Tent Camping

Ever wonder what would happen if you couldn’t get the zipper to open on your tent?

Stuck, trapped inside.

What if none of the zippers move?

The air unable to blow through any of those flimsy windows.

Suffocating desert heat making breathing inside your all weather, temporary shelter unbearable…

Did the zippers lock in place?

Did the safety features turn against you? Manufacturer defect?

Or was this done to you on purpose…?

Has someone been watching you…?

Eyes watching you set up this tent.

Eyes filled with hate that you are invading this space.

Eyes watching you leave on that hike so they can creep in and “fix” those nasty zippers of yours…

You had a knife.

That would solve your dilemma.

Seems to be misplaced.

That’s a shame.

Maybe you could scratch or claw your way out of that increasingly hotter and hotter tent.

You didn’t want to stay in a campground.

Oh no, you thought you could just drive onto my land and set up…

But see, I don’t like you.

I don’t like you “camping” in my desert.

I don’t like the noise you make.

You shatter my silence.

I don’t like the trash you leave behind.

I don’t like how you behave out here.

So I’m going to make sure you don’t come back.

Campers go missing all the time.

You will be one more statistic.

They will find you eventually I’m sure.

At least parts of you…


Might not want to build that fire so close to a tent you won’t be able to get out of.

Don’t you know you can get in to a lot of trouble for not putting out a campfire properly?

…and you don’t seem to have water anymore.

Oh hey, if you do happen to manage to find a way out of your malfunctioning tent…

Go ahead, hike your way out.

I have not trained my dogs to hunt down anything moving in the desert.

No, I fed them a week or so ago.

They are fine and would be more than happy to help show you the way out.

Ghost Birds

It is believed when a spirit or soul dies a violent, tragic or even extreme type of death, that spirit or soul remains trapped in place somehow due to the nature of the horrible event. Unable to break free from the repeat cycle it now plays over and over, these are not spirits that can communicate. These trapped energies have no idea they are not still alive.

This story is about Ghost Birds.

You can be simply going about your day, normal routine, when suddenly there is a loud bang into the window! An impact so strong it shakes the surrounding walls. You rush outside to see what might be laying by the vibrating window severely injured if not dead. Only you find there is nothing there.


Your eye catches the flutter of one single feather left on the window. You look closer and can see what looks like an imprint of a flying bird. But where did it go? The walls of the house shook from the impact yet there is no bird anywhere around.

Rattled, you head back inside. Your mind racing. How is that possible? Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I am imagining things…

You head to your couch to sit and relax. Let it go. Take a deep breath. Shake off this strange event that has just happened.

Then you glance over at the window and there it is staring back at you with dark empty sockets. The outstretched wings. The slight outline of feathers. It is the ghostly imprint of a flying bird coming straight at you through the glass.image

The image makes you stop. You lean forward to make sure you are really seeing this in broad day light. No night time ghost story here. The sunlight highlighting every detail.

You look away. Eyes unwilling to believe. It’s an illusion. It’s just a smudge. Our eyes are trained to find faces right?

You look over at the other windows in the house. The imprints and outlines are clear. No longer just ignored smudges passed by unnoticed, they are now full and complete images of grayish ghostly birds flying at every window!  Wings bent and crooked, necks turned, beaks open, the moment of impact captured in almost x-ray like detail.image

Your head spins. This is not happening. This is not real.

You run for the window cleaner. That will take care of this madness. You rapidly spray trying to not make eye contact with now melting creature as the paper towel wipes away this awful tragedy.

Bird after bird imprint you spray and wipe until every window is clear.image This was all just surreal. You tell yourself this moment will not be shared. Who is going to believe this?

A shower will help wash this all away. The house grows quiet and everything feels like it’s back to normal.

The hot water hits your tense shoulders as you let out a sigh and laugh. Ghost birds? Shaking your head the hot water runs over your eyes rinsing away the haunting stares and horror.

When suddenly  there is a loud BANG!

You know deep down in your shaking soul it is the window again but refuse to turn the shower water off. If you just stay in the shower this won’t be happening.

The silence only making it worse you turn off the water. As you reach for your towel… BANG! Fear shoots up and down your spine.

Adrenaline rushing with panic setting in you race to the just cleaned window and there it is. Every detail. A flying bird coming straight into the window. This cannot be happening.image

Still wet and in your towel you rush outside convinced this time an injured bird is laying there in need of immediate medical care only to again find nothing.


Your head spins. Afraid to even look at the windows you run to the closet to throw on clothes just in case you need to leave. Convinced you have lost your mind, you start to move slowly through the house. The Ghost Birds are watching. They know you have seen them.

Your eyes betray you and glance over catching the much larger image of a bird. Wings so large they reach to the very corners of the window. Face contorted with the agony of the impact staring at you with those now familiar black sockets that bore through your soul.

Frozen with fear you stare amazed at the size of the imprint. A bird this large would have surely cracked the glass at the very least flying full speed into the window. But you saw it with your own eyes, heard the bang, felt the vibration. There is nothing outside. Just the imprint of a flight gone horribly wrong.

