Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Flesh and Fury - Bigfoot: Rogue" (an excerpt) by Misty Allabaugh

The following excerpt is from "Flesh and Fury Bigfoot: Rogue" by Misty Allabaugh.

Chapter One 
Richards Peak Fire Lookout 
Friday September 71h 2 a.m. 

Fire was imminent, the question was where it would spark and how big of disaster it was going to blow into. Lightning lit up the inside of the fire tower and at 2 a.m. it was as bright as midday. The winds were howling and it felt as though they were shaking the tower from its base. The storm would put a hold on the search and rescue operation for the two missing archery hunters lost on the Vermillion side of the mountain. Missing for almost a week chances were it was now a body recovery. With temperatures in the high 90's lightning strikes could easily render the search over. In fact it could be her way off of this mountain. Mari had taken the job with the Forest Service specifically to man this particular fire tower. Richards Peak was in the middle of the mountains her and her family had hunted in for years. At the time it felt like an amazing opportunity, now however it was becoming eerie and unexplainable things were happening. She was ready to go home.

With a 360 degree view of the entire valley it was hard to imagine that someone was sneaking up the mountain in the dark to make the moaning sounds she had been hearing. Two nights ago the outhouse had been tipped over and last night something hit the side of the tower. The outhouse was demolished and completely irreparable, she had no idea how she was going to explain that to her superiors. Wind or maybe a massive case of indigestion, Mari doubted they would buy either story. 

The tower was not as easily destroyed, it was a thirty-by-thirty wood structure on top of an identical cement structure and at its highest it was only forty feet off the ground. Whatever had hit the south wall had crumbled a portion of the concrete. Nearby was a huge bolder, it didn't take a genius to see that someone had thrown it, and that someone was large and stronger than she was. Not a lot she could do about it now, it wasn't like she could run away, she had a job to do and although a little creeped out she was going to see it through, or at least until her supervisor said she was done. 
Raising the binoculars she continued to search for the orange glow that would signify the mountain was going up in smoke. So far these valleys were escaping Mother Nature's latest rage and she wondered if somewhere out there the hunters were alive? In all honesty she doubted it and felt a lump in her throat as she thought of their families. The heartache, grief and overwhelming sense of just not knowing could eat a person alive. It seemed unlikely that they could disappear forever. Fortunately these mountains were forgiving if you had even the smallest amount of outdoors sense. However, it had been her experience that most people who thought they knew what they were doing, actually didn't. It was often despair that killed the lost and dumb luck that saved the survivors. 

Mari continued her scan to the north and still not seeing anything decided to take a moment to refill her coffee. At the start of this adventure she hadn't been a coffee drinker. Not long into the fire season the nights grew longer and later so caffeine in any form became the nectar of the God's. It helped to keep her awake, and luckily there was cell service. Of course the moment you started down the mountain it was gone, but it enabled her to download books on her Kindle, and keep in contact with dispatch and her family. All alone and secluded could get to a person quickly, it was reassuring to have at least a few bars of service to connect her to humanity. 

It had been a long day, the storm had started earlier in the afternoon and after last night's 3 a.m. wakeup call she was approaching 23 hours of wakefulness. As she continued to glass the surrounding area she spotted movement at the edge of a clearing 200 yards below the tower, whatever it was moved quickly into the timber and became part of the shadows. 

Something, and she was not sure what, caused her heart to skip a beat. The tiny hairs on her arms prickled, and what she termed her spidy sense told her to step back into her own shadows. Thinking it was the electricity in the air causing her to be so 11) per-sensitive she slowly moved back up to the large windows. Mari used the corner supports as protection, deciding being hit by a bolt of lightning was definitely not how she wanted to end life as she knew it. In fact dispatch had issued a preliminary evacuation order, meaning that at the first hint of fire she was to get the hell out of dodge so to speak. 

Earlier she had packed her few personal items, made sure the truck was unlocked and ready for immediate use. She put the small chain saw in the back, something her dad had bought and made sure she knew how to use in case a tree blocked her escape routes. 

At dusk she had drove the mile down to the gate and unlocked and removed the T-bar. If she had to she could bump it with the truck and never actually have to stop. She was ready, and in truth looking forward to a break. She didn't want to see fire ravage the mountains that she loved but something or someone was making her uneasy. 

Having not found the source of movement in the clearing below she chalked it up to exhaustion, and eyes that were starting to cross from lack of sleep, and being glued to the binoculars for hours.

You can read more by purchasing "Flesh and Fury Bigfoot: Rogue" by Misty Allabaugh here. 

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