Beware What Lurks in the Shadows…

The creature crept around the shadows of the looming, granite buildings. Teeth gleaming in the moonlight, pointed blades of terror, steady, ready to slice into a soft, juicy piece of flesh. Its claws, long, with decaying flesh and dried blood compacted underneath it serrated nails, delicately tear apart flesh from bone in one movement, can slit a man down from forehead to groin.

Hunger growls through its hairy abdomen, shaking the ground around it, rattling the bins against the wall. ‘Hungry,’ the creature mumbles loudly. Its tongue tastes the air searching for its next meal.

Crawling up the grey building, it sniffs and licks the air, leaving gloopy trails of saliva in its path. Saturday night… that’s always fine pickings for a creature. The creature licks the air frantically. The salty, spicy of a donor kebab has the creature salivating puddles. Scuttling closer, the acrid taste of lager and tequila peels back the creatures plump, bubbling lips. It’s found its prey.

It watches the man drop bits of cabbage on the ground, stumbling into bins and walls as he tries to lick yoghurt from his sleeve. The creature slithers down the drain pipe into the narrow lane, waiting for the man to cross his path. The man stumbles closer. He stops just before the entrance to the lane, fumbling in his pocket for his phone. His fingers, greased with meat and struggle to access his phone. Trying to wipe his hands, his phone slips from his hands onto the middle of the lane entrance. His swaying vision deceives his legs and he falls, wrist-first into the damp gravel. Tonight is not his night.

The creature puffs up its thick body, it teeth pronounced and lunges at the man, nails tearing into the man’s flesh. It attempts to drag the man into the lair behind the mound of rubbish bags, but this human is resisting. The man feels a stabling pain in the flesh around his hips. Something biting him. He tries to swat whatever it is away but misses. He needs something large and heavy. He takes the kebab and smashes it against his body, beating it like a dirty rug. The biting stops, and he looks across the crime scene of his decimated kebab. The creature, covered in meat and sauce licks its fur in delight, rolling in the chili sauce and pita bread, he tears apart a piece of donor and roars in delight.

The man looks at the scene before him.

Amongst his late-night meal is a tiny mouse, devouring it feverishly…

By Nic S.

Image by Erik Witsoe

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