The Dream of Foggy Creek
By Bryon Smith
I went to what for all practical purposes looked like one of my wife's family reunions with the exception that she was the only one there I recognized. At one moment we were heading into a room and in the next some other woman had switched places with her and I turned around to see my wife talking to some people who had been standing behind me.
Turning I saw the door leading onto the porch where I heard some people having a discussion. I went out to see two men and a woman talking about a mysterious valley on the far side of a seven mile long valley a few miles from here. The two men insisted it was all just a story but the young lady wasn't certain. Noticing me she asked, "Have you ever heard of this place?"
"Certainly, anyone who's lived here or knows anyone who has been there knows the story of Foggy Creek." I answered. "My wife and I have hiked through there a few times, we went right over those hills where there are few trails."
"Seriously?" The woman asked. "Did you have any mysterious experiences?"
"You don't go through there during the foggy season and not have strange experiences." I answered. "Some go through there and encounter such strange things it changes them forever." I tapped the side of my head. "Some of them come out not quite right if you know what I'm saying. Others come out with a new profound perception of reality."
I noticed one of the men searching for Foggy Creek on a highway map.
"Reality is a matter of perception. What we think we believe and what actually exists depends on our own individual experiences. People base their beliefs upon those experiences leaving themselves bound to their understanding of what they believe is real or not." Glancing at the man looking at the map I smiled then looked back at the woman and the other man who's eyes were now fixed upon me.
"I don't believe in UFOs, aliens, ghosts or even God for that matter." The man with the map said never lifting his eyes from the map.
"Because you've never seen one," The woman said looking at the man then back at me. "How about you?"
"I grew up in a haunted house, but my dad and the church leaders said there is no such thing as ghosts. My sister and I watched the attic doors open and close and heard footsteps going up and down the stairs to our rooms many times, therefore we believe that ghosts exists." I explained.
"Hogwash!" The man with the map exclaimed glancing quickly at me then returning to his map.
"I think he just called you a liar." The woman said.
"It sounds like that, but he's never experienced anything of the kind so he doesn't really know firsthand if these things might be real." I said.
"What about UFOs?" The woman asked.
"In 1970 a friend and I stood within a few steps of a hovering flying saucer. Others saw it as well but it was nearly midnight so there weren't many people out." I answered. "That's why I've been doing research and investigations on the subject since that time. I even met a woman who told me her son used to ride with the spacemen in that same ship. He said those aliens look just like we do and if you saw one dressed as we are accustom you wouldn't know who they were."
"Yeah, Yeah!" The man with the map exclaimed. "You been drinking the punch in there haven't ya?" He slapped his map, shook his head, "It's not on this map."
"Of course it's not on any map, if it were then people would think the government map makers were acknowledging its existence. You think if it's not on the map then it can't possibly exist. Remember they said Area 51 didn't exist then later admitted they lied because you can zoom right down on it with Google Earth and yes it's there. They told us the SR-71 Blackbird didn't exist for more than 20 years then finally in 89 when they were retiring the spy plane they showed us that it does exist. At that time they were already flying the Aurora project and now they tell us it doesn't exist, I can assure you it does." I explained.
"I'll believe it when I see it." The man said.
"Don't be so certain, some people experience strange things and still can't believe but I can take you to Foggy Creek and show you." I began walking toward my car with the three following and I began telling them the story of Foggy Creek.
Driving West on the highway I made a right turn onto a blacktop road then a moment later right again onto a narrow gravel road that lead into a valley boarded north and south by tall hills and forest.
"Foggy Creek isn't on any map, it's the name the locals gave the place." I explained. "Certain times off the year there's a thick fog that comes up off the water and people passing through or camping here frequently relate stories of strange encounters in the valley."
I crossed an old wooden bridge to find a woman riding a beautiful white horse. I stopped and greeted her by name.
"Hello Charlene." I said.
"It's good to see you again, it's been awhile." Charlene answered. "Are you going to stop at the house for tea?"
"Yes of course." I answered.
"See you there." She said.
I drove on down the road alongside the clear flowing stream for about 5 miles passing log houses on the right built against the hillside until I came to another bridge crossing it we could see a beautiful white two story house on the left. The yard looked as though it had been professionally done. Above the front porch was a wooden sign with names on it. An older woman greeted us as we pulled into the driveway.
We got out of the car and as we did the young woman with us took a picture of the house with her cell phone. The older woman then led us around the side of the house to a patio area with two tables beside a very tall oak tree. Taking a seat she poured our tea and we began to talk.
I explained to the three with me that she lived with her husband Tom and they were both retired school teachers though they did some farming on the side. As I related my story Tom came out of the house and joined us.
We sat at the tables sipping our tea taking in the surroundings when I felt we were being watched. I looked up high into the limbs of the great oak tree to see two very large horned owls watching us. I smiled as I glanced around at my company to see how many had noticed. The young woman looked up then smiled as she looked back at me.
Turning my attention toward the East most table I saw two men wearing suits seated there sipping tea and yet no one had noticed them until now. Looking back at the white house I noticed a thing like a curtain hanging from the eve of the house blowing gently in the breeze.
I began telling the story how two men came for a visit and noticed the gentle breeze then talked Tom into buying a white windmill to generate power for their home. As I spoke we all looked to see the white windmill turning gently in the breeze where moments before had been an old rusty HAM radio antenna.
Everyone got up from their table and followed me around the front to the north side of the house. The windmill turned gently in the breeze 50 or 60 feet above us. A little to the left was an "S" shaped pond with quaint little wooden bridge across it surrounded by flowers. We came to stand beside the pond and noticed two of the largest bullfrogs I've ever seen watching us from the water.
