the house. There were no city lights out here, so you could see all the stars. It was fun to try and find the constellations.
Something else other than the constellations got my attention. When I was trying to find Scorpio, I noticed two blue lights flying through the night sky. They didn’t stop, and they didn’t blink either. They made no noise. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was actually seeing a UFO. Or the heat of the day was making my mind play tricks on me in the cool evening air. I tried to think of any possible reason for the lights, but nothing crossed my mind. They seemed to be getting even closer so I headed back inside. It was cool, but a little creepy at the same time. I didn’t want to wake up Grandad, so I decided to go to bed anyway. The bed was a old and creaky, but I was so tired that I didn’t care.
I drifted into a quite slumber. The sound of water hitting metal awoke me from my sleep. The sink in the bathroom was running.
That’s strange, I could have sworn I shut it off, I thought to myself as I got out of the bed and headed to the bathroom.
I reluctantly went to the bathroom and turned it off. Drowsily I walked back to my room and went to sleep. But it didn’t last long. Again, I woke to the sound of the sink running. I angrily walked to the bathroom, only to find that the light was still on in there too. I checked the clock hanging on the wall. Exactly one hour had passed since I had gone back to sleep earlier.
I knew this place was haunted or some shit, I jokingly thought to myself as I turned off the sink and the light.
Once again, I headed back to my room for some sleep. I almost immediately fell back into my slumber once I laid down in my bed. For the third time, I was jolted awake by a sound. Not only could I hear the sink, but also the loud electric razor. I kicked off my sheets angrily and stomped back to the bathroom. Without hesitation I flicked off the lights and turned the handle on the sink. I then picked up the electric razor to do the same. But it was already turned off. I gasped and dropped the razor. It turned off when it hit the ground. The razor had not been plugged in. I turned around and looked at the clock. 3:09 AM displayed in bold red illumination. Exactly one hour after the last incident. I felt shivers run down my spine and took off running back to my room, slamming the door and locking it behind me. Now I was genuinely frightened. I thought about waking up Grandad, but there was no way he would believe me. I lay there awake for hours, thinking about what could have caused the recent events.
When I awoke, sunlight was beaming through the windows onto my bed. I jumped and ran to the window. The sun was hanging high in the sky. Normally Grandad always woke me up right at dawn.
What if something happened to him? I nervously thought.
I jumped out of bed and headed to his room. He wasn’t in there, so I searched the rest of the cabin. I found him sitting on the porch, reading a book and drinking his favorite early morning concotion of whiskey and coffee.
“Grandad, you didn’t wake me up? Why? Is something wrong?” I frantically asked him.
“Just calm down son, I thought ya worked really hard yesterday, and that ya deserved a day off,” he responded with a warm smile.
I felt relieved, but this was unlike Grandad.
“A-are you sure?” I asked him cautiously.
He chuckled in response, “Go explore the land or something', whatever ya boys do these days.”
I didn’t want to argue this, so I left him to relax and put on an old worn pair of Levi’s and my favorite Georgia boots. And set off for an afternoon of adventure. I spent most of the day doing what he advised and exploring the land. I was walking through the large field behind the house, kicking ant beds, when I saw something weird. At the edge of the tree line, there appeared to be a black animal of some kind. It wasn’t moving and it didn’t seem to be too big. As I got closer, I noticed it was a fox.
Strange, I’ve never seen a black fox before, I thought to myself as I approached it.
And unlike other foxes, this one didn’t run away or even seem the least bit scared. It just kept staring at me. It had the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen. When I got about ten feet from it, the fox turned around and slowly walked back through the forest. I followed it, making sure to keep my distance. It didn’t stop or change pace, just led me deeper and deeper into the forest. Never even once turning around to look at me. I had a large knife in my pocket at the ready, so I wasn’t really scared of something happening, even after last night.
After what seemed like an hour, the fox went into some brush and I lost sight of it. I pushed my way through the brush and came to a large clearing in the middle of the woods. The fox was nowhere in sight. The clearing had a small hill in the middle, so I climbed to the top to get a better view of what was around me. My heart skipped a beat when I saw another person standing by a tree. He didn’t have a gun, but he was carving something into the tree with a small knife. I quickly ran over to him.
