This was back when I used to "ghost bust" with friends. There is an old historical war marker that's just outside my town that I used to visit during childhood field trips that's 30 minutes out of town. It always fascinated me.
For this trip, I had taken three close friends of mine, Nathan, Kaitlyn, and Brayden. It was around this time that there were multiple guys fighting over the love of my best friend, Kaitlyn. Mainly Nathan and Brayden. Kaitlyn claims that she was just going to stay neutral but, I knew she liked them both and didn't know who to choose. Nathan went to high school with us. He was a transfer in our senior year. Though I haven't known him long, he was still a close friend of mine. As for Brayden, I've known him since my freshman year of high school. We used to play football together. Nathan was all about muscle. More specifically, HIS...muscles. He was all about working out. Sometimes I felt like he didn't know how to love a girl because of how often his muscles would get in the way. Like a guy and his video games... Except with muscles.
Brayden had joined the Marines during his senior year of high school and deployed to California the moment we all graduated. I hadn't seen him since until 2 years later, when he was able to visit. He was the opposite of Nathan but, to Kaitlyn, lacked the looks compared to Nathan. Brayden however, was more into being the hopeless romantic. He was always a very kind person to anyone he came into contact with. Before Nathan came back into the picture, Kaitlyn was in love with him, I could tell. Every girl loves a guy with good looks and nice muscles right? Though Nathan had both of these, he lacked the compassion for love. He instead, was very stubborn and set in his ways. Throughout our senior year in high school, him and Kaitlyn were an off and on thing because of this. If something wasn't going his way, they would fight. He would never see her side of anything. He solved all of his problems with working out.
Brayden didn't believe in ghosts. When we started hanging out when he came back to visit, I told him that I ghost hunted and he laughed. Which was okay. I got that a lot and still do when I tell some of these stories to people. He didn't believe until I took him on a very dangerous hunt and he ended up getting hurt in the process I guess you could say but, I'll tell that story at a later time.
So, I think I've summed up the lover's quarrel that's been happening during that time frame as well as Nathan and Brayden's completely different personalities, which are essential to this entry as they were essential during the experience we had went on together. Now that that's out of the way, let's begin...
One Saturday night while I was animating in my room, I received a call from Brayden. He was asking if Kaitlyn and I wanted to go ghost hunting (but lord knows WHY he really wanted to go lol). I agreed and called Kaitlyn and she agreed to go as well. At the time it was around 10:30pm. I usually don't ghost hunt until sometime after midnight but before 4am so, we had some time to kill.
Kaitlyn, Brayden and I, all decided to take a trip to the nearest neighborhood Walmart to grab some snacks for after the ghost hunt, because I found out that Brayden had planned a movie night alone with Kaitlyn but, she insisted that her best friend join them (which is yours truly lol). Brayden wasn't very happy with it but, had no choice but to agree since I'm always a package deal when it came to having alone time with her. I remember swearing that he was giving me "the look" while I was looking for the biggest bag of Doritos in the chip isle. Anyway, at some point, Nathan had caught us while we were checking out and as he was walking towards us, I heard Brayden give out the longest sigh ever. I chuckled at him and gave Nathan a warm welcoming hug (so that things wouldn't be awkward). He eventually asked us what we were doing later on that night and practically invited himself to ghost hunt with us, which I didn't mind. Brayden however scolded me when we were back in the car, telling me that I should have said that we weren't doing anything that night or to come up with an excuse that would have basically gave him the hint that he COULDN'T invite himself but, I told him that I wasn't choosing sides and that they were both my friends... Also that I'm not anyone's personal matchmaker.
Later on that night, the three of us arrived at the Fort Phantom hill parking lot. After waiting a couple of minutes, Nathan also drove up in his super nice and dark green monster of a Chevy pickup truck (which Kaitlyn loved). Brayden wanted to up his "game" by giving us all pocket knives for protection. I've never thought about taking one on my adventures for some reason so I didn't hesitate on taking one but, I also knew what he was doing. To keep my mouth shut however, he had handed me the most magnificent pocket knife I had ever seen. He knew I had a thing for bright red or fiery colors, and that's exactly what he handed me. The handle of this knife was black, covered with bright fiery flame decals. He winked at me as he handed it to me as a sign of "game, set, match" and I just rolled my eyes. He handed Kaitlyn a similar pocket knife but, with pretty pink flames which she didn't hesitate to show her excitement for. He handed Nathan the smallest pocket knife I had ever seen. It took everything in me to not bust out laughing because I think I know what Brayden was trying to REALLY insinuate. Nathan of course rejected the offer until Kaitlyn made a comment, asking him politely to take the knife because she was concerned for his safety. So, as much as he didn't want to, he took the tiny knife and we all headed into the fort.
