An owl screeched into the darkness of the deserted forest. Again, I imagine the taste of what I could have been eating for dinner if I didn’t get stranded. I used the light of the full moon to navigate through the sea of prickly branches and shadows. Every now and again, I would feel the fleeting touches of shadowy images that my subconscious mind insisted were nocturnal animals. As I passed from the clearing into the darkness of the deep forest, I began to hear weird noises and the stench of a decaying animal made its way to my nose. Going further into the darkness, I began to smell smoke. Although the smoke was thick and the odour was strong, I could not find a fire. I dropped to my knees to avoid inhaling the smoke but that was a mistake. The decaying scent had not come from an animal. It had come from the vast array of tattered human bodies that was illuminated by the sudden reappearance of the moon.
My scream was drowned out by the loud howling that ran through the forest. I immediately forced myself to stop screaming. There was no reason for the creatures to come after me too. Gathering my courage, I tentatively pushed myself off the rotting carcasses and shakily made my way to the nearest clearing away from the horrendous yowling. When I reached the clearing however, I saw the outline of what appeared to be human. You see, the moon had been concealed by a cloud.
“Stay away!” he rasped, backing away from me.
“Hey, I won’t hurt you. I’m lost too…” I said softly.
“That’s not what I’m afraid of!” he snarled, “Just-”
I watched in terror as the moonlight hit him, causing him to shriek in a ghastly way. His elongated nails tore at his skin, revealing fur under the bloody mass. Well, at least I knew the cause of the tattered carcasses. Too bad I was about to become one now.
As I came to this realization, I decided that I didn’t want to die. Not yet at least. Just as the dripping fangs aimed for my neck, I dropped to the floor of the forest and he missed, instead sinking his razor sharp teeth into a tree trunk. While he was getting it unstuck, I ran as fast as I could away from there. I heard his angry growls not far behind me, as he followed my scent.
I thought that I had lost him at last when I no longer heard him slamming into trees but I continued running just in case. What I did not think of happed instead. I ran directly into him.
“No! Please, I don’t want to die!” I screamed helplessly, desperation coating my voice even as he approached me with his teeth bared.
As the clawed hand closed around my neck, he dropped me as if burned and clutched his head in pain. Snarling, hissing and growling, he trashed through the forest, whimpering piteously. I would have been sorry for him if he was not trying to kill me. I could not help but wonder what had caused his misery but I was not suicidal.
However, I had failed to notice that the place was considerably lighter. Finally the sun had risen. I had somehow landed back where I had started but there were no dead bodies lying around. I did not want to go looking for trouble so I hurriedly made my way back to the village with a racing heart. The first person I mat in the village looked very familiar.
When the face registered in my mind, I fainted, shocked that my nightmare was real.