BOOK YOUR TRIP
The Kiwassa Curse
Oct
05
2018

The liar drained the last of his IPA (“I want it hoppy, ya hear?”) and rubbed the Saranac Lake Ultra 6er patch on his jeans pocket. It looked brand new because it was. He made a mental note to rub dirt on it, when the time was right.

“So you did Baker Mountain first? Most people knock that off last, being so easy.” The guy with the brown-gold beard had drawn the liar close. He had been passing around his phone with a photo of himself, his beard frosted with ice and snow. The liar had sidled over, leading with his jacket patch, and regaled them with his tale of strength and courage.

“I like a challenge,” the liar said with a hint of a self-deprecating smile. “The big moment was when I rang the bell, of course.” He didn’t mention lurking in the bushes behind the library until there were people to notice and congratulate him. That certainly wasn’t part of the story.

“The Kiwassa Bell,” said another, a sinewy man with downturned eyebrows.

The liar only smiled, planning his exit. His tale must need a little more burnishing, judging by the way his sudden companions seemed skeptical. But he’d taken mental notes; his gear definitely needed more creases in the right places. “Have to head for the head,” he said genially — don’t show lack of confidence!— “which is a nice change from the wilderness, am I right? Take it easy, gents.”

He barely collected the stares he got in return, concentrating on finding his way. Why did bars try to hide the bathrooms? He took a turn he didn’t remember taking before, and the door didn’t look right, but a feeling came over him as he squinted in the gloom.

The feeling of being watched.

This made him hustle inside. Even though the room was empty, he took a stall. Maybe the beers had been stronger than he expected, because everything looked vaguely unfamiliar, even though he was a regular here. While he’d been on vacation he was used to that, and now he was back, with a heroic tale to tell.

To be honest with himself, something he avoided as much as possible, he’d had this feeling before. Since coming back from vacation, familiar places seemed too narrow, long, and dark. That feeling of being watched was happening more and more, even in this toilet stall with noise bursting into the room each time the restroom door opened.

Voices were too high-pitched, while the lights were getting dimmer and dimmer. That feeling of being watched was intensifying, with each nick and scratch in the stall walls changing into shapes like squinted eyes. He dropped the toilet lid and sank down to try to steady himself, but with his eyes closed, the spinny feeling got worse, and the eyes got larger and pressed in closer.

With a scream stifled by his fist, he opened his eyes again but the room lights were so dim, and the voices a buzz in his ears. They didn’t believe him, those voices, but he could ignore them, he always ignored people who didn’t act the way he wanted, but the eyes! The angry eyes!

The screaming had gotten hoarse by the time the police arrived and took him away.

“We thought there was something not right about him,” the bearded hiker said.

“Sure was,” said the man with the expressive eyebrows. “But we won’t see him in here again. Not after having a breakdown in the ladies room.”

They all drank to that.


 

 


This week in ADK thrills and chills:

Night terrors

Haunted Fort Covington

Trail of terror

Great Camp tragedy

Haunted lake

Hidden in the deep

In the darkness

 

A Fall Hike up St. Regis Mountain
A Day on McKenzie Mountain

E-Newsletter Signup Form

About The Author

Pamela Merritt's picture
Pamela Merritt finds a library's reading room as exciting as a hike through the forest. She met the Adirondacks in 1999 and declared it "home." She's been collecting stories ever since. She declares summer's hiking and kayaking blends beautifully into winter's snowshoeing and reading to create four great seasons of enjoyment. Her published works display her eclectic range, from How-To cat care manuals to literary short fiction.

Blog Topics...

Upcoming Events

Sunday, November 17th, 2019
To event remaining 1 day
Join Earthshine Yoga on Sundays from 10AM to 11AM at Hex & Hop for an all levels gentle flow. Drop in for $15 or use an existing Earthshine pass, then receive $1 off all beers from 11AM to 12PM.
Monday, November 18th, 2019
To event remaining 3 days
The Saranac Lake Women's Civic Chamber (WCC) was founded in 1955 by five women who felt they could do more for their community. Today, WCC members take part in various fundraisers and...

Recent Blog Posts...

Thursday, October 24th, 2019
In Saranac Lake, we love our history. From the region's earliest inhabitants — the Iroquois people who hunted here — through the first 19th century settlers to the development of the village as a...
Friday, October 18th, 2019
Adventure by definition is “an exciting or remarkable experience," immediately followed by the add-on, “usually involving danger and unknown risks.” How risky you want to get is up to you, but...
Earn Your Patch There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us. In Saranac Lake, you can answer that call by becoming a Saranac Lake 6er.
Unplug Outdoors The mountains, rivers, and lakes bordering Saranac Lake aren’t just for show, and those boots on everyone’s feet aren’t a bold new fashion statement.
Enter to Win Sample Saranac Lake with this getaway package. Enter now!
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!