Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
I had the house to myself, my parents were spending the weekend in Toronto, and I’d spent the day hanging out with my girlfriend. Up until I dropped her off at home later that evening, it was an ordinary day, as close to perfection as possible.
I took my girlfriend home at around 8 pm, then got back to the house to relax, prepared for a night spent chilling out in the basement, watching movies alongside Charlie, my brother’s dog. He’s an anxious little bastard, and he likes the company.
Naturally, Charlie wanted to go outside the moment I came in. Usually, he’s all over himself, jumping up and barking and this wasn’t an exception. I went to the back door and opened it up, letting him loose upon the frozen snow that covered our backyard, then hung around to let him back in when he inevitably got cold five minutes later.
Maybe I was impatient, or perhaps he was taking longer than usual. I wasn’t watching the time after all. After a while, however, I opened the door and called out to him. I figured he’d come running like he always does. But for some reason, he didn’t this time. I waited at the door for a little while, looking around to see if I could spot him. He was outside alright, by the shed we have near the back of the yard, standing in the corner and staring at the house. He didn’t move when I called to him. He just stood there, motionless on that frozen snow, in the moonlight, staring at me.
I left him for a little while longer, figuring that he didn’t want to come in. I stole a piece of some cherry cobbler my Mom had put together, and screwed around on my phone. I went out to the living room to watch some TV, figuring Charlie would probably want to come in eventually. I’d just started a rerun of the Simpsons when I thought I heard a scratch at the door. On instinct, I got up to let the mouthy bastard back in the house. But when I looked, he still hadn’t moved from his spot by the shed. I could see the light reflected in his eyes. I’m not going to lie, that was a little bit creepy. I opened the door and stepped outside, calling out to him, hoping that maybe he would come running.
He just stayed there, stock still. That’s about at the point where it dawned on me that he looked… off. I didn’t have a clear view of him, just of his head and his eyes, in front of what I assumed was his body but looking a little closer, it appeared as if his body was prostrate, but his head was perfectly upright! Was it just some weird, contorted pose? In the past, I had seen dogs do that sometimes, but right on the ice? I took a step off the porch, and as I did, I noticed something.
I could see ice between his head and his body. Not a piece of ice; I could see the ice behind him! It took my brain a minute to process it all before the truth dawned on me. Charlie’s head and body were no longer attached. His body lay limp by the shed, and his head impaled by what looked like a branch. From the porch, I hadn’t been able to distinguish it from his black coat, but from my new vantage point, I could see it clearly. I took a step back, swearing and turning towards the house, wanting to get back to that safety. That’s when I saw it. We’d stripped down the gazebo on the porch in preparation for winter weather, leaving it a metal skeleton, covered in ice from the recent freezing rain. Now I could see that cheap metal buckling under the weight of the creature that stood tensed on top, cracking the thin layer of ice and staring at me with unblinking eyes that reflected what little light there was back at me.
It wasn’t an animal. I don’t know what the hell it was, and I didn’t get a good look at it before it lunged for me. I tried to run, skidding backward onto the ice, and that thing landed just a few feet away from me. I didn’t waste my time watching it. I tried to bolt for the door, expecting myself to slip and fall with every step, as I didn’t exactly have a solid footing. Maybe the thing didn’t either. I heard a noise behind me, a scream, like a person’s, but… wrong. It sounded pained and garbled, and it made my head hurt.
I slammed the door behind me as I got inside, locking it, and staring out at the thing that had attacked me. It stood, almost eight feet tall, with long, scrawny limbs and bulbous eyes that didn’t look like they blinked. Its skin was grey and tight against its body. With every breath, I could catch glimpses of its ribcage. Its hands had long, bony fingers, each ending in a long disgusting nail, and I could see the dried blood on them. It stared at me through the glass, and I swear it was smiling at me! For a moment, I’d expected it to try and break in. After all, that glass wasn’t all that hard to break. I’d done it myself once, in fact, when I’d been locked out. The creature turned away, crouching down on all fours, and loped towards Charlie’s body. I watched as it grabbed the corpse and looked back at me, before starting to drag it towards the door, trailing blood all the while. That thing wanted me to watch as it tore Charlie apart and feasted on him. It looked at me as it did its work, and I watched in quiet horror.
It didn’t seem to react when I took out my cell phone and called 911. I told the operator there was an aggressive animal outside my house. I lied and said that it was a bear, though by that point I was confident that it was nothing I had ever seen before. The thing watched me throughout the entirety of the call. I didn’t get the impression that it understood what I was doing. That, at least, was to my advantage. It also didn’t seem to think of just breaking the glass. I didn’t want to watch what it was doing to Charlie, but I also didn’t want to take my eyes off it, just in case. The emergency responders asked me to stay on the phone. That was just fine by me. I waited, sickened and engaging this thing in a surreal staring contest. My earlier suspicions were then confirmed. It never blinked, not once. I watched its teeth, its lengthy, uneven, carnivorous teeth, tear into the meat of my’ brother’s dog, and listened to the sickening ripping noises. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, staring at each other.
I heard the sirens not too long after. I don’t know how much time passed, as I didn’t bother to look at the clock. I was too afraid to take my eyes off of that damn thing. A moment later, the sound of nearby sirens drew its attention, and I saw it leap suddenly up onto the roof. Its claws scraped against the shingles, and I followed it towards the front of the house, where I caught a glimpse of red and blue lights approaching. By then, there was no sign of the creature or any more sounds from the roof. I watched one of the police officers come up my walkway, his partner trailing behind, before breaking off to head towards the gate leading to the back. The lead officer headed to my door. He was about to knock when he noticed me waiting in the doorway. I opened it just a crack. “It’s on the roof!” I cried out, helpless to conceal the terror in my voice.
Before the officer could respond, the strangled cry of his partner rang out, alongside the hellish shriek of the creature. I cursed and pulled my door closed again, watching as the officer drew his weapon and went around back. I locked my door and tried to follow his location through the windows. I monitored him closely as he made his way around the side of my house, armed with a flashlight and a gun.
I only caught a glimpse of that thing when his light hit it. It shrieked and leaped away as if burned, revealing the mangled carcass of the other officer. I could see the white of bone and a mess of red that had been rendered unrecognizable. A telltale thud alerted me to the creature’s presence on my roof. The remaining officer spun around, boots crunching in the snow, and tried to follow the beast. He raised his gun but didn’t fire. I heard scratching on the roof heading away from myself and the officer, which ceased a moment later.
I looked back at the officer, who stumbled back towards his car, trying to retrace his steps. Perhaps he was calling for backup. Before breaking into a clumsy run, he glanced at me momentarily through the window. Scratching on my ceiling told me that the creature on my roof was stalking him. I followed him back towards the front of my house, rushing from window to window to get a better view. He kept his distance from the building as if he could escape the creature’s wrath. Reaching his car, I saw him open the driver’s side door and then freeze, raise his gun and fire two shots into the darkness. I didn’t know if he hit his target or not. All I heard was the sound of claws scraping along my roof, as the creature retreated. Then the officer barricaded himself inside his car, and the waiting game began anew.
The monster had made its escape by the time backup and first responders arrived. Paramedics took Charlie’s body away in a bag, and another officer collected my statement. Then, with the cops still around, I got in my car and hightailed it to a nearby hotel, where I crashed for the night.
I don’t know what the hell that thing was, or what more it had planned. I don’t think the cops know much, either. And so far, since the incident, it’s been quiet. Although, if I listen carefully, I swear I can hear the sound of nails clicking on the wood floor outside my room.
Credit: Ryan Peacock (a.k.a. HeadOfSpectre)
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