The Blood of the Beast

Darkness crept through the thick air; it was not thick with pressure, but thick with something else that the woman could quite describe. Terror? Silence? Or something else? It was hard to say. She had been told of the terrors of this land, and she did not believe it. Why would see? Only days ago had she learned of the creature of this small village, and it seemed stupid to think that a creature, like described, could have existed.

She walked the small path that led to the village. The night sky was silent: dead silent. She could not even hear her own foot steps on the leaves or the sound of the birds flying above her. As the small town unfolded before her, a hard pressure seemed to be forced upon her body. Her stomach turned with a feeling of uneasiness as she reached the first row of buildings. The buildings were streaked with something dark; she moved in closer to the walls, her hands on her gut, and her feet moving slowly, as if approaching an enemy. She was right before it, and it was only when the clouds shifted above her, and the moon grew lighter, that she was able to see what it was. It was like a painting, the streaks splattered in every direction that it looked like a painting of someone’s dream, or someone’s last moments. Rosaline could not move. Her eyes were pierced on this wall, and although there were bound to be more walls and buildings like this one, she was transfixed.

Rosaline noticed a general path that the strokes of blood created and followed it. It went down the wall, to a small corner on the right, and turned with the wall. She could not see well now because the building, which seemed not to be some sort of house or shop made of stone, blocked the moon’s light. But she could see a dark line, darker than the building itself, and followed it further. She had to constantly realign her dark hair because it was getting in her way, and touching the wall. As she wiped away some specks of blood from her hair, she saw the line turn again, and it led to the back of the building. It was an alleyway, and she followed the line.

She did not know why she followed it, but this was an interesting line of red that Rosaline found. The line stopped abruptly, as did Rosaline when she found it. The thing that made it must have been moved away, but as she looked around, Rosaline disregarded that thought: there was not blood on the floor, no path to follow. Either, she thought, he had vanished, which was highly unlikely, or he was eaten, which, by now seemed more probable. But then a thought entered her head that seemed unimportant but necessary to think about: Was it a man? Or a woman? She could not tell by the wall’s tale or the horrible artwork on the wall. Dismissing that from her head, she looked around, curiously, and noticed something: there was an end to the alleyway, where this building, and the building next to it, was connected by a wall. But that was not what had caught her eye. It was what was laying in the corner of the wall and the building that had made her stop cold in her pursuit. It was covered in darkness, and she could not see what it was. She looked back at the empty street, and turned to the thing. Her stomach was uneasy and she felt lightheaded and dizzy. Placing her hand on the wall, bracing herself so that she would not fall, she walked, slowly, to the corner of the alley.

Her feet were soft on the dirt path to the dark corner. Grasping on the wall, she was able to see what it was from ten feet away, but she wanted to get closer, to make her face this. She stood in front of it, her stomach wrenching. Rosaline wanted to throw up. The thing was person. The face was completely destroyed and pieces of pick and grey mush was everywhere. She could not tell if it was a man or a woman, but a large chest and the way that it was dressed made her think of a man, who was, probably, caught by something. This thought, suddenly, made her think of the creature that she had heard about. When she looked back at the corpse, or lack-thereof, it nearly verified the existence of such a creature. The thing was pressed down, or looked to have been pressed down, by a large weight, and the clothes that he was wearing were shredded, they were stained a dark, haunting red that matched the lines on the walls. The thing had a foul scent to it, and Rosaline was about to vomit. She was told that she had a strong stomach, especially because she worked as a farmer with her father and mother and cleaned the sties and butchered cattle. But this was too much to handle, and she turned away.
Stammering, she kept her hand on the wall and hurried down the alleyway back the way she came. The air smelled of rancid flesh and s***, and it continued down the path. Rosaline was surprised that she did not smell it before. She must have put the smell out of her mind when she was entranced by the line of blood on the walls. Keeping her eyes shut and holding back a spray of vomit, she reached the main road and breathed in. It did not help much. She opened her eyes a tiny bit and could not see anything; the moon was covered by the clouds. Rosaline was drained from what she had seen down the alley. Her face to the ground, her hand to her stomach, she rested for a bit, until something on the floor caught her eye. Concentrating on this one thing, her upset feeling in her faded and was replaced with terror. She bent down and picked it up. Bringing it up to eye level, and moving out of the alley and into the moonlight, she looked at the clump of course hair in her hand. It was a light brown, which resembled her hair, but it was thicker than hers. Moving it around in her fingers, she felt it move, and she felt some sort of crust on the other side. Rotating it in her hand, she looked at the other side and dropped it to the ground, letting it land in a dark puddle. She looked around her, trying to comprehend what was once in her hand. She looked down at it in the puddle of blood and saw the piece of flesh that the air was attached to it. It was red.
Backing up, she lifted her head and her stomach dropped. She was unable to hold it in anymore. She vomited bits and chucks of food and stomach fluid, now yellow and brown, and let it burst out of mouth as she fell to the ground. The sight was unbearable. There was blood everywhere. Smoke was coming from every direction as bodies, smashed, lay all over the street in every shape imaginable. Heads were smashed on the ground, pieces of skulls and brain everywhere: on the walls; on carts and doors; on everything.
Rosaline started crying. If she did not know that this town was where her brother moved to, and she had visited many times before, she would have thought this was Hell. Then her lightheadedness got worse as she thought of it. Her brother. He had moved here. Had he…, she thought to herself. The tears continued, worse than before. Where was he? Where was her one and only brother, her twin? Where was Gregory?

Rosaline felt sick as something shook her to her core. A roar filled the night sky with rage. Her tears were flowing harder, and she fought back a scream of sadness. She thrashed her head upward, and she nearly fell to the ground from dizziness. Bracing herself on the ground, she looked around, trying to find where the sound came from. She could hear flapping above her as dark birds flew from the trees and went over the city. They came, she thought, from the forest. She looked up at the trees that were atop a hill, and behind them there was another hill. Rosaline stood, holding on to the building and ignoring the blood that flowed from the building onto her hand. A building, she thought. She looked at the hill, and on it she could see a small little building resting there. She stammered, tears rolling, to the entrance to the town to get a better view of the hill. Once out the city, she could barely stand; she did not have anything to brace upon. But she did not care; she ignored it and looked up at the house. Looking at it, she could barely see anything. It was too dark and too far away. The clouds moved away from the moon, and the light brought to light something that was once invisible to her. She saw it: the creature. It was looking at her. Rosaline could not fight her dizziness anymore. Slowly she fell onto the trampled ground. She could not breathe anymore, and she let her fear take her away. She fainted, her lightheadedness taking hold, and leaving her body to wait for the creature.





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