The Fey Woods
Location : Unspecified
Date: Sunday, August, 10, 2008.
Team Present: Steve, Nichola, Laura and
The spider eating the snake should have tipped us off right away.
I don't know why we didn't see it as an omen or a sign, probably because all four of us were both baffled and amazed at the sight of a barn spider eating a baby snake. However, it remains to be seen that we should have taken that as a sign not to tread on.
I digress, I need to back up a bit and explain exactly what I'm talking about. It starts with a routine outing and leads into one of the most unique experiences that the team has encountered in a very long time.
The evening started off very routine. GC decided to go to the woods to field test some new equipment before putting it to team use. As the woods were both old and fairly well known, we assumed that the gadgets would pick something up that we could examine later. We left around 7:45 and arrived at our destination by 8:15, just as it was beginning to get dark. After parking the van we headed across a field to the trail and began to hike in. At this point both Steve and I heard what we thought was whispering and foots steps on the trail, however we disregarded them as other people being in the woods.
Midway to our destination, we saw the snake. High above the ground, caught in a web we could barely see what was a sizable spider. After some careful looking, we could determine it was indeed a small snake. Carefully snapping pictures and trying to figure out how the spider had managed to grab it and haul it to that height was beyond us. We continued on our way, heading off the trail into the deeper woods as it began to get dark . As we got deeper and deeper into the woods, we began to notice things seemed off. Call it intuition, or self preservation, but a feeling was telling us all we shouldn't stick around too long, or risk facing consequences.
As we were taking photos and exploring, we began to notice mushrooms, growing along the forest floor. This wouldn't have seemed abnormal if they hadn't been in a recognizable circle. A normal spread of mushrooms across the floor of a dense wood is perfectly normal, but this seemed too perfect. I began to feel uneasy as the team carefully skirted around it, trying to think of what could cause it. Then it hit, of all things, we'd stumbled onto a Fey Circle.
Whether or not you believe in Fey Folk, everyone has been told stories of The Fey, at some point in their lives. Faeries or Fey folk according to legend are the oldest type of spirits, often living in woods or forests, and acting as guardians to the trees and creatures that live within them. They can be kind, if you give them respect, or terrifying if you disrespect the land or creatures they protect. Fey are also tricksters, hiding objects you favour at important moments, and have a sweet tooth. They'd been known to lead travellers astray and keep them wandering at will as it amuses them.
Fey Circles are quite often the doors or gateways the Fey Folk use to go from their world, to ours and back again. Hallow ground, they are sacred territory and if found by unwitting humans, should be left well alone. Although, chances are if you found a Fey Circle, you'll only see it once as they tend to move.
After realizing what I thought it was, and asking Laura as well, the team decided to depart before trouble could occur and headed back the way we'd came or so we thought. However, despite Laura and Steve's tracking skills, nothing seemed to be where it had been before. Tree branches seemed to have changed, logs seemed to have moved slightly and very quickly everything began to seem closed in. The whole team began to feel dizzy, lost and disorientated as we struggled to find our way back out again. Normally we could have chalked this up to it being night, but given what we had just seen and the tense uncomfortable feeling of being watched, and it was quite clear, we were not alone, and we were being tested to some degree.
Finally, thanks to some quick thinking of tree moss on Steve's part, we broke out of the woods, only to find ourselves miring through long grass and slushy water as we slogged back to where we thought the car was. After five minutes of looking for tracks by which we'd parked the car, we began to think we'd gone off track, after 15 minutes, we knew we had. Finally, Steve spotted the railroad tracks and we headed for them, travelling around another 10 minutes or so before, tired and wet, we finally reached the van.
It was only then that we began to realize just how far we had gone in the span of an hour. We'd gone roughly a quarter of a mile to a mile off track, in a very short span of time to go on foot. It didn't seem humanly possible to go that far on our own, and make it back in that little time. Something had occurred, leaving us all confused and dazed, with a lost sense of time and direction. It seemed unreal that it could be what it was, but we've no other way to explain what occurred.
After leaving, it was decided unanimously that no matter what, we wouldn't return to that particular woods, the risk of the unknown was just too great.
Fey or no fey, something was there, and I think everyone got the feeling we hadn't gotten out on our own, we'd been let go as a warning. It seemed this was just one of the occasions you don't cross fate and return for another try.