The Human Howl
I came here to find a monster and I have. I take my shooter from its holster. My bottom jaw mimics the choked gun, rattling and dangling by my side. The beast is on the hunt and we have caught each other’s scent. I step further in to the deserted darkened woodland, breaking twigs as I prowl, revealing my position. I am ready to plunge my silver life chasers within the clip into the animal’s heart. The full moon is my torch but overgrown trees and clouds are my blindness here, interjecting its beam now and again and showing claw like shadows upon the ground. The raindrops run down my face, slowing my adrenaline and temperature getting any higher. I know he is around, I can feel him, every movement he makes, every time he takes a mouthful or charges for his prey, I know.
He not only touched my soul with his presence, he also tore the fear from my flesh a month prior in Central Park, I thought I killed him then but every cop gets it wrong in thirty-five years of work. As soon as I heard more bodies had been found, I followed the trail to this place, a new hunting ground and soon to be a new graveyard. That is why I am here, sleepless nights and countless nightmares, pills and whiskey shots, a wife that walked out on me with the kids, she said she couldn’t cope and now finally a dedicated job that no longer wants to know, so nothing less to lose. I raise that barrel to the sky, and fire three times towards the moon, I had no bell to call him for dinner. A huge branch takes out half the tree below, landing beside me, disturbing the leaves that were once part of it. I take my eyes skywards, following the trees body. The moonlight shines on top of me, like a spotlight, showing me to my bloodthirsty audience, ready to tear my act to parts.
Why am I here? Just looking at this bright rock in the sky makes me think deep about it… I know why, I am rock-bottom. Am I here to kill the big bad wolf? Or am I here to let the beast finish me off? As my obsession over him has separated everything from me, so why not let him separate my limbs while I am here. I drop my way out along with a tear, my gun was too heavy and my eyes have finally seen enough. Bring forth my fate and let it sink its teeth deep. A howl travels on the wind that passes through the forest floor, the leaves travel on it, scared, escaping the bloody scene this night will end in. I turn slowly to where the howl originated, all I can see is darkness and endless trees, broken twigs snap around me, at the side of me then behind, he is circling me.
Still in the light I fall to my knees, I am not going to fight this, just let it be over for me. I pull my wallet out and open it up, I brush my kid’s pictures with my finger, this will be the last I see of them as their father. That was a great day when this photograph was taken; Glenn threw up all over Molly at the beach. A grunt erupts in front of me; I lift my head to my destiny. The moon lights up the forest floor. Dropping my picture, I see the beast. It is the size of a bear on its hind legs; the coat on it is thick and its tail whips the air, he has me in his sights, about time.
I know it is him, even though he is about one hundred yards in front of me, bobbing his head from behind a tree. Show no fear; I can’t, not in front of my children. I laugh, louder and louder, so his attention isn’t broken by a squirrel or rabbit, I am no longer running but if he thinks I am going down without a fight, he has his meat slab mistaken. If he bites, I bite, when he slashes, I’ll throw a punch, so he will have to work before he gets fed. He puts his front paws to the floor and bows, lining up his back-end like a lion ready to attack. I paste my face with a smile of callous towards his intimidation. He lets out a roar that vibrates the strings on my heart, breath-taking me. He bounds from his creeping position with full force behind his legs, charging against the wind, out matching the sound of it with his roar for food. He tears through bushes at a speed that cannot be matched, blurring by the trees. He starts to slow up rapidly, until his is walking, tilting his head from side to side, he is at arm’s length from me.
I do not take my eyes from him; he stops, staring at me with his nothingness eyes. My heart wants to break free and present itself from my chest until it is at his feet. He comes in closer until we are nose to nose, his breath smells like death, my throat blocks up with sick but I manage to keep it down. His teeth are the size of assault rifle bullets and his snout is covered in someone’s blood. He must be at least eight feet tall. He sniffs my face, I make no movement. This must be it, here comes the kill, I close my eyes. A HOWL!!! I throw my hands over my ears, trying to block out the noise. It stops so suddenly, should I open my eyes? Nothing is happening… I open them slightly; his feet are gone from before me. I look up, the wolf is nowhere in sight.
I stand to my feet and use the back of my hand to wipe the sweat from my brow. I stare at the back of my hands, they are covered in hair, I pull on a clump then it begins… a pain like no other. I fall to the floor in agony holding my head. My bones are tearing me inside out. I begin to crawl on my stomach to my car beyond the forest, still on the road, what is happening. With ever breath I take, blood drips from my mouth, washing away my teeth and replacing them with blades. I look up to the moon and know why I was here truly. I can’t move anymore. I let out a scream which turns into a roar. I came here to find a monster and I have.
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