Creature - a short story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

A chilling short, about judging a book by it's cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Creature - a short story

 

 

 

It was a freezing December night. The creature walked hopelessly through the field. Then he smelled them, men and dogs. They were coming for him. He’d known they would. As soon as the two little girls had spotted him and screamed for their daddy, the man emerging from the house with a hammer in hand. He had turned and fled but he knew they would come for him.

He ran back towards the fence that marked the edge of the field and start of the woods. He needed to be fast. He needed to be cunning. His footfalls crunched under the thick snow. The fear poured from him and he knew the dogs would pick up on the scent; he needed to find something to mask it.

As he powered onwards he began thinking of all the times this had happened. Every time he came upon villages and people, this happened. It was the fear of not knowing that ignited their rage, the fear of something different. They didn’t understand, and that frightened them.

 He had never hurt a human being but that didn’t matter to them. They didn’t stop to consider it because they looked at him and were terrified of what they saw.

Once, a long time ago, he had come across a lost little boy in the woods. It had been a night a lot like this one, cold and wet, and the boy, no more than six years old, had been huddled under a tree, crying for his mummy. When he saw the creature he had stopped crying and gasped in horror, but the creature simply padded over, laid across the boy and kept him warm and safe from predators for the night, until he woke in the morning and led the boy back to the safety of the village where he came from. But upon entering the village, full of people out looking for the missing boy, a woman had spotted him and screamed that he was going to attack the boy. The boy tried to explain to his mother that the creature had saved him, but he was just a boy and no one paid him any attention. They picked up stones and hurled them at the creature until he turned and fled.

He had re-visited the village once, years later and sniffed out the boy, who was now a man. He found that the man had grown up strong and must have become a good man as he had been wearing the uniform of a nurse. He was glad then, that he had saved the boy on that night. He had wanted to approach the man, to see if he remembered him, but he was too fearful that the man would not, and that he would react the same way as his fellow villagers had done all those years ago. He promised himself now, that if he got away from this place alive, he would go back.

He reached the fence and jumped over in one great leap. The dogs were gaining on him, he could hear them now. There was a lake just on the other side of the wood. He was heading for it. But the creature knew he could not jump in to mask the smell, it would be too cold and he would surely die. Instead he would try to cross the ice, he was sure the men would not let their dogs take the same route and would have to go around the edges of the lake. It may just buy him enough time to get away.

He reached the edge of the lake, tested it to see how thick the ice was. It seemed thick enough to take his weight. He gingerly stepped on to the ice and began to slowly walk across. The creature began to walk faster, he had reached the centre of the lake, all he had to do was keep going at this pace and he would soon reach the other side. But his bravado got the better of him and he began to run. He felt the ice crack beneath him. He stopped. He fell, flat on his stomach, digging his nails into the ice, trying to pull himself forward. Another crack. He began to panic, breathing heavier and heavier. Finally the ice gave way and the creature plunged into the freezing water, the pain hitting him like a million needles all at once. He clawed his way back to the surface and gasped a lungful of air before sinking back down again. He felt above him, but it was a ceiling of solid ice this time. Swimming around, trying to find the hole he had fallen through. It was no use. He pounded on the ice above him, harder, yes there was a crack, harder still, another crack, and again until he broke through to the surface, gasping for air, coughing and spluttering. He soon realised he was near the waters edge, he could pull himself out, if he could find the strength, somewhere deep inside.

Finally, with amazing effort, the creature hauled himself out of the lake and onto the banking. He lay there shivering and whimpering. He no longer had the strength to move, just enough to lie there and die. He sniffed the air. They had found him, he must have been under for quite some time but it had only seemed like a couple of minutes at the most. He smelled the dogs first, but the men were not far behind.

Lying in the snow, waiting for his hunters to arrive, he took some small comfort in the fact that maybe they would just shoot him; put him out of his misery, so he wouldn’t have to freeze to death. “Over here, I can see him” came a voice from close by. The men rushed up but would not get too close, just in case the creature had enough energy left to attack. “What should we do?” asked one of the men. “Leave it” replied another “the monster doesn’t deserve out bullets”. They left.

The noise of the dogs died down. The winter around the creature began to go silent. The cold had stopped now, just numbness remained. He thought to himself ‘monster’ how many times have I heard that word? How many people have called me a monster? And yet here I am, dying, alone, in the snow. Having never harmed a human in my life. Who is it? That are the real monsters?

The world went black. The creature closed his eyes. His breathing ceased. And hopefully, just hopefully, he went to a better place.


Submitted: April 17, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Nicola Chudasch. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Insane Membrane

awww I feel so sad :-) good work

Fri, April 20th, 2012 4:09am

Author
Reply

hehe thanks :o)

Fri, April 20th, 2012 1:33pm

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