At first, David couldn’t exactly tell what had ripped him from the loving caress of sleep. He had previously been sleeping in his comfortable home wrapped in a warm blanket and resting his head on a nice fluffy pillow. Annoyed, he rested his head down once again and gently let his eyes fall. It was then as he jolted upright in bed that he realized what had awoken him. Although almost drowned out in the wind that whistled a soft melody through the night, he could hear what sounded like footsteps and nails dragging across the wooden exterior of his home. Curious, David allowed the soles of his feet to plop on the warm rug beneath him. Although sleep still cooed him, he eventually dragged himself along the perimeter of his room to the window. There he drew the blinds to get a better look. The pitter-patter of rain thumped against the thin glass in a soft beat that David soon found himself humming to. Combined with the inky dark blackness of the night, his visibility was heavily impaired and he was unable to see what was making the noise.
David tucked himself back into his cozy bed. When he did this, as if on cue, the noise began again, irritating David more and more by the minute. Sleep evaded him now, and he knew with the repetitive sound lingering he could not and would not sleep at all. David jerked himself out of bed in frustration and trudged to the dresser where a thick black flashlight sat. He grabbed it firmly, its handle cold as ice despite the warmth and comfort of the room. David walked through the narrow halls of his home with determination illuminating his eyes like that of a bright fire. He approached the front door of the house and grabbed his heavy trench coat that hung on the coat hanger. And with that, he twisted the doorknob and exited the warmth and comfort of his dwelling. Now he faced the chilly Autumn air and the drizzling rain which pounded against his face and back. He crept down the steps that led to the front door and clicked the flashlight on, its bright yellow light penetrating the darkness. He walked around the sides of his house in search of any animal that might have been the origin of the noise. It was when he reached the rear of his home that he heard a peculiar sound from the wooded area behind him.
The sound was strange yet surprisingly human. David stood frozen in attention facing the woods. The shrill cries of what sounded like a man screaming for his life came from the intimidating outline of the enormous trees in the distance. They rocked gently in the wind and beckoned him to come closer, and the foliage at the entrance of the wood didn’t bode well at all. David swallowed the saliva that had gathered in his mouth and stepped towards the woods. His mind naturally alerted him of the danger he felt, yet his actions betrayed his thoughts. Slowly and steadily he approached, gathering more and more distance from his home and closer to the underbrush. He felt the sensation of rain cease as his body went numb, and yet his mind was active. He yearned to see what could have made that noise, for curiosity, or maybe for the thrill. Whatever the case, he had gathered the courage to meet the edge of the woods and peer into the endless darkness.
The soaking underbrush grasped at his clothing like tiny fingers that desperately clung to every thread. His flashlight proved most ineffective as its once protective glow seemed to fade quite an exponential amount. Undeterred by this however, David set foot inside of the wood. He had been there many times, although never at night. In the darkness, his surroundings were unfamiliar to him. With each step, a moist leaf or twig underneath his boot squished and snapped. His body shuddered with each passing minute of his aimless trek, although whether this was caused by him being afraid or cold he was uncertain of. The eeriness of being in an unfamiliar place on a night such as this has no equal. His toes curled as the wind that once violently rattled the vegetation quieted, and the rain that persistently beat against his body turned into a light drizzle. The branches softly danced in the night, caressed by the wind and sprinkling water droplets from the night sky. The soft melody of the crickets ceased. It startled David how quiet the forest had become. As unsettling as the dark was, the persistent lack of noise invoked the strongest fears lurking in a man’s soul.
