Fairytale and movie monsters are solely works of fiction created to scare a public that's willing to believe in the unbelievable. That was the logic I grew up believing in. That was the sardonic truth my parents wanted me to believe to outgrow my overactive imagination. When I was a child I wanted more than anything to become a writer. I grew up wanting to scare or enchant people with my writing about monsters or superheroes. It was an outlet for my mind that was always inventing stories. It was a way to prevent my childhood self from spreading tall-tales to my annoyed parents. I didn't necessarily believe in the magical or the unbelievable growing up, but that didn't stop my imagination from soaring to new heights.
There was never a boogeyman that resided in my closet. Nor was there a tentacled monster under my bed waiting patiently to grab me if I ever dared to drape my foot over the edge. At some point everyone realizes that there's no such thing as superheroes or villains, my cynical childhood self just happened to learn this at an early age. To reconcile that the real world is boring and full of uninteresting characters I started trying to entertain others with my writing. I would would write comic books or short stories and share them with people online. Sometimes people loved what I wrote, sometimes not. At the end of the day everyone only gives in to the belief of the supernatural merely for the limited feeling of believing in things that are unexplainable.
But it was the day after the full moon that my twenty-one-year-old self questioned my life-long belief that monsters -real ones- don't exist. It was one night witnessing something that was always known not to live in the realm of reality that would forever change how I viewed what I thought was an uninteresting and boring world. While driving home one night with my brother I saw something that I previously thought only existed in fairytales and myth. We saw something that couldn't possibly be among the living. Yet, it was.
Our drive home that dark night was a night similar to the many others I had experienced in my two months of living in the tourist town called Wisconsin Dells. Uneventful and getting colder as the weeks passed. The air was chill for late September, the temperature was starting to dip into the low forties. Long gone was summer and all the fun aspects hot and balmy weather brought to outside fun. Lightweight jackets would soon be replaced by heavy coats to block the harsh winter air that would arrive in just a few weeks time.
It was a month before Halloween; the red and orange leaves covering the thick dense of trees in the forest had yet to fall to the ground. I was driving my truck as Simon sat in the passenger seat. My bubbly fifteen-year-old brother was animatedly talking about how fun it was to work in the aquatics department at the resort we both worked at. I had started to tune him out at least ten minutes earlier, only occasionally replying to him. My attention wasn't with my brother; I was too cautious of a driver, one who was always watching for the occasional animal to pop out of the woods to cross the road. While driving in the backwoods of central Wisconsin it seemed the local wildlife often played a proverbial game of 'Let's see if we can avoid death by car'. They would wait until the very last minute to pop out of the woods to sprint across the street. If you weren't careful you were going to be scraping possum or raccoon off of your front tires for weeks. This was a lesson I had learned the hard way after my dad borrowed my truck to make a trip to the supermarket.
That night I was right to be cautious.
As I made a turn and drove down the familiar dark and winding back road that led to the last four miles of our parents house, a deer suddenly sprint from the forest and onto the road. It was large in size and running fast. My grip on the wheel tightened as my breath hitched. As hard as I tried to avoid hitting the doe there was nothing I could do that wouldn't result in severe damage that could ultimately hurt myself and Simon if I didn't hit it. I slowed down and attempted to stop but there was no escaping clipping the doe in its mad dash to rush across the dark road. A loud thump sounded as soon as the deer came into impact with the truck's brush bar. The deer bounced off the road before falling hard into the dark woods. I screeched the truck to a halt as I struggled to catch my breath.
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The Wisconsin Werewolf (OPTIONED FOR FILM BY NETFLIX!)Werewolf
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