I enjoyed this one and it flowed easily from the fingers....
“Going home early, too?”
He nodded vigorously. “After all that’s happened at the village, my father doesn’t want me to stay out late.”
“Yeah, I know.” I fumbled, whistling to my sheep to resume the path down the mountain. “It’s not like it used to be.”
“You can say that again. That…beast—or whatever you care to call it—is really making people afraid!” Angrily, my friend tossed his head back. “We’re not free to go out at nights or whenever we feel like it.”
Beast of the Night
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 500
Darius railed against their fate, cursing this so-called creature of the night that had been haunting the village recently. If you believed in such things, if you believe the stories, which he did not. Ancient wives' tales from the old country, but his parents were spooked, all the parents of their village were. If he knew Martic, he was off chasing a girl from the next village, where they were also forbidden to go, not taken by some beast. Martic was going to have plenty to answer for.
That night after darkness settled over the village, Darius silently pushed open his window, and slipped out into the night. There was only one way to settle this, he was going to spend the night in the cave down by the river. He left a note for his parents and crept away from the village, making his way to the river.
Darius knew the cave well, he'd spent many summer nights by the river, gazing up at the stars, dreaming of his future. He removed his backpack and pulled out his sleeping bag, lying down upon the cold floor. He shivered a little, wishing he'd stayed in his nice warm bed, he'd never stayed in the cave this late into the season, almost the Samhain. As the night grew older, sleep slid over him, and he dreamed.
In his dream, a girl in flowing red gown entered the cave and sank down beside Darius. She was crying and he gathered her in his arms, she was even colder than the stone floor. She whispered to him, she needed him, asked if he could help her. He nodded with his pulse pounding in his ears, she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. He would do whatever she needed. She captured his hand, bringing to her lips, kissing his fingers, and then his lips. The kiss grew deeper and longer, and suddenly Darius was lying on the ground with the girl beside him as she wept against his neck, pulling him closer, until needles pricked against his flesh. At first, he pushed away, what the hell was happening, then he weakened, beginning to enjoy the sensation.
“Please,” he pleaded, “please, stop.” The girl drew slightly back.
“What's wrong, I thought you said you'd help me?” Her eyes welled with tears. “I'm so hungry.”
“I think you're killing me.” Darius laughed, his body already missing her coldness, his heart pounded.
“Not yet,” the girl sighed, “but it is an unfortunate consequence.”
Fear bloomed new in Darius's eyes. “What do you mean?!?” He whispered into the dark, as he weaken still.
“To help me you must give your life.” The girl smiled back, tousling his dark curls almost playfully.
He realized then it wasn't a dream, but a nightmare, this being the last of his life.
The next morning, his body was discovered, coldly lifeless staring sightless. No hint of the beast to be found.
Here's hoping everyone had a fantastic Samhain!!