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The Diary of the Last Abominable Snowman
Old 07-06-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default The Diary of the Last Abominable Snowman

I saw the Yeti again today. I’m sure of it. I was clearing a logging track far to the east of Eatonville for our trucks, and caught a sidelong glimpse of something huge and hairy flit through the forest to my left. When I spun to face it, only the dense blackberries and looming firs gazed back at me, not stirring as if recently parted.

I set down my chainsaw and pushed through the brambles, feeling thorns catch in my thick pants and shirt as I hurried to the spot where I saw the thing. The ground was unruffled, showing no prints or signs of recent passing, but I did see, at hip height, a wisp of coarse reddish hair caught in the leaves. I carefully plucked it from the bush, noting how very human it felt. A slight frisson prickled my skin to goosebumps, and I pocketed the wisp as I returned to the road. The forest was oddly silent, as if holding its breath. I glanced around me, but saw no one on the remote trail. The logging trucks were still up-mountain, harvesting the final haul of the day, and the boys down at the office were probably farting around, watching videos on the Internet. I shook my head to clear it, and fired up the chainsaw again. Still, I felt that something, someone, was close by, watching me. I cleared track until dark with a lingering feeling of unease, then took the pickup down to this season’s headquarters: a small single-wide with a couple of rundown desks and an old laptop that passed for an office, and some beat-up camper-trailers that would have been new in 1975.

The office guys would probably be back late tonight or early tomorrow; sometimes they headed into town for supplies or drinks. Eatonville isn’t much to look at but at least it passes for civilization. It’s got a movie theater, a grocery store, a few bars, and two gas stations. It’s the last stop for folks to gas up and buy snacks before they hit Mt Rainier National Park, so Eatonville does a quick tourism business, but that’s about it. I was more than fine with having the camp to myself.

I ducked through the tiny door of my camper, my shoulders barely squeezing past the frame. I knocked the dirt from my boots and took two steps over to the fold-down table. Above it was a small built-in cabinet, and I opened it, drawing out the wisp of hair from my pocket. In the cabinet was a plastic sandwich bag, nearly full of fine red hair; to this, I added today’s find.

My muscles aching from the long day, I stirred up a bowl of soup on the little cookstove and made some sandwiches; I ate with the fog of a long day’s work dulling my thoughts. I was too tired to read at all, or catch a movie on my laptop, so I shaved for the night and crawled into bed, my feet hanging over the edge of the mattress. I’ve always thought that these things should be made longer. Not everyone is under six feet. I dreamed of shapes flitting through the forest.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Today I was approached. Like yesterday, I was alone on the road, but I had stopped cutting to eat some lunch. I was sitting on a fresh stump, enjoying the loudness that is summer in a forest: birds, crickets, tiny crawling things, all conducting their busy, important lives. I was staring rather vacantly across the dirt road, ruminating as I dawdled through the first, and then the second sandwich.

I leaned down to get my water bottle, then as I raised up, I glanced across the road, and to my utter shock, the Yeti was sitting on his haunches, hands dangling in front of him, and gazing curiously at me. I nearly fell off the stump in surprise, and I must have grunted, or squawked, because the Yeti cocked his head in interest. My thoughts stumbled through my brain, and I couldn't quite form a coherent thought or plan of action. More than anything, I stared. The Yeti was long and lean, and covered with a fine layer of downy red hair that shifted in the breeze. His face was human; not ape-like as I had imagined it would be. As a matter of fact, he looked very much like an extremely hairy, extremely leggy Asian man.

Suddenly a truck engine rumbled from up the road. I saw the Yeti glance apprehensively toward the noise, then fade back into the forest, leaving no trace of his presence. The office pickup ground down to me, then pulled alongside my stump.

"Hey Mick! It's payday! Wanna ride down to the office with us to getcher check?" Bruce, the day boss, thumbed toward the bed of the truck, which held broken machinery and jerry cans of oil and transmission fluid.

"Naw, you guys go on down. I've gotta grab my stuff and I've got the other truck here. I'll meet you down there," I waved them off with a grin. Bruce grunted and spat a wad of brown spittle out the window. He pulled away, the pickup grumbling in protest. As the vehicle's dust settled, I glanced curiously toward the spot where the Yeti had melted back into the forest. To my surprise, he stood motionlessly in the shadow of a large cedar, his dark eyes looking back at me.

His jaw worked and his lips shifted as if he hadn't spoken in years and had forgotten how to make words; the first thing that I heard him say was, "Mick."
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