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The Night Creature

The trees swayed in the night, branches silhouetted against the full moon. Impenetrable darkness permeated the woods past the line of trees separating the open field from the gloom beyond. They stood like guardians.

A figure came stumbling from the darkness. A woman. She caught herself from falling and, spotting her car, ran towards it. She was wearing jeans and sneakers and a light jacket which is the sensible sort of thing to wear when on a hike in the woods. She glanced behind her, looking for signs of pursuit. The crack and snaps of dry brush in the woods spurred her on.

She reached for the closest door, the door handle springing out as she neared and unlocking when it sensed the key fob within range. She yanked the door open, dove onto the back seat, and closed the door behind her. She looked out the rear window and saw the lumbering creature. It was headed right for the car. She didn’t think she could get to the front seat before the hideous monster was upon.

“Start the car!” she cried. Dashboard lights lit up, as did the accent lighting which traveled in light pipes around the doors and center console.

The creature grabbed for a door but the handles had retracted once the car was started.

“Go to the nearest police station!” she commanded.

The car whirred off at speed, electric motors using the full amount of torque available. Brenda looked out the window again and saw the creature running towards her but falling behind. She took out her cell phone and recorded the monster as it fell away into darkness.

“Call 9-1-1,” she said.

After a few seconds, a voice came through the car speakers.

“Emergency services,” it said in a soothing voice. “What is the nature of your emergency?”

“I was hiking in Pikes Park,” said Brenda, still looking out the window. “I was attacked by some kind of animal. Or monster. Or creature.”

“I’ve got your GPS coordinates. Were you alone?”

“No, I was with my boyfriend, Sam. I think the creature killed him!” she cried.

“A SWAT team is en route,” said the voice. “Please stay calm and in your vehicle.”

Brenda nodded, even though no one could see her. Probably. She heard a helicopter pass overhead.
The speakers spoke again. “The SWAT team is on site. I’m being advised that the IR cameras have picked up a heat signature. They don’t know what it is, but they will dispatch it with prejudice.”

Flashing lights in the distance were, Brenda decided, the muzzle flashes of automatic weapons fire. They came in a burst and then fizzled out.

“I’m patching the SWAT commander through to you, ma’am.”

“Hello,” said a new, gruff, voice. “This is Commander Keegan. We have taken care of the threat and we will be looking for your friend. I suggest you go home, or to family or a friend’s house, so you won’t be alone. I’m sure you’ve had quite the ordeal.”

“Oh, I have,” moaned Brenda.

“Rest easy. You are in no danger. We’ll have an officer follow up with you in a couple of days. Keegan out.”

Brenda’s car drove her to her parent’s house, where they fussed over her. But she was busy posting her video, which came out nicely (thanks to modern optics, light sensors, and auto-stabilization) and updated her Twitter feed with her experience.
Hashtag: Terror!

The End