These are Ghost Birds.

Night of the Scorpions

Scorpions are no strangers to the desert or to those who live there. For the most part, scorpions go about their business unseen. If you live far enough out into the wide open desert you might see more than your fair share of scorpions but still not enough to cause panic.

A long time ago on one extremely hot night, a patch of desert simply came alive…alive with scorpions.

As the sun started to set that evening, the heat radiated across the horizon as iridescent waves clinging to the desert floor. Further off in the distance, the ground appeared to be moving. Dismissed by most who had seen this vision as just a simple heat mirage, the locals went back to their normal routines. Most already preparing to settle in for the night. By morning it would be long forgotten. Lights went off across the desert valley as bedtime approached.

But there was one old desert dweller who knew that the moving desert he was seeing was no mirage. No, something was happening out there in that patch of desert and it wasn’t good. Once the sun set, the moving desert would no longer be so easily visible. That thought alone sent chills through the old desert dweller.

As most of the small town’s lights turned off, the night sky grew even darker than before. Any movement made harder to see unless you were very determined.

Well, one old desert dweller was just that determined. How could he just turn off his lights and rest his head when he knew something was creeping towards him? Terrified his childhood nightmares were coming back to haunt him. Could those old stories have been true? Stories he hadn’t thought about in years.

The old desert dweller sat alone in the dark on his porch armed only with a blue light. He had his suspicions.

See, this old desert dweller had been told some pretty fantastic tales as a kid. Tales of scorpions taking over entire towns. Crawling over walls and into houses. Covering entire streets. Swallowing up horses! These stories were always told by adults sitting around a roaring campfire. No surprise, a strong drink or two had been had by the story teller himself. Usually it was just meant as a harmless session of wild tales intended to scare the kids off and give the adults a good laugh. But some of those stories seemed pretty close to the truth…

Alone in the dark on his porch, the old desert dweller recalled every word his young ears had ever heard. Was it possible hundreds or even thousands of scorpions were creeping towards his town?

There was no breeze that night. Only a stillness, a quiet in the heat, that made sleeping easy for all those who had ignored the moving vision on the horizon.

The old desert dweller sat at high alert. Ears tuned in, trying to hear the approaching silent invasion. Flashing his blue light across his front yard looking for anything glowing or scurrying its way toward him. He knew it was coming. He could sense something was out there. This was his desert. He had been there all his life. This night did not feel right, the same uneasy feeling he had inside when he first saw the horizon moving towards him.

The hours ticked by. Maybe he was wrong he thought as he yawned…they were just crazy old tales told a long time ago…

Staring out into the quiet darkness alone, the old desert dweller nodded off in his chair on the porch. Fast asleep his flashlight dropped to the ground at his side.

The night grew even hotter making sleep almost impossible. With no breeze blowing through to cool everything off, the hot and heavy air hovered over the desert like a thick smothering blanket.

The stifling heat woke the dweller from his momentary nap. Sleepily he rubbed his eyes then fully awoke to the unbelievable horror as he watched hundreds of scorpions fall off of him and down to his scorpion covered patio! He had fallen asleep before the invasion and now it was too late! They were everywhere!

Horrified, he helplessly watched as his home virtually disappeared, entirely covered in scorpions. Crawling and stinging scorpions covered his entire body. The only sounds were the shrieks and gasps from the old dweller as he shuffled his way towards the one thing he knew could stop this nightmare. Fire.

Dying from shock and pain, the old desert dweller reached for his lantern and matches. Struggling to stay alive through the excruciating stings of literally thousands of angry crawling scorpions, he managed to light his old lantern then throw it into his house setting the whole unbelievable scene on fire.

Thick smoke and flames woke nearby neighbors who were unable to save the old desert dweller.

They say his act of heroism saved the town that night. The fire had alerted the towns folk and they were able to escape mostly unharmed.  After the fire was put out, hundreds of thousands of dead scorpions were found all around the property of the old desert dweller. Locals say it is that very patch of desert that will come alive again one day… alive with scorpions.

So beware…Next time you look out onto the horizon make sure it really isn’t moving before you go to bed that night.

The Closet

One day a mom was in her kitchen doing the dishes when her little one came running in very upset. Seems the toys in his closet kept telling him to be quiet. Not really understanding what he meant his mother smiled and nodded and said “uh huh…”. The little boy insisted his mommy listened, yanked on her pant leg and said “the toys say shhh!” With a smile and a hug she assured him everything was fine and sent him off to play.

Later that day she found the little one sitting in the hallway outside of his room. “Why are you playing out here?” the mom asked slightly puzzled. “My toys yelled at me really loud to be quiet so I got mad and left.” Again just thinking this was a normal child whose imagination was running wild, she smiled and told him maybe he should just go outside to play.

The little one happily ran to the back yard with the family dog chasing close behind. His mom went back to her chores thinking nothing more of it. He just needed some fresh air.

That night as the family was settled in for bed the little one came to his mommy’s side to wake her up. This time the closet was moving! Hearing this strange statement, his dad rolled over semi awake and confused. The mom assured him it was just an overactive imagination from a little boy who has been playing all day.

