Dear Dr. Cook, Unlike others, I had a normal childhood, I went to college then graduated, and found a good job. I majored in communications and was able to work right after graduating, as a disc jockey in Michigan. I never knew anything about cryptids or the things that go bump in the night in general. Perhaps a boyfriend or two that were into Wicca or the Occult but not seriously…
Anyway I remember the night that it all changed, February 24th 1987. It was about -20 degrees and I kept clearing my nose, it was so cold and it felt like icicles were forming inside it as I walked up into the studio, a nondescript little gray building. It had snowed the night before and all around the studio there were footprints in deep circles. As if someone had walked around the building over and over again. It was the eighties, perhaps it was a homeless person or a hippy trying some new drug and had a bad trip. Weird shit happened all the time in that area and I was used to shrugging off. I went inside and began setting up to begin the show and look over to see if any new music was sent in. My colleague Mike would occasionally come in early and we would collaborate on a playlist together for the week. When I walked in that morning my colleague was sitting on a chair. His crisp hair was greasy and sticking up in all angles, as if he had run his hands through his hair too much. His shirt had stains and his shoes were wet and ripped. He was just staring out and his eyes were blank as if he were sleeping with his eyes open. Which was eerie as in the last 2 years of working with Mike I had never seen a hair out of place. He was a soft spoken man that just wanted to find the next “big” artist. Like a cartoon character I quietly walked up to him and waved my hand over his eyes. “Mike!” I said loudly hoping to wake him up But he just kept staring out towards the door. I looked around and noticed that there was blood all over the studio. Especially around Mike, it dripped from the black office chair and there were tracks of wheel marks all over the linoleum floor. But aside from his unorganized appearance there wasn’t a mark on Mike. I ran over to the landline and dialed 911 and closed myself in the room not wanting to disturb the scene for the cops.
When I began dialing the quiet of the studio was disturbed by a noise. It sounded like soft crying. I looked over at Mike and he was still slumped over on his chair. “Hello?” The police dispatcher said
“Yes hello there has been an incident! I am not sure what is going on but there is blood everywhere and–” A loud static sound went through the speakers as if someone had rapidly turned the volume up and the sound of Mike crying and singing softly was replayed back.
“Hello? Hello? Are you still there” The dispatcher said bringing me back to reality
“Yes” I said, forcing myself to pay attention to the phone. But the playback recording of Mike crying slowly, and getting louder was disturbing. I felt my hands begin to shake.
“What is your name? And address?” she said
“Its Henry” I replied and gave her the address of the studio
“The police are on their way Henry” she said
But I wasn’t really paying attention to her, in the recording Mike was singing and growls could be heard whenever he stopped. “Through the woods and across the creek…” he repeated over and over again
When he slowed or stopped the growling continued. “Please no I don’t want to be one of you.” he said
I asked the dispatcher “How close are the cops?”
She responded “Just 2 more minutes.”
“How far is the ambulance? My friend, something is wrong with him.” I said
As soon as I said ambulance, Mike shot up off his feet and began ripping off his clothes. Which I realized were stained with blood. “Mike stop! Just wait for the police!” I yelled at him
The dispatcher was saying something else then but I wasn’t paying attention to them. Mike was bending his back inward in a sharp “c” shape, his hands outstretched and touching the floor. He began screaming and then howling as sharp cracks erupted throughout his body. A giant wolf had replaced Mike and it ran to the emergency door and began throwing itself against it. Until it swung open and a police officer fell. Mike ran over him and out into the city morning.
“HENRY HENRY ARE YOU THERE?” The police dispatcher had still been talking to me and I was clutching the telephone so hard a small cut had formed in my palms. Blood I realized was already on the phone and when my injured palm made contact with it I knew something even more terrible had happened. I never saw Mike again. And I could never work the night shift again either. As an agent struggling between the reality and fantasy of the world and in myself I am not sure what or where my place is. Sincerely, A Conservation
~Image Courtesy of Patrice Schoefolt via Pexels under Public Commons:https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-gray-standing-animal-statue-5732413/~