By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/23/2021
Occurred: 9/20/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Coronavirus #Maui Page Views: 191
When life is like a horror movie.

Maui is one of the darkest places on Earth, at night. As home to an astronomical observatory at the top of Mount Haleakala, Maui's towns and villages honor the Dark Skies policy with few outdoor lights, all of which are aimed specifically at the ground. Consequently, here on our property some five miles from the nearest village, and a quarter-mile from the sparsley-travelled nearest road, on a clear night we can see the blanket of stars, including the swath of the Milky Way, without even trying.

It's also very, very quiet at night. Which is why, when a cry of help pierced the night, Keith's eyes opened wide. Don't most horror movies start this way?

The problem was, there was nothing to be done about it. For starters, he had no idea where the call came from, or even if it came from our property. Moreover, our property is punctuated with steep cliffs and deep ravines cut through volcanic rock; so prowling around at night would be extremely foolish.

Plus, if the cry were coming from our property, it would almost have to be a hunter; and hunters don't usually hunt alone, especially at night. So Keith went back to sleep, determined to investigate in the morning.

After explaining what he'd heard to me, we hopped on the quad to drive around the property, paying especially close attention to the larger ravines, on the basis of, if someone were to cry for help at night that's almost certainly what he'd fallen into. We brought the dogs with us, knowing if anyone were around, even dead, they would find him.

Sure, enough, there was a spot when it appeared that someone (or something) had been dragged from the ravine across the grass. The markings in the grass had to be recent, as grass here grows too fast to retain such indentations.

We followed the trail till it joined with the tracks from frequent trips on the quad. Those tracks led toward the road, strengthening our theory that it was a hunter. We suspected that, either his friends pulled him out of the ravine, or he actually bagged a wild pig and pulled it out of the ravine. Either way, there couldn't have been much blood, because the dogs were pretty disinterested in the whole thing.

We continued our scan of the property, but found no other evidence of anything amiss.

But maybe tonight I'll play the tunes a little louder.