Fictober, Prompt 11 – “It’s not always like this.”
Warnings: horror, blood, blood-drinking, implied violent death(s)
The light beneath the trees darkened, and I wandered on carefully. I knew I was heading in generally the right direction, and eventually I’d be close enough to find the path, or to hear my car beep if I unlocked it.
I’d lingered too long, deep in the woods near an old scouting camp where my grandfather had come frequently to hunt. It was lonely out here, but peaceful, and I’d accidentally fallen asleep when I sat down to rest earlier under the autumn trees. It was night now, but a large, orange harvest moon was rising over the hill to the east, and with so many leaves already down it provided enough light for me to walk without stumbling.
I crested a small rise, and dropped down into the small hollow beneath, a clear area in the trees, filled with boulders left over from the last Ice Age; common in the foothills here in western Pennsylvania.
The deer standing in the clearing were common too.
What was not common was the fact that they did not bolt when I appeared so suddenly nearby, and most of them did not even glance at me. One, the farthest away, was backed up against the largest rock outcropping, eyes wide and rolling with terror, though it seemed frozen in place. The other deer stood around it in a loose semi-circle, silent and still in a way that made me uneasy.
This was very strange.
Keeping quiet myself, I started to back up…only to realize that there was now a short drop, slippery with leaves, and a rock at my back. No easy way out that direction.
The slope continued down from here, though, and that was the direction that I needed to go. If I could just edge around the deer carefully, I could leave them to whatever it was they were doing and get back to my car.
I froze only half a dozen steps later when one of the circling deer finally turned its head and looked at me.
It had fangs.
Cold fear uncurled in my stomach. There was some weird, small kind of deer that had long teeth, somewhere in Asia…but these were the usual white-tailed deer that were native to this area. They should not have teeth, or tusks, or whatever these were.
The rest of the watching deer turned to look at me.
They all had fangs too.Continue reading