No sound could come from Jeremy’s lips, he was in agony. He had decided to walk into the trees to put on his swimming trunks so Katherine wouldn’t see him change, but the entire time he felt as though he was being watched; stalked almost. Then he knew; he was not alone and yes he was being stalked, but he could see absolutely nothing in the pitch dark of …the trees, they blocked every bit of light that the moon could provide. Jeremy was blind. Whatever this thing was; was close to him that much he could feel. Too close to him in fact. Swinging wildly, he struggled to see, searching for this thing that he knew was near; not caring if he was buck-naked. Exposed in more than one way.
Katherine, that’s it, Katherine must be playing a joke on him. That had to be it, but just as he tried to call out her name, to spoil her trick, he found himself falling to the ground; pain wracking his entire body. Jeremy felt as if he was being ripped apart piece by piece. He was dying in the woods. His thoughts, consumed too much with pain let only one realization in and that was it. ‘He was dying in the woods; alone and naked.’ Never seeing his attacker, the source of all his pain, before he passed out, all he could see was the clouds; closing in on him, blocking out what was left of the night sky. This was it.
A girl’s voice cut through the night in an effort to find Jeremy, Katherine had no idea what indeed was waiting for her within the trees. It may have been hidden from her, but the creature knew exactly where she was. It could smell her scent, hear her heart beating, see her glowing silhouette in the waning moonlight, the creature could almost taste her blood and bones between its razor teeth; and soon it would. She was young, fresh, and pure; a delicacy to be savored. The other killings, though tasteful and somewhat satisfying, had been over too quickly. The creature was no longer thrilled with just ripping apart its prey. It wanted more than to shred her body to bloody pieces; the creature wanted to play with its food first. It wanted to chase her, to track her down, to smell her fear, her sweat, to hear and even feel her pulse racing, and then when it was ready, when the girl was ripe it would strike. Slowly devouring her. Ripping the skin from her arms and legs while she watched; writhing in pain. Her screams would be its music, then it would let her crawl away only to pounce once more. It would hold her down snapping at her, pawing her flesh to shreds, and then, right before she fell into unconsciousness it would sink its teeth into her face and neck to feel one final surge of life before death.
Slightly scared, but not wanting to show it, Katherine, began walking into the dark and suddenly menacing woods. Little did she know that the hunt was on. Half expecting Jeremy to leap out and grab her, half fearing that he wouldn’t; she called out to him one last time, but the reply she received was not Jeremy’s.
The creature breathed deep and hard almost growling at her; commanding her to run. For how was it supposed to chase its meat if she didn’t run?
Katherine rose to the bait swinging around, striking the beast in the jaw, mistaking it for Jeremy. Feeling not the soft, warm face of a lovable prankster, but the course, hairy, wet, hot flesh of a monster.
It only smiled at her, turning back its thick, rubbery, black lips; presenting its bone white and blood stained teeth.
A shriek of terror surged throughout her body and across her lips sending her backwards deeper into the woods. Soon it would catch up to her and then… she immediately realized her mistake and with a burst of adrenaline changed directions, heading for the open beach and the motorcycle. Her heart pounding harder than ever before and her legs pumping faster than she had ever pushed them, she burst through the trees and onto the sand with such force that the soft granules gave way beneath her feet. Her arms flailed wildly as both her legs went in opposite directions. Katherine regained her footing, but in turn lost what precious little time that she had put between her and her hunter. Panic began to engulf her, clouding her mind as she continued to run down the shore. Her hopes of reaching the bike had all but dissipated when she saw it standing in wait like an angel in the sand. She was saved; or so she thought. Twenty feet, ten feet, five, with a sharp growl and a snap of its massive jaws the thing of nightmares was in front of her, blocking the bike and her escape. Shrieking, Katherine slid to a stop leaving her sitting in the sand. Turning back towards the woods and scrambling to her feet she ran. Even her mind was beginning to play tricks on her; she could have sworn she heard the thing laughing.
