Saturday, September 5, 2020

30 Years Ago I Found a Body, Now I Need Some Advice

Hey guys, I need your help interpreting something that happened to me a long time ago. It happened in the spring of 1989 when everything was starting to melt. You see, I live in the Rockies and the amount of snowfall can get pretty ridiculous over the winter. When spring comes along there is a pretty massive melt and all sorts of things can get uncovered.

As for myself, I was 18 and just wrapping up my first year of college. I honestly found the transition to post-secondary pretty stressful and so, whenever I wasn’t busy studying, I was trying to find a hobby that would help me relax. At that point in time I had taken to hiking. It was pretty cold during the winter but if you bundled up it was tolerable and you got the advantage of the trails being almost completely empty aside from you. Thus, I spent a lot of that winter hiking up and down mountain trails and taking in the beautiful scenery and razor sharp, fresh, winter air.

Spring was really nice for hiking, the weather was warming up so you didn’t have to wear as many layers or bring as much gear, but at the same time it wasn’t yet the summer rush of hikers so you still got to be alone most of the time.

This particular incident happened around the end of March or the start of April, in the early afternoon. I needed a break from studying for finals so I set out on one of my favourite trails. The weather was warmer than normal for the season so the snow was really starting to melt. There were a few spots on the trail that I had to carefully maneuver around on account of all the mud forming on the path. Despite the obstacles I managed to make it to a little clearing I liked pretty easily and took a break to eat lunch.

Once I finished, I decided that I should really get back to the books and started heading back. At one point of the trail it had become so muddy that when I tried to cross all that happened was that my snowboot got stuck. I awkwardly reached down and pulled it out and then decided that I would try going down off the side of the trail for a bit until I could get to a spot that was a bit drier.

As I walked through the trees, I noticed a person up ahead of me. Normally there wasn’t many people on the trail but the weather was warming up. Either way I waved at them to be friendly and went back to navigating my way back to the trail. Once I got back on the normal path, I noticed that the person hadn’t moved. Getting an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach I shouted out “Hey! Are you alright?”. No response. I walked down the trail a bit until I could reach the point closest to the person and then I stepped off and walked towards him. When I reached him, I gasped. It was a dead body.

Now, I understood before I started hiking that people would occasionally freeze out in the wilderness, especially if they didn’t take the right precautions, but actually seeing a body yourself is something else. His skin was unnaturally white and his eyes somehow looked like they retained the essence of life and yet were wholly dead at the same time. However, as much of a shock finding a dead body was, that wasn’t what really freaked me out. It was the fact that he looked just like me. The black hair in tight curls, the light brown eyes, the cleft chin, he looked like he could be my doppelganger.

I stared at him for awhile and then noticed that there was something beside him. I brushed away the snow to find a cat, also frozen, curled up beside the man. The cat was all black, save for a white stripe on the top of its head. After looking them over for a bit longer I took a deep breath and headed down towards the entrance of the trail to get help.

That night I heard a report on the frozen man on the news. They even mentioned the cat. However, I don’t know if they ever found out who he was. Either way, I soon put it out of my mind and after about a week I was back on the trail like nothing happened.

So, the reason I’m bringing it up now is because of something that happened last night. My son came home with something wrapped in his coat. He’s turning 20 this year and the resemblance to me is just uncanny, though I suppose that’s what happens when you have kids, right? Anyway, he walked into the living room and looked at me with the same light brown eyes I have and said, “I found this guy all alone, do you think we can keep him” and he unfolded his coat to reveal a black cat, with a white stripe on the top of its head.

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