Norton flattened the leaves under his heavyset frame. The gun in his pocket didn’t relieve him of the distress he was experiencing. He hopped over logs and fallen branches, but soon ran out of breath as a cramp began emerging in his ribs. No matter how much pain there is you must endure and keep running, he thought to himself. The loud grunts and footsteps behind made him turn around and look, the sight filled him with fear. Why? Why would they send me out here to use me as bait? he asked himself as the anger at his friends arose. However, it couldn’t get to him now, as the thing chasing him had malicious intent in the dark forest, where it preyed. Where it was life or death.
Without stopping, he turned around and desperately fired shots at the thing behind him. The loud pop of the gun lit the dark forest momentarily. This monster had been terrorizing Baggotstown for an eternity, and was a intelligent, evil apparition that had an uncanny ability to be elusive. The monster was stealthy and vicious, ruthless and wicked. All the townspeople referred to it as “The Demon,” which is what it looked like. The beast had pure evil coursing through its veins and seeping from its skin, and was the size of a full grown rhinoceros.
The people of this town were not allowed to leave because the beast kept them captive. Many of them tried to leave and none were successful. They accepted the fact that every so often it would take someone, and despite them all hating this thing, they couldn’t kill it, as it wouldn’t show itself if the whole town mustered up the courage and tried to stop it. Visitors were few and far between, and whenever there was an unlucky passerby the beast made sure they were no more.
Sweat and tears of fear were running down his face, the large gash on his torso from a sharp branch oozed with blood. His mind was racing with a thousand thoughts. Taking another glance behind him, he saw the beast more clearly, which made him shiver with terror. The beast had horns on the top of its head with giant claws and a body that was muscular and dark as coal. Pure evil occupied the demon’s red eyes, and its giant knife-like teeth could devour a human whole.
“Mackenzie! Alphonse, Get ready!” he shrieked with terror.
“Norton!!! Are you there?” This faint call in the distance filled his heart with hope.
The footsteps behind him came to an unforeseen stop and he slowed to look around. Darkness was all around him as the tall trees and branches only let the littlest amount of moonlight creep in, a small shell from the bullet that had been fired was on the forest floor. He turned around and ran to his friends.
“Is it coming?” Russ said.
“Can you give him some time? For god sake he’s bleeding gravy right now,” Mackenzie said.
“No. We came here to kill the demon, we knew the risks, we didn’t come here to cuddle with someone every time they get a little hurt or a little scared,” Russ responded.
Snapping out of his temporary trauma, Norton opened his mouth, “It’s huge! It stopped chasing me, but it might be behind us.”
“Alright, get to your positions, and be ready, it could strike at any second,” Alphonse demanded.
They sat there for a while anticipating the demon would fall into their ambush. The demon had taken people close to this group of kids, and they were about fed up living in fear. For Mackenzie it had been her sister, for Alphonse it had been his dad, for Russ it was his brother, and Jennifer’s whole family had been slaughtered by this monster. Norton was frightened and furious that this horrid creature constantly ripped their town to shreds and had plunged many into fear and hopelessness.
They waited for a while and as they crouched in their hiding spots, and began to yell with frustration when the woods fell completely silent.
“It’s not coming, we should send someone back out,” Mackenzie offered.
“No, Norton barely lived, we might not get that lucky again,” Alphonse said.
“We have to be alone, that’s what we know, it’s not attacking us because we’re all together. And there is no way I’m going back out,” Norton stated.
“I’ll go,” Jennifer bravely responded.
She was still in mourning after her family had recently been killed by the beast. They lived on the outskirts of the woods in a run-down shack. She had witnessed the whole thing. The demon knocked down the door and first attacked Jennifer’s parents in the living room. Her brother Jake then came and hit it with a pipe.
The monster then stopped feasting on the flesh of her parents and stabbed its claws right through him. Jake was in his last year of high school, about three months away from graduating, and a bright future ahead of him. As the chaos unfolded, Jennifer ran to avoid death, and took refuge at Norton’s house where she stayed in mourning for a week, which took her to this night, when they combined their forces and seeked vengeance.
Walking out into the dark woods with fear filling her heart. She had been dreaming of wiping this demon off the face of the earth, ever since it killed her family. She gripped the wooden axe tightly in her hands with the thought of revenge plaguing her mind, walking along the dark woods, keeping her head on a swivel and jumping at any movement. She could feel it, sense the evil lurking in the shadows just waiting to kill the last member of the family. It didn’t know or care, Jennifer thought. It was an evil creature of habit that didn’t have any empathy for anyone or anything.
The police had found half chewed up deer, bears, and even small rabbit bones. They certainly didn’t do anything, and these five kids were angry, they knew that if the unmotivated police tried to kill it they’d end up dying themselves. However, they were frustrated from the lack of caring and effort from the authorities, the people that only pretended to “protect” this town. Despite there being no safeplace from this thing, nowhere were they could relax and not be looking over their back every other minute.
“Come out you filthy beast!” Jennifer cried out. “I know you’re out there, finish what you started! You had no problem ripping my family into a thousand pieces, so finish me off!”
She suddenly heard movement and felt a force stronger than a thousand gorillas ram into her backside, which sent her flying into a tree, hitting her head on the stump with great impact, making blood stream from her temple.
