Chapter 1: The Nightmare

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

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

Reads: 88

The Nightmare

 

 

 

 

 

By Aiden R. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep in the Alaskan Bush, is an outdoors man paradise. With numerous streams and rivers to fish and float down on boats, dense forest to explore, mountains to climb and lots of game to hunt. Considering that there are many people that go to Alaska every year for these reasons, it is not surprising that some go missing every year. In fact, on average, 2,000 people go missing every year in Alaska. Most, can be attributed to accidents, animal attacks, and other rational reasons. But there is a mystery. The mystery of the Alaskan Triangle. This region stretches from Anchorage to Juneau, and goes along the north coast of Alaska. In this region, more than 16,000 people have gone missing since 1980. Many have asked why, and many have investigated why. But the answer may be more terrifying than anyone could ever have imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction.

 

Glendale, California

 

Dean Hudson is in the kitchen of his apartment. Its 7:00 am, he is cooking breakfast for his wife, Elena. Dean does this every Saturday, wakes up early and cook’s breakfast. It had been one of Elena’s requests of him when they got married, 5 years earlier. He had agreed, thinking that it wasn’t too much to ask. Dean is 34 years old, and in good shape. He has short brown hair, neatly combed to the right side of his head. He had a decent build, he worked out three times a week at the gym. Dean grew up in Glendale, it was his home town. He worked at one of the local sporting goods stores. He is the manager at the store he works. Dean works there 5 days a week, Monday-Friday. It is a good job, one that allows him to have time to do other things. Other than spend time with Elena, his passion was hunting and fishing. He was an avid outdoors man, had been all his life. Dean and his younger brother, Frank Hudson had grown up going Hunting and Fishing, learning these things from their father. Last year, Dean and Frank, along with two life long friends of theirs, Gerald Anderson, and Jerry Ryder were out hunting. The last night of their trip, they had discussed dream locations they would love to go and hunt. They had all agreed that they would love to go and hunt the wild moose of the Alaskan Bush. It was a nice thought, but none of them had seriously thought about doing it. That is, until Jerry had sat down, and calculated everything that would go into a trip like that. From Hunting licenses and tags, to plane tickets, to gear they would need. When Jerry showed the Information to his closet friends, they had talked more seriously about the prospect of going moose hunting. In the end, they agreed that if they all split the cost 4 ways, it would be something they could do. That is, if their wives agreed to it. That night, they all talked to their spouses, and they agreed. The only reason Elena agreed was that if once they had the money again, Dean would take her on the vacation she had always dreamed of, an African safari. She also wanted to go with Dean on the trip. Dean agreed, and so the trip was in the works. Over the past 4 months they had put their affairs in order. Bought the plane tickets. Acquired the Proper licenses and tags. Figured out where they wanted to go. What they would need to take. They had even thought that since they were out of their element, they would hire a guide. They had done research, and had decided they would hire the best man they could in their price range. In the end, they found a hunter guide that had over 25 years’ experience in the Alaskan Bush. He also had a reputation for being able to handle any situation that was thrown his way. They had contacted him, and got a price of 15,000 dollars. They had agreed to it, so they sent him the check. Once the check cleared, he contacted them, giving them a list of rules.

  1. Never go anywhere alone. Always have a partner with you.
  2. Always stay on the trail.
  3. Always pick up your trash.
  4. Always check your targets.
  5. Never shoot if you don’t have a clear shot of the vitals.
  6. Always listen to the guide.

 

 They agreed to the rules. Then he sent them a list of items that he required them to have in their packs, which include the following:

 

Rifle, plus extra ammo, hunting knife, extra bottles of water for two weeks, dehydrated food for two weeks, GPS, lighter, waterproof matches, two trash bags, walkie talkie, flashlight and extra batteries, 3 road flares, appropriately rated sleeping bag and 1-man tent, light weight tarp, water purification tablets, cooking items, medical kit, compass, and toilet paper.

 

Elena comes out of the bedroom, dressed in her polka dot robe. Dean greets her with a kiss on the cheek. She walks over to the coffee maker, pours half a cup, then walks over to the fridge to get her hazelnut creamer. She pours that, puts some sugar in her coffee, then goes to sit down at the dining room table. Dean approaches with two plates in his hands. He puts it down in front of her. She is pleased with the food before her. Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and toast with blackberry jam. She takes a bite and savors that flavor.

 

“How’s the eggs honey?” Dean asks.

 

“There scrumptious dear, thank you!” Elena responds.

 

“Can I ask you a question?” Dean asks.

 

“Sure.”

 

“I would like to think I know you pretty well by now, and you wanting to go on this hunting trip with the boys and I just doesn’t sound like you. So why are you going?”

 

“I want to learn how to hunt. If you like it, there must be something to it.”

 

“Well, either way, I’m glad you want to try it.”

 

Dean is still troubled by the fact that she wants to go. But its breakfast time, Elena is just now starting her food, and she hasn’t finished her coffee yet. If Dean had learned anything, it was to not be to talkative that soon in her day. Once she had her coffee, and had eaten, then he could talk about things. But first thing in the morning, it was best to leave talking to a minimum. He decided he would worry about it later. He was too excited to be questioning Elena’s motives. Today was the day they were to leave for Alaska. The plan was for Frank to meet them at 10 AM, then head for the airport. There, they would meet up with Jerry and Gerald. From there they would have a six-hour flight to Anchorage, Alaska then they would catch a smaller flight to Cordova. Their guide would meet them at the airport, then they would stay the night in Cordova. Then the following morning they would leave for their final destination.

 

Dean stands up, having finished his food. He looks at Elena, she has also finished. He takes her plate for her, and walks to the kitchen. He washes the dishes, and puts them on the drying rack. He then cleans the kitchen, putting things away and cleans the pan. He then prepares the house for their two-week absence. Dean and Elena finish packing, and begin to load the truck. Dean unlocks their 2007 Nissan Patrol 4x4 truck. He opens the back, and puts their two backpacks in the back.

 

Just as Dean closes the back of the truck, he hears the familiar engine roar of Franks 2015 Ford F-150.

Frank pulls up and gets out. He walks over to Dean, and greets him with a firm hug.

 

“You ready for our epic trip!” Frank exclaims.

 

“You know I am!”

 

“Alright then, where is the Missus?” Frank asks.

 

“Getting her books, you know, for the flight.”

 

“Gotcha.”

 

Elena comes out the front door and locks it. She walks over the passenger side of the Nissan.

 

“Hi Frank.”

 

“Hello Elena. Alrighty then, I’ll lead the way to the airport.”

 

“We will be right behind you.”

 

Frank climbs into his truck, turns the key, and takes off. Dean and Elena are right behind him.

