The Beast Awakens
The light of the moon fought to stay bright as the boiling clouds tried engulf it. The woods filtered out whatever light peeked through. The canopy above creaked and shook as the winds began to pick up. The young saplings and ferns shivered; they knew that the night was growing restless. There was a charge in the air and it was an angry one. It was feeding off the energy that exuded from the lone figure that trudged through the darkening woods. He wheezed and moaned as his burden grew heavier with each step. It wasn’t what he carried in his arms that was the burden… it was his heart. It pained him with every beat. It twisted and turned… to broken to even care about the body that needed it. He only prayed that it would last long enough for him to complete his dark deed.
There was no turning back from what he had to do. There was too much pain in this life and now the final blow had been struck. Life was too difficult… now it was unbearable. How could he go on? Life had been tough, but he came from a tough family and he had managed to get through anything that tried to bring him down before. This was too much though. The darkness that had crept into his life now overwhelmed him. It blanketed him in its cold embrace.
She had always been there to lift it off… now who would do it?
He had grown too weak to do it himself. Now he had only one choice. Descent into madness seemed to be his only choice. The madness offered him an answer. The darkness offered him a cover. He only needed the means. What was felt inside wasn’t enough to do what was needed. He would have to find it. Not in him, but from elsewhere.
Angry snorts and grunts cut through the hush. The sound of tusks scrapping and cracking deeply into the trunks of tree echoed through the woods. There was pain… grief… anger… he could draw from it.
Carefully laying the limp body down in a clearing, he took up his shotgun. He had to head for the sounds… the sounds that promised him a means to his self-appointed duty. The swallow breathes wisped about the cooling midnight air. The storm clouds to the west flashed and rumbled with a boiling rage. There was only a small window of time for him to commit the deed. He stepped lightly through the underbrush, not wanting to scare away the creature he sought. He needed it.
Its death would be the beginning of a new life…
The grunting stopped. It knew he was there. Generations of raw instincts were hardwired into every fiber of its being. Humanity hid such things under a veil of civiled society and beliefs that it was above its animal heritage. It wasn’t true though. That veil was easy to rip away and reveal the true beast underneath. One only needed the motivation.
He had it… now only to do it…
He saw them. Those piercing, bloody, red eyes shining through the darkness. They stared deep through him. They saw everything that he was… what he used to be… what he was now… what he wanted to become. It wanted no part of his plans. Pawing the ground and grunting lowly, the creature ready itself for a full body charge. He raised his gun. It was going to come down to whose conviction was greater.
One wanted to live… the other wanted to die.
Is death stronger than life?
A great mystery that was about to play out between the two beasts. They stared deeply into each other’s eyes. One twitch. One movement would set off a chain of events that neither could walk away. A single glint in the great creature’s eyes signaled for the duel of wills to start. The hairy beast charged towards the broken man. It was full of rage. So many times before it had seen the bipedal creature raise arms against it. It remembered each burning sting as the fast flying shells poured forth from the cold metal gun barrel. It remembered the yells and screams… the hoots and hollers as the creatures thought they had made a killing blows. It carried with it a burden of lead shots throughout its body. Each one twisting and turning and burying itself deeper. Years of pain turned into rage… pure, burning rage.
This is what he needed…
A lesser man would have been shaking and raised an unsteady hand. There was barely anything left in him, let alone fear. The fear he had felt long ago was nothing more than a dull pain that ached in his body. He was a man use to aches and pains. This was nothing. He looked down the barrel of his gun. The massive head of the squealing creature was in his sights. He would only get one shot. Not many would get off two. His aim had to be true. Only one bullet… that’s all he had.
His finger loomed over the trigger; waiting for the command to fire.
The bristly beast drew closer and closer. It clapped its jaw to sharpen its ivory tusks before they would rip into flesh. The bristles on its back raised high to make itself look bigger. It didn’t work though. The man just stood there with his gun held tightly to his shoulder and his eye trained on the dead center of the beast’s head. It was only a few yards away now.
His finger brushed against the trigger. The cold steel begged him to pull it.
He obliged it.
The solid shot… straight through the head. Bone and cartilage were shattered by lead and fire. The great lumbering beast fell where it stood. It had lived a life of fight or flight. From what he tell, it lived a life of fight. Shafts of arrows protruded from its back. Old and fresh bullet holes lined its body. Its bristles were stained from years of blood leaching out. Exposed flesh was green and black and oozed white pus. The light began to fade from its eyes as it drew its last breaths. Time was slipping; he needed to work quickly.
Pulling a knife from his belt, he began to strip skin from flesh and bone.
Looking to the west, he could see that the storm was moving in fast. Its raw energy would help give birth to his dark desire. He hurried back to where he laid her down so gently with the beast’s skin in his arms. Placing the grisly mantle upon his body, he looked to boiling skies and shouted at the top of his lungs. He dared for Mother Nature to grant his darkest wishes. He cursed and spat at the lighting that dared not to touch him. He wanted to feel the full force of pure anger the lit up the skies.
The lightening streaked and danced about the growing clouds. It raced across the sky and aimlessly fell to the earth. It darted up to rejoin the energy that gave it birth. He wanted it for his own.
He fell to his knees; begging was his only chance now. He pleaded with whatever god or devil would indulge his twisted mind. Someone heard his desperate pleas. A single bolt of blinding light entered into his chest. It filled him with the angry energy to feed the growing emotions inside. He felt it all coming forth. Everything that he had felt since the darkness came into his life surged inside. He could feel the creature’s experiences entering him. He could feel its fear as it fled from much larger creatures like itself. He could feel its boldness as it fought with a fellow beast. He could feel the burns as hot lead pierced through its body. He could feel the hate as year after year more and more tried to kill it. He could feel the blinding rage of the beast as it drew its last breath before him.
What seemed like hours to him only took a moment. The light faded and the deafening roar shook the trees around him. He couldn’t hear it though. He could no longer see it.
He could no longer feel anything…
The smoke began to rise off his falling body. He landed face first in the underbrush and fallen foliage. A smile on his face. He knew that he had accomplish what he had come to do. A new life awaited him. His darkness would become the death of all those that stood in his way… those that had brought it upon him… those that had brought him to this place… they would all pay with their lives…
The rain began to fall gently upon the now silence scene. The storm still raged above the two still bodies. They would never move again. Not under their own power.
The skin of the beast, though not attached to its true owner, began to stir. It rose off the man’s body. What was once hollow, started to fill. Not with flesh, bone and marrow, but with hate and rage. It was not a beast of the mortal realm, but something born from the darkness that consumed a grieving man’s heart.
It looked to the sky, a burning glint in its dead eyes and let forth an unearthly squeal.