I realized that I hadn’t shared any of my short stories as of late and decided that I would today. I actually wrote this flash fiction over a year ago (July 2011) for a writing contest. The prompt was: an animal is following you. Enjoy! 😉
Written by J. Marie Ravenshaw
I’d taken this route through the woods many times before; but, there was something about the atmosphere that night that gave me the creeps. I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that someone, or something, was following me. I turned around several times to see if something was there, only to find nothing.
The moon overhead was so bright and full that the trees surrounding me cast macabre dancing shadows over the pathway. I shivered in the crisp night air, wrapping the jacket tighter around my body.
The sound of snapping twigs drew my attention. I whipped my head around; narrowing my eyes, trying to catch a glimpse of whatever caused the noise. Something was coming toward me. The sound of heavy footfalls in dry brush echoed throughout the woods surrounding me.
My heart was racing, beating into my throat. My chest heaved with my quickened breaths. My fight or flight response was firing on all cylinders and I turned tail, running as fast as I could.
The wind rushed through my hair as I sprinted through the thick foliage. Thick branches broke behind me; I was being pursued, hunted. I could see the edge of the woods ahead. A burst of speed, my strides were lengthening. I was almost there …
Something hit from me from behind, hard. I flew into the clearing and rolled once, twice. White starbursts exploded behind my eyelids as the back of my head struck the ground. I lay there, gasping for breath; then slowly opened my eyes. My vision was edged with fog; a wave of dizziness overcame me. I quickly closed my eyes once again and swallowed past the lump in my throat, trying to keep the bile that crept at bay.
I could hear it before I saw it. A low rumbling sound assailed my ears, growling. My eyes snapped open. I found myself staring, wide-eyed, at the full moon above. The ground had a slight tremble to it. Whatever was stalking toward me was massive. I slowly lifted my head.
A blood curdling scream bubbled up from the depths of me. I scrambled backward, and flipped over onto my stomach trying to gain my footing. My fingertips dug into the moist earth as I tried to pull myself up.
I’d started running full-tilt when I was hit from behind again. The beast was on me; his body weight pinned me to the ground. My cheek was pressed into the moist earth. A musty, cloying scent wafted to my nostrils. My body vibrated with the beast’s growl. My eyes shifted upward.
The beast’s lips curled back from its sharpened teeth, glistening in the moonlight. It snuffled along my neck, its hot breath scalding my flesh. Its breath smelled of meat … raw, bloody meat. Thick strands of saliva fell from its gaping maw, dripping and pooling onto the back of my neck.
I winced, whimpering as tears ran down my cheeks in rivulets. I knew what was coming. I didn’t even have a chance. The beast toyed with me. It seemed to want to drag out the fear as if the waves emanating from me were a fine wine that it sipped delicately.
My panic seemed to excite the beast. It threw its head back and bayed at the moon. The ominous sound echoed through the woods, causing shivers to run up and down my spine. I started sobbing even louder, my body was trembling.
The last thing I remember was teeth tearing into my neck …