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Horror Science Fiction Funny

My lungs burn from the crisp winter air. A metallic blood taste pours up from my throat and coats the inside of my mouth. I can’t really feel my legs anymore, but I try to keep my stride short and my cadence high. My feet keep slipping on icy patches, but I can’t slow down. My nose and cheeks sting, but sweat coats my back and armpits. The sound of Matty’s wheezing assures me he is still close by. Running is harder for him, and I wish I could carry him. I want to see how far behind us the creature is, but I know looking is foolish. I want to ask Matty if he is okay, but I can’t risk breaking concentration. It will only slow me down, interfere with my running. I might trip like they always do in horror movie chase scenes. I don’t want to know what happens if it catches us. We need to find a building we can enter. Somewhere we can hide and breathe for a moment. Or maybe even a passing car that will stop to offer us a ride. It’s been an endless stretch of empty road and trees. 

Snow falls in a steady shower all around us, and blankets the road that stretches before us in a thin layer of white. I leap over a deep pothole. A quick image flashes through my mind of my foot catching the edge of the pothole and breaking an ankle. Then it would get me for sure. 

“Hey, Libby. I–” Matty whines. I risk a quick glance to the side, but he’s further behind me than I realized. No, don't turn around. He has to catch up. What if it gets him? Eating him might slow it down and then I won’t have to run as fast. No, no. I can’t believe I even had that thought. Matty has been my best friend for years. I couldn’t let it get him. I really don’t want to actually die for him, either. Ideally we both make it. Pick up the pace, man! 

“Libby, there’s–” He groans. 

I’ve finally been running fast enough and long enough to sync with the anxiety pounding through my heart, and that gives me some slight relief. 

Then I hear a snarl. Shit! That was close. “Run fucking faster, Matt!” 

I thought talking would slow me down, but the yell fuels me forward like a battle cry. I see headlights coming towards us. Finally! Could they save us? Can this monster tear through a car? Maybe they’d see it and immediately turn around. I probably would. 

“Libby!” I whirl around before my mind can process what I’m doing. Before I can stop myself. The monster isn’t there. 

Matty is bent over. His back dramatically arcs with each breath. It looks like he is hyperventilating. My eyes search for the monster. I can't see far with the snow. The endless white is blinding. 

Remembering the headlights, I spin around again. The car slowly pulls over. It’s a police car. I never thought I’d be this happy to see the police. I hope he has a gun. 

A wave of exhaustion rolls over my body and I drop to my knees. 

A man steps out of the car. “Hey! Is everyone okay?” 

I shake my head. 

“We…we’ve…it…I…” Matty tries to talk between gulps of air. 

“Can you give us a ride?” I ask. “We were being chased. We need to get away from it.” 

“Chased by what?”

I hear a growl and shoot up to my feet so fast my head spins and I almost stumble over. “We need to get in the car!” 

Matty puts a hand on his side, like he is holding himself together, and stumbles forward. I wrap my arm around him and help him to the car. Then we crawl into the back seat. The seats are an uncomfortable hard plastic. I’ve never been in one of these cars before, luckily. I sit close to Matty and hold one of his hands in mine.

“What’s going on?” The police officer asks. He is a plump man with a friendly face and questionable choice of mustache. 

Matty’s face is a strange shade of purple and he still isn’t breathing right. Should we bring him to a hospital? I need to tell the story for us. 

“We were hiking and came across this little cave. Inside was this animal. We thought it was a bear, maybe? It was grayish.” Guilt squeezes my stomach. Matty doesn't like hiking, but it calms me down and I was having a terrible day. He offered to join me without any hesistation.

“Scruffy,” Matty adds. This is true. The animal's fur looked matted and wiry.

“When it saw us, it stepped out of the cave and it was enormous!” Maybe three times the size of a human.

“Bigger than anything I've ever seen.” Matty wheezes. I squeeze his hand, wanting to comfort him.

“It had white on its chest. Almost heart shaped.” 

“Stripes. Like a monster raccoon.” Yes, exactly. Light and dark gray like a raccoon.

“Really sharp and terrifying fangs.” So many of them too.

“Red eyes.” 

“Very muscular. Like a pit bull.” Especially the chest.

“Kind of mangey.” 

The police officer smiles. “Ah, sounds like a werebear.” 

“Werebear?” Matty asks. 

“Well, that’s what people call them, because at first they look like werewolves or some monster from a storybook. They’re more bear-like than wolf, though.” 

“Werebear. Like some evil type of carebear,” Matty says.

The police officer laughs. “Didn't you say it had a heart on it's chest? That’s not what you saw, though.” 

“What do you mean?” I ask. 

“Well, werebears aren’t in our country.” 

“That’s what we saw.” 

“I’m sure you saw a regular bear. Maybe an old graying panda bear.” 

“Huh?” 

“Yeah! Might have mange or rabies, is all.” 

“We don’t have pandas in our country,” Matt says.

“Could escape from a zoo. Maybe one escaped a few years back, mated with a wolf and created what you saw. Add in a little rabies or mange and that sounds about right.” 

That makes more sense to you than it being one of these werebears?” Matty says. His face is looking normal again. His breathing isn’t as heavy. A weight lifts from my heart.

