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Jogger's Trail the Story

A continuation of the legend.

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published 9 months ago Updated 7 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Jogger's Trail the Story
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Part One (The Legend):

“I told you, it wasn’t a bear,” I growl in frustration.

“You said you didn’t see the thing that attacked you.” Officer Barrera challenges, with a sigh of exhaustion. Continuing his notes, not even bothering to look up from the page.

“But I know it wasn’t a bear,” I state, huffing in annoyance. “Does this look like a bear attack to you?” I inquire, holding out my bandaged forearm.

“Okay, that’s enough. Ms. Morselli needs to rest.” Dr. Wolfe states, ushering Officer Barrera out of the room.

“But they need to find the others.” I plead.

“Tesha, you’ve been through something terrible. You need to rest.” She murmurs in a soft voice, watching me with a careful eye.

“But they-“

“Okay, I’m going to give you a sedative so you can rest.” She states, filling a syringe with a clear liquid and depositing it into my IV.

“No, wait!” I protest before slumping back into my bed and succumbing to my medication induced slumber.

A part of me is grateful for the dreamless sleep until the memory from Jogger’s Trail comes back.

We had been on the mountain all day, hiked up early to enjoy the view and relax by the lake near the top. Only heading down the mountain as the sun grew low in the sky, we hurried down the beaten path.

That was when John suggested we take the shortcut labelled Jogger’s Trail. Remembering the local legend, I was immediately against it.

“What are you scared of?” Derrick teased, pulling me along by our intertwined fingers.

“Yes.” I admitted, “Let’s just stay on the real trail, I don’t want to risk it.” I pleaded, digging my heels in and resisting his pull.

“The sun will be set before we get to the bottom, let’s just do this.” Morgan insisted, stepping onto the trail and spinning to face me with her brows knit together in pleading.

John joined her, “See, there’s nothing to worry about. Let’s just go and stop wasting time.” He urged, placing an arm around Morgan.

Giving in to peer pressure, I allowed Derrick to pull me onto the side trail with them.

“Fine but can we be quick about it?” I agreed, taking hold of Derrick’s hand tighter and moving quickly down the small path.

If I focused my gaze, I could see where the shortcut ends and the real trail met. Nervously, I jogged down the trail and lead our group. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I ignored their catcalls and focused only on the end of the path.

The first attack happened so fast no one saw it coming.

With a whoosh of wind and the sound of fading heavy horse hooves, Morgan was gone. She didn’t even have time to scream, John was walking behind her and didn’t see her disappear.

Then we heard a scream from the surrounding trees, unable to pinpoint where it came from. It sounded as though it came from all around us, it echoed and bounced off the trees as Morgan’s screams for help penetrated the air. Her voice grew more desperate until her screams were cut short by an abrupt silence.

The rest of us stood motionless on the trail, looking at each other in silent horror.

“Morgan!” John yelled, “Morgan, Morgan!” He yelled more, growing frantic.

“Shhh.” Derrick began but before our eyes, John was whisked away. With only that same whoosh and drum of the heavy hoof falls.

“Run,” Derrick whispered breathlessly, giving me a push as we began to sprint down the trail.

I followed in his wake, ignoring John’s screams that reverberated throughout the trees.

As I stepped off of Jogger’s Trail, we heard the whoosh, and the next thing I knew, Derrick was gone. Ripped from my grasp, leaving a gash the full length of my forearm.

I continued to run until I reached the road just off of the original trail, collapsing in terror-filled exhaustion.

Days later, I’m still recovering from my injury and the mental toll, but from home now.

Before being dismissed from the hospital I was informed that the bodies of my friends were never recovered and that the whole incident was ruled a bear mauling.

I would spend the next couple of months researching the incident and any previous ones that resembled it.

In my research, I learned that the creatures that attacked us are called Relliks. Usually, they remain invisible, especially when hunting. But those that have been unfortunate enough to see their true form report that they are humanoid in shape, with pale grey and brown merle skin. They are walk on two legs, their hands are thin with long claw-like fingers. Their feet are large hooves and that’s what makes the thundering sound when they chase after you on all fours, flapping their bat-like wings behind them.

It has never been confirmed but theorized that Rellik like to hunt in groups of three or more. Lore states that they safeguard certain stretches of trail in deeply wooded areas. Usually, they feed on wildlife but prefer the taste of human flesh.

I also learned that these things rarely, if ever, leave survivors. Those that have survived an attack are often killed within a year of the attack because the creatures can hunt you down from the scent of your blood. They can track you anywhere in the world, no matter the distance.

Meaning my days were numbered.

It was around the six-month mark that they’d found me.

