I awoke in the middle of the night to hear Mr. MacArthur’s dog, barking loudly.  Nothing so unusual about that, the thing was always barking, and MacArthur never did a thing about it.  In fact I think he enjoyed annoying the neighborhood, walking his giant turd factory around at all hours of the night.  The thing loved to go right at the lowest point of my yard, about two yards from the road.  You never saw MacArthur carrying a little baggie with him though.  He wasn’t one to clean up after his pet.

The dog was growling now, and it sounded like it was right outside.  I stumbled out of bed, tossed on my robe, and made my way to the front door.    Just before I opened the door there was a great yelp, and I heard the dog whine as it ran off down the street.  What was going on out there?

I threw the door open and flicked on the lights.  There was something moving down at the bottom of the hill, by the road.  I thought it was a raccoon at first, until it turned around and looked at me with a too human face.  It wasn’t a man, don’t get me wrong, but the features were… man-like. It was all covered in dark grey fur.  Blood dripped from the creatures mouth, and there, on the far slope leading back up to the road, lay MacArthur, or what was left of him.  The creature’s head lowered, disappearing into the bloody mess in MacArthur’s side.  His dog was nowhere to be seen, but I could see plainly it had been in the yard again.

Across the street another light went on.  Old Ms. Ramsey, always one to stick her nose in where it wasn’t wanted.  She was always complaining to me about something, and getting involved where she wasn’t wanted.  She called out, “What’s going on over there?”

At the sound of her voice, the creature looked up from MacArthur.  From her side of the street Ms. Ramsey wouldn’t be able to see what was happening down at the bottom of the hill.  She couldn’t see MacArthur, or the creature, never mind how interested it was in her voice.  I just smiled and said nothing, knowing it would drive her crazy if  I didn’t answer.

“I see you over there, Steve. What’s all the ruckus.  I heard Jack’s dog out here run off down the street.  Did you kick it, or what?”  She was at the edge of her yard now, squinting into the darkness at me.

The creature was laying in the grass, and inching towards the road now, drawn to Ms. Ramsey’s voice.

“Stephen, are you all right over there. Why don’t you answer me.”  She stepped into the road.

There was a flash of dark gray fur and a scream cut short.  It dragged Ms. Ramsey over to where MacArthur lay.  While it was distracted I turned out the front light, and closed and locked the door.  I called the police, and waited.  That’s all I know. I never saw what happened to the creature, but apparently the sirens or flashing lights scared him off. Didn’t you see it when you pulled up?

Categories: 2013story

Jason Penney

I'm a software engineer who likes to write. So I should do that more.

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