As the route descends deeper into the trees, it gradually grows darker for Maria. Despite her stomach tightening into a ball, she had to continue. She needed to get to the bottom of things. Not even two minutes prior, she heard a bone-chilling scream, and she knew that she had to do something to help.
Her body shook with fear as she debated leaving or contacting the authorities. Her body, however, resisted, and she just froze. She then noticed activity close by and her heart drop to her stomach.
A Walk In The Woods
Maria Brooks enjoyed walking in the woods whenever she could. She always took enough water, her trusty earphones, and a good podcast. She’d sometimes lose focus and end up spending hours inside the forest.
Maria went into the woods like she did every other day. But she had no idea that today was different, and her life would change completely.
It was a warm Sunday and Maria had just finished eating her lunch with her family. She decided that she would grab a leash, find her dog, and take him for a walk. They’d be going into the woods.
She found the leash where she always left it and attached it to her dog. Just then as she was about to walk out the door, she heard a news report on the TV. What she heard made her heart start racing.
Missing Person Report
A young woman had disappeared in a town close to Maria’s. She had gone missing three days ago and her family was worried about her. She sympathized with the family and could only imagine how they felt.
After watching the whole report she decided she’d still go on her walk. So she led her dog out of her house, out of her gate, and onto the pathway that led into the forest. She had no idea how her day would turn out.
Onto The Path
She said, “good boy” as her dog gleefully followed her on the lead. Her dog needed this walk just as much as she did. They’d both get some peace and quiet out in the forest.
She was getting closer to the woods now but something felt strange in the back of her mind. Something in her mind told her that things weren’t right. Still, she needed this walk so she carried on down the path.
Into The Woods
She had reached the woods, it was a dense forest with a single path that cut through it. Maria’s dog was panting happily while drool fell from its mouth. Maria dismissed the feeling she had earlier because now she truly felt happy now.
But Maria should have rather listened to her instincts. She wasn’t prepared for the situation she was going to be put in.
Maria was making her way along the path with thick trees on either side of her. Nothing could have made her happier than she was right now. The nature that surrounded her always seemed to melt her worries of everyday life away.
Then a horrible smell hit Maria’s nose. She didn’t know what it was but it wasn’t pleasant. She felt her stomach churn as she held back the desire to vomit.
Maria doubled over and had to focus entirely on suppressing her gag reflex. She put her hand in front of her mouth and wondered what the smell could be.
She looked left and right, up and down but didn’t see anything. But as she kept walking on the path the smell got worse. Perhaps someone had dumped their trash in the woods. Maria hoped that’s what it was.
The smell had become a taste. Maria was finding it harder to not throw up and felt the pizza she’d eaten for lunch slowly rising in her stomach.
She had to get away from the smell, she led her dog as they skirted around what she thought was the circumference of the scent. She didn’t want to find out what the smell was and just wanted to find the sweet smell of ordinary air again.
There was a strange object sitting in the long grass – in a clearing just off the path. As soon as her dog caught wind of it, he let out a low growl and refused to move. Maria wanted to investigate and tugged on the lead, but he refused to let her move forward.
She looked down, startled to see that her dog’s hackles were bristling. Something was very off about the whole situation.
With a strong tug, Maria forced her dog to follow her and slowly approached the mysterious object that was becoming clearer with each step. At first, it looked like a big gray plastic box.
As she drew nearer, a terrible smell hit her – along with a strange revelation. It was no box, it was an animal crate. What was it doing out here? Maria cautiously peered inside and a chill raced up her spine.
Something Had Been Here
Inside was a filthy blanket and a heavy chain, but the door of the crate was open. Someone had chained something inside this box. Whatever it was, it had gotten out. Maria inspected the crate a little more closely and noticed a gigantic bite mark on one side.
Maria had heard stories of the illegal exotic animal trade in the area and decided to go in the opposite direction. Shaking off the creeped-out feeling, she continued her walk. But she was in for another surprise.
The smell started getting fainter and fainter until finally, she couldn’t smell it anymore. She unscrewed the top of her water bottle and took a sip. She saw a stick on the path and decided to throw it for her dog.
He zoomed down the path looking for the stick she’d thrown, she smiled as he jumped off the path, excited to look for it. But then she noticed something down the path past her dog. She had a bad feeling about this.
What Was He Doing?
There was a man in the middle of the woods. He was pacing back and forth with a sheepish expression plastered on his face; like he was running away – or hiding – from something.
Who was this man? And what was his problem? Maria could feel her heartbeat in her throat. She had no idea what was coming.
Maria’s dog growled, and she held him in close, trying to reassure him that everything would be fine. She didn’t want the man to know she was here, crouching behind a tree, watching him.
