We humans love our holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, or the New Year; we try to celebrate and enjoy the holidays as much as we can. But have you ever wondered if there were other beings, different from humans that also like holidays? What if somewhere out there, somewhere we couldn’t see; there are entities enjoying the holidays as much as we do? Moreover, what if these entities would visit “our world” similar to how many of us would go on a vacation on a tropical island or something?
Well, wonder no more… because I have a story to tell – a story of fantastic nature; a story of my encounter with a being not from this reality…
This story happened a year ago during my family’s visit to Zermatt in Switzerland.
My dad, who was just recently promoted to a managerial position in the company that he had been working for five years, decided to celebrate his recent promotion by bringing the entire family to the famed mountaineering and ski resort in the Swiss Alps.
Of course, the vacation wasn’t done in the spur of the moment kind of way. No, the vacation was planned a month prior. And it was arranged in such a way so that we could spend Christmas on the Alps. That being said, it was only a three days and two nights’ vacation but no one was complaining. After all, the alternative was to spend a boring Christmas at home.
“Hey, Carl, hurry up!” My little brother, John, called impatiently.
“What are you in a hurry for? It’s not like the mountain would go away if we don’t hurry, right?” I teased.
“Of course we should hurry. We could only skate till the afternoon!”
My little brother, John, despite just being 12-year really loves to ski. Of course I’m also the same; it’s just that I’m not in a hurry to go skiing, nor am I as enthusiastic to ski as that of my little brother. Honestly, I'd rather go mountaineering today. But since my parents are enjoying themselves in the spa in our hotel, it falls to me to look after my all too enthusiastic brother.
The pain of being the big brother…
Anyhow, I joined John who looked like he was about to explode from impatience. Then along with other tourists, we rode a cable car heading to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. During the 40 minutes ride, we were treated to one of the most beautiful scenery on Earth.
After getting off the cable car, John and I put our things in a locker in one of the lodges before going outside. Seeing all of the skiers, the overly enthusiastic John almost couldn’t help himself. I’m very certain that he would have skittered away to join in on the fun if I didn’t hold his shoulder.
It can’t be helped. Since our parents’ not with us, it falls to me to look after my little brother. Before I let him go, I made John promise not to run off somewhere I couldn’t see. Fully knowing that I won’t let him go unless he agrees to make the promise, John could only bob his head obediently.
Once I let go; John excitedly skied downhill. Shaking my head, I quickly followed suit on my own skis – afraid that I'd lose sight of him if I fell behind too much. We skied back and forth while almost totally forgetting the time. Not that it matters since the sun is still shining proudly after all. Besides, we will know what time it is once we feel hungry.
After a bit more time trickled by, we finally felt the fang of hunger, and decided to have lunch first and rest for a bit before going back for more.
“Hey Carl, check this out!” John called as he performed some skiing stunts.
“What on earth are you doing? Careful before you get into an accident,” I quickly warned after seeing my little brother acting carelessly.
“Relax! I’m a pro!”
“Yeah sure… tell that to mom and dad,”
Displeased with my reply, John started to ski faster and further away from me. This action of his worried me thus prompting me to remind him of his promise earlier.
“Hey, didn’t you promise not to go too far away from me?” I yelled.
“I won’t!” John yelled back.
Worried that John might get into an accident; I increased my speed and quickly followed. I saw him ski behind a large pine tree but to my surprise, he didn’t appear on the other side. Worried that he might have gotten into an accident, I quickly approached the tree on my ski but found absolutely nothing there but snow. John was nowhere to be seen.
“John! Where are you? Come out this instant!” I shouted while looking around for any sign of my little brother.
There was nothing… No matter how hard I looked; even though my voice had become hoarse from all of the shouting, I still couldn’t find John.
Terrified of what might have happened to John, I couldn’t stop myself from panicking. I have heard of people getting lost in the mountains and not being found again, until many years later. And of course, most of those that were found, returned as corpses.
I shuddered at the negative thoughts that started running inside my head. There’s no way that I could accept it if something bad happened to John. Sure, he might be a pain sometimes but he’s still my little brother!
While I was getting desperate; I suddenly heard a voice calling out to me. When I searched for the source, I saw a person in all white waving at me outside a cabin.
“Where did the cabin come from? How come I didn’t notice it earlier?” I thought to myself in amazement.
Remembering my purpose, I shove all of my questions in the back of my head and ski towards the mysterious person waving at me. Upon getting closer, I finally saw the person’s appearance. He’s a man (?) that seemed to be just a little older than me.
I couldn’t really tell the person’s gender because of how androgynous he looks but since I couldn’t simply ask a stranger’s gender out of the blue, I just to call him a “he”.