I woke up earlier than usual that morning, knowing sleep would continue to elude me. I got up, dressed, and poured myself a cup of coffee. I was mid-pour when I saw it, a Rellik standing just outside my window in the backyard.

I froze, dropping my cup, unable to react to the sound of my mug shattering on the floor. It looked through the window at me, tilting its head side to side as its pure black eyes bore into me.

My fight or flight instinct kicks in and I run for the stairs, locking myself in my bedroom and digging through my sock drawer for my handgun. I fumbled with the bullets as I hear the handle of my bedroom door turn and give a click as it swings open.

I never had the chance to get even a single shot off…

Continue reading:

Short StoryHorror

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for your support and feedback! 💚💙💜

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Comments (27)

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  • Test7 months ago

    Super!!! Excellent story!!!

  • Paul Stewart8 months ago

    wowow am I behind! that was intense and an awesome way to expand on the original micro, well done and congrats on TS!

  • L.C. Schäfer8 months ago

    My heart is bloody thundering! I was stood right there in the gloom with them, with Morgans screams all around me and panic rising, and it just got better from there!

  • Tina D'Angelo8 months ago

    Eeek! Spine twister, Donna. See, this is why I don't go for hikes or romantic walks in the woods.

  • Thavien Yliaster8 months ago

    Okay, this is a nice survivor encounter story detailing about how the main character knows that they're not meant long for this world. I have to say that the relliks sounds like it was heavily inspired by the Jersey Devil and has some other features from a few other anomalous creatures such as SCP-096 - The Shy Guy, SCP-966 Sleep Killers, and another SCP that escapes me rn, they're very thin and invisible, and have been known to slice things into slivers with their fingers. If these things never let a target live after a certain period of time, I wonder if they traverse via flight or if their wings are too small to support their full weight.

  • Ahmed8 months ago

    Wow sory

  • Oooo, a Rellik! I don't know why but Thestrals came to mind when you described them! Also, Rellik spelled backwards is killer and I think that's just brilliant! I loved the name Tesha so much! I've always heard of Tessa and Tasha. This was like a combo of both! Oh and if I was Tesha and a Rellik looked at me through the window, I would have died on the spot and saved the Rellik some time 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Congratulations on your Top Story dear friend! I enjoyed this story so much and I'm so happy you wrote this sequel! 💖

  • Amazing work and Congratulations 🎊 Top Story🫶🏾🥰🎉🎊😊🤩👍‼️‼️

  • Naomi Gold9 months ago

    …and that’s why you never follow the crowd. Congrats on a terrifying Top Story! 🥂 I hope it’s to be continued.

  • Novel Allen9 months ago

    Congrats on TOP Story my darlin'. May there be many more in your story tellin' life. 😍🥰

  • Cheryl E Preston9 months ago

    very interesting. and entertaining. Keep up the good work.

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Congrats on the TS

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Congrats on the TS

  • Jazzy 9 months ago

    Congrats on ts!!!

  • Dana Crandell9 months ago

    I do believe you've got a horror movie in the making here. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Real Poetic9 months ago

    Wonderfully written. Congratulations!!!🎉🎈

  • Alexander McEvoy9 months ago

    Ey! Swinging back around to congratulate you in a well earned top story!

  • Mark Gagnon9 months ago

    Donna, you had me hooked right from the beginning. My kind of story!

  • Novel Allen9 months ago

    Wow Donna, Another great story. Hopefully somebody shows up to save you, so we can have a continuation of the story. How have you been, its been a while. We need to join forces against the Relliks, cause I like to walk a lot.

  • ThatWriterWoman9 months ago

    Aaah! Please continue this - I am on the edge of my seat! I really found this immersive, Donna! It frightened me just the right amount :D Your descriptions and worldbuilding are second to none! The character has a very real feel and I want her to fight this with everything she has! Well done on another great story and a fabulous continuation/expansion of your microfiction!

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Wow. This is great. Well done.

  • Caroline Craven9 months ago

    Zoiks! Well that’s definitely put me off hiking in the woods today!! Great story Donna. Fab.

  • Rob Angeli9 months ago

    Pretty horrific, well done. Keeping them shrouded in invisibility until the end. I personally was pretty satisfied with them all getting killed! Just didn't stand a chance.

  • J. S. Wade9 months ago

    Harrowing tale! Let’s go hiking ! Love your creation. There could be a Part 3. Where she wakes up in a cave full of children they have kidnapped and are growing their food supply. Possibilities are endless. Awesome Donna. Love it. 💙

  • Zeeshan May9 months ago

    Amidst the lush embrace of nature, the Jogger's Trail enchants souls with its timeless allure. A journey of wonder and magic awaits those who dare to follow the footsteps of the legend. 🌳✨

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