Adventures with Jane – By ShabbyBoa
Me and Jane were best friends from the start. I moved to Texas when I was 7 years old and was scared to death of meeting new people. The first day of class, I sat quietly in the corner, playing with barbies while others ran around and played with their friends. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see Jane standing there holding her own doll. We have been friends ever since. Jane always was in the mood for adventures, so we spent most of our childhood roaming through forests and across town.
Fast forward ten years and we just finished our Junior year of high school. Summer was always fun because we could just hang out every day. Jane had a car and her license, so we could go anywhere we wanted! We had been on so many adventures, there was almost nothing left for us to do in this run down town.
We were sitting on her couch watching tv, like we usually did, when she looked over at me and a smirk appeared across her face.
“What?” I asked, figuring she farted or something stupid.
“I wanna go on an adventure!” Jane exclaimed, turning off the tv.
I rolled my eyes and sighed deeply. “Where would we even go?”
“Let’s go to Devil’s Creek,” she said, her smirk growing to a wide grin.
Devil’s creek got its name around 10 years ago when a young boy disappeared there. His parents said they had gotten into a fight at a nearby campground and he had stormed off. Rescue teams searched and searched, but they were never able to find him.
“Why would we do that?” I asked, not really wanting to brave the July sun.
“We’ve never been. Don’t you wanna do something fun?”
“Going to a creek in the middle of the woods is not my definition of fun..”
She rolled her eyes and began to stand up, “Oh hush.” And with that, I knew we were going.
I followed her out to her 99 Civic and climbed in the passenger seat. It took a few tries, but she started it up and off we went towards Devil’s creek.
The ride took about 15 minutes and we chatted along the way. Jane was talking to this huge prick named Robbie and was telling me how in love she was with him. I was almost positive he was sleeping with Claire David’s, but I just kept it to myself. I didn’t want to ruin Jane’s happiness.
We parked the car along the side of the road and started the trek into the woods. I knew from google maps that it took around 3 hours of hiking to get to the creek. I was not looking forward to it, as it was already 90 degrees and wasn’t even noon yet.
We had been walking for around 2 hours when Jane wanted to take a quick test on a rock to take a drink and tie her shoe. She sat down and started pulling the water bottle from her bag when I heard leaves rustle behind us. I turned quickly, but saw nothing there. The weird part was that the woods were pretty dense so I would have heard something run away.
I told Jane to hurry up and we continued along the path towards the creek. I felt like we were being watched the whole way there. I felt like an antelope being stalked by a hungry lion and I hated every step I took further into the woods. Finally, we reached the creek and noticed there were some stumps set around what looked like an old campfire. We each took a seat looking across the creek to the other side of the woods. It was a beautiful scene to take in. I closed my eyes as a gentle breeze started to pick up.
“Michaela..” Jane said softly.
“Yes?” I responded without opening my eyes.
“Look how pretty the water is..” she replied. I could detect a hint of something weird in her voice.
I opened my eyes and looked down at the creek. Reflecting on the water was Jane and I’s faces. But we weren’t the only ones. Reflected between our faces was a horribly disfigured man. I knew that he was standing right behind us. Unsure what to do, I turned to face him.
I took a long look over him, soaking in every detail I could. He was grinning widely as he looked back at me, studying me as I was him. He looked to be around our age and had long brown hair that was matted with dirt and dead leaves. He had a huge scar that ran down half his face. It looked like his head didn’t line up correctly, half of his face was lower than the other half and his smile was crooked. He had on a T-shirt that was much to small and riddled with holes. It barely even covered any thing. He had a blanket tied around his waist that was riddled with what looked to be dried blood and dirt.
Jane finally got brave enough to turn around with me and we both slowly stood up. As we did, the man let out a loud scream and we just took off as fast as we could. I could hear sticks breaking behind us as he chased after us through the woods. There was no way we could realistically keep this pace until we were out of the forest, I knew we were in trouble.
I had an idea, but I wasn’t sure it would work. He didn’t seem bothered when I had been looking at him earlier. Maybe he was just as afraid of us as we were of him. I suddenly stopped running and turned on my heels.