 

Frank Hudson is a Sergeant at the Glendale Police Department. He is 32 years old, 2 years younger than his brother. He has worked there for almost 7 years now. He rose through the ranks quickly since he started out as a uniformed patrol officer. Frank is known for having a sense of humor. Making jokes and pulling pranks when he can get away with it. But when it mattered, Frank Hudson was a serious and ready for whatever may be thrown his way. He had handled a lot of life and death situations in his job, and because he handled it well, keeping himself and his fellow officers safe, and diffused the various situations he was presented with, he was promoted rapidly. He took his duties as a divisional Sergeant very seriously. He also enjoyed the little time off he got. He had saved up time for this trip. He vowed to himself that he was going to enjoy every second of this trip.

 

 

The group arrived at the airport at 10:30 am. They unload their bags, and walk inside. There to greet them, is Gerald Anderson. They greet each other with handshakes, and hellos.

 

“Glad to see you all.” Gerald says with a smile.

 

“Glad to see you to.” Frank says.

 

“Where is Jerry?” Dean asks.

 

“He got here at 8. He texted me that he has been waiting for us at the waiting area.” Gerald says.

 

“Jerry, always so high strung.” Frank says.

 

“Yeah. Well, we best get going.” Dean says.

 

“Ok.” Gerald agrees.

 

The group walks off, heading towards the front desk. They get to the front desk, and begin the long process of getting through the hoops so they can get on their flight. They get to baggage, tell the attendant they have firearms. The attendant checks to make sure that the firearms are in hard-locked cases that comply with the current TSA laws. Once he sees that they are, he takes the bags and gun cases. They then go through security, after almost an hour, they finally reach the waiting area.

After all this, Gerald pops an herbal supplement for his anxiety.

 

Gerald Anderson is a 29-year-old man, with a neatly groomed mustache. He grew up in Ukiah, California, and moved to Glendale when he was 20. At home, he had a decent life. Although his father was not in the picture, he left when Gerald was just 6. This left Gerald with feelings of abandonment. As a result, he was high anxiety, prone to bouts of depression and panic attacks. As well as other symptoms that were less then pleasant. Gerald’s mother advocated for him to get a prescription of medication to help him. Gerald tried the herbal route first, and that seemed to work for most of the time. But there were times when he needed something more powerful. So, he always carries Ativan. Right now, he could feel the panic coming on, but he would wait until he got on the plane to take the medication, unless it got real bad, real fast. Gerald was also a fan of self help techniques, like breathing exercises, to help calm him down. These combinations seemed to help Gerald cope with everyday life.

 

The group approaches the waiting area, and approaching them, is the final member of their party, Jerry Ryder.

 

“Where have you been? I’ve been waiting here for the past two hours!” Jerry demanded.

 

“We met at the agreed upon time.” Frank says.

 

 

“Yeah. Oh, and what were you doing here at 8 am?” Dean asked.

 

“I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get through security.” Jerry said, defensively.

 

“I should have expected as much.” Frank said.

 

“We got another hour before our scheduled flight. May we spend it in peace, instead of poking fun at me?!” Jerry said, looking at Frank.

 

“Sure.” Gerald said.

 

The group sits down at the waiting seats. Elena starts her book; Dean reads a magazine on the table Infront of him. Frank, Gerald and Jerry begin conversing.

 

 

 

An hour later, there is an announcement.

 

“Flight 557, for Anchorage, Alaska, boarding now.”

 

“Well, that’s us.” Gerald says.

 

The group gets up. By the time the rest of the group gets their carry-ons together, Jerry is already at the ticket attendant.

 

Jerry Ryder is a 30-year-old man. Jerry is known among his contemporaries as being high strung. He is a planner. Jerry has a plan for everything, and if something doesn’t go right, Jerry loses it. He has to be at least an hour early for everything, and has to have every detail planned out. So, one could imagine that something as big as their hunting trip to Alaska is causing Jerry a great deal of stress. He had always been this way. When Jerry’s father had taken him hunting when he was 16, Jerry had discovered that the wilderness was the only place where he feels calm. The serenity of the forest had calmed his nerves, and allowed him to be at peace. Ever since, he had spent every available moment in the wilderness. It was when he was at his calmest that, at least according to his friends, was when he seemed the happiest. The woods provided that calmness for him.

 

The group boards the plane, and finds their seats. They are sitting in pairs. Dean and Elena towards the front. Frank and Jerry towards the back, and Gerald in the middle. The plane attendant goes through the procedures of what to do in an emergency, then the seat belt sign comes on. They buckle up, and the plane slowly moves around the runway. It maneuvers into position, then lurches forward. In a few seconds, they are airborne. In half minute, they are above the clouds. Nothing to do now, but settle in for ride.

 

 

 

 

Meeting the Clients

 

Cordova, Alaska

 

Sitting at his usual booth at his favorite restaurant, Benjamin Crowe is biting into his bacon avocado omelet. He savors the rich flavor, chewing slowly. He always comes to this place when he needs to think, to plan an expedition out. That’s what he is doing now. He has a map of the region they are heading to. A region known as the Alaskan Triangle. Ben Crowe is a tall, muscular man of 45. He is a native of Alaska. Ben Crowe is a Hunter guide, leads hunting parties all over the state of Alaska. Many ask for him because he has over two decades of experience, and has had to lead his clients out of dangerous situations more than once. Most often, he takes people on hunting trips into the Alaskan Triangle. There was a reason for that. The reason, being an extremely personal.

 

 

 

 

Ben Crowe grew up in the Alaskan Wilderness. His Parents, Roger and Edna Crowe, decided they wanted to live a simple, solitary life. They began paying for a 5,000 acre stretch of land in 1962. They moved there the next year. They had many things to do in order to be self-sufficient. They managed to get all their needs taken care of: Food, Water and shelter. As time progressed, they got more comfortable in this lifestyle. Then. On June 7, 1974, their first child was born. That child was Benjamin Lyle Crowe. Roger taught young Ben the things he would need to know. Roger taught Ben fishing at age 7. He started taking Ben with him when he went hunting at age 10. He also taught him simple tasks around the homestead. How to take care of the animals, how to fix simple things. The years flew by, by 1985 Ben had two more siblings, a brother and sister. Things were going well. Then, in the fall of 1989, the Crowe family had a devastating loss. Ben’s father and a friend disappeared while on an essential hunting trip. The authorities searched for 3 months, but all they found was their camp. The camp was undisturbed. They found nothing to indicate what had happened.

 

Roger Crowe’s disappearance marked the end of the Crowe family’s mountain man lifestyle. Although Ben had learned much, he was too young and too inexperienced to take over the family responsibilities that his father had. They had no means to find food, make money to buy supplies, and had too many mouths to feed. Ben’s mother had to take the only way out available. A logging company had been making offers for their land for months at this point. Edna took their offer, for the company to buy the land. Edna took the money and moved the children to the city of Anchorage. They moved into an apartment, went to school, and had to move on with their lives.

