“How the hell did I get here so soon?” I thought, as I sat in the hospital waiting room, blood seeping into my best clothes. I looked down and at this point, I stopped caring about what color my pants were supposed to be. Good thing I was planning to upgrade my wardrobe anyway. My neck had three deep, deep cuts along its side. Wild animals in the midwest, I tell ya. Can’t ever think you’re safe.
I promised myself I was never coming back here. My flight out was Tuesday and if it weren’t for this hospital visit I’d leave sooner. Gotta save the money for the medical bills, though, of which I’m sure there’ll be plenty. I felt bad for the groom. One of my best friends growing up and the whole bachelor party I had planned was ruined because of me. It was my idea to go on a 2 AM stroll through the woods.
Jason was a bit of a pussy boy growing up, and he was easily scared, so me and the guys decided after way too many drinks that we should take the scenic route home. A rare patch of trees stood in the way of our Airbnb for the night. Jason protested, rightly so, but we all jested that if he was about to get married, then this may as well be a walk in the park. Take my 1920s jokes, please.
After very few back and forths and a few more friendly shoves, we were off, high stepping through tall grass and knocking spider webs and tree branches out of our way, following the only light that was brought by the night sky. Halfway through our trek even Sam got skiddish and suggested we turn back. Our phones had lost their gps. I, of course, being the pack leader, swore we were going in the right direction and claimed that any way back would just get us more lost than we already were.
I broke off a thick branch to use as a walking stick, and then I heard an echo of said branch breaking. That part seemed odd to me, so I asked everyone to stop. Another branch broke, and Lee called out “That wasn’t us.” as if it weren’t obvious. We backed into each other, leaving 360 degrees of vision open. Impossible to flank. Unfortunately, wild animals don’t follow military tactics, and through the reflection of the moonlight I saw a pair of eyes from my side. Nick saw the same thing I did and when the beast jumped, both of us ducked.
Unfortunately, Sam’s back was toward the beast and we neglected to shout anything. That’s on us, and Sam’s being flown to an emergency center that can take care of him better than the facility I’m currently at. He wasn’t moving, though, and I don’t have the highest hopes for him. Lee kicked the beast, breaking his toe in the process. That’s something you never hear about in the papers in regard to an animal attack. A lot of good it did, because the animal didn’t hardly react, except to turn its face toward Lee.
All I could see were thick shadows since it had moved from the small patch of light, but none the less I raised my makeshift cane and stabbed the beast. Long story short, it didn’t really work and it’s attention was now focused on yours truly. It lunged at me, and I felt its thick claws dig deep into my neck. “Get it off me!” I screamed, and the three remaining players in the game took turns beating it with a combination of fists, branches and a pocket knife that someone kept with them.
I believe the knife is what got it off me. Who knows, really, though? Steam came out of its back and it ran off into the woods. Lee immediately ran to the nearest clearing to get some service and called 911. That brings us to here. I’m amazed I’m alive, to be honest. I figured with as much blood as I lost, I’d be long dead by now. Chalk it up to the drinking I suppose.
“Mr. Richardson?” I heard the nurse. Lee and Jason nodded at me, and I walked into the doctor’s office. There was a small window in the corner, and I felt stuffy, so I went to open it. Outside the moon shined brightly. It bled into the room, despite the fluorescent light above me. The moon itself looked to be a different color. It was like a shade of blue I had never seen before, and it filled the room so much more than it should have.
Looking around, I could no longer see any fluorescent light. Only this weird shade of blue. Suddenly I felt dizzy. My body became a tornado, swirling around the room, knocking standard equipment over. I felt an ache. It started in my chest. I clutched it tightly. So tightly, in fact, that my nails ripped through my chest. I pulled my hand away, and chunks of flesh were under my unusually long fingernails.
I looked down but there was no blood save for that under my nails, which get growing. My shoulders extended, longer and longer, and I felt my biceps swell. “What’s happening?” I said aloud, noticing my voice was gruff, as if it were stuffed with hair. Speaking of, the hair on my arms grew significantly darker. The light became painful, so much so that I had to knock down the fluorescent above me. At this point someone had to have heard me.
I wondered my no one was coming through the door, and panic struck as I looked at my feet to see tattered pieces of clothing floating to the ground. I clutched the bed as I fell to my knees, pulling it down with me. I thought those things were secured to the floor. My body was full of fur now, and I fell onto my back, staring up at the ceiling, reaching out to no one. I wanted to shout out to whatever god there was and ask what was going on, but I could no longer speak. My jaw became unhinged, and I felt my lips extend in front of my face.
Soon I could see my nose in front of me. I grabbed it with my clawed hands. rolling around it felt like my entire body was swollen like a balloon. On my elbows I arched my back and stretched out my spine, feeling it crack, as if it were being pulled as far as it could. Someone opened the door. I didn’t care who it was. I looked at them, and the last thing I remember was that I was hungry, and they looked tasty.