In was after midnight, and only the sickly golden light of the streetlamps lit up the pathways of the islated park. Everything else was thick and bleak shadows. The limbs that were visible were like fleshless, skeletal fingers trying to grab the unwary from the light.
“You ready?” Angela asked, her hands tucked under her arms as she held herself in a futile attempt to trap her body heat. Her jacket was as worthless as her gloves. Kyle looked off into the distance, his mind already on what they were here to hunt.
“Yeah babe,I’m ready.” He said blandly, then took her hand in his, and they walked into the park.
A couple of teenagers who’d been hanging around the playground afterhours, drinking beer and smoking weed, had said they’d heard strange, aguished cries, and had heard animalistic movement just outside of the light of streetlamps of the playground. They’d both tear-assed out of their like the devil himself had been after them.
A rent-a-cop who was hired to patrol the park after dark had also reported hearing the same anguished keening, and having saw the glint of fiery amber eyes. He hadn’t run off though. A job was hard enough to come by that even a beast of hell would make him leave.
And from their, the stories and rumours grew, building on themselves and growing more and more outlandish. A young child had gone missing in a nearby subdvision, so of course people had started to claim that the thing, whatever it was, had taken the child and dragged it down to hell, the gate of which was in the tunnel that went under the little stone bridge over the dirty creek that was barely more than a weak piss stream.
It was too that bridge, that Angela and Kyle were going.
He began to clamp down on her hand, so tight it started to crush her fingers. She cried out in pain, but Kyle didn’t hear her. She tried to pull her hand out of his, but his grip was too strong.
“Kyle!” She cried out, but he still didn’t hear. “Kyle, let go!”
Finally, he stopped, looking at her with a quizical look, as if he was even unsure of who she was. But he let go of her now throbbing hand, and walked out of the lighted path, towards the little stone bridge. Angela watched him disappear into the impentrable darkness, rubbing her hand, wondering why he was being one, weird, and two, a fucking dick. But she followed him into the dark.
She heard the keening then, the anguished howl, the cry of something damned. Her heart began to race in her chest, and the gooseflesh rose on her neck and arms. She tried to tell herself it was just a garden variety mutt howling at nothing, but no other dogs were joining in a chorus of barks and howls that came like a chain reaction when one dog started barking in the night. That, and she knew no dog could make such a sound as that.
Something in her, some deep and ancient voice, told her to turn back now, to leave Kyle to whatever he was going to, that this was her last chance to get out of this. But she knew if she did Kyle would mock her mercilessly for being just another pussified girl, scared of the dark. He would tell all his friends what a coward she was and that’d get a big laugh out her being a scaredy cat. She took enough shit from those assholes as it was, just for being a girl, and she didn’t want to give them anymore ammunition for it.
Angela caught up with Kyle as he stood on the edge of the little piss stream creek, at the mouth of the tunnel that went under the bridge. There was a dim, bone white incandescence coming from the tunnel. Her heart become tight and frentic inside her. The unnatural light made all the sexual and crude graffitti look sinsister, instead of merely vulgar. She forced herself to walk to Kyle. She touched his shoulder.
“Honey?” She asked, finally coming around to where she could see is face. His eyes were a sickly, maggot white. He was enraptured by the light. That light grew, not brighter, but stronger, and Angela heard the scrape of sharp claws on concrete, heard that damnable howling now coming from just feet away from her. A rictus, animal grin spread across Kyle’s face. Angela felt a cold in this place that was more than a lack of light and warmth.
“Honey?” She called again. “Honey, we have to go!”
Angela pulled on Kyle’s arm, because she couldn’t not move him at all.
“Fuck! Honey! Come On!” She cried at him. What the fuck was happening! He heart was running so fast she could no longer feel it at all, only a black abscence and emptiness inside her.
Then the beast was there.
She stood frozen, in awe, in knowing she was damned, in knowing this was death.
“Give me your power. I give you her!” He said.
Worse than the fear of death, was knowing he’d brought her here as a sacrifice, that all she had been was a means to an end, that all that love she’d given him had meant nothing at all.
She turned her head to the beast, tears in her eyes as it pounced, and then devoured her.