It was dark when I got out of the store, I wasn't sure if I would be home in time for dinner, but I was starving.
It was becoming a routine, to get off of work this late but I was running out of choices, those animals needed my attention; I've been working as care taker for the store live beings whilst also selling sub-products. The job wasn't all that demanding, except that not everyone was up for the challenge, snakes and spiders could have something to do with it. I was in love with them, specially the species that people fear the most, because I could see first hand how ignorant and prejudiced the human species can be when judging based on the appearance.
The night was rather quite, and it was cold, I dare to say one of the coldest days so far.
My feet were freezing and my head was a bit dizzy from the temperature drop, but I I was fully aware of my surroundings when I was crossing the park; the winter glow was visible in every bush, every tree, even the lake had that beautiful greyish demeanour that comes with the fall. The moon wasn't full, but still the night was illuminated and serene.
While contemplating the area, I spotted a mommy duck followed by it's babies heading towards the lake and that made me come to a halt, just so that I could delight myself with the sight of them. But even though I stopped, the ducks suddenly rushed to the lake and took cover, disappearing from my sight as if something startled them.
At first I looked for a presence, something that could have scared them, but then I noticed something different. The air was getting thicker, making it difficult for me to breath and the leaves were dying; they were, literally, fulfilling their life time within seconds, just in front of my very own eyes.
I'm not a genius, but I knew that wasn't natural, and I could feel something building inside my chest, that feeling that something bad it's about to happen.
On that moment everything was silent, I could only hear the wind rustling the leaves that were now dry, even though I was trying to listen to something else.
An ear piercing scream made me jump in fear and instead of running towards the opposite direction, instead of listening to my guts, I followed it. I wasn't running, I couldn't, my body was trembling in panic and that same feeling that I felt before was kicking in, overpowering my very comun sense. So I was stepping carefully and slowly, as if I knew that I was about to witness something that I did not want to.
Nothing seamed out of order, at first. Silence had, again, took over whatever happened before and there was nothing unusual, except for the dangerous atmosphere. But just when I was about to breath out of relief a crunching sound made my heart skip a beat.
It came from behind a dense bush, so I, clever as I am, went straight to it, ever so slowly.
I tried hard to peak through, carefully to not rustle the leaves and I succeeded, only to regret it almost instantly. There was a deformed silhouette crouched on top of something I could guess was a body. Deformed was not exagerated, it barely looked human, whatever that was, it had a very spooky look, I could tell that even with it's back facing me.
Then s*it hit the fence when it talked.
- "I can hear you breathing".
My breath got stuck in my lungs. The voice was hoarse and not from this earth, and it was mocking me, enjoying my fear, feeding from my emotions.
- " There's no point, I smelled you from the moment you set foot out of that building." - He said while standing up.
On that moment, all I could think about was how stupid I've been for coming here. That thing was not human. When it turned to me, I fully saw it's shape and it made my insides go sick. Its arms and legs we're twisted and stretched, I could see bones surfacing; its neck had a weird curve, almost as if was broken, but its head was the one thing that scared me so that I was at the brink of tears. The sculp was large and the hair was ripped off or it did not follow its growth, the eyes were big, free of eyelids and yellow, the mouth was this huge set of lips and teeth.
When I did not say anything he spoke again:
-" Cat got your tongue?"