 

Ben could never quite shake the mystery behind what happened. He often wondered, imagined his father fate. Ben decided he wanted to help save other hunters from the same fate. When Ben graduated high school, he studied the Alaskan Fish and Game laws, studied for the exam, and trained under experienced hunter guides. Then, at 30 years old, Ben Crowe went out on his own, and became a hunter guide.

 

Now, 15 years later, Ben himself had an apprentice that he was training. He was waiting for him now, to go over the final details of their latest client group. Ben looks up, and sees his apprentice, William Sanders walk in the front door. Will heads straight for the booth Ben is in, and sits down. The waitress, who knows both of them, walks up to the booth.

 

“The usual?” She asks.

 

“Yes ma’am.” Will responds.

 

The waitress walks back to the kitchen, writing down the order on her pad. Will looks at Ben, who is going over the map of the region they will be hunting in.

 

“Got the location figured out?” Will asks.

 

“Yep. Are the all the supplies packed? The extra fuel, emergency supplies, sat-phone, everything?” Ben asks.

 

“Yeah, all packed. The plane is fueled and ready for take-off.”

 

“Great.”

 

“I guess all we need now are the clients.” Will says. “Speaking of which, who are the clients?”

 

“A married couple, Mr. Dean Hudson and Mrs. Elena Hudson. Dean’s younger brother, Frank Hudson. Jerry Ryder, a friend of theirs, and Gerald Anderson, also a friend of theirs.” Ben says.

 

The waitress comes back, puts a cup of coffee down Infront of Will. Will grabs it, then takes a sip. Ben rolls up the map, and puts it to the side.

 

“We got to pick up the clients at the airport in an hour, so drink up.” Ben says.

..…

 

Ben and Will are standing at the baggage claim. Will is holding a sign with the client’s names on it. Ben checks his watch; the clients flight should have landed by now. They should be walking down this way soon.

 

15 minutes later, Ben sees a group of people walking toward them. One of them points at Ben and Will. They approach the two of them.

 

“Mr. Hudson?” Ben says.

 

“Yes. Are you Mr. Ben Crowe?” Dean asks.

 

“Yes. This is Will. He’ll be coming with us.”

 

“This is my wife, Elena. My brother, Frank Hudson. Friends Jerry Ryder and Gerald Anderson.”

 

“Nice to meet you.” Ben says. “If you all will follow me, after you claim your baggage. I will take you to your motel room for the night.”

Dean and the others grab their bags, and follow Ben and Will. They lead them outside, toward two vehicles. A four-door truck, and a white van.

 

“Will is going to take you in the van, I’ll lead in the truck.”

 

The group all climb into the vehicles. Ben pulls out of the parking space, and goes toward the exit. Will follows him in the van. They pull out of the parking lot and drive down the street. They drive down the road for about 5 or 6 minutes. Soon, they come up next to a small motel. Ben pulls into the parking lot and parks close to the lobby entrance. Will parks next to him. They all climb out, and walk towards the front desk. Ben approaches the woman at the front desk.

 

“Hi, my name is Ben Crowe. I have 3 rooms reserved.”

 

The woman types on her computer, then smiles.

 

“Yes, rooms 3, 4 and 7. I’ll get the keys.”

The woman gets up and walks to a board behind her with about 24 hooks on it. Each hook has a key on it, and on the key ring has a tag with a number written on it. The woman grabs the keys with the numbers 3, 4 and 7 on written on the tags. She then walks back to the desk, and hands the keys to Ben.

 

“Here you go sir.” She says.

 

“Thank you.” Ben replies with a smile.

 

The group walks out of the office. They walk to the left, passing rooms. They reach the end of the rooms. Ben hands the 7 key to Frank, the 4 key to Gerald, and the 3 key to Dean.

 

“Mr. Frank Hudson, you will bunk with Mr. Ryder in room 7. Mr. Anderson will bunk in room 4, and Mr. and Mrs. Hudson will bunk in room 3. Get some rest, Will and I are going to come back at 5 am to pick you up and head for the plane.” Ben instructs the group.

“Sounds good.” Gerald says.

 

“All right then, see you all in the morning.” Ben says, Will and himself walk off.

 

Dean and the others all file into their rooms, getting comfortable after their flight. Dean and Elena walk into their room. There are two twin size beds. Elena walks over to the bed on the right, and puts her bags down. Dean puts his bags down on the bed on the left. He looks over and sees Elena grabbing some clothes.

 

“I’m going to take a shower, since this will be the last one I can take for a while.” Elena says.

 

“Sure thing honey.” Dean replies.

 

Elena walks into the bathroom, and closes the door. Dean sits on the foot of the bed, and turns on the TV. As he flips through the channels, he begins to wonder something. Elena is not an outdoors type of woman. She likes to be clean, and always be within a few miles of a Starbucks. So why had she wanted to come on this trip? She claimed that she wanted to learn to hunt, but that didn’t make sense to him. Dean didn’t want to make a fuss or something if there was nothing to fuss over. So he decided that if he saw that there was something off, he would ask her about it. He turned his attention back to the TV. He found a cartoon show, he relaxed, and enjoyed the program.

 

…..

 

Dean’s alarm goes off at 4:45 am. He blinks, not wanting to get up, but he does. He looks at his wife, who’s hair looks like a separate entity all on its own. Dean slips on a pair of worn jeans just as he hears a knock at the door.

 

“Do we got any coffee?” Elena asks, barely awake.

 

“I didn’t see a coffee maker, and it’s a little early for complementary coffee.” Dean says. Elena grunts in response.

 

Dean opens the door, and sees Jerry standing on the other side.

 

“Did you bring any coffee?” Jerry asks.

 

“Yeah, but we got no way to make it.” Dean replies.

 

“Shoot! I need some caffeine!” Jerry says.

 

“Relax, maybe when Mr. Crowe picks us up, we can find a coffee shop somewhere in town.”

 

“I hope so!” Jerry says, walking back to his room.

 

Dean closes the door, and turns around. Elena is fully dressed, and packing what little she unpacked.

Dean does the same.

 

10 minutes later, there is another knock. Dean opens the door, and sees Ben and Will standing on the other side, with coffee. Dean takes the two cups with his and his wife’s name on it.

 

“Thank you!” Dean says.

 

“No problem.” Ben replies.” We are parked where we did yesterday. Get your stuff together, we are heading out.”

 

After Ben and Will dispensed all the coffee’s, they all climb into the van, and Ben again leads in the truck. They leave town, and drive for a few hours. Soon, Ben takes a right onto a dirt road. Will does the same. They drive down the dirt road for about a half hour until they come upon a lake. There is a cabin and a dock at the lake side. Next to the dock is a De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Float plane. Ben parks the truck, and Will pulls up next to him. Ben gets out, and approaches the van.

“This is my personal cabin. I keep the plane here. Hand your things to Will and he is going to load them into the plane.” Ben says.

