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Most people agree; spiders, on their own, aren’t scary. What’s scary is their size. They are small. They are easy to lose. The only thing scarier than the scary thing you see is the scary thing you don’t see. The spider could be anywhere. It could be under your covers. In your pillowcase. In your socks. Ready to strike at any time.

This is my predicament right now. Not a spider. No. A person, I suppose, would be my metaphorical spider. I live in a rural area in the Australian Outback. Not a very fancy desert town, but one surrounded by mountains. Oftentimes, at night, I’ll look outside and just think. I live alone right now, because I’m travelling for work, so I have a lot of downtime.

In any case, about a month ago, I started seeing a shadowy figure on the mountaintop. Keep in mind, this isn’t a distant, nor a tall mountain. It’s about an hour’s hike to the summit, and only about 20 minutes down the road. It’s not uncommon to see hikers or tourists on the mountain, but this one struck me as odd. It was 11 PM, far after dark. And if any of you know anything of Australia, you know snakes and spiders are common here, as part of the many things trying to kill you. This hiker, I presumed, hadn’t listened.

I’d continue to see this hiker every night for the next two weeks. Every night on a different part of the summit, but always at 11 PM exactly. He wouldn’t suddenly appear as though teleporting, but seemed to sort of fade into vision like an optical illusion. As though he’d been there the whole time and I’d just never noticed. I’d never seen him move, but he was never in the same spot. One night, however, he was somewhere else. It was hard to see but I could make out his figure on the trail that leads to the summit, barely, against the night sky. I watched him, but he never moved. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep.

For the next week, I’d progressively see him descending the mountain, as though he were moving in slow motion, descending the mountain over the past 3 weeks. But he was never there in the daytime.

On Friday, I saw him at the end of the street. This is the first time I actually became scared of this figure. I watched him. Perhaps for about an hour. I set up my GoPro camera and watched the video recording in the morning. He never moved, until my GoPro ran out of battery around 7 AM, which was also when I woke up. When I looked out, he was gone.

On Saturday, he was about a block closer. Performing the same ritual with the GoPro, he once again never moved from his spot.

On Sunday, he was in the same spot. He never moved, as expected, and I began to fear him less. As long as he isn’t moving, he won’t hurt me, right?

On Monday, he was across the road. Out here in the Outback the streetlights aren’t exactly top quality. They cast a tiny little loop of light and not much else, if they’re working at all. I never got a clear look at him, only his silhouette.

Yesterday, he was outside my window. Literally, right outside, at 11 PM. This was the night I didn’t look outside anymore. I went right to bed. I knew he wouldn’t move. He never did. And I didn’t expect him to. Like a spider, he didn’t scare me when I could see him.

But tonight, I have not seen him. It’s 11:09 PM and I don’t know where he is. He’s not on the mountain, nor on the trail or down the street or across the road or outside my window.

It’s 11:09 PM, and I don’t know where he is.


Credits to: Koog330

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