“Hey! What are you doing on my property!” I shouted.
The guy looked to be around the same age as me. He was even a little chunky.
“Oh shit man!” he said with a nervous chuckle. “Dude I’m sorry I didn't know anyone was here, I swear!”
The guy looked harmless to me, so I told him to calm down. He told me that he was my Granddad’s neighbor, and that he would occasionally get bored and come over and just mess around in the woods. He said that wouldn’t poach or destroy any property. I didn’t have any reason to trust his story but my Grandad would tell me if there had been a poacher or someone vandalizing his property.
“I’m Paul,” he said with twang.
He was didn’t seem to be the smartest and appeared to be a little rough and “red” around the edges. But he seemed harmless. At least I had someone my age to hang out with now.
He had been carving random stuff into the trees. I told him it was not a great idea and my Grandad would have a fit if he found out someone was carving up his beloved trees.
Paul shrugged his shoulders. I ask him if he wanted show me what he knew of this vast acreage. He showed me a beaver dam that he had recently found. And a chimney that was all that remained of a house that burned down. Apparently he came on this land often.
“Have you seen, like a black fox around here?” I asked him.
“No, I didn’t even know those existed,” Paul responded without surprise. “But speaking of strange things, I have seen something weird around here before.”
“Like what?” I asked with a raised brow.
“Lights, blue and red, they fly around in the night sky. Sometimes they go low, especially over the field and the house,” he explained as he pointed all around.
My mind started racing when I heard this.
What if Grandad had been abducted by aliens or something crazy like that? What if that’s the reason he has been acting so strange? How can I know if Grandad is actually even Grandad? I stopped at this thought.
No, that’s impossible, aliens don’t exists. How could I believe this stranger?
“You said you were his neighbor, can we go to your house?” I asked Paul.
Thunder rumbled in the distance. Dark clouds were gathering at the edge of the horizon. The branches swayed violently in the wind.
“You better get home, this storm looks nasty, he warned me. “Maybe you can come over tomorrow. Come back to the clearing and will talk about it.”
“Sure… I’ll see you tomorrow dude,” I turned around and slowly walked off.
Paul suddenly turned around. “Oh one last thing! I have seen a lot of weird stuff around here, so be careful bro.” He said before turning back around and walking off.
I didn’t waste any time getting back to the farm. Getting caught in thunderstorm out in the woods is not an enjoyable experience. Fortunately for me, the storm seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. By the time the sun was setting, it still had not reached us yet.
“So where’d ye go today?” my grandfather asked me when he saw me walk in.
“Oh, I just explored around the woods. By the way, Grandad, do you happen to have a neighbor?” I asked him.
“Not that I recall, Why ya askin'?”
“Oh no reason, just wondering,” I mumbled to myself.
I didn’t want to him to freak out about Paul. I figured I would confront him directly tomorrow. I turned away to look out the window. The setting sun looked like an orange wave peaking over the storm clouds. Then I noticed it. The Black Fox was sitting in the middle of the field, staring directly at me with it’s eerie blue eyes.
That night, the storm was in full swing. There was no rain or hail, just tons of lightning. The most I’ve ever seen in a storm before. Jagged streaks constantly darted across the sky, not leaving a moment’s rest in between.
Me and Grandad sat on the porch for a while, watching the show. The storm was so violent that it scared his hound, who had left the porch to go hide under the couch. We grew tired of watching the storm after a while and decided to go back inside and get some sleep. For me, it didn’t last long.
My eyes jolted open and I shot up, looking around the room. It was still dark. I got up and looked at a clock. 1:09. The exact same time I woke up last night. This time however, there was no sink or razor that had turned on. Instead I heard granddad’s hound Rufus barking wildly. Rufus slept on the porch, so I thought that maybe it just wanted to go inside. I left the room and made my way to the porch door. I couldn’t hear any thunder, so the storm was no longer present.
When I got to the kitchen, something changed. The old hound began to growl, and then whimper. I grabbed a knife that was sitting on the kitchen counter, my heart racing. But the dog had gone silent now. I slowly looked out the nearest window. All I could see from it was the windmill and the corn field.
Strange, the corn stalks weren’t moving, but the windmill was spinning, I thought to myself.