 

Dean starts handing things to Will, and he begins loading them into the plane. He walks down the dock with the first load, then comes back to the vehicles. He does this multiple times. Once everything is loaded, Ben tells the group to take their seats. Gerald and Frank sit in the far back, Dean and Elena in the middle, and Jerry in the front. Ben and Will are in the pilot seats, going through the check list. After a few minutes, they start the engine, and pull away from the dock. They go to one end of the lake, then turn around, facing the open water. Ben pushes on the throttle, and they pick up speed. After they reach the halfway point in the lake, Ben pulls up and they gain altitude. Soon, Ben levels off. They are cruising on their way to their hunting destination!

 

…..

 

There isn’t much talking, from anybody. After about 3 hours, Will turns to face the group.

 

“We will begin the descent in just a few moments, so buckle up.” Will instructs the group.

 

They all buckle, and prepare for landing. Dean looks out the window, for miles is nothing but mountains and forest. He is excited! Ben gently lands the plane in another lake. He pulls up to another dock. He turns off the engine, and turns to the group.

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived!”  Ben says.

 

He gets up, and opens the door. He steps out into the morning air. Soon, the rest of the group is also coming out of plane. They all stretch, and take in the fresh air.

 

“We are definitely not in Glendale anymore.” Gerald says.

 

Dean smiles. Ben walks back into the plane, and starts giving Will instructions. The 2 men bring all the gear they will need for the next couple of weeks.

 

“Put on your packs, grab your rifles and let’s head out.” Ben says.

 

After they all put on their backpacks and grab rifles, they walk down the dock, and towards the tree line. They enter the forest, and look around. Dense brush and trees are everywhere.

 

“We are heading North, that’s where our campsite will be.” Ben explains.

 

The group nods, and begin to walk up the mountain. As they walk further and further up the trail, it gets steeper. They pass a few chipmunks and squirrels along the way. Soon they reach the top of the ridge. They look around, taking in the sights. After a few minutes, Ben starts to walk again, and the group follows. They reach the bottom of the ridge they had just crossed, when a peculiar smell comes across their noses. Ben is trying to figure out what it is, when Will calls him over. Ben approaches Will, who is motioning for Ben to look at something beyond a bush. Ben looks, and sees a dead Grizzly Bear. Ben doesn’t think much of it, until he sees what most likely killed it. There is a bite mark on the head, it looks like it cracked the skull. Ben wonders if another bear did it, but he wasn’t sure. There are no wounds on it. Its peculiar, but Ben just whispers not to worry about it in Will’s ear. Ben turns back to the group and says its time to move on. Will takes one last look at the bear carcass. Something about it bothers him, but he moves on anyways.

 

Its late afternoon before they reach camp. They enter a flat clearing, with a clearly made fire pit, and logs as seats surrounding it.

 

“Set up your tents, this is camp.” Ben says.

 

The group all begin to set up their tents, Ben included. After 15 minutes, the clearing looks like a real camp. Ben gathers the group.

 

“Feel free to explore the area, but don’t go too far. Dinner will be at sunset.” Ben says.

 

The group all acknowledges, then disperse. They are all excited to be here, to be just hours away from beginning their Moose hunt. Ben looks at Will, and smiles. He always enjoys the enthusiasm of first-time clients. Ben sits down, and begins to boil water for tea.

 

 

 

The Hunt

 

Ben wakes up at his usual time, 4 am. He sits up, yawns, then starts to get dressed. He steps outside his tent, and walks over to the firepit. He restarts the fire, and begins boiling water for coffee. After a half hour, Will comes out of his tent. He quickly walks to the bushes behind him, and relieves himself.

 

William Sanders is 32-year man, who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. He didn’t discover his love of hunting until he was 20. His older brother had pestered him for years to go with him on his hunting trips, but Will never had any interest. Then one year, Will decided he would go, just so his brother would stop bugging him. He discovered that he loved it. He went hunting with his brother every year for the next eight years. Then Will decided he wanted to make his living doing this. So, he decided he wanted to become a hunter guide. He did research on where and what he wanted to hunt. He then needed somebody to teach him the trade. He asked around, and found who the best of the best were. Almost all of them said no. But, when he asked Benjamin Crowe, he said yes. That was four years ago. Will has learned much since then, but he still feels like he still has more to learn. He is going to learn as much as he can from his mentor, even if it takes another four years.

 

Will comes back, and walks over to the fire. He warms his hands next to its golden flame. He turns to see Ben sitting on a round of wood, sipping his coffee. Ben gestures to the small pot sitting next to him, signaling that there is more if Will wants some. Will nods a Thank You, grabs a cup and walks over. After pouring himself some, he stands next to Ben, he turns to him.

 

“When is legal hunting time?” Will asks.

 

“About 5:45. We will wake the others in about 30 minutes so they have enough time to get ready.” Ben responds.

 

“Gotcha. Hey, I didn’t want to freak out the clients, but what killed that bear we found yesterday?”

“I Don’t know.”

 

“Should we worry?” Will asks nervously.

 

“No more than usual. We always are careful of predators. Finding a kill just means that something is around. But something is always around. We just don’t usually find evidence of them.” Ben assures Will.

 

“Alright. I guess that makes sense.” Will says.

 

“We will be fine. Just keep on your toes.”

 

“Sure thing boss.”

 

At 5 AM, Ben proceeds to wake up the rest of the group, all except for Elena were excited to get the day going. They all had a meager breakfast of dehydrated eggs and coffee. They grab their packs, rifles and canteens. At 5:30 Am, they begin their trek further into the Alaskan wilderness. They hike up a steep ridge side. Once at the top, they can see for miles. About a mile as a crow flies, is a valley. Even from that distance they can see a large river running through it. In between them and that valley is another ridge, then a steep descent into the valley.

 

“That’s where we are headed.” Ben says.

 

“Oh, that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away.” Jerry says sarcastically.

 

“That’s where the Moose will be, by the time we get there they will be going to the river for a drink.” Ben says.

 

“Well, let’s not waste any time then.” Frank says.

 

They begin the difficult trek to the river. It takes them almost two hours to reach the next ridge. Along the way, they see and hear many things. Including scurrying squirrels, hopping rabbits and a scream from far off.

 

“What is that?” Elena asks nervously.

 

“I don’t know.” Gerald replies.

 

“It sounds human.” Frank says.

 

“How would you know!?” Jerry demands.

 

“I have heard plenty of screams in my time Jerry. I know the sound of someone in distress when I hear it.”

 

“We should head that way, see what’s going on and see if we can help.” Dean suggests.

 

“Yeah, I agree.” Gerald says.

 

“What do you all think?” Ben asks the rest of the group.

They all nod in agreement, although Jerry did so reluctantly.

 

“Ok, then we will see if we can help.” Ben says.

 

Ben looks around, getting his bearings. He looks due east of their current position, points in that direction, and starts walking. The rest of the group follows.

