Chapter 1 - Fear (Part 3)Mature

I ran to the front door. I had to make sure the barricade was going to hold. If I could not drive the beast off, then I had to hope to discourage it from entering. So far none had tried breaking the barricade, as my bolts would drive them away before long, but I hadn't a clue how strong they truly were. I only had that memory my door being broken in on that first night.

After the front door was secured and I was confident I had done the very best I could on it, I moved over to the window and looked out into the night. At first, it looked as if the wide expanse of land was empty of all save the crops. I might have moved to the basement if I saw nothing, though. All it took was a moment to see the stalking figure moving between the cornstalks.

No, not stalking. Running.

I cursed and placed the end of my crossbow out of the window, aiming as well as I could. The years spent sneaking into mansions and stalking men had paid off, it seemed, as I could almost see perfectly in this darkness. Maybe I was still stained from back then or maybe it was my fate to forever walk in darkness. Either way, I was glad of my eyes for they allowed me to shoot the bolt almost perfectly.

And shoot it I did. With a loud snap, the short bolt flew out of my window and toward the beast that charged. It fell face first and rolled, taking down a few of the cornstalks. I couldn't care less about them, though. I was too busy watching the figure of black move about. From the shape and the motion it made with one of it's cursed arms, I deduced my bolt had hit the thing in the head.

God blessed me this night! That usually drove them away. Just in case, though, I placed my crossbow on the ground and picked up the loaded one that lay near the window. I hadn't much faith in this one, as it was smaller, but the beast had gotten closer. I would be able to make a perfect shot with the distance between me and it. I had to.

My fear told me the beast would keep coming. It always told me this. I knew it to be a form of paranoia. At least, I made myself believe that. It was usually true, too. Tonight, however, it was anything but true. The beast got up. And then it howled once more. After it finished, it began to run toward my house. Toward me.

I placed the crossbow on the window and took aim. It only took a moment for me to fight through the fear that now threatened to plunge me into despair and pull the trigger. SNAP! The bolt flew true and hit the beast in the arm, taking it to the ground. It was close enough to make out clearly now, too. That had been too close... I watched it move around and make strange noises I could only guess to be whining.

This particular one was large; around three heads taller than myself from the looks of it. It's tail was long as well and it's arms well rounded like a strongman's. The beasts often came in different sizes, but this was the first I'd seen with arms that... muscular.

As if to prove just how strong it was, the beast stood and pulled the bolt from it's arm. It's glistening silver eyes - I could make them out now - regarded me viciously. I knew it meant to challenge me, though I could not know how... The beast pulled the bolt out of it's arm and closed the distance between me and it in almost an instant.

I had to jump back, nearly hitting my other crossbow and tripping. God above, how had it moved that fast? And why was it still coming!? I only hoped the reinforced windows would hold long enough for me to grab a spear. I refused to give up yet.

The End

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