I was walking with my friend in the woods, on a nice calm fall day, we each wore thin hooded sweat shirts and we had the need to adventure. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and it seemed as if the sun was penetrating through the trees creating an immense glow that resembled the visual rainbow spectrum, colors from red to violet. About twenty feet in front of us within the thicket of the trees was a large man carrying a stone in his right hand that formed into a fist. I was only able to notice the back of the man, who wore a tattered green cloth over his upper torso; a pair of old tight brown pants and a pair of brown laced sandals. From the back he had short black hair and long broad shoulders bigger than my body. Daniel and I crept towards the edge of the thicket to watch what the mysterious man was doing. It was not clear of what we saw, but it seemed that two blue birds were flying around and pecking at his head. For about a minute the man was waving his gargantuan arms around his head so they would leave, but for some strange reason they would not. With the stone in his hand he chucked the small stone in a rapid movement at both birds that were flying close to one another. The birds let out a loud deafening chirp as if they were calling for help.

In an instant, the two birds hit the soft soiled earth and made a large thump. We both screamed in fear and ran as far away as we could in the opposite direction. I turned my head to look back to see if the large man heard us, I remember seeing the large figure turning around through the thick trees. From the distance of where I jogged away, the monster had a massive shadow silhouette under a basking sunlight. Daniel and I managed to get away, but the dark figure could not escape my mind. One of the thoughts I kept having was that he was able to kill two birds with one stone.

After running for a few minutes through the dense woods we stopped to rest on a rock under one of the trees. We each needed time to catch our breath.

“We have to tell everyone in town.” Daniel said.

“Why? This could be a secret between the both of us. If we tell the town, they’re going to blow it out of proportion.” I explained.

“Alright, we need to keep this on the down low and nobody can know about this, not even your parents or your sister.” Daniel responded.

“Yes, so let’s promise that we won’t tell anyone even if we really want to.” I explained.

That day my friend and I made the ultimate pact that we would hide the truth about the forest man.

Getting back home was like returning to my old boring life. However, I was covered in sweat and smelled of dirt and bark sap. When I entered the kitchen into my home, my parents were sitting at the table and asked me where I’ve been.

“Why are so sweaty and breathing heavy,” they questioned.

I replied with a white lie, “I was just over Daniel’s house and we played basketball for a few hours.”

I felt uncomfortable lying to my parents, but I made a promise to my friend. I went upstairs to my room and laid on the bed. I rested my body on my back as I starred up at my ceiling, exhausted and happy to be in a safe comfortable place.

Suddenly, my little sister whose 10 years old entered my room without knocking and asked me if I ever journeyed into the forest to see the tree man. Of course, this wasn’t the only time she bothered me, but the first time she said something that caught my attention. I sat up in shock and looked at her, immediately going over to my bedroom door to close it.

“How do you know about the monster?” I asked.

“I’ve seen him before when I went on a school trip and I’ve seen him one time outside my bedroom window. He might look scary, but he’s really a gentle giant,” she described.

I told her about my experience and how the creature killed two birds with one stone.

“Yeah, birds are very mean to him. They think he’s a tree. He’s made of wood, not skin like you and me,” she explained.

“Okay, well that explains that,” I replied.

The next day I went back into the woods alone and did not find him. Over the years, I would always visit the forest and all I would find were a few dead birds lying in the ground next to an ordinary stone sitting a few feet away from the carrion.

If you enjoyed this and would like to read more from Anthony, check out his novel ‘Stay Awhile’ on Amazon amazon.com/Stay-Awhile.