 

……

 

They arrive at the general location the scream came from. Ben begins looking for evidence of the victim. Will suddenly begins waving the group over to him. He points to a wall of brush to his left. He pushes it aside and revels a trashed camp site. The group walks in. Ben unholsters his 44. Mag revolver, keeping it ready. The group spreads out, investigating the destroyed camp site. They find ripped tents, trashed crates with odd looking supplies and toppled cooking pots. Ben looks in one tent, and finds a torn, bloody sleeping bag. To the right, is a human foot. Ben turns away. The owner of the foot wasn’t the one who made the scream. The scream was too recent, the foot to old. Ben continues to look around. He finds scattered blood puddles on the ground. Torn pieces of fabric, most likely they came from articles of clothing.

He also sees human tracks. They seem to indicate that the people who were in this camp were running around, no pattern or reason. Just running. The tracks were about a day old. Ben is about to call the others when something catches his eye. He bends down for a closer look. It’s a track, but not human. Its not anything he recognizes. It about 10 inches long, 4 inches wide. It has 2 toes, spread apart. The track is deep, so whatever made it was heavy, heavier than a human.

 

“Hey guys, come look at this.” Dean calls out.

 

The group converges on Dean. They look at what’s in his hand. It’s a laptop computer. On the screen is a picture of a family.  A husband and a wife along with two children. Dean navigates the laptop, soon he pulls up what appears to be a video log. Dean hits play.

“Log entry 1: August 12, 2019. 0900 hours.

 

We’ve just started making camp. Jacklyn suspects we are close to the subject. We have picked a spot for camp that seems to suit our needs. Lots of space, closer to the river for water. Ryan is setting up the perimeter alarm system. Subject aside, there are predators here. We will begin searching for the Subject at dawn.”

 

“It’s a scientific expedition.” Frank says.

 

“What were they doing here?” Elena asks.

 

“And what’s the ‘Subject’? Will asks.

 

“Who’s funding this?” Jerry asks.

 

Frank walks away, to apparently continue to go through the camp site, looking for clues. Ben motions to the laptop.

 

“Skip a few entries, lets see what they were doing here.” Ben says.

“Log Entry 7: August 17, 2019. 1300 hours.

 

“We have been searching for the subject for 5 days now. The only evidence that we are within the right area was a single track located 3 miles due east of this location. The track was old, but our tracker seems to think it means we are getting closer.”

 

“So, they came here looking for some kind of animal?” Jerry asks, more to himself than to anyone else.

 

Dean skips another couple of entries, then hits play.

 

“Log entry 11: August 20th, 2019. 1100 hours.

 

“Our tracker seems to think he has struck gold. He found a cave system about 11 miles north of here. There is lots of evidence of the subject’s presence. Bones from kills, old, dried up vegetation in the mouth of the cave. This could possibly indicate a nest. We found tracks near the cave, lots of them and they are fresh. We are going to set up a camera near the mouth of the cave to see if the subject does indeed live in this cave system.”

 

“I think I found something.” Frank calls out.

 

The group walks over to Frank. Dean is still holding the laptop. Frank is going though some papers that were sitting on the one table still standing.

 

“I found out who was funding this expedition. Some big company called Washington Labs. I’ve heard of them. They fund research. Everything from cloning to quantum research.” Frank says. He then turns his attention to the papers in front of him.

 

“From what I can tell, they were studying some kind of creature. From these results, it looks like the scientists got fluid samples from it. They ran tests, trying to learn about it.” Franks explains.

 

“What did they learn.” Gerald asks.

 

“They did a study of the creatures nest. They went in when it wasn’t there, and took samples from everything. The nesting material, bones from kills, even fecal matter. I’m still looking for the results of those tests.”

 

“Don’t bother. I think I found them.” Will says. He hands the papers to Frank.

 

Frank reads through the papers. In a few minutes, an expression of shock comes across his face.

 

“My god!” Frank exclaims.

 

“What?” Ben asks.

 

Franks looks at the group, puts the papers down, then puts a hand down on the table for support.

“This thing, is ancient. The results of the test of the bones indicate that there are bones there as old as 1,000 years! The fecal matter test results indicated that the thing gorges itself on anything and everything that it can. There is evidence in its fecal matter that it ate every type of animal that lives in this region! Then it hibernates for century or so. It sleeps, then after about a century it needs to replenish itself. So, it goes on a feeding frenzy, fattens itself up, then goes back into hibernation.” Franks says.

 

“You all are gonna want to see this.” Dean says.

 

“What is it?” Jerry asks.

 

“The last log entry. I think it may hold the answer to what happened here.” Dean replies. He hits play.

 

“Log Entry 15: August 23RD 2019. 1400 hours.

 

“Our Tracker and half the team are dead! We are evacuating! The subject came upon us when we were making the return trip to its nest to leave our instruments. It disemboweled Jacklyn with one swipe of its hand. Ryan and a few others of us managed to get away. Were grabbing our packs and we are getting out of here. We plan to…

 

“It’s here!” Someone screams in the background.

 

“RUN!!!” Someone else screams.

 

The laptop drops, landing on the table. The man who was talking starts to run, but a blur of something comes from the left. It strikes the man and he falls to the ground, dead. There are screams in the background. After a few seconds, there is silence. Then comes a scream, but it’s not human. The sound is bloodcurdling, a sound from something horrific.

 

Dean puts the laptop down. He turns to Elena, who’s face is pale. Jerry turns away and vomits. Ben looks around the camp, then begins to speak.

 

“Alright, we are getting out of here. Immediately.”

 

“I couldn’t agree more.” Dean says.

 

“Are you kidding me?! We won’t make it one mile with that thing out there!” Jerry says.

 

“Calm down Mr. Ryder.” Will says.

 

“No! I will not calm down! I just saw some creature tear apart a bunch of people! Now we are next!” Jerry starts to yell.

 

“Mr. Ryder, we have two things these scientists didn’t. One: Expertise of the terrain, that gives us the ability to take a route back to the plane that will increase our chances of getting out of here undetected. Two: We have firearms that are powerful enough to bring down a full-grown bull Moose. We have a chance to get out of here alive, but we got to leave for camp now, and you got to calm down.” Ben calmly says.

Jerry takes a deep breath, and he begins to relax.

 

“Good. Now, everyone, I suggest we disembark immediately.” Ben says. The group nods in agreement.

 

They begin to walk back the way they came. They soon come upon the base of the first ridge they need to cross, first of three. Ben looks at his watch. 1:00 pm. It’ll be sunset before they get to camp. It’ll be well on its way to midnight before they get to the plane. They hike up the ridge, rifles ready. Dean chambers a round, just to be safe. After about an hour they come up to the top of the ridge, and look over the terrain. Ben can sense the groups nervousness. Jerry jumps out his skin at the slightest twig snap or bird chirp. Gerald is trying to keep a calm demeanor, but Ben suspects inside he is freaking out. The Hudson’s seem to be keeping a lid on it, and Will is nothing short of amazingly level headed considering their situation. Ben himself, is still processing what they had learned. Ben starts down the other side of the ridge, the rest of the group follows.

