The rhythm of the hum filled the air like
A heartbeat, there was no turning back
Or stopping it. The sensation grew stronger
With each step as Jon slowly followed
Matthias into the woods. His new friend
Was far too eager to see what strange
Things were going on…But Jon had seen
More than enough strange things in his
Life, he didn’t even want to think of such
‘Do you see anything?’ Matthias cried out
As he entered the forest and denser mist
‘Just you.’ Jon simply answered as he
Weakly followed him.
Then Matthias paused and leaned over
and let out a cough. ‘This feels odd,
smells wrong.’ He said waving his hands
at the thick air.
‘Perhaps we should go back.’ Jon replied.
‘Aren’t you curious?’ Matthias asked.
Jon hesitated. ‘No, not really. I really
Should take the goats home.’
‘Oh, come now. What could there be?’
Matthias said waving at him, tapping
Him on the shoulder playfully.
‘I’ve seen enough strange things.’
Jon only said.
‘Well, I haven’t seen anything like this
Before.’ Matthias told him. ‘And I’ve
Been lots of places.’
Then before Jon could say another word
Matthias pressed on and walked seemingly
Carefree into the mist. He pushed aside
Some brush and managed to find a narrow
Game trail that was tall with weeds. The
Thick fog-like air made it more difficult
To see as they moved onward, but Matthias
Was determined. Jon reluctantly followed
With an intense expression of uncertainty
Spreading across his face.
‘Do you hear how the hum is stronger?’
‘Yes.’ Jon answered. ‘We should go
Matthias paused and turned to sigh
At Jon. ‘Don’t you want to see?’
‘Why?’ Jon asked.
‘There’s nothing wrong with being
Curious.’ Matthias told him. ‘Listen,
I’ve been to many places…and there’s
Barely been anything that surprises
Me anymore. I’m just curious.’
‘Curious isn’t always a good thing.’
Matthias grunted a laugh in return as
He pressed on. ‘You little villagers and
Your ways. You need to see more of
What’s out there.’
Jon cocked his brow. ‘We discussed
That, remember? You need to be
Careful thinking like that.’
‘Oh Please,’ Matthias laughed as he
Moved along pushing branches aside,
‘What is there to see?’
Jon thought quietly to himself…he knew
There was something more there, the
Senses just knew things were off…that’s
What attracted people’s curiosity, and repelled
His in the same. ‘I don’t want to know.’
Matthias continued to watch the woods,
Turning every which way and then back
To Jon. ‘Well, maybe I haven’t seen
Enough. I just want to know.’
‘People are usually cautious for a reason.’
Jon said seriously. ‘It doesn’t matter who
They are or where they are from…being
Cautious is not a bad thing.’
‘I didn’t say that.’ Matthias laughed. ‘I
Just want to look…That’s all.’
‘I understand.’ Jon laughed in return.
‘Something just feels…off.’
‘Well, that’s true.’ Matthias said still
Coughing at the thick mist filling his
Lungs; though strangely it was not
Affecting Jon the same way. ‘Maybe
I’m just more curious, maybe that’s
What I need.’
‘I’m just saying things happen when
They do…in their own reason. Not
Because you want them to.’ Jon told
Him. ‘You can’t always go looking
For…whatever it is…sometimes it
‘I appreciate you being careful,’
Matthias answered calmly. ‘But like
I said…I want to see what it is.’ He
Laughed to himself once again shaking
His head. ‘Have you seen so many
Strange things in your life?’
Jon winced at the question/ ‘I have seen
My share of things.’
‘Really?’ Matthias smiled confidently.
‘I’ve been to cities…I have met some
‘Me too.’ Jon replied.
‘I met this great inventor,’ Matthias
Went on proudly, ‘Who said that one
Day they will make machines that can
Move without horses…and even fly.’
Jon nodded to himself, laughing inside.
‘That does sound amazing.’
‘See,’ Matthias said leaning towards
Him with a big grin and slapping him
Hard on the shoulder. ‘I told you I have
Met some amazing people.’ Then he
Turned and resumed his focus on what
He was doing. ‘You can’t expect things
To come find you, Jon…You have to
Go out and look for them.’
Jon winced quietly at his friend’s words.
