The Beast of Darkwoord Forest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

The beast of Darkwood Forest has come out under the moonlit sky, and is on the prowl for its next victim. Will the town of Darkwood survive the night or will the beast destroy everyone in its path...

The Beast of Darkwood Forest

 

 

By

 

Sharief Hendricks

 

The beast lurks behind a tree, slowly moving forward as its claws shine in the moonlit night high above Darkwood forest. Its black eyes firmly focus on its intended victim who is unaware of the imminent danger just meters away. The beast has mastered the art of blending in and concealing itself from unsuspecting prey wandering in Darkwood forest. Lovers, weary travellers, and workers returning home along the narrow footpath that leads from the industrial hub to Darkwood Town. On this full moon night, the beast has chosen to strike, and it has in its merciless gaze a young woman named Clara, a shoe-packer at the local leather factory on the outskirts of Darkwood forest.

She is later than usual tonight, as the factory had to finish a large order that must be shipped internationally tomorrow. Clara refused the offer made by William Canterhill to escort her through the forest to the other side of Darkwood Mansions, which are the first signs of civilization when you reach the end of the forest. The last time William accompanied her through the forest, she gave in to his persistent advances and in a moment of weakness laid with him. She never forgave herself for that and vowed never to let her affection for William get the better of her. He belonged to another.

Clara gets an eerie spine-chilling sensation through her body as she enters Darkwood forest.

The first time she felt this way was when she started at the leather factory and walked through the forest alone at night for the first time. The second time, just the week before, she got the feeling she was being watched and followed in the forest. She can’t shake the feeling that what she experienced last week was recurring. She is being watched. She increases her strides from a stroll to a brisk walk.

Crack!

“Who goes there?” she enquires in a panicked voice.

The beast hides its dark sinister figure behind a thick willow tree. Clara is aware she is not alone. The next half kilometre is the most concealed section of the forest as it breaks the straight line of the path and is hidden by the overhanging willows. She hears light footsteps behind her.

She contemplates running the rest of the way to Darkwood Mansion, where she can ask Lord Crenshaw to let Jamie the stable hand escort her to town. The Crenshaw Mansion is the first of seven mansions directly outside Darkwood forest. It belongs to Mr James Crenshaw, Lord of Darkwood Town and his beautiful daughter Mary-Anne, the heir to his estate. Mrs Crenshaw has passed on and the eldest son never returned home from war.

Crack, Twick!

The sound of breaking branches again.

“Hello, who is out there? I can hear you! William is that you? This is not funny William. Please show yourself!” says frightened little Clara.

At that moment, the beast emerges from nowhere and made itself visible. It moves towards her on all fours, its shiny long claws dig into the ground with a salivating mouth resembling a black hound. It runs towards the petrified Clara who screams, “AAArgggg HELP!” and runs off hoping to escape the beast.

She sees the Crenshaw Mansion lights in the distance. Clara pulls up her long dress and drops her lunch bag to make herself faster, but suddenly trips over a hard bulky object that does not belong in the narrow footpath. She hears a freakish sounding growl, as she hits the ground. Suddenly it's hovering over her, steam emitting from the wide nostrils, then it lunges onto her and starts ripping her to shreds as she screams trying to defend herself.

Moments later, the mutilated body lays across the footpath, the beast steps on and over her remains, crushing whatever bones are still intact. The bloodied beast makes its way down the footpath towards the lights of the Crenshaw Mansion.

James Crenshaw is closing the stable doors and had a few minutes earlier said goodnight to his trusted and loyal stable hand Jamie, whom he gave the night off to go to Darkwood Town to visit his bedridden mother.

Tick, Frick

“Who goes there?” asks James Crenshaw.

Tick Fick, Snick

"Who’s that, Jamie my boy is that you out there?"

James gets no reply and tries to see who is out there by taking a few careful steps.

“Whoever you are, you better show yourself, this is private property,” says the old Lord with more gusto in his voice. Then he sees it.

“OH MY GOD! what is that!?”

James tries to run towards the back door of the mansion but at his age, he barely gets ten feet, when the beast leaps forward and cuts his left achilles. James crashes to the ground turning his white nightgown brown as the dust engulfs him.

