I, DEMON

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 04, 2019

Reads: 63

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Submitted: June 04, 2019

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That ain’t no Wolfman,” Jake yelled, running hard, tennis shoes hammering the cracked sidewalk.

Got to be Wolfman,” Miguel shouted between breaths, ten feet away, trying to keep up. “Wolfman wears torn up shorts.”

Jake leaped over a puddle left by last night’s rain. “Ain’t no Wolfman. Wolfman only comes out at night.”

The midmorning sun was already hot. At the corner of Sycamore and Woodward, the creature stopped and looked around like it didn’t know which way to go. Jake and Miguel staggered to a halt fifty feet away under the cool of a magnolia. Steam hovered above the street. Cars splashed through potholes.

Jake fanned some air under his tee shirt. He and Miguel had chased the creature past the weary houses of their east Atlanta neighborhood for five blocks. Jake hadn’t exercised this much since high school let out. He glanced behind him. RayBo and Johnny were catching up fast.

You’re thinking of Dracula,” Miguel said, still gulping big breaths. “Dracula don’t come out in the sun. Got sensitive skin. Burns easily. Wolfman comes out anytime he likes.”

Jake bent over and rested. His dreadlocks swung down and shaded his face. He put his hands on his bare knees. “You crazy. Wolfman becomes a wolf when the moon is full, and the moon only shines at night. That thing ain’t got no tail, either.”

Just then, the whatever-it-was turned around and peered right at then. Jake drew back. Man, was that thing ugly. It had on shorts, but it sure enough wasn’t no Wolfman.

Miguel hid behind Jake. “¡Mierda! What the hell is it?”

Jake studied the thick ridges over the beast’s eyes and that weird nose. It didn’t look like no bear. Didn’t look like no ape, either. Its hair was brown, but its face was pink, as pink as RayBo’s or Miguel’s. “Maybe it’s some kind of missing link.”

Johnny caught up with them huffing and sucking wind. RayBo was right behind. “Where’d you get that bat?” Miguel asked RayBo.

RayBo tapped the end of the bat on the sidewalk. “Found it in someone’s yard.” He squinted at the creature then took off his cap and rubbed his buzz cut. “Looks like a gorilla escaped from the zoo.”

Willie B’s been dead a long time now,” Miguel said.

Nothing like that at no zoo,” Jake said.

Johnny inhaled a deep breath. “It’s a Bigfoot, that’s what it is.”

Bigfoot’s big,” Miguel said, “like seven, eight feet. That thing ain’t no taller than you.”

Got to be a Little Bigfoot then,” Johnny said. “A Little Bigfoot’s worth big money, worth more than a big Bigfoot.

Jake had never heard such nonsense. “How you know what a Bigfoot’s worth?”

Johnny’s a businessman,” RayBo said. “He knows the value of merchandise.”

Miguel smirked. “Knows the value of weed, maybe.”

We gotta catch it,” Johnny said.

RayBo put his hat back on his head. “Jake, tell your black brother we ain’t catching nothing.”

We may be black,” Jake said, “but we ain’t blood. My brother’s dead.”

Looky here,” RayBo said, exaggerating his trailer park drawl. “Y’all can’t catch no Little Bigfoot. That thing’ll tear y’all’s faces off.”

I ain’t afraid of no Little Bigfoot,” Johnny said calmly. He gave the bulge in his right front pocket two easy pats. “Not while I got my Blackbird .25 semi-auto.”

Little Bigfoot took off, running in the grass alongside Woodward Avenue. Jake and the boys hustled after it. When the creature got to the corner by a row of boarded up shops, it turned north up Habersham Street. Jake, Johnny, RayBo, and Miguel arrived at the corner fifteen seconds later, but Little Bigfoot was gone.

