Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
The blazing gold sun wanes in the sky over the still lake, its light rays coming down, touching the water and the land stretching beyond it. As the wondrous ball of light sinks into the horizon, bushy-tailed deer frolic through the grassy plains, running across the dirt roads that which continue through thick woods. Chirping can be heard by any living thing near as the local birds make their beds, preparing for the night.
Within the woods, upon a single branch growing from the very top of a dead tree, lands a small bird with white feathers, a brown tail and a black beak. Its dubious eyes watch as a bright pink paints the skyline, fading into orange. The little bird then looks nearby the shore, a rocky border between the land and lake. Standing near this is a short, aging, wooden cabin. It’s windows cracked, doorknob rusted, and the oak roof even missing a plank of wood. In a spirited fashion, the bird flutters down to the top of the roof, peering through the space where the missing plank is.
But like the woodland’s ground, the inside of this structure is one of the few places during the day where the sun’s rays do not touch, where all beings accustomed to the shadows dwell within. One of these very beings hides from the bright lights of day in the corner, waiting for the light leaking through the hole to diminish. This creature is nothing like anything that lives within the woods, or in the trees, or even anything in the lake. It cuddles in the corner, silent as possible, until it looks at the light.
The being crawls through the darkness and next to the light. It moves with such unnatural speed a breeze of wind follows behind. Growling with anticipation, it looks with such readiness at the hole.
And as soon as everything is void of light, the creature bursts through the door like a crazed rhino, with chips of wood flying in all directions. Coming to a halt in the middle of the dirt road, the remarkebly powerful creature gazes at the star-filled sky. Within the being, an excitement stirs. For this being, ever since it’s eternal life began, has not been driven by something as petty and meaningless to it like human endeavors, instead it is driven by its lust and hunger for blood. Searching for what it craves, it dashes through the tall grass and into the woods, leaving a cloud of dirt behind as it disappears in the darkness.
The shore should be near here…
The young biker wondered while he slowly rides upon the dirt roads, passing tree by tree, with a headlight to guide him through the night. His feet pedal with effort as he tightly grips the handle bars, bumping over tree roots, going faster along the narrow, dark path cutting through the woods. A cool night breeze brushes his smooth freckled face, making his long brown hair fly past his ears. A drop of sweat gradually travels down from his forehead through his burly beard, and drips to his neon green jacket. His calm chocolate brown eyes fixate onto the light shining on the trail.
But while the breeze stops, the beat of his heart, the pressure of his blood, and the adrenaline surge all become calm. His eyes wander to the starry night sky, a seemingly neverending blanket of blackness, with individual lights scattered everywhere.
His long hair falls in front of his eyes, causing him to take a hand off of his handle bar so he can sort it out. Still looking up instead of foward, the trail dips into a large hill and his eyes return to the road too late to react to the change. He and his bike in mid air together asfor a split second, everything becomes slower to the biker. The stars twinkle as the breeze starts again, gradually becoming a strong blow of wind. He and the bike fall 2 feet into the ground, the bike worsening it with it’s hard metal hitting his legs.
With a pounding, aching pain in his ankle, he stands back up, his feet planted loosely into the ground.
“Ugh! Idiot!” He exclaims with a flaming frustration in his voice, slapping his helmet instead of his forehead. With his annoyance growing inside of him, he doesn’t pay attention to the howling winds blowing through the woods suddenly calming down again. The area becomes dead silent, not a single living thing making a sound, as all he “hears” is his thoughts bouncing back and forth in his head. He bends down to put his bicycle back up while the intrusive thoughts grow rampant inside him.
I really should pay attention more…could’ve done some serious damage…
He seats upon the cushion, and places his uninjured foot onto the ground, with his possibly fractured one on the left pedal.
It feels like I should be back home by now…I mean, it’s just so dark and…
His brown eyes more comparable to the fur of a grizzly, he now attempts to focus on the trail once more, his head lamp out of place due to the aggravated slap. And as his eyes try to fixate, the darkness stretching ahead suddenly seems to surround him.
…who cares about the friggin’ time? I’ll do what I want now… im 19, and my parents…
A pulse of shock trembles his body as an odd bird-like growl is heard. His thoughts now silent, the silence surrounding him once the noise ceases, just like the darkness.
…Focus. Just focus on the trail. C’mon, you can do it.
Hoping that this is his last thought, he resumes his journey onto the trail. His eyes returned to a calm choclate brown, fixating onto the trail. As he speeds by the trees, in the distance he can see a landscape covered by grass, ending at a cliff by the lake’s shore.
Now more determined than before, he bolts towards his destination, his sweaty palms squezing the life out of the handle bars, and his feet pedaling so fast it he believes it could be equal to a race horse galloping. A trusty stead racing through the night, its golden mane flowing behind him like it’s underwater. This he would like to imagine as he races through the thick night, with a powerful passion burning inside.