It wasn’t her mind; it was laughing at her enjoying the chase it had desired for so long. Exhilaration consumed the beasts’ body; a high greater than any drug man could experience. So much so that it had to use every fiber within its twisted body to restrain itself from lunging after her. No, it had to be patient, to savor it. She had to suffer, so it laid in wait. Soon lightening streaked across the blackened sky followed by an explosion of thunder so strong it shook the ground. Then came the sheets of falling rain as thick as curtains. Each drop evaporating as it hit its fur ridden body leaving an eerie mist of steam enveloping the monster from Hell. Suddenly, without warning it let out a deafening, screeching howl loud enough to wake the dead. The hunt was on once more and this time no more waiting. The thirst for carnage was now beyond control and only a gruesome massacre could calm its own blood lust.
Exhausted, wet, terrified, and in agony Katherine struggled with her mind and her sanity. She knew in her gut that the creature was no longer right behind her, but she could not allow herself to slow down, because she also knew that she had not yet escaped death’s grip. That thing was intelligent enough to cut off her path to the bike, a thought which terrified her. It had to have know her intentions which meant that not only was the thing capable of thought, but of reasoning and in no way was it just going to give up and let her go. The rain had come fast and hard and with it the unholy howl of the beast. She knew then exactly what its intentions were; it was hunting her. Tracking her through the woods; playing some sick game of predator and prey. The chase was on again, she knew this, and as the ground began to turn from sandy to rocky she struggled not to slow her pace. The trees began to thin out; the stony terrain became steep and sharp. Katherine was forced to slow down, and the realization that she would soon have to seek some sort of hiding place worked itself from the back of her mind to the very front; until hiding was her only thought. It would catch up to her within seconds and when it did she would face a fate worse than death itself.
Hiding was her only hope now. Even the road was not an option for her. At this time of night no one would be out especially with the curfew and she would be in the open; an easy target. She continued over the rocks, the road to her right and the lake to her left, Katherine was trapped.
The thing from beyond the deepest depths was closing in on her, thought it was taking its sweet time, imagining every little thing it was going to do to her soft pink flesh, smelling everything, enjoying the hunt. Her fear, her heart beat, her sweat, all enthralling and enticing it forward. The beasts own heart beating with excitement was in rhythm with her own fear ridden one. Its breath as deep and heavy with anticipation as was hers with fatigue. Its muscles as tight and sore with rage as was hers with weakness. It was time to quicken the pace and bring its cornered meal to its brutal end.
The horrifying screams of delight and torture were growing louder with every second, echoing in her ears and her mind. Not even the roaring thunder could drown them out of her soul. Each cry a taunt to her saying, “I’m coming. I’m coming closer… and closer. I’m coming to get YOU. I know where you are. I know you’re close. I’m coming. You’d better run. RUN!” The faster she ran from her tormentor the more difficult it was for her to keep her balance, she was running over rocks and scrambling over boulders blindly feeling her way as best she could. Katherine could barely see between the darkness and the rain, but now hot salty tears were flowing, blurring everything around her. She was beginning to lose all hope of surviving when her foot slipped and she began to fall uncontrollably into a hole. Her body hit the hard dusty ground of the hidden cave with such force that every ounce of air was knocked from her lungs. Her back and buttocks began to bruise as a new kind of pain surged through her body, but the worst part was that she had no idea where she was or what had happened to her. Her hands were clutching solid ground covered with a layer of loose dirt, sand, and fresh mud, and her breathing seemed to echo all around, surrounding her. Too terrified to cry out for help or even to cry out in agony, Katherine slowly dragged herself across the coarse cave floor. The feeling of safety still evaded her, leaving her shivering as she groped her way to the furthest wall crawling tightly behind a formation of stalagmites. Her breathing was as hard and rapid as her pulse, and her heart beat so fiercely it nearly drowned out the horrifying howls of her tormentor, and threatened to burst from her chest from fear and weariness. Struggling to block out the terrifying chills of its angry cry, yet knowing that she must listen tore at her sanity. She needed to know, and only by listening would she learn how close the thing was to her, and how close she was to an agonizing death. The more she strained her ears the harder the rain pounded and the louder the thunder clashed until there was nothing but the raging storm outside.