It began to spin faster and faster. Faster than it had gone during the recent storm. Then the house began to shake violently. There was a flash of blue light, and I stepped back from the window, rubbing my eyes. The light beamed through every window and door, and began to get brighter and brighter. I fell back on the floor, sinking into blackness.
“Wake up boy! Wake up!” shouted Granddad.
My eyes shot open. Grandad was shaking me.
“What are ye doing' sleeping' out here?” he asked me.
I slowly got up and looked around. It daylight now, and the house looked fine. I had a massive headache though. I didn’t want to tell Grandad the truth.
“I came over here to get a glass of water and tripped, it was so dark I couldn’t see where I was walking,” I said knowing it was a lie. “Ahh, my head is killing me!” That I wasn’t lying about.
“Why don’t you go sit down over there on that old couch,” he said with concern.
Even thought I had technically slept last night, I was still exhausted. So, I went to lay down on the old dusty couch.
“AHHHHHH!” slipped from my mouth as I sunk into a relaxed state.
I heard my grandfather scream. I jumped up and quickly ran over to him. He was standing on his front porch, eyes wild and wide, staring out at the land.
“My dog! My cattle! They’re all missing'!” he shouted breathing heavily.
I was scared he going to have a heart attack. He then turned on me, his face red with anger.
“Did you do anything to ‘em boy?” He grabbed my shoulder and squeezed hard.
“No I swear! I don’t have any reason to take your animals! And where would I even put them?” I begged to him.
“Fine,” he responded angrily. “We have a poacher then. You didn’t happen to see anyone or traces of someone yesterday, did you?” He stared at me.
I began to open my mouth, but hesitated.
There was no way Paul could have done all this? Could he?
“Well? Did you?”
“No” I responded weakly.
He stormed past me and to his room. I stood there contemplating what I was going to do.
I turned around and saw Grandad holding a double-barrel shotgun. He had opened the barrel and was loading red shells into it.
“If I see anyone on this farm, I’m going to blow their Damn head off!” he shouted in an angry and shaky voice.
I was speechless. I had never seen Grandad this angry before. Even when someone stole his truck a few years ago. He grabbed my shoulders and turned me around to face him.
“You listen to me boy! If you see or hear anything; anything! You tell me!” he shouted in my face then turned and stormed back into the cabin.
The rest of the day went slow. I wasn’t really allowed to do anything. Grandad sat on the porch with the shotgun across his lap staring into the woods the whole day. He was talking to himself and acting crazy. He was not himself and I was beginning to worry about my own safety. So I started asking him random questions only my Grandad would know.
“So Grandad, do you know when my birthday is?” I asked hesitantly.
“Umm… Ain’t it in June or something?” he said in a creepy voice.
“No it’s in November.” I thought to myself, “How could he forget?”
“My memory isn’t what it used to be,” he claimed.
But I still thought it was suspicious.
I thought I was going to be stuck in the house the whole day, but Grandad wanted me to look for his lost animals, so he let me leave. I immediately made my way to the clearing where I had met Paul the other day. Just as I had expected, he was standing there waiting for me.
“Paul, did you steal my Grandad’s dog and cows?” I asked him. Then I paused
What a stupid question, he would never answer it anyway.
“I have no reason to do any of that,” Paul responded quickly.
“It doesn’t matter anyway, my Grandad is going to shoot anyone he sees. He’s… he’s gone crazy now. He’s just sitting around with a loaded shotgun, babbling to himself,” I told him.
“You need to get out of there before he does something stupid” he cautioned. Listen Aaron, your grandfather sounds like a senile old man that is losing his mind. It isn’t safe to be around here. You should come stay with me at my place for a while,” Paul tried to persuade me.
I hardly paid any attention to him.
“I have to make sure Grandad doesn’t do anything insane like shoot up the house or himself for God’s sake. I need to go now, sorry. We’ll talk tomorrow if everything goes alright,” I turned around to walk way, but then turned back around.
“Oh, and don’t come poking around the house or try anything” I pleaded. “He is acting crazy enough to kill someone right now and I wouldn’t push your luck.”
