You need not know my name, but I will tell you my story the way it happened, if you'd like.
It was a cool evening, as I walked to a friend's house, in the small town our "elite force" was staying in for the night. I was in the Canadian army at the time. I was on my way to my friend, Harry Falner's home, where I would be staying the night. Suddenly, another friend came running up to me, as I was walking up Harry's driveway.
"We've received new orders from the captain!" he said handing me the papers.
We had been ordered to go to the northern forests to find an exploration team. The team had left Vancouver three weeks before, but we had not received any communication from them since the morning of the tenth day. We would be leaving in the morning. I said good night to my friend and hurried into Harry's house.
Morning came quickly, so I thanked Harry, gathered my things and ran down to the train station. The rest of my team was already there, waiting for me. Our bags were loaded onto the train and we were off. By train it took us four hours to reach our starting point. From there we would hike into the forest to find the camps of the exploration team.
I found my gear and checked the contents, making sure everything was in its place. The captain paired us in groups of two, and we began to hike, not knowing that in ten days our lives would be changed forever. Especially mine!
We walked for five days through the woods. Everything looked so much the same. My hiking partner was Ben Howard. He was a young man not much older than myself. He was an interesting person to talk to, but we had talked about almost everything there is to talk about. We talked about how the weather was different in northern Canada than in all the places in the United States we had visited. There was one thing that interested me more than all others. Ben had told me that on a clear night, around eleven o'clock, it becomes very quiet. The birds, crickets, and frogs all stop there chattering, squeaking, and croaking. The sky then turns a dark pink color. No one has ever been quite sure why it does this, but it never fails. I noticed it on occasion when I was younger. Then, not knowing what else to say, we both fell quite for the last two hours of the day's hike until we would set up camp for the night.
I was to be the first sentinel for the next five days. I quickly built my tent, unpacked my things and took a short nap. Ben woke me up thirty minutes later, so I could prepare for my watch before everyone got to bed. I made myself some coffee and loaded my rifle. Ben would take the second watch at one o'clock. I had brought one of my favorite books to read, so I settled down for the duration.
As I was finishing my third chapter for the evening, I noticed it growing considerably quieter. I could here only two or three crickets and then they too stopped. I looked up through the trees at the sky. The sky had become the strange, dark pink color I had seen only a few times before. I held my watch up to my lantern. It was ten fifty-nine. Then I heard it... It was like a whisper floating in the air, almost like a voice, saying something I could not quite understand.
It was quiet.
Then I heard it again, a little more distinctly now. I listened, straining to understand. I knew. But what did it mean?
Then sky darkened again and the animals started making their noises again. I was frightened a little, but I couldn't wait until tomorrow to see if it happened again.
I could think of nothing but the strange voice I had heard the night before. It was almost dark now and we would set up camp soon. I pulled my blanket a little closer around me. It was a bit colder than it had been the night before. My lantern was lit and my gun was ready so I sat back to read until eleven. The time passed quickly and just as the night before, the sky grew dark pink and the animals became very quiet. I listened very carefully. Nothing. It was a few minutes after eleven. I didn't understand... and then I heard it.