 

 

 

Hell Beast Revealed

 

3 hours later, they are almost at camp. They reach the top of the final ridge, and stop for a break. The pointy top of the ridge makes for an uncomfortable sitting position, but the group takes advantage of the momentary rest. Dean leans over to his wife, and begins to whisper.

 

“How are you doing sweetheart?” Dean asks.

 

“My feet have never hurt so much in my life; my back is killing me and I’m out of water. But I won’t think about anything else until we are flying out of here.” Elena responds.

 

“Here, have my water. There’s not much left, but its something.” Dean offers.

 

“Thanks.” Elena says with a smile, taking the canteen from her husband.

 

Ben is siting on to the left of the Hudson’s. He is listening intently for any sign of the creature that he knows is out there. Ben is disturbed by what he hears, or, more accurate what he doesn’t hear. The birds have stopped chirping. The forest is dead quiet. Ben nudges Will, motioning to his shotgun.

 

“Grab it.” Ben whispers harshly.

 

Will grabs his shotgun, and holds it at the ready. Ben unholsters his revolver. A split-second latter, they hear a branch break. The Hell Beast comes charging from behind them. It runs head first into Frank, sending him flying into the air. He lands on his back, 10 feet from the beast. Dean runs over to Franks side. Jerry screams in fear. The beast looks at the group, and screams and charges.

 

The Hell Beast is an unearthly sight. It stands 7 feet tall, with two elongated arms. It has two feet, each with two toes. It has a row of spikes along its back. It has a disproportionally big head for its body. Two small black eyes, and a huge mouth full of large, sharp teeth. Its body color is a dark grey.

Ben, Will and Gerald all fire. The beast staggers back, temporarily dazed. But it recovers quickly. It charges again. Will pumps a new shell into the chamber, and Gerald begins to chamber a round. But the beast is upon him before he can finish. The beast raises its left arm, with its three fingered hand. Each finger ends in a dagger like claw. It strikes Gerald in the abdomen, his intestines come spilling out. Gerald crumples to the ground, dead. Ben aims his gun at the head of the beast, he pulls the trigger. The bullet strikes the beast in the right eye. It screams in fury! It spins around, facing Dean and Frank. They stand fast, holding their ground. Will fires a shot at the beast. It hits the beast in the hind quarters. It slices Will on the right leg, blood spurts out. Will screams in pain. Jerry, panicking from what is happening, runs the way they came. He reaches the tree line, and doesn’t stop. Ben pulls out his knife, and rushes the creature. He stabs it in the neck, but the blade barley pierce’s the flesh. The beast has natural armor. But the wound is enough to make the beast furious. It screams again, and runs off the way it came. Ben stands there, in shock. Everything seems to be running in slow motion. Dean and Frank Running to Will’s side. Elena hiding behind a tree. Gerald’s body, laying there. Ben quickly snaps out of his daze, and runs to Will’s side as well. Ben inspects the wound. It’s deep, the cut runs across Will’s upper leg. Ben pulls off his backpack, and pulls out the first aid kit. He doesn’t have something for a wound of this magnitude, but he is going to try. He rummages through the kit. He pulls out some gauze and medical tape. Ben begins to wrap the cut tightly. Will winces in pain.

 

“Dean, get out the pain killers, give a couple to Will.” Ben says.

 

Dean gets the pain killers, opens the bottle and gives two pills to Will. Will pops them in his mouth, and swallows. In a few more minutes, Ben has finished. The remaining members of the group all gather around Ben and Will.

 

“We are leaving, now! Frank, grab the shotgun. Reload it. Will’s pack will have extra rounds. Everyone else do the same, reload. We leave as soon as your done with that.

Everyone loads their rifles. After that is done, Ben and Dean each go on opposite sides of Will and help him up. They begin down the trail. Frank takes up the rear, and Elena sticks close to Dean. They move as fast as they can, but their pace has slowed considerably now that one of them is injured.

 

“Wait, what about Jerry?” Frank asks.

 

“I think he ran off the way we came.” Dean says. “But I’m not sure, it was kinda hard to keep track of everything that went down.”

 

“Maybe we should go after him.” Elena suggests.

 

“We are in no shape to go looking for him. We need to get to the plane. We’ll use the radio to call for help. Once help gets here, and we get more firepower, we will go looking for Jerry.” Ben says.

 

“If he lasts that long.” Dean grimly remarks.

“Yeah, we should have been able to take that thing down. We hit it multiple times with our rifles. Hell, you shot it right in the eye Ben. Why didn’t it die!” Frank exclaims.

 

“I don’t know. It must have armor on its body, and as for they eye shot, I don’t have a clue.” Ben responds. “All I know is that we need to get out of this place.”

 

The group continues on, heading south towards the plane. Soon, it starts to get dark. Ben begins to slow when light starts to fade.

 

“Why are we slowing?” Dean asks.

 

“We got about 20 minutes of light left, it’ll be too dangerous to continue at night. We need to make a fire and rest until dawn.” Ben says.

 

The group all look at each other, then stop. The rest Will by the trunk of a tree. Ben starts to gather wood for a fire while Frank keeps guard. Dean and Elena are resting, when Dean looks at Will. Something doesn’t seem right to Dean. He looks pale, and he’s sweating profusely. Dean checks his pulse, its erratic.

 

“Mr. Crowe!” Dean calls out.

 

Ben comes back with an arm full of wood. He sets it down near the group, and starts to clear away forest debris for a fire pit.

 

“Yes?” Ben responds.

 

“Something is wrong with Will.”

 

Ben bends over Will and takes a look. He seems to be losing a lot of blood. But there is something more than that. Ben unwraps his bandage, revealing pulpy, dark blue flesh. Ben suspects he knows why.

 

“I think the creature poisoned Will.” Ben says, grimly.

“How?” Frank asks.

 

“I’m not sure. Maybe it was in the claws. Maybe it drooled on him when it was standing over him and it was in the drool. I just know that this is more than just blood loss.” Ben responds.

 

“You know me, nothing is simple.” Will wheezes.

 

“Elena, go into the first aid kit and get some anti-biotics. It should be in a syringe.” Ben says.

 

“You have those?” Dean asks.

 

“I try to be as prepared as possible.” Ben says with a smile.

 

Elena comes back with a syringe, filled with clear liquid. Ben takes it from her, taps out the bubbles, then injects it into the side of Will’s infected leg.

“Alright, we’ll give that time to work. Now, lets get this fire started.”

 

Ben moves over to the bare spot on the ground, and starts to build a fire. After a few minutes, the fire has a small flame. Ben starts to build it up more. Will coughs, and begins to speak.