I headed off to continue the search for the missing livestock. Something caught my eye. It was black fox. This was the third time this mysterious creature crossed my path. Like last time, he was just sitting there with those eerie blue eyes. It was as if he was staring directly into my eyes.
Finally the day began to end and the sky was almost completely black, save for an orange streak at one end of the horizon. Grandad was still just sitting, holding the shotgun like a madman. Then I noticed the dark outline of figure walking by the cornfield to the house. As it got closer, I could tell from the size it was Paul.
That Idiot! What is he doing? I thought to myself as I got up to tell my Grandad.
But it was too late. My Grandad had already stood up and aimed the shotgun in his direction. Without any warning, he fired, kicking up dirt around Paul. Paul jumped behind a nearby shed and out of sight. Grandad fired again, causing the wood to splinter on the side of the shed. He pulled the trigger once more, but the only response was a click.
“Damn it, damn it, damn it!” He cussed as he ran inside to grab more ammo.
“Help me find my shells boy!” he shouted at me as he frantically tore up the house.
I was just standing there, frozen. I didn’t know what to do. I headed to the window to look out at the shed. In front of the shed was a pile of firewood and an axe used for chopping the wood. I looked back again. Shivers ran down my spine. Now, only the firewood was there.
My Grandad had reloaded the shotgun and headed out to the shed.
“Where did dat son a bitch go?” He cussed to himself as he looked behind the shed.
I reached for a nearby kitchen knife and began to head back to the porch. At this point my mind was filled with confusion and I didn’t know what to do. Grandad was coming back inside the house.
“Maybe I scared ‘em off,” he chuckled a little.
Just then, I heard a loud cracking sound and a split appeared in the front door allowing a sliver of light to spill in. There was another crack this one causing the front door splinter even more. I could see the edge of an axe in the now fully sunlit room.
Grandad raised the shotgun and fired, but it didn’t stop the axe from swinging on the door again.
Finally the door splintered open and a figure stepped into the house. It sprinted at Grandad, holding the axe up in the air like it was about to behead a chicken. Grandad reloaded the shotgun but didn’t have time to bring it up, and the man brought down the axe in a violent swing. Grandad quickly held up the shotgun horizontally with two hands and blocked the swing. In the light, I could tell the figure was Paul now. He was bleeding on his arm and chest, from where the shotgun had hit him. I didn’t think any man could survive that.
The two men were in a power struggle. And all I could do wasjust standing there, gripping the knife with shaking hands. I was paralyzed with fear.
“Son… I can’t hold him much longer… please, stab him! Help me!” Grandad begged.
“Don’t listen to him! He isn’t your real Grandfather!” Paul shouted with a loud voice.
I was still frozen. A million outcomes went through my head. I-I couldn’t do it.
The axe was inches away from Grandad’s face now. He stepped back suddenly and the axe came down on the couch. Grand used the shotgun like a bat and hit Paul violently in the head.
“Ahhh!” Paul screamed as he squeezed his bloody forehead with his hand.
Grandad swung again, this time hitting Paul in the chest. Paul stumbled back. He swung the axe into Grandad’s stomach. Grandad made a grunting noise. I could see blood spilling out onto the ground. Paul brought the axe back for another swing, but Grandad had aimed the shotgun right at Paul’s head. Paul swung. Grandad fired. There was explosion of blood in the room, covering everything. Paul’s headless body dropped the axe and fell back on the floor.
My mouth was hanging wide open. Grandad was standing there, panting heavily. He turned around and looked at me.
“I told you to help. And you just stood there. I could have died! What kind of grandson are you!” he aimed the shotgun at me and pulled the trigger. I winced, but the only response was a click from the gun. It was empty.
H-he tried to kill me… I stared at Grandad in horror. He picked up the axe and charged at me, letting out an inhuman scream. He was an old man but he had the strength of monster and the look of a mad man in his eyes. I dodged the swinging axe and stepped out of the way. I still had the knife in my hand.
“Don’t make me do this!” He raised the axe again, and I was trapped with a wall behind me.
He began to swing and I stepped forward, plunging the knife into his chest. He dropped the axe, blood pouring out of his mouth. I pulled out the knife and stabbed again and again. Grandad fell back on the floor. Tears were rolling down my face.
