Thursday, May 15, 2014

Diary of Rupert Manspark, Professor of Abnormal Psychology

August 5th 1921,

     While traveling through the back woods of Pennsylvania, I'v come across the strangest of tales that I have ever heard. A man I had the pleasure of spending but a brief few hours drinking with told me of the haunted caves up on what he called "Lonely Mountain", which is the tallest peak in a series of rocky cliff faces in the densely wooded regions of the northeastern mountains of the territory. He told me of fabulous caves with great murals, and even greater guardians.

     "Great men, grey of flesh, with the teeth of a bear and claws of a cougar. They feel no pain and brush off gunfire as if it were rain. Only a clean sweep of the skull with a sufficiently sharpened weapon can slow the beast down, but only for a time."
     As a man of science, I felt it my obligation to go forth and investigate these supposed mountain men. I hired a guide and ten youths that were part of the militia, and we headed out the following dawn.
     At one point, in crossing over a great rise, I was able to get a sense of what the man spoke of when he called this peak Lonely Mountain. A towering edifice that pierced the sky like a blade to the heart, several openings along the slopes could be seen for the entrances into the caves where these mountain men lived.
     Our first encounter with them, however, was not in the mountains at all, but with a trapper that encountered our band as he was making his rounds. Intrigued by what we were doing, he smiled and welcomed us to his campsite at the base of the mountains, telling us he of course knew of the beasts that we sought. He in fact, had a pelt made from one of their skins.
     Amazed, we followed him. Amazed still, he produced a trailing cloak of thick grey hide, sewn with wire, that bore marks from claws, knives and gunfire.
     "Yessir," the trapper said over his bowl of beans and strip of pork. "I caught that one foraging I'd say, oh, two years ago. Tiny little fella, was eating a trapped beaver of mine. Well I didn't take kindly to that so I pelted him with some shot, which did nothin, and then moved in close with my machete. Had to lob off one of it's hands and its head before the main body slowed down enough for me to subdue it."
     "Wait, it was still moving after being beheaded?" I'd asked, writing down his words furiously.
     The trapper nodded. "They all do. They got huge jaws, that unfold at the bottom to allow a greater area to bite with. Their hands end in claws that are heavy as iron. Their whole body is one taut muscle that can't be pierced with conventional means, so you have to remove the head."
     "How do you do that?" One of the militia men, a man named Ezekiel, asked.
     The trapper laughed. "When they swing, the relax their muscles to gain speed, allowing their weight to carry a blow through. You strike then. So the key is to get close enough to get gored by one, let it take a swing at ya, and then slice its head off in one clean cut."
     This troubled my men greatly.  

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