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A Snowy Night

26 Nov

It’s been over 190 years and it is time that I write my story and how the beasts of legend have walked among us for all these years. My life ended one snowy winter in what is now the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was part of a fur trading group that had come across the Canadian border to try and catch some beavers in their winter habitat.

The day was November 2, 1816, and we had been in the land for 3 months already. There were 6 of us at the start of the excursion and we had 2 Indian guides. The party started out well enough we had bountiful supplies on our pack mules and equipped for at least six months.

We journeyed into the wilderness and found a perfect area to setup camp and we began to build a small cabin. It was a beautiful piece of land as there was a river to the east and plenty of trees and wildlife. There was plenty of deer and even some small bear around that we could use for food and other things. The bear fat worked for cooking and one of our guides even knew how to make candles from the fat.

So it came that by the 2nd that we had a small cabin built and it wasn’t anything special. The cabin had one main room in which we placed some hand built table and a few chairs. We where able to fashion a fire place so the bitter cold that came as seasons changed did not freeze us out. There where very small windows that where mainly there as gun ports in case we came under attack. We had no glass so they where covered with heavy pieces of bear fur to help insulate the room. The roof was angled just enough so that rain would run down the roof and every so often we did have to patch a hole now and again. Overall though I’d have to say it was a comfy place we even had cots laid out for sleeping, again we had to thank our guides for showing us how to build these comfortable cots.

We had built one other building for drying the skins and keeping them safe. We had placed a few poles in the ground around the drying hut to help protect it from animals and a few around the main building for our protection. The drying hut was smaller then our quarters but in there we had strong poles and rope so that we could hang furs from them. We also had built small shelves so that when the furs where dry we could lay them flat and add more pelts to the lines as needed.

There was one major problem that never thought about when we where setting up our camp and what we needed to protect ourselves from. We where protecting our camp from wild animals such as bears, when we should have watched for others. So it happened that fateful day that heavy snow came into the area. The snow was blinding our vision as it appeared to come at us parallel to the ground thanks to the heavy winds. This storm was the worst we’d seen so there was no choice but for all 8 of us to hunker down in the main cabin with the fire to stay warm and ride the storm out.

The storm raged all day and you could have knocked each of us out with a small loon feather when to our shock and surprise when at just after sunset that there was knocking at our door. I was nearest the door and upon looking out one of our gun slots was shocked to see 2 figures in the snow. In hindsight I should have questioned how they got here but seeing a man and a woman I opened the door and ushered them into the safety of our cabin.

Sigh, I think back now and should have seen the signs, but how was I to know such creatures where real. They where both pale with little color to their skin and the woman looked near death. We immediately did our best to make them comfortable offering them coffee, food, and seats near the fire.
The man took off his long drawn coat to expose a lean figure. He was about 6 feet tall, with dark black hair that hung to his shoulders. He had dark black eyes and his skin was nearly as white as the snow. He was dressed in simple clothing besides his jacket a pair of slacks and boots that had no business out in these woods.

The woman, sigh, well she was, and well she took our breath away. She removed the hood from her head and we all gasped. Keep in mind it had been months since any of us had seen a woman but she was gorgeous. As she removed her fur coat not one of use could stop gazing at the creature underneath. She shook her head and her long black hair fell to the mid of her back. Her eyes, I still remember those eyes today, they where black but so beautiful. She smiled at us as we all looked like buffoons staring at her with our jaws all slack and open. She was a statuesque beauty with long legs, a slender waist, and sumptuous breasts and stood a head under her companion. We all passed each other passing glances as we could not believe how she was dressed more like a skilled hunter then a woman of that era. She was wearing tighter leathers that would make any hunting trip easier as there was less bulk to conceal.

Sadly the one thing I will forever regret is not watching her companion as I offered her my seat at the fire. Before we knew what happened 5 of us where dead or unconscious. The strange man moved so quickly and effortlessly.

He was upon our faithful guides in less then a second as he grabbed both of them at the same time. He lifted them up out of the chairs, and as they looked down in awe and fear he crushed their windpipes with such a simple action of his hand it caught us all by surprise. He let their limp lifeless bodies fall to the floor and before any of us could get up and react he had swung his arms and knocked 3 others across the small room. Their bodies hit the wall of our cabin making a hard “thud” and they just collapsed onto the floor in a ragged heap.

