I’m not going to lie, I know I shouldn’t have gone out tonight.
I’ve heard rumors, I’ve heard what they called this…thing. I’ve heard the stories of the missing, the blackened whispers traded around our town.
Don’t go out by yourself, Mona. Not on a new moon—once you see the beast it’s already over.
Lily always said I was a horrible listener.
The only one to have truly seen the beast never stops shaking, his bones rattling beneath his paper skin. His bloodshot eyes do nothing to mask his nightmare. His voice stutters when he talks, and for the most part all he does is whisper about the beast’s eyes. The eyes are what haunts him the most.
With the streetlights swallowed into the night the only visible part of the beast is its eyes. Glowing. Red. Eyes.
I should back away, that would be a good idea right about now.
I step backwards off the curb and into the darkened street, no moonlight to guide me. My shoes splash in the puddles littering the street and I keep eye contact with the thing in the ally. The red of its eyes expand. I can’t tell if the animal is growing or if it’s moving closer to me.
I don’t want to find out.
Beneath the veil of rain I keep moving backwards, quickening my pace with every step. My heart stutters, quickens, pounds in my chest loud enough to break the heavy silence. This is it, isn’t it? This is the end of my story. My chapter finishes with me in the rain, a bag full of party supplies in my hand…it’s my sister’s birthday tomorrow. What am I going to do, my death would be a terrible birthday present wouldn’t it, how horrible of a sister can I be—
The street ends and I trip backwards onto the cement curb. The glowing eyes continue to grow but the animal stays silent while I hold my breath. Panic forms in my chest, spilling over to my throat and spreading through my arms towards my fingertips. Terror consumes me and petrifies me–I’m a marble statue waiting for death.
A woman’s low voice whispers behind me, breaking through the steady rain.
“On my count, run.”