THERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part 38
No sight, no sound, no sensation. And then, a voice.
“Lucas, for God’s sake, wake up!”
“If you don’t get up now, you never will!”
From somewhere far away, yet strong. Calling to him., drawing him back from oblivion.
It would not let him sleep.
“Lucas, listen to me!”
His own voice.
Lucas Vale opened his eyes. From greater to lesser darkness. He stirred.
“Shh.” The woman’s arm around his chest, his neck. Her body next to him, wedged against him. Susanna. “Go back to sleep, my pretty man.”
“Wake up!” His voice, shouting. But not quite his voice.
“Marcus?” he said.
“Shh,” Susanna cooed.
“Get up!” A kick in the side. Lucas jerked awake.
“Marcus, is that you?”
“Be quiet!” Susanna said. She tried to hold him down but he sat up.
The cave. The forest. He remembered. The woman, Susanna. The fire had gone out.
“Lucas!” His brother’s voice again. Far away. “You can’t sleep! Get up!”
“Shh!” Susanna hissed.
“Don’t listen to her! She’s trying to trick you! You have to get up!”
“Marcus, I can’t.” Lucas looked around him, out into the darkness beyond the cave. He saw no one.
“I can’t,” Lucas repeated. “It’s out there!”
“You have to stop it, little brother! You’re the only one who can!”
“Go back to sleep,” Susanna said. “You’re having a bad dream, is all.”
Lucas stood, Susanna clutching at his legs. “Marcus, where are you?”
“Don’t listen to him!” Susanna said.
“Shut up!” Lucas snapped. “Marcus?”
“It can’t hurt you, Lucas!”
From out in the darkness, a roar. So loud it caused the very ground beneath him to tremble. Lucas’ knees almost buckled.
“Quiet!” Susanna pleaded. “You’re going to draw its attention!”
“It can’t hurt you, Lucas!” The voice repeated. Lucas realized now where it was coming from. Not from far away. The voice came from inside his own head. His brother, shouting at him.
“It wants you to give up!” Marcus said. “It knows you can stop it, Lucas! You’re the only one who can!”
“How, Marcus?” Lucas said.
“Shut up!” Susanna pulled at him. Lucas looked down at her. Her eyes glowed in the blackness of the cavern, red pinpricks.
“Let go!” Lucas tried to get free of her. When she refused to let go, he punched her in the face. Her cry of pain was the yelp of an animal.
“You have to fight it, Lucas!” His brother’s voice. “Fight it!”
Another roar, this time so loud Lucas felt like his eardrums would burst. The stone walls of the caverns threatened to collapse, the roof to come down on his head. The cavern, the short cave. The hollow dug into the earth. A den.
The den of the Beast.
Lucas kicked free of Susanna where she lay wallowing in the dirt, cursing him in Spanish. He turned.
The Beast stood just outside. He could see its eyes, as big as spotlights, afire in the night. It breathed, steam and sparks rising from nostrils the size of manhole covers. A mouth opened, a jagged rip in the darkness.
“It can’t hurt you, Lucas!” Marcus yelled before his voice became lost amidst the hideous snarls of the Beast.
Lucas shook, but he made himself stand still. The Beast opened its mouth wider, a jack-o-lantern’s snarl. It almost seemed to be smiling at him.
“God help me,” Lucas said.
He took a step towards the Beast.
* * *
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!