Out on the desolate moor, John ran. The beast came out of the mist behind him in great, loping strides. Where it came from John’s panicked mind couldn’t fathom. Only that it had already claimed his wife. Her screams still echoed in his mind and the memory of it mixed with his own sobbing tears.
He could feel the beast behind him. It’s grunts, the snapping of bone as it consumed the remains of his love. He knew it was toying with him – it was faster than he for sure, cutting him off when he went certain routes, leaving drool on others to let him know it had been there and was watching. Every time he thought he had lost it, he saw it’s malevolent eyes in the distance, peering through the bushes, piercing the shadows.
All John knew was that the longer he played it’s game, the more time he had to try and elude it.
Then at last, a light! John felt his tears turn from terror to those of relief. Whatever it had done, the beast had driven him in the wrong direction. Towards a cottage or a station. Towards help. After all, it wasn’t as if it was that smart was it? His face rose from despair to determination, his body giving him one last burst of energy.
The light was so bright now through the fog, safety so close. But as he drew closer, safety was…a lantern. Suspended from a tree out of reach, it was guttering and flickering in the haze.
Desperately John scanned around for something, anything to show signs of civilization, protection from the creature. His eyes fell on a message carved into the tree trunk. Worn with time and partially covered it moss, it read:
BUT IT NEEDS TO FEED”
John didn’t feel much after that. He was still in shock when the beast landed on him, crushing the life from him.