I first heard the sound of scrabbling footfalls upon the roof, then scratching at the windowpane. An odd whining seemed to accompany both. Lifting the curtains aside, I peered out to see a dog-like creature with its nails embedded in the exterior wood moldings. It saw me as well, and let out a terrifying howl. Peddling backward, unable to keep my feet, I watched as it freed one forepaw and used it to rip the window casing from the wall. As the glass shattered, and it flung the wooden remains behind it, it leapt through the opening. I could see that it was wounded, shot in the gut and bleeding, as it panted before me.
I tried to shove backward with the heel of my sneakers, but it would have none of that. With lowered head and bared teeth, it placed one enormous paw on my leg to halt my movement. I became paralyzed with fear; it must have sensed as much and began advancing. With its feted breath sharing my own, it growled louder, its curling lip revealing more of its fanged jaw. Then it faltered, weakened by the buckshot in its gut. I reached sideways into the corner and grabbed for the police issue MAG-lite my father had given me. I began slowly edging toward the wall again; it watched with a wary gaze, then its anger, perhaps hunger – I couldn’t say – grew. It hurled itself at me with all its formidable strength. The two of us slammed into the corner battling for our lives. It tore at me with teeth and claws that felt like grappling hooks. My jeans shredded, the flesh torn off the bone of my thigh, it ripped a piece free and gulped it down. Beyond shock, beyond pain, feeling nothing but revulsion, I leaned over and threw up the entire contents of my stomach as it continued to tear at me. Not willing to die without a fight, I lifted the flashlight and brought it down upon its head. A moment of shock stilled both of us; I was terrified I’d simply enraged it more; it was apparently stunned by the blow. Encouraged, I swung again — this time it did enrage the beast; its jaws snapped at my face, my arm, anything it could close its fangs upon. Its raking claws slashed at me. I did all I could to fend off the flesh rending blows. Then, it made a mistake.
In its frenzied attack, it turned its head sideways and lodged its fangs into the wood of the dresser. It jerked and pulled, struggled to free itself, but it had sunken its teeth in so far, it couldn’t dislodge them. I began to bludgeon it repeatedly with the torch. Beating upon it, I collapsed its ribs, broke its hindquarters, and managed to shatter its paw just below the dewclaw. I beat its head to a bloody pulp; one eye collapsed as the upper mandible of its snout shattered. Freed of the grip those teeth held, it yanked again and pulled free of the wood. Both of us bloodied, we lay collapsed and desperate in that corner. It stared at me with its one amber eye — I looked down at its wrecked body, its destroyed head, and I realized the fight was over, I had lost. I dropped the light, used my free hand to pet it once, then twice upon the scruff. It stared back at me mournfully, realizing it was dying. Then in a final surge — perhaps it was mercy — it struck forward and ripped my throat out with one last snap of its destroyed muzzle.
© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
Coffin Hop Goodies!
How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}
and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song
plus the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned
and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!