After a few minutes, the man sprinted off, disappearing into the blackness of the woods. She thought it was over. But she was so wrong.
More Strange Things Await
Maria tried to dismiss what she had just seen and carried on with her walk. She let her dog off the lead and he sprinted around the trees, his tongue wagging and tail raised high in the air.
But just as Maria let out a laugh at her silly dog, she heard something. And it was a sound that left a chill up her spine.
What Was That Sound?
It sounded like a muffled scream. Maria stopped in her tracks at the sound and her heart started to race like an Olympian going for gold.
Where was this coming from? And more importantly what was making this noise? Hundreds of questions ran through her mind. But instinct told her to follow the noise.
Following The Noise
Maria followed the noise and it eventually led her to a ditch covered in leaves and dirt. It looked just like any ditch, to be honest, so she was confused as to why the sound led her there.
She took a deep breath before crouching down and looking into a hole. And what she saw left a terrible feeling in her stomach.
At The Bottom Of The Hole
With a wet thrash, something large was moving. It was a brown mound at the bottom of the hole, and it was clearly struggling.
Maria’s curiosity got the better of her as she rushed to see what it was, then she realized that it was an animal trapped in the mud. Maria didn’t hesitate. The poor creature was stuck in a mud trap at the bottom of the hole, unable to free itself.
She Had To Be Quick
Deep in the hole, Maria could make out fur in the darkness. She could hear it crying and whimpering.
Although she couldn’t figure out what it was, Maria’s heart broke at the thought of this poor animal being trapped and confused. She knew she had to act fast. She had to be quick. Time was running out.
Ringing For Help
Maria got up off the ground and instantly whipped out her phone to call the fire service. After a few rings, she was finally put through and they said they would be there in as little as 30 minutes.
While she waited to get put through to someone, Maria seriously hoped she hadn’t been too late.
The Firemen Arrive
Around 30 minutes later, the fire service arrived and a hoard of people came to the ditch to try and rescue the animal.
It was trapped five feet underground in a maze of muddy rabbit holes. Two firemen climbed down and began the painstaking work of digging it out, but time was not on their side. When they realized what the animal was, Maria’s heart fell.
A Shaking Dog
As one of the men wiped the mud away from the animal’s face, he stared in disbelief. There, underneath all the caked mud and dirt, was a quivering sheepdog.
The firemen tried to dig around the dog, but because it was half-submerged in water, their efforts proved to be useless. They needed to devise a plan to somehow get underneath the animal and hoist it out.
A Makeshift Pulley System
The team above ground went to their truck to get a rope, and they tossed one end down so the other men could tie it around the dog’s torso. They had hoped that this makeshift pulley system would work.
But as the other men pulled from above, they quickly realized that there was an enormous flaw in their strategy.
Moving A Little
The large dog refused to budge and was well and truly stuck in the mud, no matter how hard the team pulled.
Finally, after struggling for what seemed like days, they felt the animal start to move a little. Spurred on by the encouraging sign, they pulled with all their might in one last massive heave.
It had taken two hours of careful digging and pulling, but eventually, the rescuers pulled the dog out. Maria felt overjoyed that the pup was safe.
But what was it doing here in the first place? And did the man she had seen acting suspiciously have anything to do with it? She knew she needed to find out the truth.
Maria spoke to the firemen and they told her that they didn’t know how long the poor dog had been down there for.
She felt a sinking feeling in her stomach as she remembered the crate and hoped it had just been an unfortunate accident. Her heart broke at the thought of the poor dog being abandoned in the woods.
Calling The Humane Society
The firemen called the closest humane society immediately, and they quickly took the dog into their care. But the dog was incredibly wary of people, and this presented a problem.
The rescue organization would have to work long and hard to get him to trust humans again. They named the dog Semi due to his big and cuddly appearance. But the local vet had some bad news.
The vet advised that the dog was suffering from a huge weight issue – the poor pup was diagnosed with morbid obesity. This was probably what had caused him to get stuck and unable to free himself from the muddy hole.
Semi’s weight was also putting immense strain on his joints, and he was not able to move easily. Additionally, the vet had a suspicion that he had been stuck in the hole for days, which caused him to have a mild case of PTSD. Nevertheless, there was hope yet.
A Happy Ending
Semi disliked most people, but there was one special woman whom he had allowed to come close to him. Maria visited him daily for two weeks, and she had clearly made a lasting impression on him.
Then, one day, he even allowed Maria to cuddle him without putting up a fuss. That’s when it was settled – Maria decided to adopt Semi and give him the forever home he deserved.