He couldn’t even think of what to say
The air grew thicker, so much so that
They had to walk more closely together
So as not to lose eyesight of one another.
Jon noted everything that he could even
More now. His ears told him the most,
The birds had stopped chirping and making
Noises above. It was the middle of the day,
The forests were typically full of all sorts
Of birds. ‘The birds are quiet.’ He said
Matthias paused and turned to him.
‘The birds, they’re not singing or making
Any sounds.’ Jon told him.
‘Is that important?’ Matthias asked.
Jon’s eyes widened. ‘I think so, yes.’
‘You farm people.’ Matthias said with
An abrupt huff. ‘You think you know
Everything. You know I’ve seen a lot too.
You should trust my instincts…People
Are the same where ever you go, friend.
They need to get out there, see places.
Have an adventure. You should live a
Jon laughed. ‘Why do you keep saying
That? What is wrong with liking things
Simple, is that so hard to believe?’
‘No, there’s nothing wrong with it.’
Matthias replied. ‘If that’s what you
Really like. So maybe I can’t sit still.’
And again, the mist grew thicker,
Drifting through the trees as though
It were deliberately being blown down
Upon them. Both of them paused to
Notice how much thicker it became.
‘Don’t you think this is just too strange?’
Matthias said once again gesturing
All around them at the air.
Jon couldn’t deny it. He simply eyed
The mist and then Matthias but said
‘I’m telling you people are the same
Where ever you go. People see things
Wrong a lot.’ Matthias said pointing
His finger in Jon’s face kindly. ‘You
Have to move, see things…Don’t worry
What people think. Have an adventure,
Get out there and see the world…’
Jon thought quietly to himself. True
Enough, there was a lot to see, far too
Many details to express to share…Yet
Somehow all of this coming from a
Stranger made it seem slightly comical
For the moment at hand. He decided it
Best to just simply silently nod and
‘I’m really good at reading people.’
Matthias said proudly.
‘I don’t know,’ Jon told him gently,
‘I think everyone has some story to tell.
In some way…’
Matthias was about to comment when a
Piercing shriek let out nearby. They both
Froze at the sound. It was no animal, that
Was very clear. But it was hard to tell
Much more than that. ‘What do you
Think that was?’ Matthias dared to
Ask in a whisper.
Branches began to snap in the woods
Nearby. Whatever it was, was very close.
Both boys instinctively froze and hunched
Down quickly. Then more branches snapped,
Then the boys fell down to their knees to
The ground. They eyed each other wildly.
Jon gave Matthias this expression as if to
Say, ‘You were the curious one who wanted
To see what it was!’
Moments passed this way, the boys waiting
For some sound or inclination of something
More…then minutes. In the silence they
Just continued to watch each other and wait
For more. Then finally there were more
Sounds of breaking branches…only closer
This time. The mist was thick and wet all
Around them. Then hazy lights flashed in
The thickness ahead and above them…first
Blinking slowly, then retreating to a low
Steady blurry orange-red light in the trees
Matthias became even more curious now,
So, he began slowly crawling towards the
Noise and lights in the denser brush ahead.
Jon followed him just to keep him close
And in view. Then they moved into the
Greenery to get a better look…
Matthias lifted what leafy branches he
Could aside and peered into a more open
Thicket where the mist was less heavy.
Jon hovered beside him watching carefully
As what appeared to be a tall dark robed
Figure stood in the opening…It must have
Been at least 7 feet tall. Then it began
To move in the oddest way, gliding across
The ground, almost hovering without moving
Its legs…with its arm outstretched holding a
Staff…sweeping it across the ground through
The mist back and forth, left then right.
Matthias turned to Jon with a strained
Expression as his face went pale. There
Were no words to find on how to react
To this. They had no idea what they were
Looking at, at all.
Then Jon froze, some inner guide taking
Over his senses…His eyes wandered up and
Above the figure as far as he could see.
There were flashing lights of red and
Green above it. And his ears caught the
Hum more clear. The mist was falling in
Pillars from the lights above. The source
Appeared to be this great big dark triangle
Floating above the tree tops. Jon just
Stared at it as his jaw dropped open.
‘What is it doing?’ Matthias whispered
To Jon as he could not stop watching the
Figure on the ground.
Jon could say nothing as he kept his
Eyes on the dark triangle floating above.
