SHORT STORIES

Sample of work by Ally Stoyel

 
 

MONSTERS

 

The snow covered, faded mountains peek through the smoky fog. The grey shapeless clouds bear down on the misty mountain top. The silver merciless, never-ending water sits still, beckoning. The white trees litter the hidden ground. The wintry wind glistens with slivers of ice like diamonds, whipping through the frozen branches. A deafening scream cuts through the consuming black of the night like a knife and then stops sharp and you recognise it as your own.

You're running; the gnarled branches like claws, taking their pound of flesh from you who disturbs them. You're pale with the fierce cold as the rags that you're wrapped in do nothing to protect you from this hell. Your feet bleed but still you run, your fear driving you forward, further into this frozen wasteland. You can hear it tearing after you, chasing you, hunting you. Terror ripples through your core and you stumble. What will you do? Will you succumb to it, knowing that when it catches you, it will devour you into its darkness?

How do you escape from this beast who tracks you, who smells your blood on the air and hungers for it? You can't. Your fear forces you to move your feet over the sharp branches and snow that feels like a thousand needles, piercing you with each step. But it feels no fear. It feels nothing but that insatiable hunger. You hear it snarling, knowing that it's closing in on its prey. You feel its hot breath behind you, filling you with a macabre comfort as it warms you from the chill. It's wearing you down. You're spent, wasted. Why does no one come for you? You begin to realise that not even you can save yourself.

The haze in your eyes begins to clear and you slow your pace, gasping in the frosty air that hardens your insides. You stand still, no more running. It understands this twist in its game and it too ceases to run. It begins a slow crawl, creeping up behind you so as to savour its capture. This is it you realise. You lost. You're going to face the monster who has stalked you through this wild maze, unrelenting in its desire. And then, it will kill you.

You start to turn slowly until you stand, facing it. You lift your head, readying yourself, and open your eyes. You stare into each other's souls, into your own souls. It comes to you, no longer menacing in its approach. It holds out its hand to you. Not the claw of the harrowing creature that lurks here in the dark, a human hand, just like yours. Your hands clasp each other and you're not surprised to find they fit perfectly.

You're not afraid of the dark anymore, because you are the shadows. You walk together, as one, into the night.