Jake figured the creature could have run anywhere, east down the alley behind the shops or west back between the houses. The beast had enough of a head start that they might never be able to find it. Depressed, he ambled north along the broken sidewalk behind the other boys. To Jake’s surprise, one house down, there was Little Bigfoot in his torn, brown shorts, sitting on his butt, staring at the double, front doors of an old, two-story brick mansion. Head cocked, it seemed like he was caught up in the distant drone of a weed trimmer.

Johnny gathered everyone in a huddle. “Miguel,” he whispered, “you go around to the left. I’m going right. Jake, you close the gap if Little Bigfoot makes a run for it. We’ll all move in real slow, bit by bit. RayBo, you come up behind, and when you get close enough, smack it over the head with that bat.”

Little Bigfoot seemed like he didn’t give a damn about them or their plans. He just sat there contemplating those doors while the weed trimmer whined, and everyone except Jake sneaked closer and closer. Johnny stopped and motioned for Jake to get moving. But Jake didn't feel like moving. Something about knocking that poor, defenseless, Little Bigfoot in the head with a ball bat didn’t seem right.

Johnny motioned again. Grudgingly, Jake edged closer, then closer, then closer still. Just about the time he could see each individual, greasy hair on Little Bigfoot’s back, RayBo raised the ball bat over his head ready to bash in the primate’s skull.

What the hell is going on here?” said a voice behind them.

The boys turned to see a guy with a weed trimmer in his hand. Tall and dark, he had muscles big as a linebacker. Jake wasn’t sure if he was Black or Arab or maybe East Indian. He might even have been Native American judging by the reddish color of his skin. His eyes were downright scary, black as ink, and not just the pupils, either, but the irises. Standing close, Jake smelled burned matches. Maybe he was running the wrong kind of gas in that weed trimmer.

RayBo put a finger to his lips and pointed to the creature squatted in front of them. “Shhh, you’ll scare Little Bigfoot.”

Little Bigfoot?” the big guy said in a loud voice.

Hearing that name seemed to scare the devil out of Little Bigfoot. He leaped up and body slammed the double, front doors which crashed open into a foyer. The creature wobbled a second at the base of a wide stairway, then danced up the steps. Jake, Johnny, RayBo, and Miguel turned en mass toward the big guy.

The big guy just stared at his busted front doors. Judging by his expression, he was not pleased. He threw down his weed trimmer and started up the stairs. Jake followed RayBo, Miguel, and Johnny over broken bits of wood and up the steps behind him. At the top, it sounded like someone was kicking on a door.

Don’t be messin with Little Bigfoot,” Johnny said to the big guy as they climbed. “He’s ours. We been chasing him all morning.”

The big guy stopped and scowled at Johnny. “Does that mean you’re paying for my doors?”

Johnny looked at RayBo, then Miguel, then Jake, then back to the big guy. “Ah, we don’t actually own Little Bigfoot. We just catching him for the good of the community.”

At the upstairs landing, Little Bigfoot was slapping a door with the palm of his hand. RayBo poked his ball bat into the creature’s ribs to make him stop. That was the first time Little Bigfoot seemed to realize anyone was even there. He shrunk up into the corner and stared at everyone with big, fearsome, blue eyes.

Jake was just wondering how anything could be so ugly, when the beast opened his lipless mouth and revealed a set of teeth big and broad as wood chisels. Dread shivered over Jake. Maybe Little Bigfoot really would rip their faces off.

In the quiet of the moment, the door Little Bigfoot had been banging on clicked open and a lady in a flowing, white, dressing gown stepped out. Standing next to Little Bigfoot, she looked like a statue of Aphrodite Jake had seen in his literature book. Right then he realized that saying about beauty soothing the savage beast must be true because Little Bigfoot’s blue eyes got real soulful, and all his fear seemed to melt away. Something came over RayBo, Miguel, Johnny, and the big guy, too, because they just hung there at the top of the stairs in a sort of trance, like they was stunned by the contrast between beauty and the beast.

HIT HIM!” Johnny yelled.