His insides just kept telling him over and
Over, this is wrong, wrong, wrong. There
Were only feelings to describe it…nausea,
‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’
‘Nor I.’ Jon said with worry.
Just then a branch cracked. And the
Ominous dark robed figure paused and
Turned directly towards them…eerily
Leaning over with its hood-face seeming
To look at them. The boys immediately
Pulled back and crawled from the bushes,
Scrambled to their feet and retraced their
Steps back the way they came.
‘Is it following us?’ Matthias panted as
They maneuvered their way back through
The woods. ‘I can’t tell.’
Jon’s mind worked feverishly beyond
Control, the shock forcing his senses to
Work harder. ‘No, it’s not coming after
And strangely as they followed their
Way back out of the woods the mist began
To lift…fading as quietly as it came. By
The time they reached the meadow and
The goats…it was nearly gone. And once
Again, the birds…were chirping and singing
And moving about the woods as if all
Were normal. The birds just knew.
They staggered somewhat in a daze to the
Tree where they had shared bread not long
Before and sat themselves down with
An uneasy sense of relief. Matthias looked
Back at the way they came taking deep
Breaths, then his breathing slowed down
And he finally paused to wonder on things.
‘What just happened? That did happen?’
‘Yes, it did happen.’ Jon nodded.
‘If I were not alone, I would think that
I was losing my mind.’ Matthias groaned
As he looked at Jon almost embarrassed.
His words actually brought some relief
To Jon… “had he not been alone.” For once
Jon had an unlikely witness to something
That had happened…that had never happened
Before. He had to smile at that, even if it
Was just for his own peace of mind. But
The darkness to this experience was
Undeniable…It might have been an isolated
Incident for Matthias, but it wasn’t for Jon.
Something was building.
Moments passed of silence. Then Matthias
Turned to Jon nervously. He was ashamed
To admit how he felt after what they saw,
Especially since this was his first day in
The area. Then he reluctantly if not humbly
Confessed, ‘I have no place to stay tonight.
I was going to sleep in the meadow by
Jon nodded, he understood. ‘You don’t have
To say anything…My family will not
Understand. I’m not sure if they will take
Kindly to strangers…But you can at least
Stay in our barn tonight. If you like.’
Matthias bowed his head politely.
‘Yes, I would like that. Thank you.’
‘Please do not say anything about what
We saw in the woods.’ Jon instructed.
‘My family, especially my grandmother,
Is very religious. I do not think they will
Hear it well.’
‘I understand.’ Matthias nodded once.
He remained quiet mostly from then on
As he stayed with Jon. He helped him tend
The goats and then bring them back
To his house and get them settled in their
Pen securely. Both he and Jon only
Made small talk, they did not discuss
What they saw in the woods at all.
While they were locking up Jon’s family’s
Goats in their pen and in the barn. Jon
Heard a growing commotion of voices
Near the house. Then he looked out from
The barn carefully to see that some of
The neighbors had arrived at their front
Door and had begun frantically talking
To his grandfather. He couldn’t hear
Them much, so he guided Matthias
Out of view and instructed him to go
To their hay loft above and remain out
Of sight there while Jon slowly walked
To the house to see what was going on.
The Bruders and Mr. Halverson were
Standing at their front door talking in
Heated excitement with Jon’s grandfather.
They were waving their arms wildly
Gesturing at the sky saying all sorts of
Things that made no sense, all the while
Jon’s grandfather just stood there stunned
By everything he heard. They quieted down
As Jon drew closer, then they each gave him
A brief nod to acknowledge him and then
A farewell nod to his grandfather…and then
Jon waited until they had all gone then
Stood closely beside his grandfather
And studied his face. He was pale and
Lost in some state that Jon had never
Seen before. ‘What was that about?’
His grandfather swallowed without
Looking at him, he only looked up
Towards the sky with some expression
Of doubt and fear mixed together.
‘Some of the neighbors saw some
Strange things.’ He scowled. ‘It’s
Nothing. Never mind.’
‘What did they see?’ Jon asked slowly.
‘Its nothing to think about.’ His grandfather
Said to him sharply. ‘Did you have any
‘Problems?’ Jon repeated. ‘No.’
