THERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part 53
The air filled with the smell of coal dust. Things that lived long ago, animals and plants, transformed over the eons into dead black rock. The Beast paused, catching its breath. Saliva dribbled from its mouth and over Chaney Kidde, mingling with her blood to puddle at its feet. Its sides heaved, its nostrils quivering. The scent of coal, and other smells–machines and grease, exhaust, human sweat–all prominent here. Yet they could not drown out that other stench.
The Beast stood at the edge of the old Number Five mine, watching through a chain-link fence. Lights blazing atop tall poles lit the entire scene like noontime. Dump trucks, men in coveralls and hardhats, a giant hooked tube that vomited a constant flow of coal ripped from the guts of the earth. The Beast growled, sensing that somewhere inside and beneath one of the larger, steel-skinned buildings would be the opening into the mine itself. Down into the mine, where the Beast must go.
No. This was not where the stench emanated. That came from somewhere else, somewhere close. The Beast moved on.
A gaggle of workers had spotted it and were congregating near the fence, their cries of astonishment buried underneath the rumble of the equipment. The Beast cast a solitary glance in their direction.
Again the Beast considered dropping its burden, rending Chaney Kidde to pieces before their collective eyes just for the sadistic joy in it. But it had developed a fierce selfishness for this trophy. It would devour this treat on its own terms and in its own time. Besides, she still lived, and her suffering would serve to sweeten her taste.
The Beast entered another section of woods. Pine needles and sap and rotting leaves and the numerous scents of squirrels, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, skunks, foxes, rabbits, and deer; all this joined with the other smells. And still, above all, the stink of the magic in the air. The Beast ran.
It went down into a shallow gully, came up the far side, leapt over an outcropping of limestone, running into the hot breeze. The stench struck it like a physical blow. Its fur stood on end. With a snarl, the Beast charged towards the source of this pestilence.
Whoever had done this thing would pay. Dragging the Beast away from its feasting, interrupting its fun. Whoever had dared. Man, woman, or spirit. Even God Himself.
The Beast would make them pay.
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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!