STORIES is a new series to document moments of life, as well as works of fiction, by myself and fellow contributors. I believe that words in themselves are works of art and can move a person in ways that other mediums cannot. I don’t claim to be a profound writer, but I want to share these stories, and so here they are.
It was who-knows-what-time at night and I woke up from my frozen slumber to shouts of “SOMEBODY HELP ME, PLEASE, HELP ME!” No one else in my tent woke up, it was just me and my racing heart. I waited a few minutes thinking maybe I had dreamt it, because let’s be honest, I did watch 127 Hours before heading into the middle of nowhere Utah with some friends for the week. A few minutes passed by and there it was again, “PLEASE! SOMEBODY! HELP ME! HELP ME! OH MY GOSH HELP ME!” I heard shuffling in the tent next to ours, racing feet, flashlights flailing, and finally a mans voice “HELLO? HELLO! IS ANYBODY THERE? ARE YOU OKAY?” There was no reply. I poked my head out of my tent, intending to join the search, but suddenly realized the full extent of where I was and how unprepared I was to go wandering off into the dark to search for someone. I waited a few minutes, and then slowly heard a trickle of laughter emerge from across the way. I closed my eyes in a mix of fear, worry, and anger. The next morning I walked around our campsite to see if anyone else had heard the same horrible screams from the night before. The group of guys in the campsite next to ours told me a tale of how they had heard something in the night, but that their tent had also collapsed around 2 a.m and they spent a better portion of the night wrapped up in tarp. Another man I questioned turned out to be the one who ran for help, confessing that after a few minutes he heard the same laughter that I did from a camp across the way, almost certain that it was a group of teenagers pulling a cruel, cruel joke. We drove away from Zion the next day, my mind forever marked with the sick memory of false cries.