I was visiting a friend who lives in South Gandy, Florida. Before I get along with my story, let's set the scene. South Gandy is a surreal place, with ramshackle boatyards and trailer parks all over the place. It could be best summed up as "the boondocks".

Before the condos started springing up, my friend's backyard was an adventure waiting to be had. Next door was an abandoned two-story house that was formerly home to the mysterious and unsavory neighbor named James. James' house was never finished. The second story had a substantial portion of the floor missing, and the pigeon shit had accumulated to such a density over the years that parts of the house weren't navigable to those wearing anything lighter than rubber boots.

Scattered about the rest of this seemingly unending wasteland were small shacks, burned-out houses, and roofless sheds. The ruins of dilapidated old docks spilled out into Master's Bayou, where rotting old houseboats run aground on the constantly shifting sandbars littered the shallow bay.

Anyway, on with the story. My friend and I were walking down a dead-end road, alongside a trailer park. We were maybe fifty yards away from the end of this road when we heard this... growl.

This growl must have come from a beast that was at least tits high, and it was no natural sounding growl. It was a deranged, fearsome sounding, blood-chilling growl.

This froze us in place. I've lived with animals all my life and I have no problem dealing with dogs, even crazy ones. But I wasn't about to get anywhere near this monster.

We never did see The Beast. We both looked at each other, then wordlessly started backpedaling, as quietly as we could. After we felt we were sufficiently far, we ran for shelter.

We speculated as to what sort of demon could inspire such terror. Maybe it was the phosphate plant across the bayou? Could that be the source of such a fucked up sound? Perhaps there was a dog on the top of a trailer, creating the illusion of size. Or it could have been a dog behind a concrete pipe that was amplifying or otherwise distorting the sound? It was simply too weird to be natural.

A daylight investigation of the scene yielded no clues. Just a half-size empty lot with a set of tire tracks running up to the edge of the woods.

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