Chapter 9: Salem
by Elise LeBlanc
Fear the Will-O-Wisp
Folktales, superstitious old tales spun from centuries-old explanations for perfectly rational things, which seem to the uneducated eye nothing but fears put to flesh. No one ever listens to the old woman who tells her grandchildren of the monsters in the woods, the boogeyman under the bed, or the hobgoblin in the closet that attacks sleeping children when they are bad. But do they have a grain of truth to them? Are they truly spun tales to thrill and frighten children? Or is there something there which will help us understand the world around us even while the philosophy of science and rational logic thought tear down the world of magic that we relied on in centuries past.
Take for instance a recent travel in the woods, in which we, my fellow travelers experienced. Perhaps it will make you think twice about going into the woods at night ever again. It was dark , and we were there seeking out some information on a lead we were on. When it happened. A yellowish light came from across the treetops, and in its brilliance I stood, watching enraptured. Where had this thing come from? Was it “swamp gas” as the scientists said it was? Or was is a trapped Indian spirit, as local legend says? I stood there even as this being of light surrounded me, lulling me in its warm yellowish light. I found it hard to breath, and even as I was surrounded by that creature, I found my life energy fading away.
What were my friends to do? I was obviously unable to help myself, not only of the meeker gender, I fear even blasts from my small gun would even do anything to harm or stop the haunting yellow light from taking my life away. It seemed certain that I was soon to be on the other side, perhaps a creature like this one, soon. When of all things, my friend came up to the light and against all reason….punched it. He soon was in fisticuffs with an intangible thing, a yellow white spirit, and against all odds, it seemed my friend was winning. I felt the monster release it’s tight grip of me, and I was once again able to breathe, and felt my life energies slowly returning as the being was being bested by my friend, the pugilist.
Soon I was back to normal, feet on the ground and the creature fled or destroyed somehow. I have no idea what had happened, but it took some time to find myself back to normal. I had nearly fainted dead away over what atrocity which had befallen me. What was that creature? Where was it from, and was it truly something that could easily be explained away by science? Or was it something more? Beyond swamp gas and sleight of hand and fear mixed up and made whole? We fled that place, not wishing to again be exposed to such a horrible thing. So take this to heart, constant reader, do not go into the woods alone in the dark, or you may have the horrible fate I only barely avoided.