Hannah and the Hell Hound

September 13, 2009
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Hannah sat alone. City Hall rose up behind her like a grey giant who was slowly but surely being devoured by the creeping night. Trees began to darken, flaunting their jagged silhouettes against the dying sun in an almost taunting way. The edges of lawns and streets melted together to form one black river. A backpack was Hannah's only companion as she waited impatiently. She wrapped her hoodie tighter around her body as a brisk Autumn breeze sprinted by.

Hannah pulled her sleeve back and squinted at the digital watch strapped to her wrist. Eight forty-five. He said he would be there at seven thirty. Had he forgotten or had Hannah been, as they say, 'stood up'? Either way, she was angry. Forgetting homework and breaking curfew to not have your significant other show up was not worth her while.

Hannah sat there fuming for a moment, deciding on what to do when she saw him tomorrow at school. First thing in the morning, she would take him aside and ask him why he didn't show. If he forgot, then she would coyly forgive him and pretend it never happened. If he purposely didn't show up, then she would ignore him for a few days and see what he did.

Forcing the cold, stabbing pain of abandonment down into some out-of-the-way crevace in her heart, Hannah rose from the stairs. She slung her backpack over her shoulder, zipped up her hoodie over the stylish t-shirt she had worn specially for him, and walked off.

As she headed home, the street lamps illuminated, worrying her. If Hannah arrived home any later, her parents would be furious with her. She began to fantasize about galloping home on a race horse, or better yet, in a three hundred and fifty horse powered car. She checked her watch again. It was nine o' clock on a school night, and she was still five streets away from home. The sun had sunk a good ten minutes ago. There had to be a quicker way.

Hannah rounded the corner where a tall, ancient church with pasty white walls stood presiding over all who journied on the road. Its stained glass windows were dark and sinister, like the same ones you would see in an exorcist movie. Hannah recalled a modest cemetery behind the old church. If she walked through the cemertery and took the back roads it led to, she would be on her street sooner than if she continued down the main road. Without a second thought, Hannah cut through the church's parking lot, and headed for the cemetery.

The cemetery had no street lamps stationed around the place. In the dim light of the half moon, graves dating back to as far as the Victorian Era stood half sunken into the leaf strewn ground. The land was void of any trees, allowing the chilly wind room to dance. Most would consider Hannah a fool to cross such an eerie place at night, but she wasn't afraid. She stopped believing in ghosts and monsters years ago, and she had no reason to fear graveyards. They were nothing more than final resting places for inanimate corpses.

Silence hung over the grave stones. Hannah had made it to the middle of the cemetery, frightened only of the trouble she would be in when she got home. Suddenly, a sharp burst of laughter some distance away startled her. Her blood pushed against her wrists as she turned her head in the direction of the laugh.

Three figures hovered by a monument of an angel. Ghosts? No, there were no such things as ghosts. Hannah squinted through the muddy darkness and made out a trio of boys talking amongst themselves. A faint glow of red flashed between one's fingers, and a whisp of smoke rose up into the night. A murmur of profanities and another chorus of laughter pierced the night.

Hannah immediately regretted taking a short cut. She thought of turning around, but home was just a few minutes away. She bowed her head and walked briskly past the tomb stones. She wished he was here to walk her home, but she couldn't afford getting bogged down with thoughts of him right now. When the exit's wrought iron gates rose in the distance, Hannah felt relieved and picked up her pace when a deep voice sounded from by the angel.

"Hey, baby, where're you going?"

Hannah halted and whipped her head around. They had spotted her. Even in the dark, she could see the mocking, lascivious grins on their faces. Her heart beat violently. Her face burned. She had to ignore them. She had to head for the exit, but she was paralyzed. The boys' gibes continued.

"What're you doing out so late, huh?"

"Stay a while. We'll treat you real nice."

They hooted with laughter. The one with the joint in his hand took as few steps in her direction. She had to get out of there.

Hannah wanted to break into a run, but that might entice them to follow her. The boy drew closer. She didn't know what to do. She found her body incapable of doing the things she should in a situation like this.

She watched as the boy's pace suddenly slowed, his walk turning into a crawl, then finally a complete stop. His confident face disappeared as well. Wearing an expression of the utmost horror, he gaped straight past Hannah. She turned around as well. Her stomach dropped.

A hulking mass of black fur stood behind her. Supporting the mass were four stocky legs held up by heavy paws immersed in an apparitional mist. Its pointy ears resembled the horns of a demon. From its open, snarling mouth dripped saliva, running down dagger-like white teeth. But the most terrifying of this monster was its eyes. Hannah glimpsed her own death within it's burning red eyes.

The beast began to growl, a deep guttural sound. It walked forward, sending vibrations through the ground. Hannah's heart stopped. A scream caught in her throat. Adrenaline surged through her body, but her muscles refused to move. The monster dog was close. Hannah knew it was going to attack her, and yet she could not do a thing about it. She braced herself.

But the attack never came.

She watched as the monster thumped past her, not sparing her so much as one menacing glance. It stalked towards the boys, who stood frozen in terror. It stopped a few feet from them, head lowered, fur bristled, and claws dug firmly into the ground in front of Hannah. The growl churning in the monster's throat abruptly turned into three booming barks, spit flying from its mouth.

The boys didn't stay for the whole show. On the first bark, they took off running. They were gone within the blink of an eye, their shouts fading away into the night.

And when they were gone, Hannah realized that she was all alone in the dark graveyard with no one but the hell hound standing poised with its back to her.

The dog watched the boys leave before turning around to face Hannah. For the second time that night, she wanted to run away as fast as she could, but she didn't want to turn her back on the monster.

The dog held Hannah's gaze as it positioned itself squarely before of her. Slowly, it slid forward on its enormous front paws through the surrounding mist. It looked imploringly up at her, a small whine escaping from its now closed muzzle.

Hannah stood there, confused. What was wolfish monster seconds ago now acted like a lost puppy. The dog rose and padded towards her. It licked her hand. Warm slobber dripped from her dead cold fingers, and in spite of herself, she laughed.

The phantom dog blinked and wagged its plume-like tail. Hannah smiled at it, and began to head for the graveyard's exit. The kind beast followed her. She did not object. The dog would see her home. The dog would protect her along the way. He was a true gentleman. She did not know where he had come from. For all Hannah knew, he could have been born from her own terror, but she was not scared anymore.

Relieved and grateful, Hannah walked off into the night with her supernatural guardian by her side, embracing her fears, and being embraced by the darkness in return.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

dragonfan said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm
wow,now this is cool!
Jazzy said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm
Awesome story! Can't wait to go to your first book signing!
Lady_Whatsit replied...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Thank you ^^
Daniel9854 said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 5:38 pm
really great story.. hope there will be other ones as good as this in your future..
stephmom said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 11:40 am
Fantastic work! Keep it up and I know you will be a famous writer one day! Love Mom
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