Taller Than Tall

Bernadett Sági

I was driving to see my family. I was twenty-five years old, had been working very far from home. It was late evening and everything was dark; I just saw the dirt road in front of me. It was a very calm time. There was no sound besides the buzzing of the car. I stared at the dark trees around me. The top of the trees merged with the gloomy sky, where there were many shining stars. I saw something lighting up out of the corner of my eye first, then my phone started ringing. I took a look at it and saw that my sister was calling me. I picked up the phone.

“Where are you?” asked my sister. “You should be here by now.” I heard in her voice that she was upset.

“I’m sorry, something came up and I left home late,” I explained to her. Then I heard some beating sounds from the top of the car; it had started raining. “Awesome,” I said to myself.

“You will be late for mom’s birthday party. She will be very disappointed if you aren’t there.”

“It’s okay, there’s nothing to worry about. The party isn’t until tomorrow, I will be there in time,” I said.

“I hope so. Now I have to go to prepare everything. See you tomorrow.” And then she hung up.

The rain became a storm, and lightning started flashing too. I could see nothing through the windshield. Then I noticed something light on the right side of the road. It was a little inn between the tall trees. I stopped in front of it with the car and ran into the building. It was really friendly and nice within. It was built of wood and had a tranquil atmosphere.  I planned that I would wait there until the rain stopped. I looked around; there were many tables and chairs, and at the opposite wall there was a counter. To the left there were narrow, white stairs. “Maybe there are rooms upstairs,” I thought. I walked to one of the tables and sat down. There were some men at the table next to mine. They were drinking and talking with each other and laughing a lot.

“…..and then he fell into the pit,” a man finished his story, and everyone started laughing again. His clothes were all brown, and his head had a well-worn, dark baseball cap on it.  The story he told next made the others stop laughing and changed the whole atmosphere of their conversation.

“Last week I did my work in the forest, cutting trees and bringing them to the designated place that my boss had specified. It was like any normal day of mine. But then I saw somebody” – he took a break – “or something, I didn’t even know what it was.”  He squinted as if trying to remember every moment of the happenings. “It was tall, really tall. And maybe because it was late evening, it looked like that this thing was pitch-black from head to toe. I saw no eyes, no teeth. At first I thought it was a man.” He looked at the eyes of everybody sitting around the table. “I yelled at him, because he was shouldn’t be there. And then It turned to me; that was the moment I realized, It wasn’t a man, or even close.” His friends  listened to the story open-mouthed.

I just sat at my table and didn’t know what to think. I didn’t use to believe in things like Big Foot, monsters, aliens and things like that. But the story of this man really got me. I was curious how it would end, but at the same time I didn’t want to know. I heard the storm getting worse, so I had no choice; I stayed and continued listening to the man.

“When It turned around I saw the face of it. It was nothing like a human’s face. I can’t characterize it, I have never seen anything like that. I couldn’t move when It stared at me; I could feel those eyes even though I couldn’t see them.” He stopped talking for a moment. “I thought I was going to die,” he whispered. “But I’m still alive as you see,” he said with a strained smile on his mouth. “I don’t know why, but It just started running in the opposite direction from me. And that’s the end of the story, my friends,” he said, staring straight at the table. He raised his head and waited for the questions from the others. But everybody was quiet. I was quiet, too. It couldn’t happen, this story…. This story was like a tale, things like that don’t happen in real life. I couldn’t move; that story was really strange. “Maybe the man lied.” I started finding believable explanations. But the man was too frightened; he wouldn’t have said things like that if they hadn’t happened to him. I have read articles about strange, unbelievable things before, but when somebody tells it next to you, it is much different. I stared at the top of the table; everything around me was quiet. I realized that the quiet meant that the rain had stopped. The company of men started talking again, but I couldn’t hear any beating of the rainstorm. I stood up slowly and went toward the door. I looked back when I reached it. At that moment the men at the table started laughing. “How could they forget the last few minutes?” I was still shocked, but they acted as though nothing had happened. The only man I noticed with emotions on his face was the man in the cap who had told the story. But after a second he also started laughing at a joke that one of his friends made. I held the door handle and went out. The rain really had stopped; there were just puddles everywhere, and some raindrops were falling from the trees to the ground. I went to my car, sat inside, and continued on my way homeward. During my journey I drove along many forests, and I couldn’t get the story I had heard out of my head.