Getting up at the stump of the tree, she began swinging mercilessly. Face to face with it now. Seeing it up close filled Jennifer with rage, bringing the axe across her body and swinging it with all her might. The beast mimicked the action with his arm and knocked the axe away.
It had flung far and Jennifer ran to it, but not before the beast was a hold of her leg, she reached for the handle of the axe. She grabbed hold of the splintery wooden part and brought it across the opened mouth of the demon, its mouth seemed as though it was a gaping hole, with nothing but teeth that were used to slice people up. It stumbled back, not expecting resistance. Slicing and slashing at it, bitterly. The beast roared out in anger. C’mon, the other guys must have heard that, right.
Jennifer brought the axe above her head trying to land the finishing blow, attempting to bring the axe down. But not before the demon had drove its claws through the middle of her body which sent her falling to the ground.
The beast stomped over to her body. “Sc..screw you!” Jennifer said coughing blood as she muttered the words.
The beast dragged her dead corpse across the forest floor, leaving a trail of warm blood on the forest floor.
* * *
Back at the site, the rest of the group began to grow weary. They trekked along, not going too far, searching for Jennifer. After looking for a while, getting nowhere they regrouped, getting frustrated with their lack of progress and their fear of the unknown.
“What the hell?! She’s been gone for like an hour now,” Alphonse stated angrily.
“It’s over for her. She’s gone, we have to move on,” Mackenzie said.
Norton said, “You don’t know that! She could still be out there.”
“She’s dead,” Russ said sadly. “She’s dead, and we have to finish the job.”
“I agree, we need to send someone else out there,” Alphonse said.
“That’s a stupid thing to do,” Mackenzie said. “We’re 0-2 on that, there is no way we’re gonna send someone else out to go and…” She was unable to finish the statement as the thought of her sister, Jamie, came back to her. Unlike Jennifer, she wasn’t there to see Jamie get eaten alive by this thing. Her sister had been walking home from the store when the monster killed her. They found the body weeks later in the woods, the remains unrecognizable. The flesh had been almost completely torn off and her body dismembered.
Alphonse breaking the silence while Mackenzie recovered, said “We’ll split up, Russ you come with me. And we’ll end this. You two try to find Jennifer.”
Mackenzie and Norton were afraid and puzzled. Russ and Alphonse were ready to take this monster head on and so they left Mackenzie and Norton to venture out on themselves.
“We’re here!” Russ called out. He was very close with his brother, until the monster preyed on his sibling at just nine years old. His brother and Russ were orphans that took sanctuary in abandoned buildings and lived off scraps. One day when they were going out to gather food and supplies, they split up and told each other they would meet in the townsquare, which was when his brother was attacked. There was never a moment that went by that since the attack where he wasn’t filled with doubt and hate. However, tonight would be the chance to get his revenge.
They covered as much ground as they could while staying in eyesight of each other, screaming at the top of their lungs, attempting to draw the monster out. They were banging on the tree’s with their wooden bats, guns in the other hand.
“Where the hell is this thing? We’re screaming like Michael Jackson out here,” Russ asked in frustration.
“It’ll come, it came the last time,” Alphonse said with regret. His dad had been a cop when the demon took him. He was too young to grasp the weight of the event. But as he grew older his hatred for the town grew, and the thing that took away his father became the devil in his mind.
They heard rustling in the bushes and looked to see dark glaring eyes peer out.
“Holy crap,” Alphonse said without thinking before raising his gun and shooting at the monster. It darted away from the bullets and ran full speed into him, knocking him over.
It turned toward Russ and swung at him with its sharp claws which made him duck and fire a shot that hit the beast in the ribs, it screamed in agony. Alphonse got to his feet and bludgeoned the demon with the bat, already out of ammo. Slumping over, the beast fell to its knees. Russ fired the last of his gunshots connecting on two, one to the chest and the other to the shoulder. It fell to the ground appearing to be finished.
Russ rushed over to see if it indeed was dead. The monster made one final effort by grabbing him by the arm and biting it off, the blood squirted out of the gaping hole where his limb once was.
Too shocked to let out a full scream he yelled, “Ahhhrgg!”
Russ landed on his back before the pool of blood from his wound began to engulf him.
Alphonse rushed and the demon ran its claws through the middle of his body, nearly splitting him in half.
The monster began to drag the two bodies through the woods but before it could do that Norton and Mackenzie made their move. He shot at it first, injuring it even further. She then threw a knife with surprising accuracy, stabbing the monster in the back. It turned its attention towards them and charged.
They both froze in terror until Mackenzie spoke up and screamed, “Shoot the bastard, will you!”
He emptied half of his shots on the beast, one landed in the other shoulder, and another penetrated the black skin on it’s waist. This caused the monster to trip and fall about five feet in front of them.
Both of them wisely did not make the same mistake their friends had made. Instead, Norton fired the rest of his shots into the monster's head, making sure it was dead. As it reached out desperately to defend itself, Mackenzie ran up and stabbed its arm with another knife, which made the beast’s hand fall to the ground. And there, despite the losses, they stood triumphant over the dead beast.
The town rejoiced when the news broke that the beast was dead. And celebrated Mackenzie and Norton as well as recognized the bravery that Russ, Jennifer, and Alphonse showed.