Jacob was able to grab his pistol and fired its lone round into the man. He stopped, and then he let out the coldest laugh I have ever heard. The laugh echoed in the small cabin and sent shivers down those of us still standing and awake.

This part is hard to recall as it was so fast, but after 190 years it has remained with me. He was upon Jacob in seconds his jaw opened wider then any mans should and then I saw them. They were for the moment ivory white, growing in length his eyes slitting into a monstrous glint as the canine teeth bit, no tore into Jacobs’s neck. I grabbed the woman’s hand and started for the door. I still do not know why but she actually let me try and, sigh, let me try and rescue her. I was able to grab our coats as I headed for the door and bolted out of the cabin. She came with me and I thought, I laugh at that now, I thought we would get away.

We ran into the snow not knowing what was happening in the cabin as my only thought was to get her to safety. The storm had calmed itself and there where small flakes coming down now and it was slow running through the foot of snow the storm had left. I had planned to hide her in the drying shed, and then would go back and face this Godless creature and if I must give my life to safe her. She must have taken pity on me as we approached the drying house she stopped running so abruptly I nearly fell into the fresh snow.

I tossed her coat to her and told her to put it on before she froze as I quickly tossed my own on. She took it and just smiled at me and I forgot everything for that instant. I forgot that my friends and companions where being killed. She then walked up to me and shockingly she hugged me. I couldn’t believe what as happening till I heard a scream from the cabin. I then woke out of her spell and told her we must run or he will kill us all. She giggled slightly and just shook her head. She then spoke with a voice that would cause the birds to stop singing in jealousy.

“My, you are such a brave man for trying to assist me. You are foolish as you should recall I came with my dear brother.” I gasped realizing to late what I had done. “Ah, I can see realization crossing your face as you have just figured out what has befallen you.” I couldn’t believe it this gorgeous woman was, she couldn’t be but was one of those. I began to walk backwards not realizing I was heading toward the wall of the shed.

She just laughed again, “Oh my poor man, you should be thankful you are here with me. My brother he isn’t the kindest when it comes to devouring his meals. He plays with his food sometimes.” As she says this I yet again here a scream and a cry for help from the cabin. “Oh yes, I can see my dear brother is enjoying himself and I fear for your sake I am hungry and I must quench my thirst.”

I reach the shed and realize my life is over there is no sense in fighting what this cruel fate has brought me. I drop to my knees and hold my hands out in front of me and begin a silent prayer asking that the lord take my soul into the hereafter. She saw me doing this and was either kind to let me finish or was perplexed why a man at the moment of his death would pray instead of grovel for his life or shake in fear. She looked down at me and took a hand to fix the strands of hair that had fallen into her face during my now stupid attempt at getting her to safety.

I think back and I realize she never did ask me why I prayed to this day, but things suddenly changed. There was a commotion from the cabin and I saw Markus and Jeffery come staggering out of the cabin. They each had their long rifles on them and where trying to load them. I realized they must have come to after being thrown into the wall. The man came out after them laughing and taunting them. “Oh come, come, you two. No need to rush away and I’ll even stop and let you load your rifles and take your best shot.” The beast laughed after saying this and I saw Markus and Jeffery look at each other and load faster.

Markus was first to complete the loading sequence and some how got a shot off in that snow. The shot hit the man mid torso but nothing happened. Markus stood there in shock and began to re-load as Jeffery took his shot. Jeffery never was the brightest of our group and in his fear forgot to take the ramrod out of the rifle. So when he fired the rod ended up in the man’s chest stuck there like an arrow.

Then she spoke again the wind seemed to quiet for her voice to be heard. “My dear brother, stop playing with your evenings meal, you are taking unnecessary risk and you are allowing your body to be damaged.”

Jeffery and Markus looked over and spotted us by the shed, with me still on the ground kneeling and that woman was standing over me. “As you wish my dear sister, I will end their miserable existence now. I did say I’d allow them a shot which each has taken.” It was over for Markus and Jeffery in seconds. He was on them and his teeth now stained with Jacobs’s blood into Markus within seconds. I don’t even recall watching him leave any tracks in the snow he moved so quickly. Jeffery, well poor Jeffery he, well he just stood there in shock. As Markus’ body hit the snow a small amount of blood stained the snow. Jeffery followed shortly after and that creature having drunk his fill broke his neck. He took Jeffery’s body and tossed it into the woods for nature to have its way with his body over time.