I noticed two of my friends looking back to see where the two sales men had been but they were gone. Then they turned their attention to the windmill that no one had noticed when we first pulled in.
I told the group that Tom was a HAM radio operator and a pilot among other things as I pointed toward a small airplane parked near a farm shed on the far side of the pond. I looked at the pond and said "I recall one day an alligator got into the pond and gave Tom some excitement."
"That's a day I would just as soon forget." Tom said with a smile.
The young woman with us reached down and picked a flower from beside the pond, smiling she tucked it over an ear.
I looked at the pond then at the airplane as the others followed my gaze. "There's only one problem with this story, you see Tom died seven years ago…" They all looked but Tom was gone as if he had simply vanished. "Before he died he filled in the pond and smoothed it over." They all turned to see the pond, frogs and flowers were gone. "After Tom died his wife sold the airplane." They all looked up and to their astonishment in its place was a flying saucer with two tall gray aliens standing at the open hatch. I lifted my hand to wave and the aliens did likewise then entered their craft the door shut behind them. The disk rose up a few yards from the ground and vanished into thin air.
"What the!" One of the men exclaimed.
"Good thing it's a clear day," I said smiling at the man. I began walking toward the car, "Should leave before it gets dark."
We climbed into the car and I waved at the elderly lady standing at the front door of her house. She smiled and returned likewise.
I pulled out of the driveway onto the gravel road and just as I reached the highway there was the beautiful woman on her white horse beside the road on our right. I stopped smiling I waved at her.
"It was good to see you again old friend." Charlene said. "You are always welcome here."
"Thank you Charlene." I nodded with a smile. "It is good to see you as well."
"Come back any time." Charlene said looking toward the setting sun up the valley. "Another time." She said as she nudged her horse to head toward home.
The young lady with me pulled the flower she had tucked above her ear, studied it then looked at me. "What the? How can that be?" She asked realizing if the pond and flowers had not really been there how could she have picked the flower in the first place?
Quickly she pulled her phone out and examined the photo of the front of the house. Zooming in on the sign above the door she saw the names, "Tom and Charlene" she spoke softly. Chill bumps rose up on her arms. She looked at me. "The young woman, is that…?"
I smiled. "You have a question?"
"They have the same name." She said. "Are they the same woman?"
"They can't be." The big skeptic in the back said.
"I mean can they be real?" The woman asked.
"Real?" I asked.
"Yes which one is real?" She asked.
"Both, and neither, depending on your perspective," I answered. Pressing on the gas I pulled out making a right turn onto the highway to return to the reunion on the far side of the hill.
She held the flower in her hand as if to finish and unanswered question. Slowly a smile crossed her lips, she looked at me.
"You see, nothing unreal exists." I smiled with a nod. "Reality exists in the mind of the beholder."
The one man in the back looked at the big skeptic, "What just happened?"
The skeptic shrugged, "Nothing, something in the punch that's all. A figment of our imagination maybe."
"But something happened," The other man said learning forward he noticed the flower in the woman's hand. "I remember her picking that."
The woman sniffed the flower taking in the fragrance she smiled looking over her shoulder at the man watching her.
I smiled as I drove along the highway. "Remember, just because it's a dream doesn't mean it's not real."
Some who have been there speculate that somehow there's a time rift where the past, present and future seem to collide. It's a place where reality and possibility merge and those who are able to perceive and accept this without fear are known as star children. From that moment on the mystery and excitement follow them the rest of their days.
Some believe there's a portal there where reality from multiple dimensions touch at certain times of the year. Makes no difference how you choose to perceive it strange and mysterious things sometimes happen there, especially when the fog sets in after dark and early in the morning. If it's your first visit to Foggy Creek try to go during the day and for all you do don't take a hike over those hills on foot, stay on the main road. There are lions, wolves and bears in those woods and you never know how they will respond to a stranger.
The people who live in the log cabins along the south hill like to stay to themselves, they don't like salesmen or strangers so please do not approach unless someone like Charlene or Tom invite you for a visit.
Of course it's just a story and we all know stories like these are not real. However the next time you are driving along the border of Louisiana and Arkansas you might want to keep an eye out for a narrow gravel road with wooden bridges. Remember it's not on the map but there's a sign beside the bridge that says Foggy Creek. If you happen to go that way and dare to cross that bridge be on the lookout for a woman riding a white horse, if you happen to see her stop and tell her hello. If she smiles and invites you for tea that's an invitation, it's always good to make a friend in Foggy Creek.
You may have questions. You may believe there's a hidden message in this story / dream. You may have some of the same questions the three visitors had when they visited Foggy Creek. Do the three visitors have some special significance? If they do what might that mean? Why do some people have strange experiences and others don't. Some may have one strange experience and understand that mysteries abound around us every day and they can accept that as reality. Others can wander into Foggy Creek and can't comprehend or accept any of it. They leave without anything special to say. Others can enter Foggy Creek and entirely new worlds of possibility open doors and windows for them they had not seen before.
The skeptic was there and still didn't see. To this day he still thinks it was something in the punch.
The other man now has a different perspective and now considers that perhaps there are things in this world that deserve closer investigation.
The woman took her flower back to the house put it in some water and it grew roots, she planted it in her flower garden holding onto the memory of those things she can't explain but now understands that nothing unreal exists.
There are those who can't see because they choose not to.
There are those who realize we are not alone.
There are those who are like the one millionth customer who cross the line at exactly the right moment and they not only believe but know for a fact, we are not alone, we have never been alone, we will never be alone. Life and death are but a blink of the eye and that's just the beginning.