“Well, there aren’t any werebears here. There just aren’t. If we saw any, that would mean another country sent them to attack us or our government is secretly testing them on us. That’s all hard to believe.” 

“But what you said matches what we saw. So maybe it is–” 

“Look, you’re both probably dehydrated from your long hike or too cold and seeing things. I bet you saw a regular little bear and your mind is playing tricks on you. Rumor is government created werebears have laser weapon eyes. I doubt you’d still be alive if you really saw one.” 

“Well, that’s fucking reassuring,” Matty rolls his eyes. 

“Look, they just don’t exist here, okay?” The police officer says. 

I glance out the front window and see it standing tall and cloaked with snow. Its black upper lip curls in a snarl, revealing sharp fangs. Strings of saliva dangle off its chin, forming instant icicles. It raises its claws with nails that are long daggers. Its chest is muscular like a bodybuilder. Its eyes glow bright red. Maybe they are lasers. 

“Drive!” I yell. 

The police officer stares wide-eyed at the monster. Surely, he must believe us now. Nothing about this creature looks like a normal bear.

“Hurry! Get out of here!” Matty yells and punches the back of the seat. 

“That’s not a werebear,” the police officer laughs and waves his hand dismissively. I can see his hand is trembling. “One of those wolf-coyote mixes, probably.” 

“Whatever it is, just drive!” I yell. 

He nods and shoves the gear into reverse. The car zooms in the opposite direction of the monster, slipping on ice and snow, and swerving all over. He spins the car around and turns the sirens on. “Sound might scare it.” 

The monster charges towards the car on all fours as we speed off. 

“They say wolf-coyote mixes are really aggressive,” the cop says. 

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Matty whispers. 

“Whatever it is. No government crafted werebears here,” the policeman laughs. “Can you imagine? Our government creates lethal weapons like that and secretly puts them out into surrounding areas to see how their future weapons interact with people.” 

Matty and I exchange worried glances and turn to look out the back window. The monster is gone again. 

“You don’t have to worry about government experiments around here. That’s all movie nonsense. Government is boring really. Just old men sitting around arguing all day while raking in money for their yachts and mansions. That was a sick animal. A wolf mated with a bear and caught the rabies. Happens all the time.” 

Ignoring the officer, I take out my phone and search for these werebear creatures. There are sightings popping up all over the country and various conspiracy theories explaining what they could be. For every picture or story posted about seeing one, who would actually take the time to take a photo of one anyway, there are a bunch of people denying they exist here. How can they say we’re all wrong? Why won’t they admit they’re here? 

There’s a loud thud and then the car spins around fast in more circles than I can count. My body slams forward, but the seat belt holds me in place. The wind is knocked out of me. There’s a deafening screech as the roof pulls off the car and those red eyes glare at me. Drool splashes across my face and I squeeze my eyes shut as it burns my flesh. I cover my ears as gunshots blast and whimpers pierce through my brain. Everything is so loud. Too loud. Everything hurts. I try to open my eyes, but it’s all too bright. I free myself from the seatbelt. Matty is unconscious, but I can feel his pulse. I crawl out the open roof of the car. Red blood splattered over the snow looks a bit like a cherry snow cone. 

First, I see legs and then several feet away; I see the torso of the policeman. The monster sprawls across the ground. Its long tongue, as long as a cow’s, hangs out of its mouth. Something about its mouth looks like it’s smiling. Like it finds this entire business of dying amusing. I notice the tag on its ear. Someone is tracking it. Then I hear a helicopter, or maybe several, in the distance. The sound is getting closer. They’ll surround us. 

I look at this creature that is so clearly not a wolf or bear or any other animal I’m familiar with. It's too big. Too uniquely shaped. I wonder what the people in the helicopters will claim it to be. A laugh tickles up my throat, but it stops short of my lips. Everything in my body freezes. I look at the tree line and see hundreds of glowing red eyes staring back at me. This time, running feels useless.

February 02, 2024 04:18

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6 comments

Vid Weeks
23:01 Feb 08, 2024

Fun story, I loved it

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Annalisa D.
16:49 Feb 09, 2024

Thank you so much! I really appreciate you reading and commenting, and I'm glad you liked it.

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Danny G
01:02 Feb 06, 2024

Love it. A mix of pure monster horror with the absurdity of denialism and conspiracy. I can totally see people acting like that if it were real life. Well done as always. :-)

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Annalisa D.
01:22 Feb 06, 2024

Thank you so much! Means a lot to me!

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Eric D.
15:56 Feb 02, 2024

This was really cool and scary, I feel like it chaneled those scary monster movies from the 90s-00s that still had this light hearted comedy touch I grew up watching like Jeepers Creepers or tremors. A lot of the scenes, descriptions made me laugh, but then it switched up and the anxiety of the scenes were scary, especially because they weren't entirely clear what the thing was. I think it was a great balance! Well done!

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Annalisa D.
20:32 Feb 02, 2024

Thank you so much! This comment made my day. I love Jeepers Creepers and am glad to have captured the monster feel. Glad you liked the balance of scary and humor too. ☺️

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