As usual, we took an immediate right turn upon entering the gate and headed towards the hospital, where I usually go to to get used to any vibes that were in the area. Instead of using the ghost app for this trip, I instead took a small audio recorder out of my pocket because I thought it would be nice to switch things up for a change. However, after walking around the fort, talking to air, Nathan became bored and asked if he could use the ghost app on my phone so, I let him. We were there for only 30 minutes before Brayden suggested that we split up into two groups of... Well two and do our own thing to see if either of us would get more results.
As we all knew, this wasn't really the case. I knew exactly what Brayden was doing the moment he out of no where, paired himself with Kaitlyn and suggested that I go with Nathan. Starting a bit of a quarrel between the two guys, Kaitlyn grew tired of they're fighting and politely suggested to Nathan that he go with me. As upset as he was, he agreed and we all went our separate ways. Braden and Kaitlyn headed towards the officer's quarters and Nathan and I headed towards the food storage building towards the back of the fort. When we were just far enough from the other two. Out of ear shot, Nathan started his rant,
"Who does he think he is? I'm obviously the perfect match for Kaitlyn! You think so too right?"
I said to him the same thing I told Brayden earlier, that I'm not anyone's personal matchmaker, that I'm not choosing sides, and that I'm fond of them both. He scoffed with a "whatever" and we continued on. Eventually, we started a conversation on animating because he had asked what I do in my free time. It surprised me that he had so many questions about it. He was very interested in what I do, even though it can be very tedious. Animating is tough but, I for some reason loved it. I still do.
Another good half hour past by and I was just about to suggest that we regroup with the others until I heard a very odd noise over Nathan's talking and quickly hushed him. He asked what was wrong and I replied that I heard something weird. He comically replied with, "maybe YOU'RE weird..." and moments after that, there was a howl not far from us. It actually almost sounded like there was a wolf within the gates of the property. This of course freaked me out as my instinctive reaction was to demand, "We gotta go" followed by "That was too close for comfort" as we were walking back to regroup with the others. You can hear this same howl in the recording itself.
Once we regrouped with the others, I noticed my audio device was running very low on battery, which puzzled me. I've used it multiple times and the longest that I've went with it ON was approximately 5 hours. I had charged it before we came out and it was a full battery so, I went ahead and put it away in substitute for my phone's flashlight. Brayden asked if we caught anything and I told him that we didn't catch any spirits but, possibly a wolf instead. The hadn't heard any wolves nor caught any strange things. The weirdest part, is that they DIDN'T hear the howl. Which told me that it was closer to Nathan and I at the time. Very close possibly.
Of course as soon as I said that, Nathan starts about how wolves are super dangerous and territorial. Only moments after freaking me out with that, followed NUMEROUS howls and it sounded like it was coming from ALL directions but, mainly behind us. We all fell silent. Frozen in complete fear. I knew our bodies were reacting to it too. We all entered the "fight or flight" stage.
Now, in my previous entries, you all know that I'm the "flight" kind of person. If I get freaked out, I flee. I will whole-heartedly admit that. I am NOT a fighter. Especially in any of these cases because I KNOW that I am walking on other territory that belongs to OTHERS. Not me. Why on earth would I want to fight someone or something in it's OWN territory. That's just my thought process when it comes down to it. So, given that, my initial and primal reaction is to freaking flee.
As I was just getting ready to, however, Nathan starts to freak everyone out by saying, "We might be too late guys" and pulls out his freaking pocket knife, making Kaitlyn gasp.
"If they've been following and tracking us this whole time, we're screwed right now. They might be waiting for us to run and attack us from behind. We have to fight."