David stood alone in the quiet of the woods with the only audible sound the soft tapping of water falling to the ground. He could hear his thoughts, the breeze, his breath, and even his heartbeat. He held no desire to move, just to stand and be still. Still as the nature surrounding him. Still as the firm oak that stood before him, an impenetrable wall of wood. And in the stillness of the night, his ears picked up a very familiar noise. It was a voice and a very raspy, sickly one indeed. One that made David forget the silence surrounding him. A voice that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. A voice that compelled him to run, but at the same time seek the origin of the noise. It was the weeping that had drawn him out of his home in the first place. Yes, the reason he was even out in the woods at all. He would have chuckled at himself upon the realization that he had forgotten why he was even out there if it weren’t for how unsettled he was. The cry did indeed sound like a man crying… and yet, no man should have ever been able to make such a sound no matter how dire the situation he was in. It was that of terror and pain, yet David could have sworn he heard slight giggles amidst the crying.
David stood, for at the time that was all he felt he could do. He shuddered as the cry overcame the sound of the wind and was now all he could hear. It dragged out even further and its voice became scratchy and stressed. David wanted to retreat back to his home, perhaps call the police, maybe just go back to bed. And perhaps he would have had not the shriek stopped as abruptly as it had started.
David observed his surroundings now that his eyes were more adjusted to the darkness. He turned around and began to walk back to his house. He didn’t know what lurked beyond his vision, and he didn’t care to learn. And with that he turned and walked at a speedy pace, uncomfortable now with his current setting. He took long strides on a seemingly endless path that would return him from the trenches of the dark to his house. He could see the rays of light seeping through the windows, welcoming him with open arms. His heart slowed along with his breathing as he approached his house, so close to where he belonged. He walked into the driveway, gravel crunching beneath his feet. He ascended the front patio steps, the wood creaking from below. He reached his hand out and grasped the cold doorknob. He was home.
That’s when he heard a loud thump from far behind him. David hustled inside and slammed the door shut. He locked the door and peered outside of his window towards the woods, which now appeared far more menacing than they had before. His eyes fixated on the forest line where he had heard the thump originate. He clicked his flashlight on and pointed it ahead, its bright fluorescent light illuminating the darkness. That’s where he saw it. A figure, tall and dark, stood next to a tree. It wrapped its arm around the oak, resting its hand on a branch. Half of its body stayed hidden behind the tree, and the other half stood exposed. David cupped his hand over his lips, which now felt dry and parched. The two stared at each other for the longest time, never breaking their gaze. The creature then shifted its body, coming out of the tree line. It was then, by the light of the flashlight and the moon, that it was revealed. David squinted at the creature, his heart pounding in his chest, beating and screaming in fright. He had expected many things to emerge from behind the tree. Perhaps a monster, a ghost, maybe a demon from Hell that came to collect his soul. Anything but this.
There before him stood a man, and a man was all he was. David rubbed his eyes in disbelief, and when his eyes refocused on the man again he knew his eyes did not deceive him. There was nothing special about the man. He sported a large beard that swayed in the breeze, and possessed very long arms and legs. He was tall but slender, with only a few pieces of tattered clothes to shield him from the weather. David watched as the man sat on the ground in a crisscross fashion and rocked slowly with the wind. His lips moved as if speaking something, but David couldn’t tell what he was saying. David sprinted to the kitchen and grabbed a large knife, the blade of which glimmered in the light. He also snatched his cellphone and rushed back to the window, not wanting to take his eyes off of the mysterious man lurking outside his home for too long. David’s breath became exasperated, and beads of sweat methodically trickled down his forehead and onto the back of his neck. His eyes were so strained that he thought they would pop out of their sockets.
The man moved from his sitting position. He uncurled his legs and pressed his fingertips on the ground, pushing himself up. He stood straight, facing towards the house, his eyes fixated on David. This is when David’s head began to feel light. His surroundings dissolved before him and his eyes focused on the man outside. The sound of rain and wind were tuned out of his mind. He felt a pull, a strange feeling, one that could almost be described as a magnet attracting him, beckoning him to unlock his door and walk out. The only thing David paid any attention to now was himself, the stranger, and the thin sheet of glass serving as a viewpoint and barrier between the two. And then there was silence and stillness. The man remained unmoving, as did David, although David wasn’t sure if he stayed still because of his concentration on the man or fear. And then the man outside took a step toward the house. And then another.