‘Good.’ His grandfather said not wanting
To explain. ‘I want you to lock the animals
Up tight tonight. Then get inside and have
Your dinner and get to bed. I want
Everything shut tight tonight.’
‘What’s wrong?’ Jon asked.
‘Just do as I tell you.’ His grandfather
Said. ‘No questions.’ Then he went inside
And shut the door without another word.
Jon stood a moment gathering himself.
Others must have seen things in the
Village as well…But what? He didn’t
Want to push things at the moment…So
He went to the barn and told Matthias
What happened, told him to remain out
Of sight, then went inside and had dinner
With his family as his grandfather instructed.
The meal was modest, a simple pork
Roast and bread…with chilling conversation.
It was then he learned from his grandfather
What the neighbors said as he told the
Family while they ate.
The neighbors along the river had seen
Strange shapes in the sky with red flashing
Lights. It had scared the livestock first,
The animals went wild, some even became
Violent and charged their owners. And
Word had spread from other parts of
Similar things elsewhere, days before. Here
And there, a hovering triangle…a glowing
Flying orb. People were behaving strangely,
Excessively angry, rude or difficult. And
There was talk of strange illnesses and
People passing out at different times of
The day for seemingly no reason. More
And more people were talking about
Mood swings, of dizziness and disorientation.
It was happening so often now that it
Was impossible not to notice, or to work,
Or to even think clearly sometimes.
No one knew what to make of
This at all…it had never happened
On such a scale. It wasn’t
Everywhere exactly, but just
Enough so that a significant
Amount noticed and related very
Similar symptoms and experiences.
Dinner ended abruptly with no
Conclusions, only wayward looks
And nervousness and repetitive
Prayers. They prayed for it to
Pass…whatever it was.
After dusk, and everyone was
Asleep – distinctly noted by the
Sounds of his grandfather’s snoring.
Jon snuck out with some bread
And went to the barn to check
On Matthias. He found him in
The loft nestled safely between
Towering bundles of hay. He was
Relieved to see Jon.
‘Are you alright?’ Jon asked.
‘For what it is,’ Matthias
Laughed, ‘I am fine. You?
Did you find out anything
Jon told him what he heard, not
Adding any speculations. It was
Best not to taunt details as
Opinions might abstract it more.
But it was clear, so far, none had
Seen what they had.
‘So, what was it?’ Matthias
Could only say about the thing
‘I don’t know.’ Jon said quietly,
Afraid to think. ‘But I didn’t like
It…That much I know.’
‘My first day here.’ Matthias laughed.
‘That says a lot, oh…the things
I’ve seen…now THIS.’ He
Looked down solemnly before
Grinning at Jon. ‘Maybe you
Were right about being curious.’
Jon felt obligated to console him,
But couldn’t help but be forced to
Deal with it himself. ‘You can’t
Always control that… It happens.
For whatever reason…Maybe
We only see what we can handle.’
He winced at his own words, how
He managed that stability almost
Scared him. ‘I wouldn’t share
Everything though…I think it
Would scare them.’
‘I won’t argue that.’ Matthias had
To laugh. ‘So…what then?’
‘I don’t know.’ Jon said. ‘Wait
Hope. Hope it passes. Pray…What
Else is there?’
‘You sure seem calm after that.’
Matthias wondered aloud as he
Studied Jon in the dim light of
The candle he held. ‘Maybe I
Read you too fast…That story you
Told me about that place, the
Library…those fantastic things…
I thought you dreamed it. Now
I’m wondering if you did.’
‘Does it matter?’ Jon asked.
‘There is…something in the air
Unlike ever before.’ Matthias said
Slowly. ‘You can feel it. It’s not
Just here, it’s everywhere…But it
Seems stronger around here…That is
Why I came here…I was drawn
Here…I wanted to know…For
‘What do you want to find?’ Jon
‘I don’t know.’ Matthias
Could only say. ‘How about you?’
‘I don’t know…Time seems to
Answer that on its own.’ Jon told
Him. ‘Everyone, I think, is looking
For something. But then are those
‘No one thing is going to satisfy
Everyone. That’s why I keep searching.’
Matthias said with another grin.
‘When I find it, I will know. Oh,
If only there was a way to find
The right help.’
‘If only there was a way to help
Without anyone knowing it.’ Jon laughed.