“Are you Carl?” The mysterious man asked in a gender neutral voice.
“Y-yeah… How did you know?” I replied.
“A child I accidentally found earlier told me that he was with his older brother before he got into an accident.” The mysterious man explained.
“An accident?! Is my little brother okay?!”
Although the mysterious man didn’t say John’s name, I got a feeling that he was referring to him.
“Don’t worry. Besides being slightly disoriented he’s pretty much okay.” The mysterious man assured
The mysterious man then explained what happened and where he found John. Apparently, John suddenly lost control and rolled downward before hitting a pine tree. Fortunately for John, the snow that accumulated below the pine tree softened the impact greatly. Despite that though he still suffered from a concussion and was out for a while. The mysterious man that happened to be nearby saw what happened and quickly came to John’s rescue.
“He’s resting inside.” The mysterious man pointed at the cabin before inviting Carl in.
Inside the cabin, Carl saw his little brother warming himself near the fireplace.
Seeing my little brother safe and sound finally calmed my heart. If anything happened to John, I probably wouldn’t know how to face my parents. After all, I was supposed to look after my little brother. Thank goodness he is safe.
After calming down, I started scolding John for his recklessness. I told him that if repeat what he did again, I would no longer allow him to ski ever again. Moreover, since John was wrong, my parents would surely take my side and agree with me.
Seeing how serious I am, John could only relent and apologize. After chastising John, I finally remembered the mysterious man. I quickly turned around and thanked him for helping my little brother.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a matter of convenience since I happened to be in the area,” The mysterious man said while shaking his head.
“No, no. You have no idea how grateful I am for your help.” I said while bowing my head. “If you don’t mind, could you tell me your name?”
“…My name?” The mysterious man thought for a while before speaking. “I’m called $^^&#@($%*%”
Huh? What did he say?
“Um… could you repeat that again please?” I asked after hearing a name I could not decipher.
Noticing my blank expression, the mysterious man could shake his head. “It doesn’t matter. Just call me whatever you want.” He said.
Although I really want to know the man’s name, I could tell with a glance that he’ll no longer entertain my request.
“You two should not stay in this place for too long. It’s not safe,” the mysterious man said after a while.
“Not safe? What do you mean?” I asked.
“It’s difficult to explain. All I could say is that you and your little brother shouldn’t be here in the first place.”
What does he mean? Why shouldn't we be here? Could it be that we’re on private property?
Oblivious to my thoughts, the mysterious man told us to follow him. Left without much choice, John and I could only do as told. We follow the mysterious man before stopping in a white, empty field.
“Go walk straight…,” the mysterious man pointed at the white, empty field. He then instructed us to “…Count as you walk. Make sure to count to ten, and whatever you do, never turn around till you have counted to ten, you hear?"
Confused, I could not help but question the mysterious man, “What why? What’s the meaning of your instruction?” I asked.
The mysterious man shakes his head, clearly that he was refusing to explain.
“Just do what I have instructed if you want to return to your family,” he said.
Startled, and somewhat terrified, I nodded my head in agreement. I don't know how but I got a feeling that something bad will happen to us if we didn’t do what he instructed. Turning to my little brother, I noticed that he too looked nervous. We locked eyes before nodding at each other.
I held my little brother’s hand and slowly walked into the white, empty field. Afraid of making mistakes, both our steps are slow and measured. Only after counting till ten did the terrible feeling left us. And with the terrible feeling gone, I was finally able to let out a sigh of relief. But then…
“Carl, look, the cabin’s gone!” John yelled in a voice filled with amazement.
Hearing my little brother’s yell, I quickly turned towards him, only to see him pointing at the direction of the cabin.
Afraid that something might have happened, I quickly turned around. And sure enough, the cabin that we’re in earlier was nowhere to be seen.
“…How, how could it be?”
Yes, the cabin vanished without a trace… It was as if the cabin and the mysterious man that helped John never existed in the first place.
John and I stared at each other in amazement. We knew that the cabin existed, and so did the mysterious man. Both of us had encountered the mysterious man and his cabin so there’s no way that everything that had happened was just our hallucination.
Unable to make sense of it all, both John and I could only walk back to our lodge in silence. Although we could not fully explain the mystery, we do have an idea of what had happened. It’s just that, it’s too absurd, so absurd that even we, ourselves, couldn’t fully believe it either.
As we continued to walk, we soon encountered a large group of men that seemed to be looking for someone. After seeing the two of us, the group approached us and asked for our name. When we told them who we were, the men broke into a cacophony of exclamation.
After I asked them what had happened and why they’re looking for us; one of the men told us that they had been searching for us for three days straight now!