She had no idea how long she’d slept there, only that it was far into the night. The sky had changed from red to a deep, dark, blue. A thin layer of clouds had rolled in, blocking her view of the stars and dimming the light of the moon so that everything around her appeared monochromatic, blending with the shadows.
She opened her laptop and check the small time indicator in the corner.
12:23? She been asleep for almost four hours. She had no idea how this had happened, it was freezing outside. Her breathed plumed in front of her like smoke. It must have been well below freezing, and somehow she’d slept.
Now that she was thinking about it, the cold was penetrating her skin like icicles, her clothes a worthless barrier between her and the frigid air. She slammed her laptop shut and forced herself to stand, her legs screaming in agony at the abrupt movement. She stretched, closing her eyes and throwing her arms up over her head, stretching her cramped muscles.
A sharp, throaty growl from the trees snapped her eyes open.
Her heart skipped a beat. Bright white eyes watched her from the shadows of the tree’s, unwavering.
It was a nightmare, she was stuck in a nightmare, it had to be.
Yet she didn’t feel like it was a nightmare. She felt fully conscious, and awake, but she knew she couldn’t possibly be.
She could hear the beast breathing. It was a 30 yards from her or so, it’s eyes not leaving her.
She had no idea what to do. It was just a dream, right? The creature couldn’t hurt her. She was safe.
Without taking her eyes from the beast, she reached down onto the bench and felt for her laptop, wrapping her fingers around it’s cool plastic case and picking it up, holding it to her chest like a stuffed animal.
It was okay. She was probably still asleep on the bench in real life. Maybe if she just went home in this bad dream, she’d wake up on the bench, cold and tired, but unharmed and unwatched.
She edged her way around the bench, tearing her gaze from the white eyes that watched from the shadows.
It had to be some stray animal. Most animals had strange eyes in the night, like cats. That’s probably all it was.
That growl didn’t come from any cat…she thought, then swept it away. It was a dream, dreams were strange things that never made much sense at all.
She had only walked a few feet when the growl came again, louder this time, and much more angry.
She swung around just in time to face the beast that collided with her, knocking her to the ground and pinning her.
It wasn’t an animal at all, but a huge, gangly man with a set of gleaming, sharpened teeth that hung in her face as he breathed on her.
Then she saw the wings, those horrible arms protruding from his shoulder-blades, with long, thin fingers, each with a papery membrane connecting each. They were bat wings.
Spittle collected on her face as the creature screeched down at her.
Out of sudden reflex, she hefted her laptop up above her head and beat the man-monster in the face a number of times, hearing the satisfying crack of contact and the beast howling in pain.
The moment he let go of her with his taloned hands, she scrambled away, fleeing into the night.
The monster behind howled into the sky, a voice filled with rage and hunger.
The first thing she thought of were the vampires from all those horror movies her friends loved to talk about. Was that where her mind was getting this image.
But it seemed so real. She felt that monsters claws against her skin, and she could have sworn the spit dripping from his teeth had actually hit her face.
But monsters like that didn’t exist in reality.
This man was huge, probably a good eight feet tall or higher, and almost emaciated looking, with thin, long arms and legs. As she turned to look, she saw his feet, his horrible deformed feet, stretched at the ankle like a dog-leg.
Those wings spread, blocking her view of the moon on the horizon.
This was not a dream, she knew that now. This monster was as real as the night, and just as dangerous, if not more.
With heavy steps, the man-beast chased after her, his clawed toes clack clack clacking on the pavement.
It was only a matter of seconds before she felt a heavy thud on her back and was sent far across the park, landing on her back yet again.
The hit knocked the wind out of her, forcing her body to become limp upon impact of the ground.
Down on all fours now, the creature lumbered after her, wings folded and flattened against it’s spiny back. Mouth open and teeth gleaming in the moonlight, it lunged at her throat.
Adrenaline saved her yet again, allowing for her to swing her laptop again in a crazed frenzy.
This time, it hit the monster’s lower jaw, hitting like an uppercut from a boxer. His neck snapped back, forcing him to stumble and fall to his knees.
Blanca commanded her legs to raise her and run, and with little effort, they obeyed, adrenaline flowing through her like a jolt of electricity.
What was this?! She shouted to her brain. Who had made this repulsive creature?! Why?! She had so many questions, so much confusion. This couldn’t be real, but it was. She was being chased by a monster. What was she to do?
She had to get to the police station. They would never believe her, but they would if the creature followed her there. She’d be safe there, anyway, with all the firearms and trained policemen.
She dashed quickly through the shadows of the park, glancing back over her shoulder periodically.
She could just see the silhouette of the thing hunching over the pavement, glaring at her with those fiery white eyes. But it was not following her.