"AAArgggg oh God, get away from me, you unholy creature!"

With blood pouring from his wound the helpless old Lord tries to pull himself towards the kitchen where he keeps his sports rifle to ward off coyote’s, but he is not going to make it to the door, and this is no coyote.

Slowly the beast moves closer to James Crenshaw who is now sitting upright facing the oncoming monstrosity. With blood-soaked fangs, it gets up onto two paws and opens its shiny claws. James prepares himself for the inevitable. The beast rips across James’s face removing an eye in the process and embedding four deep-tissue claw marks that causes its victim to scream in agony.

"HELP!"

The next cut is the most violent, as the beast lets out a cry. “Aahoooooooo!” Slitting his throat wide open and almost removing the head.

James Crenshaw is dead, the second victim of the beast of Darkwood forest on this bloody night. The beast is satisfied for the night and lurks around the mansion for a little while before slowly disappearing into the moonlit night.

Mary-Anne was asleep when something woke her temporarily. When she could not hear anything further, she drifted off to sleep again. She was in the guest outbuilding and unaware that what woke her was the beast’s violent attack that ended her father’s life on the grounds of the mansion.

The following morning Mary-Anne was awoken by Jamie upon his return from his visit to his mother. Jamie, the long-time stable hand had the misfortune of discovering his master's mutilated body. He had to get over his shock and grief quickly when he had to keep Mary-Anne away from her father's corpse. He did his best to calm her down as she was hysterical and completely grief-stricken. When she calmed down, her biggest regret was that the last time she saw her loving father they argued, about her father’s refusal to accept that her brother and his heir was dead. Mary-Anne wished she could turn back time just to tell him that she loved him. She knew she would never get the chance. Death, whether calm and peaceful or brutal and disturbing, is final.

Jamie and the Darkwood detectives followed the beast’s tracks around the mansion grounds until it mysteriously disappeared in front of the workshop. The whole town of Darkwood went searching for the killer beast after young miss Clara’s mutilated corpse was also discovered to have been a victim of the Beast of Darkwood forest.

Three months and many searches for the beast of Darkwood forest later and Mary-Anne, daughter of the slain Lord sits in the living room. Her Aunt Susan, Jamie and the Crenshaw Family Trustee, Attorney John Higgins and the four chambermaids and Bill the butler are all in attendance.

"Mary-Anne if you will please be so kind as to lead us on your plans for the Crenshaw Mansion now that everything has been signed over to you, as per your late father's wish?" says the attorney.

“Thank you all for coming, I thank every one of you for the loyalty shown to my family over the years. I am leaving the Crenshaw Mansion as staying here is too painful.”

A collective sigh makes its way around the room.

“Do not worry yourself, I have ensured that you are all well compensated above the standard retrenchment fee as a gesture of my gratitude. Mr Higgins has drawn up your cheques and will hand them out now,” said Mary-Anne as she gave the attorney a “go ahead” nod.

“To my loving aunt, I decided to leave all mother’s jewellery and all my fine clothing along with the China in the dining room to you,” she continued, as Mr Higgins proceeded with the handout.

"Thank you, child, you are most generous, I will wear them with honour," said the slain Lord’s only sister.

"Jamie, to you I give all the horses, the furniture in the mansion and the outbuilding, also fathers collection of rifles and wristwatches."

"You will also receive all the silver and bronze in the mansion and around the premises, which includes all the tools and machinery father owned." said Mary-Anne as she looked into Jamie’s eyes with appreciation.

“Mr Higgins already drew up the transfer document of your inheritance in your name and you may keep or sell it, whichever you deem fit as I know your mother is unwell and burdened with medical expenses. You may also stay on at the mansion until Mr Higgins finds a buyer. You will be recommended to stay on as a stable hand when the new owners take possession of the property, should you wish to do so,” she said with a kind smile.

“Thank you so much, Mary-Anne.” said Jamie appreciatively.

“It is nothing more than what you deserve for your loyalty to my father and especially to me, Jamie. Thank you, everyone, for coming, good luck and goodbye. Jamie, when everyone has left, will you please help me pack, my carriage arrives at 5 pm."

