A short fiction story
When Amanda awoke all she could think of were those sharp hooves breaking through her windshield. Lying next to her in her overturned pickup truck was a bloody mess of hair, glass and blood. She felt a prick in her arm. Antlers. Attached to those antlers was a set of stone cold dead eyes. Life completely drained; pupils mid-dilated. For a very brief moment she felt compassion because this wasn’t in her plan. As she admired those eyes and lifted a hand to stroke its face, an unexpected kick of the beast in her car knocked her out once again.
This time when she woke, The Buck had disappeared. Like it had never been there in the first place. Broken glass shards remained but no blood. Had she dreamt it all? Didn’t she just hit a deer?
She unbuckled her seatbelt, brushing the bits of glass shards out of her hair and off her lap. She tried to get her bearings, but saw nothing familiar. She looked to her left. The road looked like it may have been used regularly at some point, but those days are clearly long gone. Cracked, crumbling pavement. A thick forest full of trees in various stages of decay lined the disused road. A glance in the other direction offered the same view. Same cracks. Same crumbling pavement. Same trees. Then she saw it. The Buck. Standing across the road, not a single scratch on him. Easily a ten pointer. Daddy hunted her whole life, Amanda knew that she was staring at a coveted prize.
It made no sense. Must be a different deer. She looked over to where her car lay crumpled up in the ditch. “Damn Japanese cars, ain’t worth a shit!”, she heard her father’s voice in her head. He died three years prior from lung cancer. A grim scene snapped her back to reality. There she was. Laying on that seat, face pushed up against the driver’s side window. She was still in that car.
Amanda looked herself in the eyes. One had started to turn black and bloody. Lying next to her was the eviscerated Buck. She turned quickly to where she had just seen the Buck only seconds before. It was gone.
She heard what sounded like hooves clacking on that crooked, busted up road. She turned around slowly.
It wasn’t The Buck. It definitely wasn’t the deer. Instead, some kind of blasphemous beast towered over her. Something straight out of the Old Testament. It… He must have been at least eight feet tall. From the waist down it was almost human, only more grotesque. Transparent skin revealed giant green and blue pulsating veins. Muscular legs tapered to hooves instead of feet. Like some centaur from hell. The top half could only be described as a wolf/man, some six hundred pounds or more of pure powerful, frightening muscle. Its head. The horns. A ten pointer. The creature met her gaze. She fixated on its yellow, shining eyes.
She must have been holding her breath without noticing, because the next thing that hit was the smell. It was visceral. She recoiled at the stench as it leaped forward, stopping inches from her face before letting out a terrifying howl. The creature’s breath replaced the air in her lungs. Like a combination of hot garbage, sulfuric fish rotting out in the desert sun. Amanda coughed, gagged and screamed.
Her instincts kicked in and she bolted – or tried to. She didn’t even make it off the road into the thicket of trees before she felt the hairy, otherworldly strength of that beast pull her back. Back… back… She felt herself being lifted and carried while the beast ran. She felt the whips of branches and foliage leaving bloody gashes on her face. She had no idea where she was going… but a curious mixture of clairvoyance and dread told her she wasn’t coming back. She knew she only had herself to blame. She had been killing since she was a teen. Her Daddy showed her how to hunt and gut. Hunting became her obsession. It began small with neighborhood cats and dogs before the inevitable escalation. Children went missing in her small town. No one ever found them, and that was the plan. Outrun the rumours. Leave before being caught. People were already talking and in small towns…rumors hold weight.
She used her obsession to liberate her father. At the end, when her Daddy was sick, she felt the most compassionate thing to do would be to slit his throat and end his suffering. She knew he appreciated it even though he seemed unprepared, maybe even a little shocked. But she knew. He knew. He always knew.
This was her fate.
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