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Moth Man

Jett Lucas Cryptid Investigator 1

“I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal. Ghosts, UFO’s and in particular Cryptids — Creatures believed to exist all around the world and yet scientifically unproven. Do they exist? Are they misidentified animals or simply figments of overactive imaginations. In most cases we may never know the truth.

Thanks to my friend and fellow author Ashlie Harris giving me a push. I got the inspiration to go on a cryptozoological hunt or two. We’ll see if Jett can find the truth.

The above picture is a supposed ‘real’ photograph of the Moth Man from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, USA. Some say its real evidence others say its a Barred owl with a snake in its talons. What do you think? Answer in the comments.”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango — Impetuous
Your Daily Word Prompt — Jolly
Ragtag Daily Prompt— Rustic Simplicity
Word of the Day Challenge — Bomb

Moth Man

Jett Lucas felt relieved to leave the hospital in Henderson a few miles outside of Cincinnati. Days ago, having been made redundant from his office job in New York City, he decided to change his lifestyle. He boarded a plane bound for his home town of Cincinnati with a plan of starting a new life of rustic simplicity and adventure. However, the twin-engine plane decided it wasn’t going there. It crashed into a cornfield instead. Jett suffered minor injuries but was forced to spend a couple of days in the hospital to be sure he was okay.

Free and feeling jolly, he was in the mood for an adventure. He bought himself a beaten-up old blue Jeep Wrangler and began a winding route to Cincinnati. He hadn’t gone far before realizing the plane crash had been for his benefit. The fates had aligned to deliver him to his first quest. He has just driven past the Silver Memorial Bridge into Point Pleasant. There beside the museum bearing its name was the twelve-foot-tall statue of the red-eyed winged cryptid known as the Moth Man.

Jett looked into those demonic red eyes and grinned. He knew of the Silver Bridge collapse in 1967 and the supposed sightings of the creature at the same time. Just recently people even reported seeing the cryptid in Chicago many miles away. Some had even posted compelling footage online; but who can really believe what they see on social media? Jett turned his Wrangler around and headed out of the little town. ‘Time to be a little impetuous for once!

He went to an outdoor supply store and purchased some good hiking boots, a comfortable Stetson hat to keep the rain off, and a decent wax jacket. He added a Desert Eagle and ammunition for protection. Catching himself in a full-length mirror he winked. With his salt and pepper beard and hair poking beneath the hat, he looked like an old cowboy. More than that, he felt ready to investigate.

Just north of Point Pleasant, Jett arrived at the entrance to the former West Virginia Ordnance Works, or the TNT Area to the locals. The eight-thousand-acre space had become a wildlife management zone after the wars. It was known to be the most polluted area in the United States thanks to the continuous manufacture of explosives from World War II until it was decommissioned. Some believed, the military conducted experiments into human and animal mutation within the complex. Maybe that and all the pollution had resulted in the Moth Man. Whatever the case this area was heavily reported to be his home.

Jett geared-up and readied himself for an adventure. With a new battery in his camera and torch, he parked his hat on his head and stepped into the trees. At first, he passed through thick birch forests. Soon they became broken by stinking muskeg swamps and wider lakes. There he came upon the bizarre dome structures camouflaged in grasses and undergrowth. These were the ‘igloos’ the storage facilities for all of the explosives back in the day.

The adventurer found himself slowing here. It wasn’t that he expected to stand on a bomb; they’d long since been removed. No, this was where the Moth Man was purported to live. Jett stopped on the bank of a swampy area with an igloo behind him. He pulled out his camera and set it recording. On the spur of the moment, he decided he wouldn’t just film, he would talk about his adventure. Maybe even make a blog of his explorations.

“Welcome to Moth Man territory. Boy, this place feels quiet and weird. As I came up the path there were lots of birds singing, squirrels rustling about, and a feeling of diverse wildlife about me. Now, within the TNT Area, it’s all very still and eerily quiet. Sure, the Moth Man could be a Bard Owl or a Sandhill Crane as biologists suppose. Yet it being here, it’s hard not to imagine something cryptozoological living within the trees or the bomb storage domes. Let’s go and see what we can find.”  

Jett panned the camera over the algae-rich green water and trees hanging in old man’s beard moss. Something moved in the water. Zooming the camera, he revealed it to be in beaver and so moved on. “Here we have one of the igloos,” he announced for the camera’s benefit as he stepped inside. Switching on his flashlight, he revealed an old table, a few rotting crates, and rusty barrels lying within a couple of inches of stagnant water. Beyond the debris of past times, he spotted something intriguing.