After what seemed like an eternity of sitting motionless, waiting in the menacing entity of blackness that swallowed her mind, body, and soul, Katherine’s heart finally began to slow and the pounding in her ears gently eased, as did her breathing. A calmness began to embrace her body and Katherine reluctantly began to relax, carefully allowing herself to close her red, stinging eyes and bow her head thankful to God Almighty that she had at last, finally evaded the demon. Exhaustion and panic had engulfed her entire being as she broke down into an uncontrollable sob. All of the terror that she had struggled so hard to suppress in order to keep her senses about her had shoved through the floodgates of her mind and was now tirading her soul, until she no longer had the energy to cry. Slowly she drew her knees to her chest and laid her soaking wet head on the rocky wall behind her. Finally, empty tired and sore, she opened her swollen bloodshot eyes to the darkness around her. A mistake she immediately regretted, the storm was at its zenith and with a clash of thunder and stroke of lightning, a horrifying figure loomed in the newly apparent entranceway of the cave. How long the demon had been there she did not know, but death had found her and she was completely trapped.
Raised upon its massive, matted, hind legs, the beast swayed slowly back and forth, its rubbery nose inhaling quickly yet deeply, pinpointing her blood ridden body, and smiling.
Katherine froze; daring not even to breathe, but still it came closer and closer to her rocky hiding place and to her.
The creature swayed and sniffed, swayed and sniffed, covering every inch of the confining cave. It knew exactly where its toy was hiding; that she had nowhere to run, and with each second the beast prolonged its grisly attack it could smell and taste the fear welling within her. Finally it crept towards the massive stalagmite, the girl’s final resting-place, snapping its saliva dripping jaws and puffing steaming hot breath from its leathery, wrinkled nostrils. This was the moment that it would rip out her still beating heart while she watched on in terror.
Katherine could only stare in awe as the creature slithered through the cave, covering every inch, smelling for her. Utterly helpless, all she could do was shake her head as it lay against her rocky prison. Then without warning a ray of hope flashed as Katherine felt her head dip into an opening beside her. Whether it was a hole or just a dip in the rock she couldn’t tell, but she had to try and in that same instant the thing leapt over the stalagmite, swinging its massive arms to catch her flesh and rip her open. She shoved her arms into the opening and pulled with all the strength that she could summon within her.
The monsters claws screeched in frustration as they scraped the rocky wall and tiny sparks of light exploded in fury. It screamed with the rage of Hell as it managed only to tear off her shoe and not her head. Its ears perked up sensing every vibration, every sound from the room beyond. Its eyes magnifying the lightning to behold its victim scramble against yet another rocky wall grasping at it, pathetically attempting to scurry away from her fate, but no matter how the beast twisted, turned, thrashed, or clawed at the opening its massive upper body would not squeeze through. The demons rage built and its blood boiled as the thing doubled its efforts. Slashing, clawing franticly at the ageless cave wall each time sending sparks flying like fairies escaping from an eternal prison, it tried with all its might to break away the barrier between them and slink through, finally relieving its pain and anger upon the soft pink flesh of the ripe girl inside.
Again, lightning streaked the sky, lighting the outer room of the cave as well as the monster inhabiting it. With each swipe of the claws, sparks flew into Katherine’s sanctuary, yet the realization that the thing could not fit through the hole had not set in. As franticly as the creature was trying to get in, she was now trying to find something to defend herself with. On her hands and knees, her arms moving wildly back and forth, her hands groping for anything as drastically as it was clawing the wall, her hand came to rest on what she, with a little probing, discovered to be a deformed skull. Disgusted, she screamed and not at the monster for once. She dropped the malformed bone to the sandy ground, and suddenly everything went quiet. With a flash of lightning, the demon had disappeared into the storm and she was finally alone.