David’s eyes widened as witnessed the man creeping towards his house. The man stopped suddenly and shifted his body toward the moon, staring at it seemingly in awe. David watched as the stranger licked his lips in hunger towards the moon and opened his mouth. It was then that he howled. This sudden noise startled David out of his daze. He felt a hammering sensation pounding his head, causing him to collapse to the floor with a thud. Winded, he rubbed his head with his hand and got onto his knees, coughing and wheezing. The warm house now felt cold as his hands met the mahogany floor. He grasped the windowsill and hoisted himself up, stumbling a bit from his unexplained hangover. He regained his composure and glanced at the window. There stood the man, face pressed against the window, inches away from David’s face. David could see the man now, in full detail. He was an older man with grey hair covered in filth. His eyes shone a bright silver, and he sported a curvaceous smile. His skin was wrinkly and leathery with a very strange texture. His lips pressed against the slick glass, following David’s gaze. David’s body began to shudder fiercely. He was absolutely terrified. Keeping his attention on the man, he slipped his hand into his pockets and pulled out his cellphone.
The light that emitted from the phone’s screen provided a strange feeling of comfort to David, perhaps because he could contact help. He didn’t feel as in danger and hoped the strange man would get the hint that he was calling the police and leave. He clicked the phone icon and typed 911 in. David placed the phone to his ear, relieved that he would soon be safe at last. That’s when the man smirked at David. Like an igniting flame, his silver eyes looked right at David’s. David returned his gaze. He could have sworn the man’s eyes flickered like a candle losing its fire. The man’s pupils then burned intensely. A strange feeling of unease and acceptance mixed together to form the feeling he remembered. The feeling he had experienced earlier. Did he feel plagued by… comfort?
“911, what’s your emergency?”
David heard the female operator speaking to him, but it seemed to be in the back of his mind. He was far more focused on what was before him.
“Hello, are you there? Are you ok, how may we assist you?”
David tried to respond to her. He wanted to tell her what was going on. He needed help. But he just felt so safe.
“Uh, yea… I just, uh.”
His voice trailed off. He couldn’t explain what was wrong. He didn’t even know if there was anything wrong in the first place. The man’s eyes held him captive such as a prisoner. Although he didn’t feel like a prisoner. He felt trapped in his own mind. Except, not in peril or discomfort. He felt safe. He observed his actions. Were they his actions? Was he in control, or was it the ominous man that controlled him. Strangely, David didn’t seem to care. He felt an insurmountable trust inside of him. David moved away from the window and shuffled towards the door in a zombielike motion. He reached for the lock. He shuffled back to the window, or was it he who was moving? The man nodded at David, And David nodded back to the man. The stranger, who to David now felt more like a long lost friend, walked to the door. It was in his house now.
David sat on the ground in a crisscross position. The man walked into the room and stood exactly opposite of David. He too sat on the floor, the same way he had before and David was now. The man hung his head low and placed his hands on the floor. David felt a mental connection to the man as if he were a part of him. The lights dimmed to almost complete darkness for no rational explanation, but David knew the man had done it. The man was still, and appeared focused on David. He spoke not a word. He took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly. His limbs gently shook, and he took more deep breaths. David could feel the man’s hot breath splash against his skin and inhaled the stench of his breath as well. The man’s shaking began to become more forceful. His knees bent and his arms jerked, writhing in unnatural positions. David could hear the man’s bones snap. The man’s flesh began moving on its own. His deep breathing became more raspy and shallow. His flesh convulsed and thick, grimy slobber leaked from his mouth as he crashed to the floor and spasmed. His limbs contorted into strange shapes and sizes, and as David witnessed this, he smiled warmly.
