Melody Magazine

James Hubert Blake High School

The Beast

His shoes weren’t worn out, they had holes in the fabric, but the sole remained as hard and thick as the first day he bought them.  He’s been in the market for a new pair of shoes, but being who he was, Sam didn’t want to buy a new pair until his current ones were falling apart at the seams.  Walking home from work was a troubling feat in the winter cold, however, and his feet were exceptionally cold.  Night had come early that day and although it was only five o’clock the night was dark and covered the entire town, almost smothering it in darkness.

            His walk wasn’t usually long, but this evening Sam had chosen to take a detour so as to avoid passing his grandmother’s house.  She usually stood outside and invited him inside for some God-awful cornbread and coffee.  He’d had a long day at work and couldn’t bear the thought of forcing fraudulent smiles onto his face for a half an hour while he choked down inedible food.  So, he walked around the block. 

            Upon reaching the end of the block he’d been walking for a while, Sam noticed a rustling in the bushes on one side of the road.  He immediately stopped.  He observed for a few seconds as it rustled, and when it stopped, he continued his march homeward.  But as he neared the part of the road adjacent to the previously rustling bush, it started up again.  He rushed forward to get away from it.  When he was at a reasonable distance, he stopped running and looked back.  A shadowed figure had emerged from the bush.  It was the Beast.

            Sam stood very still, at his comfortable distance and watched the beast come off of the grass and onto the road.  The Beast stepped into the crude streetlight just long enough to reveal its mangled figure before returning to the darkness.  The Beast looked as though it had been in a fight.  Its fur was uneven and it was covered in what Sam thought to be its own blood.  It growled as it moved and dragged its limbs across the pavement as it slinked to the other side of the road, leaving a trail of blood.  Just as it reached the grass, the Beast stopped.  It turned it head to Sam.  Although he was distant, Sam could still clearly see the eyes of the Beast in the darkness, shining like rubies and illuminating its face.  Because of the distinction of the eyes of the Beast from the rest of the darkness, Sam could clearly tell when it blinked.  The Beast continued, just looking at Sam, and the blinks grew longer and longer.  And then the eyes of the Beast closed.  And then the body of the Beast collapsed.  The streetlights grew brighter.  Sam turned and continued his march homeward.

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