Township 19, Range 11 West of the Easterly Line of the State (T19,

R11), North Maine Woods

Ryan Kelly sped along the remote tote road with a wary eye on the rapidly darkening sky. Even on a sunny day, night came early in January in northern Maine. But that day was overcast and clouds hung ominously low. Night would come earlier than normal. Getting lost in the dark would be the final blow to what had been a

foolhardy endeavor in the first place. Running to Frontière Lake in advance of the annual fishing derby to check out the ice and a site for his portable ice-fishing shack was a dumb idea. This time of year, the conditions could change in a heartbeat. What was clear ice today could be covered with deep snow by next Saturday.

Ryan looked at the trees bordering the road and saw the first snowflakes appear against the gray-black backdrop. Suddenly the wind escalated into what the locals called the Montreal Express and blasted his face with stinging sleet. He hunched forward and bent into the wind, wishing he had stayed back in Lyndon Station with his sister and her boyfriend.

The headlamps of his Bearcat illuminated the shape of something in the road ahead. At first he thought it was a moose. But as he neared, he realized it was much too tall. A large moose stood five feet at its shoulders;

this shape was at least three feet taller than that. Kelly slowed his sled—if it was a bear he didn’t want to get too close. It couldn’t be a bear, he decided. They’d all been in hibernation for the better part of a month.

The figure noticed his lights and turned. When it turned and faced him, Kelly realized that it was humanoid. His heart skipped. All his life he’d been told that there had been Bigfoot sightings here in the crown of Maine. Was he looking at a Sasquatch? He shook his head as if to clear away a drunken mirage.

The shape began walking toward him and he slowed his sled even more. As he watched it approach, he debated whether to spin around and leave this thing behind. But, he asked himself, what if it’s just a big person in need of help? He made a decision and crept forward.

As he neared the form, Kelly saw that it was indeed a human being. He raised his hand in greeting. Suddenly a dark cloud covered the man from the waist up, the temperature dropped so dramatically that several trees cracked, the wind escalated from a gentle breeze to a raging blizzard, and an overwhelming odor of death and decay and corruption permeated the air. Icy hands gripped Kelly and began tearing him apart while jagged teeth ripped into his body and he felt his blood being drunk.

Kelly fought for his life and screamed and died.