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Speculative Suspense Fiction

Kelly McGillicutty walked down Jameson St. on her way home from work every day. Along the way, she would stop by the French bakery to pick up a baguette for dinner and a chocolate éclair for sustenance, her husband and children didn’t know about the éclair, it was her guilty pleasure. Once she left the bakery she started walking down the city’s designated walking/bicycle path that ran alongside the creek and woods’ edge.

On this particular October Friday, the air was crisp, a fierce wind picked up, and the clouds gathered unexpectedly. Lucy MacCloud, the local weatherwoman, didn’t forecast stormy weather, but weather has always been unpredictable.

The low rumblings didn’t bother her, so she picked up her pace. Just as she approached the stone arch bridge, a loud burst of thunder roared through the sky. She was still a couple miles from home, so she sought cover under the bridge and called her husband.

“Do you want me to come pick you up? Is there anywhere nearby you can take refuge?” he asked.

“I can wait under the bridge.”

He sat silently thinking of a solution. “We don’t know how long this storm will last. I can come get you.”

“I’m sure it’ll pass as quickly as it came. I’ll seek cover under the bridge, the creek’s water levels are still pretty low. I’ll call you in ten minutes if the weather doesn’t change.”

Kelly hung up before her husband could protest her crazy idea. She meandered off the path and under the bridge, she pulled her éclair out of the bag and finished eating it.

As soon as he heard the end call signal, he grabbed his jacket and yelled to his kids “I’ll be right back, I have to go pick up your mom. She’s a couple miles away, and a storm is coming. Lock the doors, and don’t open them for anyone.” He fumbled to get the keys in the ignition, then drove off like lightning.

Boom! The lightning lit up the sky as the thunder rolled. Then, psithurism. The autumnal leaves swirl around her like flames. Lightning continued to light up the sky. Just then, a four-legged creature quickly flashed along the creek bed. Their eyes met and the crypto-creature ran away.

“Hey! Come back!” she yelled at the same time thinking the Chupacabra wasn’t going to obey her command. Kelly followed the goat sucker into the woods. Not the best choice in this kind of weather.

She zigged and zagged through the trees listening for the chupa’s panting, the twigs cracked, and the leaves crunched below her feet. Briefly, she would see the Chupacabra when the lightning lit up the forest, then change direction. A gust of wind picked up the fallen leaves creating a wall between her and the cryptid. The chase continued for several minutes, and then the Chupacabra stopped. When Kelly caught up to it she realized why. Standing in front of them was a snarling grizzly bear standing on its 2 legs. The bear started to swipe at the Chupacabra as it lept to the side to avoid its razor-sharp claws.

What have I gotten myself into? Kelly thought.

The bear knocked the Chupacabra to the side and then started after Kelly. Before the bear reached her, the Chupacabra jumped on the grizzly’s back and sunk his sharp teeth into its neck. The bear howled in pain. The chupa flapped around as the bear tried to shake it off, but its teeth sunk further into the neck. Kelly was frozen with fear. The bear reached back grabbed the Chupacabra by its head and ripped him off throwing him against a tree. The chupa whimpered. The bear snarled and then ran off through the woods.

Kelly’s hero limped over to her and laid down at her feet. She knelt down to pet his leathery skin. “Thank you,” she whispered as they sat in silence. The thunder cracked through the sky, and then it started to rain. Kelly was at least prepared and had a pink ruffle umbrella in her purse.

Kelly’s husband sped through town, cursing at the phone when he’d hear “This is Kelly. Leave a message. Bye.”

He stopped at the bakery to see if Kelly went back to get out of the storm, which would be the logical thing to do. They told him it had been at least 20 minutes since she came in and that she headed towards the walking path.

He ran out of the store towards the walking path. He kept calling Kelly with no avail. When he came to the bridge he saw footprints heading underneath the bridge. He turned on his phone’s flashlight and saw the footprints head off into the woods—there weren’t any four-legged footprints along the way. He called out for Kelly. When the rain started, he worried that his only lead to his wife would wash away. Then he heard the bear crashing through the trees. He aimed his flashlight at the bear as it continued to run away “KELLY!” he continued to yell.

Kelly didn’t respond. Her phone vibrated constantly in her pocket. She sat there humming to the now Chupa-oso. Kelly’s husband saw her pink umbrella and headed toward her, “Kelly? Kelly!” As he got closer, he saw her waving her hands in an odd manner “What are you doing?” She ignored him and continued to stroke the mangy Chupacabra.


He tapped her shoulder, then she looked up at him. “Max!”

“Are you ok?” he asked.

“I’m fine.”

Max knelt down to hug her, “I’m so glad you’re okay. What happened to you?”

“I saw a Chupacabra and followed him into the woods. Then we ran into a grizzly bear and he saved my life,” she said in a far-off voice.

Max stared at her in disbelief.

“Can we take him home?” She asked.

He looked around wondering where his wife’s rescuer was. Max didn’t believe in unicorns or Bigfoot, let alone chupacabras, but he couldn’t discount the fact that his wife was sitting in the forest unscathed as a grizzly bear ran off wounded.

“Ok sweetie,” Max doubtingly replied.

Max helped her off the ground and wrapped his coat around her shoulders.

“Come on Chupa-oso!” she said.

The Chupacabra walked alongside Kelly occasionally rubbing up against her hand. When they got to the car, Max opened the door for Kelly, but before Kelly got in she opened the back door for her friend, “Hop in Chupa-oso.” Chupa-oso jumped in the back seat while Max rubbed his head in disbelief. He helped Kelly into the car, then walked around to the driver's side. He buckled his seatbelt and adjusted his review mirror.

“Don’t worry Chupa-oso we’ll be home soon,” Kelly reassured the exhausted Chupacabra. The chupa curled up and rested his head on his leg, and flopped his tail from side to side, while Max and Kelly drove in silence.

When they got home Max opened the door for both Kelly and Chupa-oso.

Kelly shouted to her girls “Girls, I’m home! I have a surprise for You!”

The girls ran over to the hug their mom and then they got down on the ground and hugged the Chupacabra. The chupa knocked them back licking them.

Max went over to pet him “Thanks Chupa-oso for saving my wife” he patted the air.

The girls laughed and Kelly said, “Max, he’s over here.”

Max went over to his wife and searched around to pet Chupa-oso; Kelly grabbed his hand and directed it to where Chupa-oso really was. He could feel its rough wrinkled skin, but was still unable to see it.

“Don’t worry Max. Someday you’ll be able to see him”

They all laughed, while Max kept petting the air.

October 20, 2023 15:28

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1 comment

Matt McKinney
21:38 Oct 25, 2023

Nice! Max is definitely husband goals. But what motivated her to follow the chupacabra?


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