Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chapter 20: Night at the Opera

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Adrian Parker

**As part of a round robin collaboration found at: Halloween Collaboration**
Introduction is here: Erin Gainsborough

“Pick up I know you’re there!” I listen to my partner’s frustrated voice growl over the answering machine. “Come on Adrian, I know you hear me! I swear man I’m buying you a cell phone for Christmas! You’re joining the 21st century whether you want to or not!”
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Chapter 01: The Collegian

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Halloween 2012 Tale: The Animal

The Animal Within

Faster and faster your legs pump as you struggle to get free of the woods. It was a foolish thing to ever venture out this far and you knew it the moment you lost sight of the trail. But the idea of seeing what was beyond the dark forest and the secrets yet to be uncovered drew you forward and you swallowed down the feelings of fear.

Darkness grew quickly encompassing the area and your car is a good three miles behind you. Even if you turned back now you’d never make it before the footsteps behind you caught up. Trying your best to make as little noise as possible, you lurch forward taking turn after turn through mossy covered trees and the damp mud that slowly sucked at your feet; your shoes long since lost somewhere within this hell!

Your breathing is labored within your chest and your lungs are on fire. You have no idea how long you have been running at this point but you can’t stop now, not with that thing so close on your heels. If it caught up, if it got you, death would be the only outcome and you are not ready to become one of its victims! Ducking beneath a low hanging branch, you find yourself surrounded by darker shadows dancing on the mountainsides under the pale glow of moonlight.

The faint blue hue of light that peeks through the creepily sprouting trees is your sole source of light and you have to settle your nerves enough to use it. Blackness surrounds you and with no clear cut signs or paths to take, you are gambling with your life! Leaning against a pine, you inhale slow breaths and examine the massive opened space before you. Your eyes finally make out the details of the terrain enough to differentiate heights and keep you moving forward. You have to make it back to civilization and get help before it’s too late!

Adrenaline is pulsating through every vein in your body and helps keep your mind off the cramping that is painfully tearing into the muscles in your legs. They are tired; growing weaker with every step but you have to ignore it and make it to the other side. The merciless winds nip at your face chilling you to the bone. Coupled with the heat of exhaustion and the tireless frustrations of being pelted by small twigs and pebbles you want to stop and just put an end to it all.

The sounds of wildlife grow louder and your eyes dart in the various directions of the clatter. A spine tingling howl stops you dead in your tracks; it was close! The beast you had run into just moments after exiting your vehicle and beginning your hike into the mountains was somewhere right behind you. It was more than human, more than animal; it was a monster hell bent on destroying any and everything that got in its way and now you are in its territory!

A light just in the distance provides you hope; a road! You are close to the town. Car lights dot the thick underbrush just a few hundred yards ahead and you breathe a sigh of relief. With all the strength you have, you dash forward springing over fallen logs and sloshing through mud holes and swamp grass. If you can make it through the next section you are home free!

The sound of your own breathing fills your ears and your heart feels as though it is going to explode. The uncertain noises hidden within the shadows behind you are no longer your main concern but the distraction of freedom blinds you of what’s to come.

Branches break close by but you never falter from your goal. Run! Run! resounds in your ears and you break every rule of motion that you can to get away. You keep telling yourself you can make it, you can survive this night! Cussing under your breath you scold yourself for ever coming out into this thicket. Twigs and rocks grind into the pads of your barefeet cutting into the already bruised appendages but there’s no quitting; you can’t give up now!

Stumbling onto the paved highway you dodge a speeding van as the taillights fade into the darkness before you cutting off your chance of escape. Your only hope now is that another driver comes along soon. The smooth tar of the road is murder on your battered feet but you stay on the pavement following it wherever it leads. Your shirt is tattered and spotted with blood. Scratches and cuts mark your exposed arms and legs while dirt and sweat coat your face.

The trees rustle to your right and you gasp as two large, red orbs become visible. It’s here and with no one else around you are assured you have taken your last breath. The Animal charges forward and clenches your body against its own. Inexplicably you’re filled with warmth and a sense of security. You look up into its eyes and are frozen with fear. Light flickers off of the large fangs buried within its jaw and it opens wider as if to devour you. But before you allow the powerful muscles to snap down you kick it away and run. You can hear its claws scraping against the asphalt as it barrels after you but you hesitate to look behind you for fear that what you see would be your end.

Its hot breath is on your neck once more but the lights of an oncoming vehicle fills your heart with relief as the Animal moves quicker to catch you. The driver pulls to a stop and hops out, the gun in their hands reassures you your night of terror is coming to a close. With weapon aimed at the ready you try to duck but the driver turns the weapon towards you again. Confusion wraps you and your body goes numb with fear. Has all of this running been for naught?

You catch your reflection in the mirrored hood of the truck and fall to your knees. Your red eyes smile back at you and your thick black fur flows freely within the wind and a sudden realization hits you. Last night you were not in your own bed; you were lying in the cold dirt of the forest unsure of how you made it there. But as you gaze up at the full moon you come to understand why the Animal was after you and why the feeling of comfort washed over your nerves as it hugged you close. The Animal wasn’t trying to kill you it was simply becoming one with your human side as the feral instincts slowly took hold.

You smile up at the barrel aimed for your head and with a quick jerk you have both the weapon and driver on the ground pinned beneath your powerful claws. With one quick slash you’ve ended yet another, your reign of terror yet to conclude. The lights of the city are just ahead and you have a mission to complete. No longer fighting control you allow the energy of the lunar shift to wash over you. You now understand you cannot outrun fate and forever you must live out the urges of the Animal within.

A Halloween Tale Coming soon...


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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Passengers: An RWN Original Story - The Lakeland Striker Pt. 2


Brendan Sawyer: Loner, Perceptive, Light Sleeper
Prompt: Sunset
Word count: 763
Warnings: Slight language
**As part of a round robin collaboration found at: Rebel Writers Nirvana**
Continue Reading: "Passengers: An RWN Original Story - The Lakeland Striker Pt. 2"