The spell broke. RayBo swung the ball bat fast, hard and straight down for the top of Little Bigfoot’s head. But the big guy reached out, caught the bat mid-swing and stopped it. With one deft motion he jerked the bat away and popped it into RayBo’s Adam’s apple. In the time it took RayBo to grab his throat, fall backward and begin a slow motion tumble down the stairs, Johnny already had his hand in his right front pocket and his fingers around the plastic grips of his Blackbird .25 semi-auto. He pulled the gun out firing.

One bullet pierced the floorboards. One shattered a stained glass window high on the wall. One entered Little Bigfoot’s right shoulder, and one grazed the big guy’s head as he swung the ball bat down toward the bucking Blackbird in Johnny’s hand.

The bat hit Johnny’s wrist so hard, and he released the gun so fast, the weapon seemed to spin barrel over butt in midair a full ten seconds before falling all the way to the first floor. Jake didn’t wait for it to hit. He ran like hell. At the bottom of the stairs, he jumped over RayBo—splayed out like a rag doll clutching his throat—and out the busted front doors. When he got to the street, he turned to see who would make it out of the house alive.

Bent low, hoodie pulled over his head, Miguel scrambled past the broken doors first. RayBo stumbled out next, coughing, gagging and clutching his throat. Johnny ran out behind him hugging his wrist to his stomach. A few seconds later, Little Bigfoot staggered out as far as the sidewalk and collapsed in pain. The lady in the white dress walked out next, and finally the big guy, blood trickling down his taut, red face, the ball bat slapping his open palm with a steady thwack, thwack, thwack.

The lady kneeled down beside Little Bigfoot curled up in the grass like a newborn babe. Hairy shoulder matted with blood, blue eyes big and round, the creature looked up at her like she was Mother Mary of the apes. He reached out his cupped, leathery paw same as he was begging for a dollar down on Peachtree. With a serenity reserved for saints, the lady stroked his primitive hand with her delicate, white fingers. But instead of being comforted, the beast snatched up her silver necklace and jerked the woman down until the two of them were nose to nose.

Terror streaked across the lady’s face. Jake had never seen anything like it. A million years of evolution between them and the two species were staring each other eye to eye.

Spasms racked Little Bigfoot’s pink face. He pulled the chain tighter. His hand shook. The silver crucifix on her necklace danced. The beast’s head quivered. It looked like Little Bigfoot was trying to get something out of his mouth, like a wasp had flown down his yap, stung that little dangly thing in the back of its throat, and he was doing his best to spit the insect out.

His lips parted, and his tongue protruded. He closed his eyes and grunted a long, half-cry, half-moan. Nnnaaaaeee.”

The woman jerked back and landed on her rump. The necklace broke, and the silver cross dropped into the grass and disappeared. Little Bigfoot released his end of the chain, and it fell too, swallowed up by a forest of blades.

Jake wasn’t worried about no necklace, no Little Bigfoot, or no woman either. He was worried about the big guy and his bat. He grabbed Miguel by the shoulder and pulled him close. “Big guy pissed. We gotta get out of here.”

¡Vamos!” Miguel said.

RayBo looked like he wanted to speak, but his Adam’s Apple had swelled up twice its normal size so he just held his throat and nodded.

What about my Little Bigfoot?” Johnny asked, still cradling his wrist.

Ain’t your Little Bigfoot no more,” Jake said. “Little Bigfoot belongs to big guy now.”

Miguel pointed an accusing finger. “You shouldn’t have shot it. PETA going to be on our ass.”

Johnny didn’t have time to respond because a shiny, black, sixties, Lincoln limousine like something out of a movie in Jake’s history class, came squealing around the corner. It swung two lanes wide, angled into the curb and nosedived to a stop in front of the big guy’s house. The back doors snapped open. Jake expected LBJ himself to step out, but three blond dudes wearing trench coats and sandals jumped out instead. Sporting identical white, flat-top haircuts, they were tall, wiry and reeked of the vanilla extract his mama used baking cookies. If nothing else, Jake was positive those guys weren’t from the Secret Service.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 G. S. Singer. All rights reserved.

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