It's a long day today. The sun is high but slowly lowering itself behind the hills and the Cyprus forests far from the hometown fields, and the call of the occasional rooster echoes from the hen house.
I've lived on this quiet farm for several years, perhaps a decade or so. Every now and then, we get new chickens due to unfortunate circumstances of foxes, raccoon's, and the rare coyote. Sometimes it's the neighbors dogs that bug us more than even the garbage-seeking raccoon's, barking and hunting without leash nor fence in the woods just behind the barn.
It's a vast area, with lots of honeysuckles, poison ivy and ticks. Lots and lots of ticks.
It's not bad though. In fact, it's quite comfortable, given the constant shade and the smell of wildflowers, and maybe even upturned soil thanks to moles.
Regardless, however, of the beauty of the countryside, there's something else that should be mentioned if you're thinking, "Oh, wow, I can move here and live a wonderful, country life!"
There's some things that lurk here in the woods that's both noteworthy, and something that many people try to forget. Sometimes, it can happen within the suburban and city lines as well, particularly when the street lights are glowing and the night sky is only a little cloudy. Then again, perhaps I could be wrong and the habit of these creatures are entirely different than those that live in the countryside.
I've seen it several times, thanks to also living near a small, Confederate graveyard. I tend to the barn around the nightly hours, with the barn light on and helping me see in the suffocating darkness while I place feed bowls near the hay bales and put the chickens into their coop.
One day, I looked up from the floor and out the barn door and saw this shimmer. It was like a rippling glow of a figure, or maybe not a figure at all that was standing in the gravel driveway, reflecting extremely well off the black backdrop the night provided. I won't ever understand why it was standing in the driveway as if it couldn't be seen, but I remember this cold numbness that dropped down to my knees, followed by a nervous sweat on my palms and the back of my neck.
I know it was watching me, like this blur of an old memory that just simply watched and tried to breathe something else into you that wasn't life. Something that wasn't humane, or healthy.
Ignoring it, I carried on to finish the barn, soon refilling the bowls for the morning and shutting off the lights from the inside. The barn light stays on, to ward off the rest of the pests that try.
I remember seeing it when I turned to look at the barn door, barely able to make out its awful shimmer. I don't remember it moving at any point in time, so seeing it suddenly move from the driveway to the front of the barn was something that told me that it was mobile, and possibly able to follow me wherever I went.
Later on, after keeping myself inside for the rest of the night, I didn't see it, but I do remember a light from the window that shined from around my light-out curtains.
So just in case you think the country is safe, there's much more here than you can imagine when it comes to the woods. This isn't child's play. This is a paradise for the young, old, and the dead.