“My son is living a nightmare no child, nobody should ever have to deal with.”
Dr. Michael Trent spoke with the police for God knows how many times in the past three months. This time it had been about Christopher’s death. He ran his hand through his hair and sent the detectives out the front door of his home. Upstairs Hunter lay in bed in a state between life and death, sanity and insanity, between the real work and a nightmare.
It had been just another camping trip. The five boys had been camping in the woods on the edge of town for years – since they were in 6th grade. They were good kids. The parents never had to worry about them getting into trouble.
On a warm summer night, when they were all sixteen and seventeen, they camped together for the last time.
After they’d all climbed into their sleeping bags, after a night of hotdogs, smores, a few swiped beers, and a lot of talk about school, girls, and their plans after graduation, it happened.
Hunter, Christopher, Dylan, Kyle and Sam. Best friends forever. They’d always be with each other. Always.
While asleep under the stars something grabbed Hunter’s sleeping bag and dragged him into the woods. The other boys could hear the trashing, the crunching, the tearing, and the screams.
Something huge, like a shadow, like a bear, or as one of the boys put it “The Hulk”, stood over Hunter and looked from the darkness with glowing dark eyes. It could have been anything.
Hunter’s once handsome face was an unrecognizable bloody pulp. His left arm was mangled and almost fleshless. It was a miracle that the was alive.
That was in July.
On the night of August 1st Dylan was walking home through the park they’d all played in as kids. He stopped to sit on a swing, thinking about what had happened three weeks before. He never thought of himself as vain, but his friends joked he looked like an Italian Model. Poor Hunter. Tears flowed down his face.
Then mid thought Dylan was slammed to the ground by an unknown force. His head was held as if in a vice. Pain like no other exploded his entire being as someone, something ripped off his entire lower jaw. In the morning his mutilated body was found by a woman walking her dog. She never slept easy again.
A few weeks later Kyle was at the grocery store picking up flour for his mom. She was making him a birthday cake. She knew he was in mourning for his best friend but she wanted him to have the cake. Sam and Christopher would be there.
Kyle never made it home. He was slammed against his car and an unknown thing, a creature, something too violent to be a man, took his arm. It tried to get at his face but was scared off with the yelling of other grocery store patrons.
By then nobody in town let their teenagers out at night. On a Wednesday night Sam took the garbage out to the street. The creature jumped him and took his scalp. Then it took his heart. The scalp was never found. His heart was found in the garbage can, still warm.
As for Christopher, poor Christopher, was home alone while his parents were out at a party. It drained his blood. His face, like Hunter’s was mangled. The only things left were his brown eyes and his right ear. The neighbors called the police when the two family dogs would stop howling.
After the death of Christopher the attacks stopped. The creature or whatever it was had left. Still the threat of violence and unknown horrors lingered over the town.
Two years later Kyle started his first year of college. He’d decided to go to the local Community College for two years and then transfer to UC Irvine to study medicine, or maybe political science. He liked the beach and sunshine. It would be a good school for him. Getting along with one arm wasn’t that bad. It was the nightmares that paralyzed him.
Hunter was accepted to Princeton. It was on the other side of the country and away from his memories. He’d always be in touch with Kyle. They’d always be friends.
As he walked across campus girls smiled at him and approached him. Other young men shook his hand and gave him bro hugs. He’d smile and was thankful to be alive. The scars were fading, thanks to his dad’s skills as a plastic surgeon. Actually, he looked good. He looked different but kind of handsome he thought.
He missed his friends but they’d always be with him. Christopher’s ear and nose, Kyle’s left arm, Dylan’s jaw, and Sam’s thick brown hair.
Winter came and the memories of the horror was starting to fade. Dr. Trent was hanging Christmas lights, humming Jungle Bells. He heard something in the bushes. Darn it, the cat must have gotten out. He glanced over and called the cat’s name. It was the last thing he ever did.
Thanks for allowing me to try my hand at writing horror …over morning coffee.
October 20, 2018.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman