Night of the Howling Demon
By Mike Stevens
Night: stormy, foggy; dark. Into this surreal landscape (stormy, foggy, and dark) came Walter Claxon, hurrying home after a holiday party at his friend Tommy’s house. He hadn’t planned on getting quite so drunk; hence the need for walking, as he was in no condition to drive. Ahead loomed the silent forest, on the other side of which was his home.‘Boy, it sure is stormy, foggy, and dark out here!’ he thought to himself, as he stumbled his way towards home. The tall trees seemed to reach for him with branches of silent danger. It was spooky, too. He started humming just to have something to take him mind off being frightened. Onward he went, further into the stormy, foggy, and dark forest. Man, was he ever plowed! In the almost pitch-black, his drunk mind started to play tricks on him.
He was almost through the forest; he was almost home. He could see the lights of his sanctuary though the waving branches. Boy, he had really let his mind see things that weren’t there! He was going to cut way back on the alcohol, he reminded himself. He just couldn’t handle it like he used to be able to. Suddenly, from the heart of the stormy, foggy, and dark forest came an ungodly, high-pitched wail; sounding like an animal in unbearable agony.
He whipped his head around towards the sound, and saw nothing but a dark veil. His heart was thumping wildly in his chest. He wanted to be home, now!
At last, he staggered up to his front door. He quickly slammed and locked it; then slumped down onto the couch. Whew; that had been bazaar!
He awoke with a start. Where was he? He felt the cloth of the couch cover, and then remembered. He had been sitting on the couch, after running away from that terrible wailing, and he must have fallen asleep. He tried to blink the sleep from his eyes, and blinked several times in the harsh morning sunlight which streamed through the windows. He thought back to last night. Apparently, he’d been even more worse off than he thought. His mouth reminded him of all the beer he’d had. Imagine, being so drunk he’d imagined he’d heard a terrible, howling demon in the stormy, foggy, and dark forest! Yes, from now on, it was soft drinks only!
It stared out through beady, blood-red eyes, at the forest filled with light. Oh, how it hated the daylight! It had been this close to a meal, but the man walking foolishly through the stormy, foggy, and dark forest, the forest that it called home, had started walking faster, and by the time it had caught up and been poised to strike again, the man had safely made it into the porch light of his home; damn! Oh well, it would be dark again in a few hours, and maybe somebody would be foolish enough to enter its lair!