I was working at a museum high in the Blue Ridge mountains, one of those rustic numbers with jaggedy fences and hand-cut stone. At dusk, the mist comes out and over the hilltops, graying everything into a dreamworld spectacle.
Last night, Matty J came by to meet me after work. We were going back to my place for a powwow and maybe a few drinks. I ask my co-worker if he can finish cleaning up. He says "sure."
We walk out to our cars. Mine is first, his is a little down the hill. As he walks on to his car, I notice something in the mist. There, in the mist, right by Matt's car is a giant cougar. This thing is much bigger than the cougars on TV. He looks CGI-animated and lives up thoroughly to his nickname "The Gray Ghost." Matt doesn't even see him.
I call out. "Matt! Matt!" The cougar notices. He turns and looks my way, sees Matt tromping down the hill towards him and lights into the forest.
MJ finally hears me and turns around. I make him come up to my car and I tell him what I saw. "It was a cougar. Huge. Camoflaged in the mist, right by your car. He was almost as BIG as your car. He went in the woods. Right there." I point.
Off of the road, there's a farm I failed to notice earlier. But now, there is a sudden tumult. The animals are moving, getting frantic. Horses neigh, chickens scatter. A porch light comes on. "What the sam hill's goin' on?" a voice asks the void. We get in our cars and drive off, slowly. Behind me, I hear screaming. Animal or human, I don't want to know. I really don't.