Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Beast

I stride around the corner of the house, hands full of mail and moving fast. I'm looking down at what I'm doing, concentrating on just getting the job done, but when I look up what I see stops me in my tracks.

The corpse is sprawled across the bottom stair. The attack occurred just steps from the safety of house and home, so close it breaks my heart to realize. A fan of ... stuff ... spreads out across the sidewalk, arcing out from the base of the stairs; a spray of strands and gobbets that had, until recently, been found on the inside of the victim lying cold upon the stair. The fan shape points like an arrow, backtracking to the source of the fluids and flesh decorating the sidewalk. A great wound torn through the flesh and deep into the secret inner workings of the corpse.

The corpse. The wound. And the Beast that is, even now, pulling forth and eating soft, squishy things with apparent relish.

I freeze, holding my breath. The Beast has not noticed me yet, so intent is it upon its feast. Claws scratch and scrabble at the concrete as it works the wound, thrusting its face deeper into the great, tearing hole; nuzzling in to find greater delicacies.

I'm not prepared for this encounter. I've not taken a full, deep breath. Thus it is mere seconds before the stale, used air within my lungs pushes its way out through my frozen lips with a small puffing sound.

The head snaps up out of the open maw faster than the eye can follow, bits of flesh and guts spraying into the air. Eyes, black and shiny as pools of wet ink, stare unblinking into my own. Paws flex, claws gripping the ground, as the whole body tenses.


The Beast springs away, leaping down the sidewalk in a zig-zag pattern; broken field running in nature.
I watch the squirrel flee before turning back to inspect the terrific mess he has made of the pumpkin sitting on the bottom step, shaking my head as I do so.

""I'm sure glad I don't have to clean all this up."

I deliver the mail and move on through the neighborhood.

Talk to you later!

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