“HEY!” I yelled as loud as I could.
The man and Jane both stopped dead in their tracks.
“What the duck are you doing?” Jane asked me in a hushed whisper.
I shushed her and began walking towards the man. As I got closer, I noticed him shaking and he took a few steps back.
“I think he’s scared of us.”
“Scared?” Jane said angrily. “If he’s scared then why did he chase us like a fucking lunatic?”
I looked up at the man and his eyes met mine, “because he didn’t want us to get away.”
The man looked at me and smiled again, “help.. please..” he said softly. His voice was hoarse and cracked like he hadn’t spoken in years.
Jane walked over beside me and looked over the man again. “How do we know he’s not some fucking psycho who’s going to murder us?”
The man shook his head. He pointed to himself “Will.”
“Will what?” Jane asked, obviously annoyed.
“I am Will.” He said again.
I suddenly remembered the story of his Devil’s creek got it’s name. The little boy that had disappeared.. his name was William Matthias.
“He’s the boy that was lost here.” I said softly, almost in utter disbelief.
“There is no fucking way, that kid is long dead,” Jane replied in the usual bitchy tone she used when she didn’t believe me.
The man shook his head at Jane, as if to tell her she was wrong. “Help,” he repeated again.
We took Will through the woods with us and back to the car. We immediately drove him to the hospital. I could tell by her stiff posture and tight grip that Jane was very uncomfortable with the whole situation.
When we arrived, we checked him in as John Doe, but I told the nurse that he had told me his name was Will. Jane and I sat in the waiting room for about an hour before two distressed looking adults came rushing through the door. They looked to be in their fifties or sixties and the woman was crying while her husband comforted her gently.
A doctor came out to greet them and I heard him say Will’s full name. I immediately stood up and walked over to them. “Are you Will’s parents?” I asked softly.
The woman looked over at me and wiped her eyes, “Yes, who are you?”
The doctor answered for me, “This is one of the young ladies who found your son.”
I saw a glimpse of a strange emotion in the woman’s eye before she closed them again to resume crying, “Oh, thank you so much!” She said, throwing her arms around me. Will’s father stood smugly behind her as she continued to hold me in a tight embrace.
When she finally let go, I asked if I could see Will again and she agreed. Jane had to head home, so I let her go and told her that I could get my mom to pick me up later that day.
I followed his parents into the room and watched as they hugged and kissed all over him. He had been bathed and had a hair cut, almost resembling a current human being instead of some kind of cave man. Will looked over at me while this was going on with a strange expression. It almost looked like fear.
The doctor was with us as well and began explaining that it seemed Will had perhaps fell and hit his head very hard in the past. He never learned past age 9, when he ran away. He suffered some pretty severe bleeding from it but luckily no lasting damage. His memory was intact.
I instantly saw a switch go off inside both of his parents head. His mother looked up at me with a fake smile, “Could we have a moment alone with our son?”
The doctor began to leave the room, but my gut told me something was wrong here. “No,” I said sternly.
“Excuse me?” His mother replied, clearly agitated at this point.
The doctor stopped in his tracks and looked back at the four of us.
Will finally spoke again. What he said will be engraved into my memory forever, “They did it.”
The police came and arrested Will’s parents soon after that. It turns out, all those years ago, Will had not run away. His parents and him had been out camping when they began to argue. When things began to escalate, Will’s mother had begun to beat him with a rock. They thought they had killed him when they disposed of his body in a nearby cave. Tall brush had his it well from search teams, but eventually Will woke up. He climbed out of the cave and had been living in the woods ever since. The doctors say it is a true miracle he was able to survive, especially with his extensive head injuries. Will is doing much better now and is learning new things every day.
And as for me and Jane, we just visited Devil’s creek again last week. Although, we don’t call it Devil’s creek anymore. The only Devil’s involved were locked away in high security prisons halfway across the country. We started traveling there every week with our new friend, Will. It suddenly didn’t seem so scary and Will showed us some awesome places beyond the creek as well. When your friend, Jane, suggests an adventure, you might just want to take her up on it.