I mean, these wolves. They did sound really close guys. It sounded SCARY close and there had to have been at least 6 of them from what it sounded like. So, part of me felt like I could make it to my car without getting caught IF they were really pursuing us but, the other part didn't want to risk it. It wanted me to stay and fight in case they did come running out from any direction. Before I could think about talking Nathan out of it, I felt Kaitlyn's back against mine and looked over my shoulder to see that she had her knife out and ready. She was focused on watching her side. I looked over at Brayden who had his fists up as if he was going to get into a boxing match and it puzzled me,
"Brayden where the heck is your knife?" I frantically asked.
He claimed he didn't need one. Especially after what he had learned in basic training. This of course set off the lover's quarrel between the two boys. Nathan scoffed at him, "what you plan on punching possible rabied wild dogs to death?" and Brayden replied confidently, "If I have to..." His firm voice sounded like an actor from a movie. These two were still competing for love... At a time like this...guys...am I right? (rolls eyes). Oh but, Brayden didn't stop there however, he still had to try and one up Nathan,
"I don't plan on really punching them, just so you know."
Nathan scoffed, "Then what exactly DO you plan to do without a weapon?"
"I guess you'll find out."
Now, I was getting to the point of irritation between the two. In my mind, I'm imagining bloody scary sharp teeth coming at my face. I would assume everyone else would be too but, obviously not.
A few moments after Brayden's last comment, the howls got louder. I had no idea where exactly they would jump out from if they did. We were in the part of the fort with just trees. It was impossible to tell. Brayden copied what Kaitlyn was doing and slammed his back against Nathan's, who didn't mind. He was too focused and panicked on looking around to care. Although he did continue as soon as the howling stopped again.
"If they carry rabies, our odds are screwed. They attack in packs, not one by one when they're hunting prey so, the moment you see one, shout to let the rest of us know and charge."
Brayden and Kaitlyn were furious with him for making that selfish comment.
Brayden: "Not cool man."
"Hey don't get mad at me you gotta do what you gotta do to live!"
This is and has been the problem with Nathan. He doesn't put anyone first. So, he basically said to everyone, if a wolf is coming at you, that you're supposed to shout to let everyone else know before charging at it yourself. My instant thought was Kaitlyn. She's a strong girl but, I couldn't see her charging FIRST into a pack of wild freaking wolves like Nathan did. This upset me as well. I personally would jump ahead of her if she was the one being targeted. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't. Nathan can.
So knowing this, that's the true ultimatum between him and Brayden. They both have their pro's and cons to Kaitlyn. Anyway, after Nathan's harsh speech, no one else spoke because of the tension. We all focused on our sides. I had my knife up and ready also. I didn't even remember taking it out. We all watched in our directions, waiting. We stayed in the same position for a little over 10 minutes. We were too afraid to move. We all felt like they were all watching us...waiting. It was the worst feeling ever. Though I will admit, the first few moments of the silence made me feel like I was in a horror movie and that I was involved in a last stand with 3 of my friends. It was an interesting moment. One that I will surely never forget.
Anyway, Kaitlyn couldn't take the silence any longer. She said we should just call the cops but, Nathan advised against it. There was a possibility of all of us getting in big trouble. The law would surely expect us of vandalism of course here. They wouldn't believe us if we told them that we "ghost hunt". So, the cops were out of the question.
After a few more moments of silently waiting, the howls started again but, this time they sounded further than the last time. Nathan saw this as an opening and frightened us with his command voice, "go go go!" We all bolted for our vehicles. Nathan got into his truck and drove home while Kaitlyn, Brayden and I drove to Kaitlyn's house in my car. It was probably the strangest car ride ever. No one spoke from the moment we all made it back to our vehicles. No one spoke all the way home. I don't think it was from fright but, from the unknown of what COULD have happened had we been attacked by a pack of wolves. I counted my blessings that's for sure.
When we were in Kaitlyn's room, we started to go over the recording and I of course fast forwarded it to the part with the howl. I'm glad I caught it. Really glad. We all didn't know what we were going to get into. Especially not WOLVES but, we did take our chances that night...
Any comments, questions, concerns and thoughts are appreciated. Thank you for reading:)