He imagines himself as the horse again, this time with other horses thirty feet behind him. And as he speeds on the trail, the cold sweat going down his feet, one of the said horses seems to be closer than the others. So he rushes even more. He looks to his left, to see the “horse” bolting as fast as him through the woods. A dark silhouette, but seemingly not very horse-like. Almost human shaped.
The realization hits him. He stops dead like a broken down car, just ten feet from the grassy plains. The feeling creeps up to him, each individual hair standing up, his heart beating faster, yet for a different reason now. He leaves his bike lying in the dirt, to get possibly get a glimsp at the silhouette.
“Who’s there? WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME?!” But instead of a response, the silhouette stands on all all fours, like a primitive man. A low pitched noise originates from the silhouette, followed by an inhuman hiss. Carefully, it places a foot foward, closing onto the young biker. Like a lion stalking a deer, it walks around a tree, it’s head pointed towards the frightened man.
“What the hell…” He whispers. “Is this some kinda prank?!”
Even faster than any of the horses he imagined, the silhouette charges at him. Acting between the split seconds, where everything slows down, he lunges to where his bike is, and attempts to pick it up. But he is quickly stopped once 5 razor claws dig through the flesh of his leg, sinking all the way down to the very bone.
He clenches the ground as he’s dragged by the leg, which the creature shows little effort in, while the biker struggles with every last strength his adrenaline can possibly grant. His heart like a wardrum and his sweat drenching him, he truly gives all his might against the being.
But resisting seems futile against the being. For it pulls with a certain mockery, like a child playing with it’s food. And just as his gullible human mind fully believes that this is the worse it could get, the creature leaps with immense power onto a tree, clinging to the wood with it’s claws. Carrying him into the treetops, where no one would think to look.
The leaves of the tree shake as his muffled screams draw attention to animals nearby. For the being, while it may seem feral and mindless, is rather tidy as it feasts. As only a single drop of blood manages to escape and runs down between the bark, splashing onto the fertile ground.
Moments later, the biker’s dying, deathly pale body lies on a sturdy tree branch, with the creature ontop of him. Moaning with his last breathes, he looks at the being with little life left in his eyes. The creature tilts its head in a judgmental manner.
Then, a low-pitched growl comes from the being’s mouth. But the growl seemingly resembles words, as if it’s saying
“You are perfect”
The world fades away into a darkness more powerful than the night sky. Fading into a playground. The biker walks by the swing set and with each step, the ground behind dissolves into nothingness. And as he looks behind his shoulder,one of the metal swings delivers a powerful blow to the back of his head, making him plummet into emptiness. Fallings and falling, as if it will never stop, but yet it does once he crash through roof of a burning home.
He falls to the basement, engulfed in flames, the fire eating away the structure into nothing. He yells in terror, but nothing comes out. Suddenly, something slimy slithers over his belly. A large cobra, and with it are many other species of snakes surrounding his feet. They wrap around his legs, pulling him down into the flames. One by one, they slither onto him,until everything but his eye is covered by snakes. The flames then slowly envelop him, the scorching heat burning the reptiles. A cobra lunging at him is the last of what he sees before it all fades into a whiteness.
Abruptly breathing, he awakens to a similair whiteness, whilst leaning on something hard and rough. The whiteness turns into an impossibly bright ball of light shining behind the leaves of trees in the woods, forcing him to cover his eyes with his arm. He slowly stands up, letting out a groan.
But, what comes from his vocal chords is far different from what he intended to come out. Instead, what did come out is a high-pitched screech. Suddenly, the whole woodlands erupts with noises of it’s inhabitants. Birds fluttering, chipmunks squeeking, deer walking, coyotes sniffing, all pounding his ear drums all at once.
The young man crawls deeper into the shade of the tree, covering his ears. Then, just like that, the scorching ball of light and the noises cease. He becames surrounded by a thick whiteish blue. He looks down at his hands, and sees dark brown claws where his fingernails use to be, and his complexion now a paler shade of what it use to be.
What the shit happened to me?!
As he gasps at his strange features, an oddly repetative sound smacks his ear drums. A singular heart beat, a heart beat that is getting closer. And closer. He turns his head to where it’s originating from, and he sees a woman holding a flashlight walking on the dirt trail.
He does not care for what she looks like, or who she is. He is only concerned about that attractive, repeating sound coming from her. With unexpected strength and speed, he lunges at the unsuspecting woman, pinning her to the ground.
As her screams echo through the crispy night air, the creature who was once a man bellows an unearthly roar, it’s eyes piercing the defenseless woman. It’s jaw stretches down to it’s collar bone, similar to a snake, as teeth comparable to a lioness unsheath from his gums.
And while her muffled screams continue throughout the darkness, a final shred of humanity deteriorates within the creature. Reduced to a instinctive thirst for blood, it feasts onto the woman with joy.
And as the being prowls the night, nature has once again completed a constant cycle. For man has crossed the unknown, and then the unknown hunts man. Then man becomes the unknown. A circle of death and bloodshed that has echoed throughout the centuries.
Credit: B. Jimmy