 

“All we need now are some marshmallows.” He says with a weak smile.

 

…….

 

Jerry ran for away from the carnage for over half an hour. He stopped by a large tree and climbed it. He had been in the tree for over two hours now. It was dark, and the temperature dropping rapidly. Jerry had been fighting off panic, trying to calm down.

 

He had seen Gerald get eviscerated in two seconds, his body crumpled to the ground. Last he had seen, Frank was flat on his back, probably also dead, and Will Sanders had the terrible thing towering over him, about to tear him to shreds. Jerry tried to not think about the fate of the others, what happened to Dean and Elena. Or for the guide, for that matter. Jerry knew they were all dead. He felt lonely. He was in the middle of nowhere, his only way out by plane. Jerry knew he couldn’t fly it. But maybe it had some means of communication. Jerry was filled with hope at the thought that maybe Mr. Crowe had a radio, or sat-phone in the plane.

 

Jerry knew he had to get to the plane, to call for help. He suddenly felt clear minded, and determined. He knew what he had to do. He climbed down from the tree. Once at the bottom, he took out his compass, but couldn’t see it. Jerry looked around, trying to see the direction he had come from. The moon had come out, and it was full. The sky was clear, so dapples of moonlight shone through the tree canopy. He recognized a berry bush; it was the one he had ran through when he came to this spot. Jerry had run in a straight line, se he didn’t have to worry about following a zig zag patter back to the ridge top. A shiver ran down his spine as realized that Gerald’s body would most likely still be there. But Jerry knew he had to go back to the site of the attack in order to follow the most direct path to the plane. Jerry stood for a moment, gathering the courage to execute his plan. Then, he started walking in the direction of the ridge top.

 

After 15 minutes of walking, Jerry comes upon a clearing. The clearing is illuminated in the moonlight, giving it an eerie feel. Jerry is about to cross it when he hears a loud crack behind him. He spins around, peering into the dark. He doesn’t see anything, but he also doesn’t want to stay here any longer. Jerry begins to cross the clearing. About halfway across, he looks back, and is horrified to see the Beast standing where he had been a moment earlier. Jerry breaks into a run. He is moving as fast as he can, but he can hear the Beast behind him, gaining. Jerry is almost to the other side of the clearing. Maybe, if he can get to a tree, he can climb it. Maybe the Beast can’t climb! However, before he can get to a tree, there is a sudden weight on Jerry’s back. He falls to the ground. Jerry tries to free himself, but he is pinned. He can hear the breathing of the Beast. He can feel it looking down on him, about to end his life. Jerry closes his eye tightly, preparing for the killing blow. There is a searing pain on his neck. Jerry realizes the Beast has his neck in its mouth! It picks him up, Jerry hanging by his neck, which is in the Beasts jaws. Jerry screams in terror, then the world, goes dark for the last time.

 

 

……..

 

The group is resting, but is far from relaxed. Every sound, every rustle of the leaves sends waves of terror through the group. They are all sitting by the fire, trying to keep warm by during the cold night.

 

“Ben, I was thinking. Didn’t your father disappear in this region years ago?” Will asks.

 

“Yeah, he did. When I was 16.” Ben responds.

 

“Do you think…?” Will starts to ask.

 

“It crossed my mind.” Ben says  

 

“What are you talking about?” Dean inquires.

 

“My family lived the mountain man life. Sewed out own clothes, made things by hand and hunted for our own food. Then, my father disappeared hunting in this general region with a friend. They searched for 3 months, never found a trace of him. They did find their camp, it was undisturbed. Its was like my father just walked into the forest and never came back.” Ben tells the others.

 

“I’m so sorry.” Elena says.

 

“Thanks. Hunting accidents happen all the time. What happened to my father was not that uncommon. But with the things that have happened within the last 12 hours, I’m beginning to think that what may have really happened to my father, may have been more horrific and gruesome than my worst fears for his fate.” Ben says.

 

The group says nothing, they just continue to sit. The golden light from the fire dances across the trees surrounding the group. Dean turns to Elena, and begins to talk to her.

 

“I’m sorry I got you into this.” Dean says. “If we had just been content with our usual hunting area, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

 

“It’s ok, I volunteered to come. I just wanted to be with you.” Elena says. She realized she let her true motive slip.

 

“I thought you wanted to learn to hunt?” Dean asks.

 

“I do.” Elena says, trying to avoid talking about it.

 

“Then why did you say that you want to be with me?”

 

“Because you and your friends all talk about it. you work all week, come home and either work on one of your projects, or talk with Frank about hunting! I just wanted to be part of something you like. Maybe then you will pay attention to me!” Elena says, almost as a yell.

 

Dean sits for second, taking in what his wife just said. He looks her in the eye, and responds.

 

“Why didn’t you tell you felt this way? You could have just told me you wanted more of my time! Instead, you lie?” Dean shoots back.

 

“I didn’t want to make you feel like I was attacking your favorite pass time. I just wanted to know how it felt to be part of that.” Elena says, with a tear welling up in her eye.

 

Dean takes a minute, and thinks about what she is saying. He leans in, and puts an arm around her shoulder.

 

“I’m sorry. Your right, I don’t spend enough time with you. But if we get out of here, I promise that will change.”

“You promise?” Elena asks.

 

“I promise.” Dean says, then hugs Elena.

 

The rest of the group, feeling awkward, are looking everywhere but where the Hudson’s are sitting. Frank is fiddling with the shotgun, while Ben and Will talk about the weather. After Dean and Elena break the hug, they turn and see how their sudden outburst has made everyone else uncomfortable.

 

“Sorry about that.” Dean says.

 

“No, no, its ok.” Frank says.

 

“Well, now that couples therapy is over, you all should get some sleep. I’ll keep first watch. At 3 am, Frank will take over. We will leave at dawn.” Ben instructs.

 

The group all begin to lay down in response to Ben’s instructions. Ben, for his part, puts another log on the fire, and keeps scanning the trees, and listening very, very closely.

 

…….

The sky starts to lighten ever so slightly. Frank puts another log on the fire. The rest of the group is sleeping peacefully. The birds begin to chirp, and the air starts to warm up. Frank has a sense of peace, despite their situation.

 

Ben stirs, and sits up. He blinks twice, and looks around. He sees Frank siting by the fire. Ben gets up and sees everyone else is still asleep. Ben walks over to Will, to check on his condition. He has gotten worse, he limbs are turning a dark purple, he has lost color in his skin, and he is sweating profusely.

 

“I don’t think the medicine is working.” Ben says. “I am worried he won’t make it to the plane, much less to a hospital.”

 

“Don’t forget that they might not have anything that would work to cure him. This is an unknown creature, with an unknown poison.” Frank says.

 

Ben just nods, he walks over to Frank. Frank hands him a canteen. Ben takes a drink, then hands it back. Then, there is a distant howl.

