I just had the strangest dream.
It was this huge tree in a clearing. That was it. Just the tree.
I wasn’t there. Nobody was there. It was just the tree and the wind moving through its leaves. It was just there, and it went on and on — the dream.
It wasn’t frightening or anything. I didn’t feel anything really, just … sort of … at peace, and for a while too, but then I woke up. Just now.
This is what the tree looked like.
Well, it looked kinda like that. My skills as an artist leave much to be desired, but that’s as close as I can get.
I know this tree is significant. I assume I’m supposed to find it at some point for some reason, but I’ve never seen it before, at least I don’t think I have. To be fair, there’s a lot of frickin’ trees around here, but that clearing … I mean, there’s something familiar about it, but I can’t place it.
I feel like I should take a walk. Not too far, but Tūtū is obviously trying to tell me something so I feel like I need to at least try to meet him halfway, you know.
Anyway, I’ll be back soon.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — -
I’m back now, and I am tripping out. I got crazy chicken skin right now.
So I was walking up the path to the closest campsite to the cabin, the first one I go to when I do my regular circuit, but instead of going all the way there, I decided to take a detour up this tiny little path that’s really hard to see. It goes to this clearing that we only very rarely check because so few people know about it. The trees and shrubs all around it are super dense, and if you miss that one little path, you’ll never find it.
Sometimes we’ll find beer cans up there, or the grass will be trampled because somebody had obviously been up there camping, but we’ll never actually find anybody there because people go there only like once, maybe twice a year, max.
Anyway as I was walking towards the other campsite — I think it was like two or three hours ago — , I just turned down the path as if that’s where I was going the whole time. I felt like I just saw the path at the last minute and made the split second decision to go that way, but then when I walked into the clearing at the end of the long meandering path, I froze, because somebody had been there. The campfire was still smoldering a little.
I just stared at it for the longest time because this was the campfire from my dream with Tūtū. I remembered it instantly. It was exactly that same campsite, from exactly that same angle.
I couldn’t move, and for a second, I thought maybe I was still dreaming, but then the wind kept blowing and I was starting to feel faint. I realized I hadn’t been breathing, so I willed myself to breathe, and to walk into the camp.
There was a tent and a bunch of cooking stuff around the campfire — it looked like a group of three or four people had been about to cook something up for breakfast, but then something happened and they took off in a hurry.
There were no signs of violence that I could tell. Nothing ripped or torn, no blood, no smell of gun smoke. There was a sweatshirt in the middle of the clearing, as if it had fallen out of a bag as they’d rushed back to the one path out. That made me realize I must have just missed them by no more than a few minutes.
I made sure the fire was out and called out, but the clearing is small and if anybody had been around, I would have seen them right away. I just kind of peeked into the tent — I felt weird about going into somebody else’s tent — but I could see nobody was in there.
So I checked the fire one last time and left everything exactly as I’d found it — even the sweatshirt — then I walked out to the closest parking area, then the next closest and didn’t see a single soul the whole time. No vehicles of any kind and no people. So they were definitely gone, and they’d clearly abandoned the tent and all that cooking stuff, and maybe there was stuff in the tent still too.
I went back and grabbed the sweatshirt — it was a University of Southern California sweatshirt — then went into the tent, and that’s when I got the second shock.
The bow — the exact bow that I was carrying in the dream with Tūtū, only a little bit cleaner — was leaning right next to the door of the tent, and the quiver that had been hanging from my belt in that dream, was right to it. I had to remember to breathe again
I packed everything up and brought it all back to the cabin with me. I doubt they’ll come back for any of it, but if they do, that’s where they’ll turn up.
This whole incident made me realize two things.
The first is that whatever is happening out there in the world, everybody else knows about it but me. How those people in the clearing found out, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go back later to see if there’s cell reception there, but the closest spot I’ve ever found is at least a twenty minute drive back towards Eugene.
But not a single other soul is here. I’ve been trying to reach some of the other Rangers stationed in other parts of the Willamette, but nobody has responded. It’s crazy that I missed those others by just a few minutes, but I doubt that’s likely to happen again for a while.
In any case, whatever’s happening out there, I need to protect myself, so I don’t think I’ll stray very far from the cabin from now on. At least not until Grandpa lets me know I need to, and that leads me to the other thing I realized.
Tūtū is showing me things from the future. I’d be afraid that I was losing my mind, except the first thing I did when I got back to the cabin a little bit ago was go back into this journal to what I wrote a few weeks ago, right after I had that dream. I dreamt of that campsite and in that dream I had this bow with this quiver of arrows — there are twelve arrows by the way.
This changes everything. I know I’ll find that dog eventually, and that I’ll grow a beard somehow, and I know that it’s not a tsunami, this is something else entirely. Whatever was making that moaning sound in the trees, that’s what I gotta stay away from.
I also know that I’ll have to go looking for that tree at some point, but that time is not now. I’d be able to feel it if the time were now and I don’t. I can feel that I’m still supposed to be here, and when that feeling goes away, that tree will be the next step.
I guess it’s time I taught myself some archery.