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The Creature from the Ditch

BY RICHARD B.

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About three years ago, I was driving to my dad's house from across state in Pennsylvania. He lived far out in the country, down a desolate paved road that crossed with an old dirt road as well as some unused railroad tracks. The entire area was surrounded by deep woods and unused farming fields. There were a couple of dilapidated old houses, an old well, and a few old cemeteries nearby.

I arrived at those crossroads I mentioned earlier after being on the road for about four hours (it was around 1 or 2 a.m. by this point) and I decided to pull over and relieve myself. I stopped my truck about 60 feet from said crossroad, close to a small farm shed with some old equipment in it. There was a single lightbulb on the side of the shed providing the only source of light in the nearly pitch black darkness of the night. On the opposite side of the road from the shed was a steep dropoff into a ditch, on the other side of which were some dense woods.

As I was peeing in the dark by the shed, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a massive feeling of dread, like someone had just punched me directly in the gut. I had been around these woods all my life and used to walk around the area at night as a teenager, and I assure you that I had NEVER felt so scared as I did at that exact moment.

I quickly finished up and, goaded on by my sudden sense of panic, ran back to my truck, got in, and locked the doors. I flicked the headlights on and cranked the engine so badly that you could hear the gears grinding, but all I cared about was getting out of there.

As soon I began to turn back onto the road from the shoulder, my headlights shone over the ditch and picked something up on the other side of the road, about a foot from the asphalt. My stomach immediately sank again.

There was something crawling out of the ditch on all fours. It was hunkered down like an animal, but it's body looked almost human, albeit a human that was attempting to mimic a stalking animal. It didn't look hairy, but it was a uniform color. Almost dun yellow, not yellow like a cougar or lion, but a sickly yellow that reminded me of jaundiced skin. Its head was shaped like an oval, but had no hair or ears that I could see. The mouth was very, very wide, and looked like a thin, straight line that extended all the way across the creature's face. It was very, very slightly upturned at the edges, like a slight smile. The eyes were very small and beady, just like two black pinpoints. It had no nose or any facial features aside from the mouth and eyes.

Since I was around seven feet from it, I'm certain it wasn't just a person wearing a mask. Even the body sort of seemed "wrong", but I can't pinpoint why. I couldn't see feet or hands, since there was about a foot of grass at the edge of the road. Whatever it was, I'd say it was about the size of a 12-year-old.

As soon as my lights hit it, I could tell by its movements that it had been in the process of slowly creeping up the ditch to the road, and when my lights hit it, it sort of retracted slightly, like it was surprised that it had been discovered. I didn't stick around long enough to see what was going to go down next. I floored the gas and flew all the way to my dad's house and stayed up the entire night freaked out.

The part of the experience that still utterly scares me to this day is that whatever I saw was definitely, definitely stalking up that ditch to get to me when I had my back turned to it. Otherwise, I can't possibly explain what had triggered those emotions when I stood there in the darkness with my guard completely down.

The only thing that came close to that sudden realization of grave danger was when I was nearly struck by a speeding car on a city street many years ago. I don't know what could have happened if I had lingered around for a few minutes longer, but I'd rather not think about it.

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