The sunken shadows that pressed into the ground started to get longer and more defined. Like a collection of moving silhouettes reaching across the dirt. They moved with just enough speed that I doubted myself. I was so focused on the shadows that a touch of warm breath flicked my neck and caused me to cringe. I spun around with an outstretched swing ready to strike... but there was nothing.
The dry taste in my mouth made every inhale sound stained. Shallow and quick, was I panicking? Impossible. It’s just my imagination. I’ve gotten the idea stuck in my head and now I can’t seem to look past the possibility of make believe monsters.
I rubbed my eyes and felt the tingle in my right eye start to burn. I pulled my sleeve up to wipe it clean when I saw a bulky mass shift to my left. It moved from behind one tree trunk to the other.
I power walked forward feeling ridiculous when a low groan forced me to a stop. That was not imagined. It was not a groan from a dog, or a man or a wild boar. It carried with it a distinct cracking noise, like the crack of electricity.
I glanced over my shoulder not sure what to expect. The forest was getting darker; the hand print of night had covered almost every touch of surface and smothered out the moonlight. Everything went quiet, unnaturally quiet that all I could hear was each breath whistle through my nose. I strained my eyes into the depths when the beast appeared.
Something huge stepped out from the bulk of the trees just down the path from me. I couldn’t see much detail, just a slim canine head hovering a good two feet higher than my height, its eyes of silver shimmering with an unnatural glow.
It was panting heavily, its body coated in black scales that melted with the rest of the dim bush. The panic hadn’t set in yet but I could feel the fear flooding behind my eyes. The creature then slowly started to step forward on all fours and I could hear the heavy crunch of its padded feet press into the dirt. It lowered its head so its shoulder blades arched upwards like pointed thorns. A touch of light crossed its face and caught the white shine of fangs. Its lips were curled back, letting another series of cracking hisses through. As it opened his jaws, a harsh smoky, silver glow seemed to be emulating from the core of its body, seeping out of its eyes and mouth like escaping smoke. It was dangerously foul, a creature that clearly did not belong to this world, let alone Whitehaven. I stepped backwards just as the beast jumped into a sprint straight towards me. It was fast. Really, really fast. I bolted as soon as it moved.