"Certainly, Mary-Anne."

After everyone has left.

“Thank you, Jaimie, is that all my belongings?”

“That’s everything Mary-Anne, everything besides the suit, the suit of the Beast of Darkwood forest.”

“Take it to the blacksmith furnace in the back where father made the horseshoes and burn it. Oh, and Jaimie, be sure to stay there until the steel claws have melted and nothing remains of the costume in case those pesky hound hunting detectives come around here again."

“Not to worry Mary-Anne, we have been very careful this far, no need to start taking any risks now, and if I may say so myself Mary-Anne, the “boulder” I put in the middle of the footpath was a nice touch,” said Jamie with a proud smile on his face.

Jaimie walks towards the workshop, with the Beast of Darkwood forest tucked under his arm, as the long ears bounce up and down.

As she watches him in the distance, she whispers to herself, “that’s what you get father, for not giving me what I want and for hoping your son returns. As for you, miss Clara, what a good diversion you were, making the Beast so believable that no one suspected a thing. Father was old and necessary and purely business, but you were a pleasure. I enjoyed cutting you up. That’s what you get for messing with my William.”

 

 

The End

 


Submitted: June 02, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Comments

dloz-dloz

Nah..... i didn't enjoy this one, i guess im not ito horror....

Grear work my Brother

Tue, June 9th, 2020 1:23am

Author
Reply

hahahahah :) :)

I'm not surprised...it scared most readers...

Yet, if you look at deeply the most scariest, is still the human being :)

Thanx for the feedback girl...

Tue, June 9th, 2020 5:01am

Jeff Bezaire

You created a good atmosphere - some great descriptions of both the forest and of the beast. The twist at the end was great! I like that there was a purpose to Clara's death, and what a good distraction it was from the primary motivation.
A good mood all-around.
I hope my suggestions are helpful.
Cheers!

Thu, July 16th, 2020 9:48pm

Author
Reply

Thanx so much Jeff

That's correct these attacks were well planned and very methodical...

I am so honoured to have my story read by a writer with your amazing body of work...

This positive comment is so well received and really appreciated...it is just what I needed to improve my confidence...

Thanx so much once again Jeff !!

Thu, July 16th, 2020 3:49pm

Jeff Bezaire

It reads smoother with the dialogue more intact now.
There are a few hints you dropped in the story I didn't pick up in the first reading, but once I noticed them this time around, I found the twist even more enjoyable at the end. :D
A key thing to look out for in your writing is changes in tense; switching between present and past. You have a good handle on it, but there are some instances of slipping, the big ones of which I pointed out.
There's an author whose blog and books I have found very helpful, particularly her blog. Check out sandragerth.com - she has many useful tips. She's made a big difference to my writing. You might enjoy her knowledge, too. :)

Tue, July 21st, 2020 1:55am

Author
Reply

Yes, it does read smoother now... thanx for your help Jeff !

As I was making the corrections with your helpful tips and guidance I used the opportunity to place the hints a bit more strategically...I'm so glad it worked...
As for the tense, that is something I'm still working on very hard and there has been improvements, it was also pointed out by another helpful writer Sue Harris...

I am going to make time to polish up at least one "old" story every other day using my new tools !!

Writing is a lonely activity which is even more challenging for us beginners...so I'm really fortunate to have found Booksie with all its amazing helpful writers !

I will most certainly check out sandragerth.com !

Thanx again for all the valuable input and advice Jeff !

Thanx

Sharief

Tue, July 21st, 2020 12:53am

Celtic-Scribe63

A Classic Sharief signature mark, with this one, my friend. The tension build-up and then the twist at the end.
A chilling and fun read, both at the same time.
Good work,
Best Wishes.
CS63

Mon, October 19th, 2020 8:47am

Author
Reply

Thanx soooooo much CS-63 for the awesome comment.

This means so much to me as I have learnt such a great deal from you, both with your generosity to assist and also from reading your amazing stories...


Thanx again CS-63 !!

Mon, October 19th, 2020 3:10am

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