“The woods always look different at night. Even with the glasses, everything has an unfamiliar slant to it. As if the daytime trees and flowers and stones had gone to bed and sent slightly more ominous versions of themselves to take their places.”
2016- DECEMBER- NIGHT
LONDON LOCAL BAR
The rush was lessened as the bar approached its closing time. Numerous dirty glasses, bear bottles lying across the floor as the Akcent's song, 'feelings on fire', was being played in the background.
Adeline Rose Martinez, an eighteen year old pretty girl, full of optimism and innocence that usually came with a bright future, was working her part-time job, pulling bills from the register.
"Wow! Didn't we make quite a lot of money tonight, like all of London showed up?"
Her fellow bartender Nina, a hot local, touching up her eyeliner in the bar mirror, said, "Darling, never underestimate the power of cheap booze," turning towards Adeline, buttering her up, she said, "-and a hot, new, graduate bartender."
Rolling her eyes, seeing right through Nina, "I was covering for you, Nina." Said Adeline.
By now, Nina was entirely facing Adeline, her eyes widened a little in a dramatic way, "What, I'm serious. Addy, you need to open your mind a little. Didn't you see, you had like four guys throwing themselves at you."
Huffing her fair share of breath, "Just two, and one was borderline unconscious," thinking about the same, "well the other one was kinda sweet, helping and all, didn't he?"
"Sure he was, so what are your Christmas plans?"
Writing down the total sum, Adeline kept the pen aside, looking at Nina, "Maybe, a Christmas in Florida with Grandpa."
"Woah! Isn't it nice, huh?"
"It is, I haven't been to Florida for five years now, and...you know it feels like home there." Said Adeline, smiling to herself, softly.
A saccade string of ringing broke their conversation, pulling out her cellphone, Nina dismissed the call as she already knew who it was. Giving Adeline an apologetic smile, "So, you sure you don't mind?"
Adeline laughed as she was being buttered up, "Go. We already talked about it, and we don't want your fiance to think otherwise, now do we?"
With two long strides across the counter, Nina engulfed Adeline in a bone crushing hug, exclaiming, "You are the best! If I ever get out of employees, you are the one I am going to hire." Pulling out, Nina grabbed a beer bottle, "Mike loves this one."
With that Nina races out, "Have fun!" Adeline yelled as she shook her head, amused, then started tossing the discarded beer bottles.
After an hour of tiring and boring work, there was not a bottle in sight. Satisfied with her work, Adeline flipped off the music and the lights. Suddenly it was dark and quiet, but too quiet, not according to her liking.
With an unsettling feeling, she grabbed two trash bags, after locking up, she headed towards the dumpster in the parking lot, when suddenly a mouse, rustling, jumped out of it. She jumped, startled.
Just a mouse. Still, she hurled the trash into the dumpster, hurried to the pathway, leading toward her home.
Snowflakes fell from the dark, chilly sky as a crisp wind weaved through the buildings. The night's chilly breath was tickling up Adeline's neck and ear as she shivered and pulled the coat tighter around her as she increased her pace.
Soon, she reached home as it was just a ten minutes walk from the bar. The main door was locked, pulling out her phone, seeing the time, Adeline visually cringed, 1:25 AM.
Adeline cringed again as she dialed apologetically, after two to three rings, she mumbled, "Pick up the phone, Grandpa…."
Sighing, she thought he might be asleep by now. Searching for the spare key, Adeline found it under the plant pot, unlocking the door, she stepped into the house and immediately collided with an object that seemed vaguely like a table or that was what she assumed.
The room was bleak, cold and completely dark. It was quiet and somber in there as Adeline felt a chill as the darkness engulfed her. It was the most piercing darkness ever-it was not merely the darkness that came out of the absence of light, it was much more sinister.
"Grandpa..are you awake?" Adeline called out in case her Grandfather was awake.