She wandered the little one back to bed, re-tucked him in and said good night once more.

Only a few short hours later the little one was back to his mother’s sleeping side. “…something is moving in the closet…” he whispered into her ear. Fast asleep she did not stir.

Tears of fear streamed down the little one’s cheeks.

He wandered to his daddy’s side of the bed. “…something’s moving in the closet daddy…” the little one whispered so quietly that it was never heard.

The next morning the mom came out to the kitchen to find her little one had slept on the couch. Feeling guilty she had never even really checked his closet, she walked down the hall to his room to investigate.

Besides a few toys left laying here and there, the room was neat, the bed barely slept in. The toy chest in the closet overflowing. His mom now on her knees rummaging through the piles of stuffed animals and cars. Arm deep into a huge pile, searching for possibly a windup toy that is the cause of all this fuss, the distinctive sound sends chills through her spine. Her hand frozen in place with intense penetrating fear. The closet didn’t just “shhh” her. It rattled! There’s a rattlesnake in there somewhere!

Seering hot flashes of pain shot through her arm. Screaming for help she is repeatedly bitten by an angry and surprised snake. Her husband rushes to the room frantically dialing for help. Out of her mind with fear and pain, she flings her arm out of the closet sending the large snake flying across the room. In a dizzy haze she runs to her little one crying on the couch where she collapses at his feet moaning “I’m sorry…”

Rescue and paramedics arrive with lightning speed and were able to save the young mom’s life though her recovery would be long and painful.

Just hours home from the hospital, trying to settle back in after such a horrifying event, the phone rings. Her husband answers and listens to the news. The snake recovered from their home was determined to recently have given birth.

The Cowboy on the Hill

The Cowboy was a gunslinger. Came riding into town on his horse. No one knew exactly from where. Back then  Arizona was just wide open desert. The Cowboy was in search of a home.

Up on the top of a small hill he stopped, knowing he had found the perfect place. From the hill he could take in views of the Superstition Mountain and all the gold it held.

As time went by the Cowboy had settled quite nicely into his small camp on top of the hill. Every day he would ride into the mountains searching the trails. Treacherous, cactus covered, mountain trails leading foolish men to their deaths searching for gold.

Each night as the sun went down he would build a small campfire to cook his meals then settle in for a night’s rest. The coyotes would yip and howl echoing through the night under a sky filled with countless stars.

The Cowboy rose every morning before the sun, riding his way further and further back into the mountain each time. His horse now so familiar with these trails, the Cowboy would simply sit back in his saddle and let his trusted friend lead the way. Day in and day out the Cowboy would ride into the mountain from his hilltop camp.

Before long stories in the local town began to swirl…

See, the Cowboy was known in town as a gambler and a gunslinger. Depending on who told the story, the Cowboy had killed as many as 20 men in a single gunfight. But because he was also known to play an honest game of cards, no trouble was ever had. His poker face remained at all times. Not much small talk. No questions. No one knew his name.

Lately the Cowboy hadn’t been coming in to town as often. This made the towns folk wonder if the Cowboy had struck gold and if so, why wasn’t he spending any of it in town?

Along with the ever increasingly wilder stories came jealousy and greed. Hatred swirled around the collection of store fronts and saloons that was “the town”. Someone needed to go find out exactly what that Cowboy was up to!

One night an angry group of  men gathered and rode out into the desert to the base of the Cowboy’s small hill.

As they approached the hill they could see a light glowing from inside the tent. Quietly they fanned out. The men crept closer and closer when the light inside the tent suddenly went out. Rapid fire shots rang out. Men scattered in all directions.

By morning the story had spread across the valley that a cowboy on a hill had gunned down 10 armed men seeking his gold.

The stories sent gold seekers from miles around to come and try to steal the Cowboy’s gold now believed to be buried somewhere in his small hill. The story had spread far and wide with more and more gold in each retelling.

Armed men coming at him from every side. Wave after wave of bullets flying. The Cowboy the lone target. But after each attack, the tent on the small hill was still standing.

Fear swept the towns folk. Was some type of magic at work here? One lone Cowboy couldn’t possibly fight off dozens of men coming for his land and his gold. How was he getting supplies? How could it be possible?

But as unbelievable as it was, not a single man that had set out to conquer the Cowboy’s small hill came back alive.

Fewer men were now willing to risk their lives by going to the hill knowing it was certain death. A different kind of fear had set in. Now no one wanted to go anywhere near the Cowboy or his hill.

The Cowboy was never seen again. No remains were ever found. His tent, battered in the wind, finally blown away by a roaring monsoon. To this day not a soul has ever come forward claiming to have found gold anywhere in or around the hill.

Years later as homes started being built in the area stories resurfaced, though this time the stories were not about gold or even the cowboy. This time the stories were about strange sounds coming from the small hill. Moans and groans. Gun shots. Men yelling.

Some believe you can hear the haunted echoes from the gun fights of the past. Others simply dismiss these sounds as coyotes calling into the night.