by Hugh A Tague

It was a particularly cold All Hallow’s Eve almost 13 years ago.
In a cottage tucked away deep in a thick dark forest, long forgotten by humanity. A nameless, soulless old witch stirs her brew as it bubbles and boils in a large, thick, black cauldron set into the stone hearth of the small unkempt cottage. The steam from her evil brew funnels its way up the chimney and then drops right to the ground. Blending in with the rolling fog circulating around the cottage grounds and throughout the forest on the cold autumn night. Using nature’s mist as a vehicle, her lethal brew poisons the fog. Just one breath was enough to drop a full grown deer in its tracks. Nothing was immune to its toxic effects. Plants withered, animals fell over dead, even insects died instantly.

The old witch had twelve children. Each was fathered by a different evil demon or lord of darkness. They, like her, were nameless, soulless beasts that had no concept of human emotion. Each offspring was more evil and disgusting than the last.

Tonight was feeding night. And by the light of the full moon, she released her beast from the cottage so they could scavenge the forest and devour all of the plants and animals that she had poisoned for them with her evil brew.

Pregnant with her thirteenth child, and tired of being evil’s incubator, she cursed it from the first day of its conception. But this child was sired by Lucifer himself, and was about to change the way things worked in the little cottage of horror. For this night marks the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month of this creature’s gestation inside the old witch.

Now resting in a wicker chair near the warm fire, taking full advantage of her children being outside gorging them selves, she feels movement inside of her. Throughout the six months there had been no movement. She assumed the curse she conjured had struck the beast dead. She couldn’t have been more wrong.

The pain was so intense. She stood, and as she did, the creature began to kick its way out of her. Blood ran down her legs and filled her shoes, as he tried to take a step in the direction of the cottage door. Then a furry hoofed leg shot out the bottom of her dress knocking her balance off and her body crashed to the cobblestone floor. On her back in a pool of blood, she took her last breath, as a razor sharp hooked claw sliced open her abdomen and the winged beast clawed its way out of its host.

Flapping its bat-like wings and stumbling to stay standing on its hoofed feet, the beast looks upon the world for the first time. It then let out a blood-curdling, intensely loud howl, that could be heard in the bowels of hell. Beelzebub’s bastard beast announced to all that he now walked among the living. Hoofed legs of a deer, the tail of a serpent, its body almost ape-like, with thick, black, stiff hair, a long, muscular neck topped with an almost horse-like head, but with carnivorous fangs three times the size of any wolf’s. The horns atop of the creature’s head were that of a ram. His goat like eyes glowed red as the fire in hell from which they were forged. Its bat-like wings seemed tattered and misshapen, but none the less, were topped with hook like razor sharp claws, perfect for climbing and killing. But sustained flight wasn’t going to be a strong suit for this wicked monster. This flawed creature was the way he was because of the curse placed upon him by his mother, the old witch.

Satan, not pleased with the image of the malformed demon, cast an eternal spell, barring his offspring from ever entering his kingdom of fire and suffering. Dammed to be earthbound for all eternity, the demon’s fate was sealed.

He then turned, looking at the carcass of the dead old witch, and with an appetite unknown in the human realm, he began to devour her, making her his very first meal. Then with his thick, black, forked tongue, the beast licked even the smallest drop of blood off of the cobblestone floor, not wasting anything. He did the same to each of his twelve demon siblings as they returned to the cottage, bellies full and completely unaware their newborn brother, straight from the gates of hell, was waiting to make a meal of them.

The past nearly thirteen years now, the beast has honed his killing skills in the only place until now that he has known as home. The dark forest that surrounds the cottage of his birth. His furious appetite has now depleted all the wildlife in the area. He has learned to kill quickly and silently from the darkest of shadows.

As foretold in folklore and legend, on the thirteen year anniversary of the day he entered our world, the beast shall taste his first human flesh. This All Hallow’s Eve, in the year of our God, twenty thousand and THIRTEEN, marks that day.

No one is safe from the evil clutches of this monster. There is nothing we can do to assure the safety of ourselves or those we love. This Halloween, don’t let the candle in your Jack-o-lantern burn out, and keep that porch light burning bright. Because he will strike silently from the darkest of shadows, not leaving even a drop of blood as evidence that you have been devoured by his ravenous jaws.

No one will ever know what happened to you.



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