by John Hammel
A guy could learn a lot about himself out in the woods. Legend says the Wampanoag sent their young out here on vision quests, alone to fend for themselves for weeks. Armed with only your wits and a sleeping bag, you find out what you’re really made of.
I mean, everyone’s heard the stories…campfire tales of Shrieking Susie, the vengeful spirit of a murdered young woman said to haunt these parts. Her mournful cry is enough to stop all who hear it dead in their tracks; frozen and helpless as she drags them into the darkness to roam the woods with her forever. That’s what they say.
But those are just stories. Right? Just silly children’s ghost stories that…wait…did you hear that? Probably just the wind. Nothing to worry about.
Anyway, there’s a lot more tangible threats out here. Like crazed transients hopped up on amphetamines. Groups of them. They had a thing on the news. They stalk around out here, wait for some poor sap to set up camp, and BAM! Next thing you know, you’re aching, bleeding, and minus one wallet. And that’s if you’re lucky. My cousin’s friend was camping out here a few years ago; woke up without a kidney. True story.
Or bears! My God, there’s bears out here! And poisonous snakes! What was I thinking? I could be eaten by a freaking bear. Best case scenario, a mosquito bites me and I die of Malaria. Maybe West Nile Virus.
Screw this, I’m going home.