The pitch black atmosphere was impenetrable and she stood rooted to the spot, trying to stretch her eyes as wide as possible but she could barely make out a feeble outline of some distant object. There was nothing warm about her house tonight. It smelled of something evil and the darkness was surreal.
Cold and clammy, Adeline tried to creep out but it was futile, she was neither in nor out- too terrified to move.
Finally, after building the courage, Adeline moved cautiously and collided with numerous things in her way as if every other item was on the floor.
Murmuring a silent prayer, Adeline reached the switch board as she switched on the light and soon the light flooded into her apartment that was turned upside down.
Whatever item was first on the countertop, walls and table were now scattered on the floor.
Anxiety and fear took over Adeline's mind and body, the living room was completely destroyed. The wheels turned in Adeline's mind as she rushed towards her grandfather's room, yelling, "Grandpa! Grandpa!"
When she reached the room, the door was kept half open, her heart was beating erratically as the fear ripened into her being. She slowly made her way toward the door and pushed it open as it made a creaking sound.
"Jammy," Adeline called her Grandpa, a fearful unsettling feeling wrapped around her vocal chords as tears gathered in her eyes.
Stepping inside the room, she saw the walls and furniture stained with blood, the room was a complete mess as she saw few gunshots on the wall.
The sound of the blood mixing with the air escaped from someone's lungs creating a gurgling sound. It was loud enough to fill the room, but not quite loud enough to be heard outside the room.
Adeline rushed across the bed's side and saw her Grandpa's limp body on the floor, she stood stunned, terrified, "...Grandpa..?" Mumbled Adeline, barely audible, then frantically rushed towards her Grandpa's side, yelling, "Grandpa!"
His dead body was surrounded by a pool of blood as his throat was slit open. The blood smelled disgusting; it had a sort I'd metallic smell and a nauseating smell filled the room. Because the throat had been slit, his eyes and mouth laid open at an unnatural and disturbing angle.
Just as Adeline was continuously shaking her Grandpa's dead body, a man emerged from the bathroom.
"Ah- what a day! Never thought, I would get you as a bonus kill." The man said evilly.
Adeline's tear stained face looked up as she stood and backed away. "Na-uh, getting away so easily, sweetheart!" The unknown stranger with a mask on his face, yelled.
He pulled out a gun and whipped pan to Adeline, a horrifying feeling took over her mind as she realized he was headed for her.
Tearing off, she darted out of the house across the living room, into the woods. Branches whipped at Adeline, from every direction as she ran, tears streaming down her face, gasping for air.
Footsteps gained in her as she whimpered in terror. Glancing back at her attacker, Adeline tripped over a root and fell hard, hitting her head smack on a rock.
Everything was out of focus, Adeline turned to see a fuzzy image of her attacker, raising his gun, "... Please, no... please…" she begged.
Closing her eyes, bracing herself for the impact, when a- deep, guttural growl filled the area.
Soon a dark blur figure sprung out of the woods with an inhuman speed, pounced on Adeline's attacker, sending his gun flying somewhere across the trees.
Adeline was barely able to make out what was happening but the sounds were clear: ripping flesh limb by limb, screams of agony.
Just as another attacker arrived, raising his gun, "What the-?" But before he could shoot, the dark figure pounced again. Adeline was too terrified to move as more sounds of a mauling followed by silence... stillness.
She could just make out the outline of the figure, broad-shouldered, muscular, canines glistening, eyes glowing- golden, a man-creature, the Beast.
They locked eyes, was she next?
And maybe it was her head injury or the way he looked at her but somehow she knew he would never hurt her. Her heartbeat resonated with his own, it sounded familiar, his eyes widened a little.
Before she could utter a word, distant sirens sounded across the woods. The Beast took a beat, almost not wanting to leave. Then took off, disappearing into the woods.
Was it a man-creature or a wolf?
Whoever it was, from wherever he came from, it was absolute that he saved Adeline's life.