Wading through the water, he came to an old steel bulkhead door. It showed evidence of being welded shut. Now, it stood ajar. “I see apparent claw-marks in this door and framework. “If a creature did this to the metal, it must be insanely strong,” Jett reported as he used the boot to squeak open the door.

Nothing but foreboding darkness awaited him. Icy fear ran down his spine and clawed at his chest in a way that sent him buzzing on a surge of adrenaline. If a monster lived anywhere it was definitely in there. Despite his trepidation, Jett’s new impetuous, daring streak struck again. He flicked on his camera’s ‘Night-shot mode’ and stepped inside. A set of iron steps spiraled deep into the darkness. “This must be part of the tunnel-system said to criss-cross its place. We’ll go down and take a look.”

Lighting his way, Jett descended one step at a time. He felt things whipping past his ears and a strong smell of ammonia. “Okay, we definitely have bats in here. I doubt they grow big enough to be the —”

A human-like shriek shattered the silence.

“Agh! You heard – that – right?” Jett took a deep breath and tried to calm his thumping heart. He panned the camera, filming both passages which vanished into impenetrable blackness. “I can’t be sure —but that didn’t sound like any animal or bird I’ve ever heard before. It was no eagle, owl, or coyote — I know it!”

Hearing nothing more, Jett headed along the passage. His light footsteps sounding thunderous in the echoic halls. He put his nose and camera into one or two storage rooms. There was evidence of munitions here in discarded shell casings, explosives crates, and the faint smell of gunpowder. Nothing but the bats seemed to be living down here now. Whatever made the noise was gone.

“Okay, let’s get out of this hell hole and investigate some more of the site.” Jett made to leave. He panned his camera back along the passage and flinched.

Something seven-foot-tall and grey flashed through the camera’s IR light. Wraith-like and rapid it vanished into the gloom.

Caught in a panic, Jett had to stop his feet from sending him running deeper into the facility. He had to go towards whatever he’d seen. It was between him and the way out. “I – I saw something then. I’ll check the footage later. I have to get out and jolly fast!” Trembling on a cocktail of dread and shock, Jett edged forward. He felt sure something would jump and tear him apart.  

Arriving at the steps, he paused to listen for a few moments. “Nothing! Let’s get out of here!” His nerves frayed, Jett raced up the steps and didn’t stop running until he was clearing the igloo. Dusk had fallen since he was last outside. “They say Moth Man feeds at night. I don’t know what we found in there, but maybe we just saw it heading out to hunt.”

Jett spent a while wandering around the swamps and igloos by flashlight. The beam turned the mossy trees into winged nightmares. A sight made worse by a rising mist which began to roll over the waters’ surface. He’d almost given up the search when another shriek tore the silent, thick air asunder. The sound of flapping wings sent him diving for cover. Something crashed through the branches above like a rogue bomb. Jett rolled onto his back and tried to film whatever was assaulting him. He caught a flash of red as a branch slammed down on his chest and then the ghostly stillness returned.

“Wow, that was far too close! Time to leave Point Pleasant and find something a little friendlier to investigate!” Jett jogged down the tracks back to his wrangler. He was almost there when something stopped him in his tracks. A pair of large, red eyes glowing in the light right above his car. “Is this it? Are we about to meet the Moth Man?” Edging forward he caught the creature full in his beam and chuckled. He’d come face to beak with a stunning brown and grey feathered Barred owl. The light bouncing off the special retroreflective tissues at the back of the owl’s eyes made them glow red.

“Nice to meet you, Mr Owl. As you can see some of Earth’s beautiful wildlife can make you think you see monsters. Does the Moth Man exist? Did we see and hear it back there? Or is it merely an illusion caused by Barred Owls and Sandhill Cranes going about their daily business. I’ll allow you to decide. For now, this is Jett Lucas signing off.”

The End

A word of warning: If you go cryptid hunting never go alone and never trespass into places you don’t belong. It’s illegal and dangerous. No point finding something like Moth Man and dying before you can reveal him to the world is there?

Thanks for reading my friends, I really do appreciate it.

Don’t forget there’s always plenty more stories for you in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 tabs.

Have a great day!


21 thoughts on “Moth Man

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  1. Ok, where’s Jett Lucas’ YouTube channel?! What a fun and hair-raising adventure! Mason, you’ve done it again! This was such an entertaining read, I ignored your messages on Facebook so I could finish, uninterrupted. Well done, my friend, well done, indeed!!! 10/10 🥇🏆

    Liked by 1 person

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