By David Ferriman
The other villagers were used to the sheep by now. Every night a few would vanish – no bones, no blood. They’d just be gone. Everyone knew tha’, knew to be behind locked doors by night fall. Everyone.
But young love is a hard thing to deny. Sees itself as stronger than steal, filled with an unbreakable magic that canna be quenched.
Such are the thoughts o’ fools.
It took weeks searchin’ ‘fore any type of remains was found. And the man that found ‘em, well, some say he may never come out of the shock they found ‘im in. Wide eyes and filled with terror, other men said they ‘ad to dunk ‘im inta the cold river to get ‘im to stop screamin’.
But ‘is shock ‘ad been their blessing in a way. It prepared ‘em for the horrors they saw next.
Now, don’t go asking me what they saw. I weren’t there and I don’t want to know. I’s just telling you ‘ow it was, so you understand what’s happened, and why.
Okay, let me get back to the story, where was I… ah yes!
It was the girl they found a part of, or least they convinced themselves it was ‘er. I don’ reckon anyone in their right mind could know for sure. The state they said the body was in…
But they now thought they had a duty, had to kill it, see. I went with ‘em, what a fool I was! Didn’t care much for the Douglas boy you know, none did really. The girl, well she seemed nice enough – sure she was a pretty thing. Me? Thought I’d have revenge fer the sheep that black devil took off me land. Cost me, ya know?
Well, I didn’t – it was about to cost me, cost us all! even more.
We waited ‘til dark to hunt fer it. Went right into the forest. Might as well have been walkin’ into Hell itself! I don’ know if the heat was from our fear, or the fumes of whatever hell that damn dog came from.
It was hot, I couldn’t see from the sweat rollin’ down me face. Took me hat off, see. Tied a cloth round my head to hold da sweat back.
My hat back on, and I saw it. Huge it was! Its eyes we so red, like a fire that burnt inta me soul! But the hound, it was black – just barley saw its silhouette through the trees and like thunder it was upon me!
A shot rang out from the dark, hit the beast dead on, knocking me down with it. So heavy! I heard two of my ribs crack from the weight. Its matted fur was so coarse thought it’d rip through my skin!
But it wasn’ a dead – no!
Quick as lightning it was off me and on ‘im – that bloke who’d shot it. I tried to reach for me gun, but couldn’ a get it in time. It was draggin’ ‘im off, ‘e was screamin’!
Hang on, hang on… Let me breath. I need a dinrk, there’s a good lad. Oh! Sorry girl! Good lass, good lass!
Okay now, no – no! I can keep going! Listen, you need to hear this!
Dragged ‘im off it did. Dragged ‘m. I saw it! Flames shot up from the ground. Damn fools tryin’ to tell me it was the sunset, twern’t twilight when we went out there! ‘Twas night! No, that thing, that beast – it drug that man, ol’ Gentry – you knew ‘im! Well, that beast drug ‘im down to Hell.
Lot o’ good it did ‘im trying to save me life, so don’t you be a fool – none o’ you! Stay here, stay safe! Lock up your families. An’, whatever ya do, DON’T GO INTA THE WOODS AT NIGHT!
Dave Ferriman is an artist, graphic designer, and web marketing specialist. He enjoys writing and creating music as hobbies.