I write many stories about my childhood. During that time I lived in an area that was full of strange events and unusual sightings. I lived on Long Island in New York along the shores of Great River.
During those years we endured UFO sightings, lost time events and creatures creeping around, and in our homes. To this day all of it remains unknown, yet all of it happened. I recently read of a man who claimed to have been abducted about one block away from where I lived. In fact it was directly in front of my good child hood friend George’s house. I haven’t told George what I found out yet. I guess he will find out upon reading this story. George reads all my stories!
Back to that paranormal community and the park that bordered it. A beautiful park, large in mass, covered a huge portion of the river where we lived. The river ran out to the Great South Bay and then directly into the Atlantic Ocean. We were a perfect pit stop for anything unusual as we were a direct line in from the ocean and sandwiched between two huge forested park lands. The only people around were the small community where I lived.
The kids all used the parks as our private play lands. We would picnic, play, and run wild along the paths and wooded areas of the park along the river. Rarely did you see adults, just a few kids from the neighborhood playing. I would often set up my Barbie dolls and all their outfits and play for hours under a huge willow tree in one of these parks. This willow tree was close to a small outlet branch of the River. In this outlet lived a swan family with a huge nest built upon a small sand bar in the outlet. I would play for hours; the swans would float about or sit in the nest. The world seemed to be a happy place for us all.
One hot summers day I packed up my dolls, my lunch, some comics and my friend Melinda for a long lazy afternoon under that willow in the park. We arrived about noon, had our picnic, read a few comics and then got into some serious Barbie doll play! All seemed well until it happened.
Melinda noticed it first. She stood up and looked towards the river outlet and said, “ What’s that?” She was pointing towards the swans. I looked over towards her out stretched finger to see a ray of light. I stood also. The moment I stood up the swans started to squeal in a strange frantic manner. I never saw them or heard them do anything like it before. The light was odd. It was a color I had never seen before, or since. It was a neon type green. It was very bright, so bright it hurt to look at it. I immediately felt fear. The rays were reversed. They seemed to be coming up from the river instead of down from the sky. The swans were flapping and trying to fly away but seemed so disoriented all they seemed to do was flap around and into each other.
I became terrified and dropped my dolls to the ground and whispered to Melinda, “ We have to get out of here” she backed towards me and started to reach down for our belongings. I took her hand and said “Leave them, we will get them later.” I held her hand and we both slowly started to move towards the path. We hardly breathed. We moved very slowly as not to draw any attention from that light to us. We were on the path and moving away from the tree and light when we heard a low crisp clicking sound. It was a sound I have heard again over my life but this was my first experience encountering it. It sounded like a mix of a water sprinkler that clicks across the lawn and then returns; you know that click click click-mixed with the sound of bugs on a hot summers night. That is the best I can explain it.
The sound was coming closer and closer, the ray of light fanning out larger and larger, we were heading carefully away down the path towards the bigger path and then hopefully to the exit of the park.
As the sound of that clicking moved closer towards us through the woods along the path adjacent to the water, we picked up our speed until we
were both at a full run.
The faster we ran the louder the clicking. The ray of light was expanding so I could now see it over the treetops. I ran so fast and so hard I felt as if my heart would explode. I was completely terrified. Melinda was right besides me, she was sobbing in fear as we ran.
I knew we could not make it back to the main exit and pulled Melinda towards the fenced part of the park, which lined up along a main road back into our community. We hit the fence at a full run and scaled it with the clicking right behind our every step. We flew over the fence and tumbled both onto the main road. A neighbor lady nearly ran us over as we fell into the road right in front of her car. She slammed on her brakes avoiding hitting us by only a few feet. She started to yell at us but soon realized we were crying and frightened half to death. We started to cry that something was following us in the park. She loaded us into her car and drove us to my house.
My parents and Melinda’s both called the police and told them of something or someone chasing us in the park. My father and Melinda’s Dad returned to the willow tree with the police to look around and collect our dolls and items we left behind.
Our Dads came home with some of our things but told us most of the doll items were missing or burned. It seems when they arrived at the willow tree they found a large area of the ground covered with burn marks. My Dad told us it looked as if someone had a large charcoal fire right where we were playing. A few doll dresses and items were burned and the rest were simply missing. The swans were gone as well, nest and all. The police were going to investigate this happening with the Park. The Park closed and did not reopen until the following year. It was due to close in a few weeks but they moved up the closing date.
My parents inquired many times with the police and Park about what happened that day. They brushed it off and tried to make it somehow our fault. They felt it was just silly kids causing a uproar. They even accused us of starting the fire. Thank goodness our parents never believed that for a moment. After that day our parents never let either one of us near that park again.
What happened that day in that park is anyone’s guess. I know it was an encounter with the unknown. I also know I did the right thing and ran for my life and Melinda’s life. I feel fear every time I think of that day. One day I may go back and look at that old willow tree one more time. Up until now I have not had the courage.
Always pay attention to your surrounding. If your gut feeling is that something is not quite right, heed your intuition. And always, always out run the clicking!
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