When he was done “transforming”, the only recognizable feature the man had were the silver eyes he possessed which still sparkled like a burning star in the night sky. He was no longer a man, but something else. He was taller, his arms and legs wider. The skinny man from before now had a hefty torso and larger features. Where David and it had been eye to eye before, it was now far larger and looked down upon David. His body hair quadrupled in its amount, covering the “man” from head to toe. David looked in astonishment at the incredible sight. He had never seen something so beautiful, so magnificent, so ungodly. Its chest heaved with each breath. Its lips moved the same way they had when the man was outside. He repeated the same word on his lips without saying it. David studied him closely. He watched his lips move as he tried to discern what the beast was saying. David wet his lips and opened his mouth. He said what the beast had been saying all along. He now knew.
Yes, David knew. Lycanthrope, Werewolf, Beast, a Monster. The Lycanthrope turned to him in hunger. It needed to feed. The wolf stepped forward toward David. It sniffed the air around him with its large nose. Its nostrils were the size of golf balls now. David knew what it was. Lycanthrope… Lycanthrope… Wolf. David flung himself back into the corner. His feeling of safety and comfort melted away and was replaced with what he had previously felt. Fear. David tripped over himself and fell to the floor, staring up at the beast. It positioned itself in front of David and stuck its tongue out like a dog yearning for a treat. The beast opened its mouth and its thick saliva ran down its cheek. It placed its strong leg on top of David, preventing him from moving. David desperately pounded his fist against the monster’s leg but to no avail. With each blow the beast looked angrier and hungrier. It lifted its foot up and smashed it into David’s side, rupturing his ribs. David screamed in pain as his arms fell to his side and he faced to the heavens, now struggling to breathe. Each breath he took felt like a sharp knife stabbing into his side. His eyes welled with hot tears that ran down his face. David felt the salty taste in his mouth as well as the searing pain throughout his body. He was far outmatched by the Wolf that assaulted him. The wolf bent down in front of David’s face and sneered at him in victory. David stared at the wolf in hatred and spat at it, quickly causing the wolf to lose its grin. David was now the one smirking, glad he could make the wolf as unhappy as could be. With that, David leaned his head back and awaited the beast to emancipate him from life. He awaited the sharp daggers for teeth the wolf had to tear into his throat and consume him. He awaited the beast to rip him into two pieces with its enormous hands. He awaited the beast to plunge him into eternal darkness. The wolf opened its mouth and… David looked up in surprise. It had no teeth. All that stood in its mouth were gums where teeth should be, but there were no teeth there. A slim black tongue like that of a snake exited the wolf’s mouth. The tongue was forked and dark as char. It approached David’s mouth, attempted to enter. David tightly closed his mouth shut, realizing he was still afraid of death even if he was utterly helpless. David grunted and kept his mouth shut, annoying the wolf further. The wolf curled its fist into a ball and struck David in the gut, leaving his mouth gaping ajar.
The wolf’s tongue entered David’s mouth. David gagged as it touched the back of his throat, but the wolf forced the tongue down his throat even further. The tongue was impossible in length, as David felt it scratching the walls of his esophagus. David squirmed in discomfort, the tongue traveling further and further downward. The wolf began to inhale, its tongue acting as a makeshift straw. David felt lightheaded, yet the discomfort remained. The wolf snarled as its tongue wiggled in David’s stomach. David’s skin turned pale. His air was running out. David looked for a split second at the wolf’s tongue. It was covered in a thick black substance that appeared to be coming from inside of David. David’s eyes fluttered as he felt himself passing out from a lack of oxygen. His head fell to the floor.
It was then the wolf ripped its tongue out from David’s throat and stepped backward. David gasped for air, clutching his chest and trying to compose himself. As soon as he caught his breath, the wolf jumped back onto him and resumed his assault once more.
A policeman arrived at a house by the woods after he was sent to investigate a strange call an operator had received earlier. The policeman entered the home, noting there was no sign of forced entry. Walking into the living room, the officer found a man slumped against a corner. A thick, chunky, black substance was spilled on the floor next to him, and the man was pale, with tear stains across his face. His eyes were wide open and he rocked back and forth in a fetal position. His expression never changed, and neither did the words he repeated in a shaky voice, eyes staring ahead unmoving, silver pupils radiating from his sockets like a burning flame.