“You left me no other choice. I-I’m sorry,” I dropped the bloody knife by his body and sat down sobbing.
I must have sat for hours in silence. The day slipped into night. There was no noise, not even crickets or owls. But then the silence was interrupted. I heard a creaking noise coming from outside. It began to get louder and louder. I got up and looked outside the window. The windmill was spinning fast.
Uh oh… I thought to myself.
I noticed a dark silhouette behind the windmill in the field. It was the silhouette of a fox. I noticed the blue eyes too. The silhouette got up and slowly began to move towards the house. I felt my heart sink to my knees.
That thing was no normal fox. I rushed around the house looking for more shells, but couldn’t find any. I couldn’t just stay here and come face to face that “thing”.
I quickly got up and went to the back door and took off running through the cornfield. I didn’t stop running, I ran with fear and energy despite the cornstalks cutting at my face. I thought I heard something following me, but wasn’t sure.
I burst out of the cornfield and ran into the dark and silent forest. My legs began to cramp and breathing became difficult. I had to stop, I didn’t want to pass out in the woods. I looked around me, trying to make out where I was. I was standing in a small three-sided ravine. There was a pretty large opening in the ravine, filled with nothing but dirt.
The ravine was suddenly lit up by a bright blue light. I looked up at the sky and saw a large silver object hanging in the night sky. It looked like a giant sphere, with multiple blue lights circling the exterior. It made no noise and just hovered in place. Fear flooded me and I took off running in the other direction.
Aliens are real! What the hell am i going to do? Paul was right about the lights. What if Grandad was a… These thoughts flooded through my mind as I ran back through the forest.
I came one of the large planting fields and saw the house and the windmill in the distance. My eyes fell on the truck parked in front of the house.
The truck! Why didn’t I think of that before!
I ran to the house and once inside, began to search for the keys. My adrenaline was caused my heart to pump wildly but my heart sunk when I saw the two dead bodies again. I was filled with anger and sadness again.
Luckily I didn’t have to stay there long. Granddad had left the keys sitting on the kitchen counter. I quickly left the house and started up the truck. I took off down the road, not bothering to look back behind me.
I drove in silence down the dark road and began to get nervous. I had just left two dead bodies behind me, and I had been the cause for one of them. No one would believe the story about the aliens either. My thoughts were interrupted when the radio suddenly clicked on and began to blare static.
Strange, I hadn’t even turned it on, and I know there would not still be a signal out here, I thought to myself.
Next the headlights flickered then turned off. Then the engine followed. The truck had come to a complete stop on the dark road, and I hadn’t even done anything. I tried to start the car again, but there was no result. I got out of the truck and put my head in the palms of my hands shaking my head with disbelief that this was happening to me.
What the hell am I going to do now? I thought as I paced around the truck.
I glanced up and noticed two blue eyes piercing the darkness down the road. The eyes belonged to the silhouette of a fox, that fox, the one that had already crossed my path and haunted my dreams. The silhouette moved closer and closer. As it got closer, I began to realize it was the same black fox I had seen earlier. It came within ten feet of me and stopped.
“Get the hell away from me! I don’t have anything you want!” I shouted at the creature.
Staring intensely at me, the black fox opened its mouth and began to speak.
“You have done well, Aaron,” it spoke in a calm and soothing voice.
I was startled and stepped back.
“Y-you’re not a fox! How do you know my name? What do you want from me!” I shouted wildly.
“We put you through a test, and you succeeded. You acted exactly as we had predicted. You did well,” it continued in it calming and eerie voice.
“What about Paul and Grandad?” I asked as my fear and caution grew.
“You killed them. They were both human. All it took form us was a little push or two. You found Paul. You convinced him to come back to your house tonight.”
“That’s not true!” a single tear was falling out of my eye.
“Oh is it now? Did you not plunge the knife into your Grandfather’s chest. There was a reason he hesitated. He was going to set the axe down. He had been suffering through a lot of mental problems. He was isolated out here alone. Your Grandad had crossed the line at that point,and he had just realized it,” the creature said with a harsh voice.
I wanted to burst out crying and beat the fox death, but I only felt calm in it’s presence. I felt peaceful. A bright blue light began to illuminate the road.
“Don’t be sad. Everything is going to be ok now”