He started to walk toward us now, and what I thought was the maker finally coming to our help Jacob appeared at the door. I stared, I couldn’t believe it he, he wasn’t dead, well yet. He was staggering the wound in his neck so horrific I did not know how he was standing. He hadn’t taken time to put a jacket on, and was instead in his slacks and his brown shirt stained with his own blood being the only thing to protect him from the cold. His eyes where focused and filled with rage as he stumbled forward in the snow a hand holding a piece of flaming firewood. I screamed telling him to go back inside not realizing it would draw attention to him.
The two creatures turned toward him as they heard my scream. She spoke, “See my brother, this is why I tell you not to toy with your food. You where in such a rush you left one still alive and kicking you fool.”

“Shut up sister, I knew what I was doing and I shall finish him now” said her brother. He moved quickly toward Jacob, I again screamed at him to go back inside and close the door. Jacob, my best friend for over 15 years, just shook his head and continued forward. I will never know what drove him forward but as the man got near he began to taunt Jacob.

The beast, the heartless, soulless creature stops in front of Jacob. Jacob stops and swings the log at him slowly missing with each slow swing. “See my sister; this is the joy of letting one live. You get to watch them struggle for their revenge for what has AHHHHHHHHHHHHH” The scream of pure terror and pain it should have shaken me to the core but instead I smiled and nearly screamed myself. Jacob had used what strength he had and slammed the piece of wood into the creatures back as he turned to gloat to his sister. Somehow it penetrated the creatures skin and into his back setting him a blaze.

The woman, her shriek was so horrendous. I can just imagine every animal within earshot running in fear from this terrible shriek. She was at Jacob in seconds and did not hesitate to finish him off with a snap of the neck. She then went over to her burning brother who had collapsed in the snow and put out the rest of the smoldering flames by scooping handfuls of snow over the burning body.

I think back and ask myself why I didn’t run or try and hide some place. However, curiosity got the best of me and I stood and watched the scene in front of me. She actually was saddened by the death of her brother. She spoke to herself asking why he had to be so foolish, saying she had warned him countless times before that his behavior would be his death. I couldn’t believe what happened next as she began to sob. There in the falling snow in the quietness of this beautiful land I stood and watched this creature show a piece of humanity. I slowly began to move toward the cabin, not sure what I’d do but, well I was getting cold.

I was just about to the door and then I heard it a shout that echoed in the wildness. “STOP!”
I froze I did not take another step as I turned and I saw her. The beauty I had seen earlier in the night had disappeared. The voice of angels was gone and had been replaced by such a sound I cannot explain it today.
“My brother is DEAD! You and your party are to blame for this, and I shall have satisfaction.”
I remember shaking in fear I may even have soiled myself at that moment, but as she approached me I somehow found my voice. I recall speaking in such hushed tones as if I was a child caught taking a fresh molasses cookie.
“This, this is”
“What you dare to speak to me after what you have done?”
I tried again a bit louder and more force in my voice.
“You cannot blame us for this. You came to our cabin and choose to use my friends, our guides and me for your dinner and entertainment.”
I couldn’t believe what happened she actually stopped and acted surprised. I thought maybe I had struck a cord with her.
“True, my brother and I did stop here but it was not my intention to toy with you men. My brother (she looks at his corpse) had the plan to toy with you and I had no problem going along as long as our hunger was satisfied. I personally was going to wait for your group to fall asleep and choose one to feed upon and leave.”
I looked at her face and body showing calm and sorrow through it. The beauty of her face returning and my longing to make her happy and protector her returned.
“So, what you are telling me is this slaughter, your brothers death did not have to happen. It is to late now and we are both alone in this wilderness now, and after you kill me you shall have your solitude.”

I could tell this stung her at the time and as I think back over the past centuries I wonder if that was not the wisest of terms to use. However, I said what I did and life has not been the same since. You see I say that because she did bite me she drank her fill but did not take me to the peaceful slumber of death I had expected, no wanted. Instead here I am at a computer typing a start to my story. As for the one turned me she is gone now, no not dead but after 100 years people do separate and I will not forget her as I grew to lover her.

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Posted by on November 26, 2011 in Short Stories

 

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