 

“The Beast!” Frank exclaims. “It’s coming!”

 

“Time to leave.” Ben says, putting dirt on the fire to put it out.

 

Ben and Frank wake the others. Ben shakes Will gently, Will barely opens his eyes.

 

“Come on, we got to go.” Ben says.

 

“I’m sorry boss, but I’m not gonna make it, and you know it.”

 

“Unacceptable, were taking you with us.”

 

“I’m just gonna slow you down, I’m extra weight. You need to get to the plane ASAP. Not to mention I’ll probably croak on you half way there.”

 

“What would you have us do?”

 

“Give me a gun, I’ll slow that thing down.”

 

Ben considers this for a second. He knows logically that Will is right, He won’t make it to the plane. But he doesn’t want to lose anyone else. In the end however, Ben decides he doesn’t have a choice but to do what Will asks. Ben takes the shotgun from Frank, and hands it to Will.

 

“I’m sorry.” Ben whispers to him.

 

“Don’t worry about it boss. You’ve been a great mentor, and a greater friend. Now go!” Will says,

 

Ben stands up, and motions for everyone to start running. Ben leads them away from the site where they sleep the night. Will watches them disappear, then pumps a shell into the chamber. A few minutes later, he hears the brush rustling. The beast comes around the tree, and stands over Will. Will looks it dead in the eyes, and sees something that is impossible. Its right eye has healed completely! There is no evidence that Ben shot it there just 14 hours earlier! Will shakes his head, reminding himself of what he promised to do. He points the gun in the Beasts face, and pulls the trigger. The slug just seems to bounce off of the Beasts face. It bites down on Will’s head, and using tremendous force, cracks his skull. Will’s body slumps to the right, he never even made a sound. The Beast smells the air, and catches the scent of the remaining humans heading down the mountain. It pursues them, running as fast as it can.

 

…….

The group has been running for what felt like forever, Dean’s legs burned, and he was winded. But he was a determined as the others to get to the plane before the creature caught up with them. They heard a shotgun blast about 15 minutes earlier. Nobody said anything, but they all knew what that meant.

 

“We are almost there, just another 100 yards.” Ben says, encouragingly.

 

Dean suddenly recognizes the surrounding area as the forest edge, where they had begun their trek the previous day, on their way to camp. Had it really only been yesterday that they arrived here? It felt like a lifetime of running, of being scared. They burst through the tree line, and saw the dock, with the plane still sitting there. They hear another howl, this time much closer. The 4 remaining people run for the plane, they reach the dock, then they hear a branch break. Ben turns around, and sees the Beast has just broke through the tree line. Ben rushes for the plane, he unlocks the door, and steps through. He quickly sits down in the pilot seat, and begins prepping for takeoff. Everyone else piles into the plane, unfortunately the Beast has reach them before they can close it. Dean tries to slam the door, but the creature blocks it with its clawed hand. Dean and Frank throw their combined weight on the door, trying to keep the Beast from opening it. Ben turns on the engine, and pulls away from the dock.

 

“Are we clear?!” Ben yells over the sound of the engine prop.

 

“We are not clear! We are very not clear!” Dean yells back.

 

Even with their combined weight, the Beast still manages to slowly pry the door open. It almost has it open enough for it to come in the plane! Frank solemnly looks at Dean, and mouths “I’m Sorry.”

 

But before Dean can react, Frank grabs Dean pulls him away from the door. It swings open, this catches the Beast off guard. Frank takes advantage of the Beast being temporary off balance, and rushes the monster. Franks body slams it square in the chest, and both man and Beast fall out of the plane. Dean and Elena run to the door, and watch Frank and the creature fall 700 feet down to the lake below.

 

“Close the door!” Ben yells

Dean slams the door shut, then locks it. Ben looks back and sees only Dean and Elena.

 

“Where’s Frank?” Ben asks.

 

“He sacrificed himself to save us.” Dean says, tears rolling down his face.

 

“I’m sorry.” Ben replies.

 

Dean and Elena sit down, and buckle themselves. Dean, now that he has a moment to think, recalls the events over the past 48 hours. They went from having a once in a life time hunter experience to being hunted themselves. Dean had lost almost all of his closest companions in the past 18 hours. Gerald, Frank. Jerry’s fate was still unknown, but he was most likely dead. But Dean wasn’t the only one to lose people close to him. Ben had lost his friend too.

Dean looks out the window, and sees the endless expanse of forest. He knows he will never hunt again, and he knows he will never see the wild the same again. He couldn’t, not knowing the horrors that it holds. Dean turns to Elena, who is holding his hand. Dean wraps an arm around her, happy and so thankful that he still has her. He looks at Ben, and begins to speak.

 

“Where to now?”

 

“Back to Cordova, so we can organize a search party for Mr. Ryder, and retrieve the bodies. If there is anything left to collect.” Ben says. “In the meantime, you can relax, we are out of danger.”

 

“I just hope that godawful thing is dead!” Elena says.

 

“Me too honey, me too.”

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

 

Ben Crowe led the search party himself. They started their search by the lake. They searched for Frank Hudson’s Body. Ben wasn’t sure if he fell into the lake or if he fell onto hard ground. If he fell into the lake, then they would have to comeback with divers. They searched around the lake shore, they found drag marks, along with tow toed foot prints. Ben knew what that meant, the Beast had survived. It had most likely dragged Frank’s body from the lake. They followed it, but first they went back to their second campsite, to look for Will. His body wasn’t there either. They followed the tracks, which lead to the ridge top, the site of the first attack. Once again, there was no evidence of Gerald’s Body. Ben began to see a pattern. The creature was taking the bodies, but to where? Ben remembered from the tape of the scientist that they found a cave, most likely the Beasts lair. Ben decided he wanted to go down the path Jerry had taken when he ran. They followed his trail of foot prints, which lead to a big tree. Then the trail seemed to lead back the way they had come. But the trial went cold about 200 yards from the tree. Ben looked around, and found a massive spot of blood, and head. Ben now knew all he needed to know. He didn’t want to remain here, knowing the Beast was somehow still alive. Must be injured, so maybe it wasn’t on an active hunt, but Ben didn’t want to find out either way. Ben had come with a few volunteers from Cordova to do a preliminary search, so he wasn’t equipped to handle it if it came back. Besides, he had accomplished what he came here to do. He found Will Sanders, Gerald Anderson and Jerry Ryder; he knew they were dead. He needed to head back to Cordova and call off the official search. There was no need for it now, since he knew the men in question were dead.

 

Ben wasn’t sure what he was going to do next, but he was sure part of it involved never coming back to this place again. He didn’t want to risk running into that Hell Beast, that horrific monster, ever again!

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: April 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 ar smith. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Horror Books

Other Content by ar smith

Short Story / Science Fiction

Book / Horror

Book / Science Fiction