The Beast Within

Suddenly he awoke, stretching lazily. He opened his eyes and looked straight into the glare of the fire which was blazing gleefully trapped within the hearth. Momentarily startled he quickly became hypnotized by the flames as they danced within their prison, realizing he must have fallen asleep in the chair again.

After a few more contemplative moments of relaxation he finally stirred from his resting place. It had gotten late. He peered out of the crack in the deep burgundy curtains into the shadowy night and something curious within him, that he had never before experienced, began to stir. He tried desperately to fight back the growing compulsion, but failed, and gradually walked beyond the door into the awaiting darkness. The night was clear, still and crisp. As he gazed, methodically breathing in the varied scents, he realized why there was so much light that evening, for he looked up straight into a glorious full moon. As he stared at it, partially hypnotized by its brilliant light, something deep within him stirred. He began to push on into the night.

A cornfield stood at the back of the yard. With surprising nimbleness and agility he gently leaped over the fence that surrounded it without creating the slightest stir within the surrounding silence. He was feeling young and vibrant and his heart beat was racing, he started walking through the stems of corn, but fairly soon gave in to his primal urges and he discovered himself chasing and leaping through the fields, he felt as if the moon was somehow urging him on…

Suddenly he glimpsed a movement; the merest flash of white, about a hundred feet ahead. ‘A rabbit’ he thought. Then he was suddenly aware that he was incredibly hungry, and despite trying to fight the impulses now firing inside of him he could not contain himself any longer. He began to run faster, the rabbit sensed its doom and made a futile, yet valiant, attempt to escape his impending fate without success. The rabbit was soon trapped between the hunter’s powerful teeth. The hunter’s jaw tightened about the squiggling fur, and he was soon rewarded with the delicious taste of warm blood. He dropped the limp, bloodied body from his mouth and abruptly and unexpectedly looked up at the moon and howled. His bay echoed into the stillness of the night; a haunting ancient cry that had long been buried in his deepest soul but now he had honored its presence. He howled again and again whilst leisurely devouring his prey...

Awaking the next morning he looked around himself to discover he was once more safe and sound back in his own bed. He then heard a voice, a voice that permeated him with excitement; it was his master calling him. He wagged his long fluffy tail with glee and leaped up onto his master’s bed who lovingly scratched the excited dog’s belly.

“Where did you go last night Rover?” his master cooed lovingly. “Where on earth did you go?”

Ω

P.S. Gifford P.S. Gifford's website is a transplanted Englishman living the life of Riley in Southern California. He has numerous writing credits including three collections of his short stories.

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