It’s been a long while since I’ve written something creative, so I thought I would make an attempt at this contest without regard for the prize. So, I set out and wrote this story in about 2 hours.
My wonderful wife also wrote a very exciting and subtle story for this contest. I think, for me at least, the knowledge that we were both working toward the same goal excited me, and made each keystroke that much more meaningful.
So, this past week was the due date, and I submitted both of our stories for the contest. Hit the jump to read my story, and feel free to leave comments.
The cobblestone is still damp with the morning dew when I pry my sore face from it, bringing my exhausted body up to its knees. My muscles burn. Try as I might, I am unable to bring myself to stand.
I sit, searching my mind to come up with a narrative for the events of last night, but come up empty.
Where am I? What happened last night?
My eyes come back into focus, and I realize that I am staring. I am staring at a rounded stone along this cobblestone drive, which features an outline of my face in blood.
The stone and my mark on it resemble the full moon. A flash enters my slowly awakening mind. The full moon lighting a soulless moor, barely escaping the grasp of dark clouds which resemble the claws of a great beast closing in tightly for the final blow.
A longing seeps into my soul at the very thought of the full moon. The image flickers out like a gas lamp at the end of a long night of study.
A puddle of clear liquid close by catches my attention as the orange beams emanating from the rising sun reflect off its surface.
My face pounds with pain, and I lean over the puddle to discover that the blood on the moonstone was in fact my own.
A ghoulish face stares back at me with weary, bloodshot eyes. Three large gashes circumnavigate my once meticulously groomed and gentlemanly visage.
The blood had congealed between the wounds, and down onto my bare chest.
I am naked. Not a thread of clothing within the extent of my tired vision.
Why can’t I remember what happened last night?
My brain pulses, and I run my pasty tongue over my chapped and cracking lips. A growl of hunger bursts through my insides as if I was harboring some wild predator in my stomach.
Kneeling beside the puddle of clear liquid, I cup my shaking hands and dip them into the shimmering pool. As I bring the life-sustaining liquid to my parched lips, I become acutely aware of the stench of urine.
I do not hesitate.
I ingest the urine and it invigorates me, bringing me back into the present with each gulp.
My senses begin to return to their pinnacle, and my surroundings become less foggy. The haze lifts with each wave of fluid entering my pain-ridden stomach.
Or maybe it is the morning fog evaporating in the morning sun’s rays.
It doesn’t matter at the moment.
Turning my stiff neck to take stock of my environment, I see the bodies.
Three adult males lie lifeless on the stone road; two of them are not whole.
One is missing an arm. Another’s chest is open to the air, an absurd pool of blood and liquefied organs displayed for all the world to see. A strange hunger pang replaces what I vaguely remember as a gag reflex.
The third and final body seems whole. I force my weight onto my unsteady legs and shuffle slowly toward the body, ignoring the burning acid pain in my muscles.
As I draw closer, I become aware of a breathing motion in this man’s body. He is alive!
I turn him over onto his back, and his unconscious form lets out a grunt of pain.
He had also been attacked the previous night. He has five diagonal lacerations across his chest, his overcoat and shirt shredded and stained a spectacular shade of crimson.
A blinding flash of memory drops me again to my hands and knees, and I see the attack clearly in my mind’s eye.
The image flickers between the past and present and I realize that these claws I see in my mind are my own hands.
The image of the past fades, revealing my own human hands in the present. My well-manicured fingernails are coated with dried blood.
My eyes lose their focus past my hands and back onto the man clinging to life on the ground before me.
I did this.
The sudden reality of the situation sets in and I know that not only will I kill again, but I have doomed this poor soul to a life in the shadows, stalking his prey by the silver light of the full moon.
The corners of my mouth slant toward the heavens and I am smiling.