a twisted thing – 536 words

You flee to the closet.  You know the boxcutter is barely a weapon, but it’s all you have, so you hold it like a shield.  Light peeks through the slits in the sliding door.  It gives you the faintest view of the bedroom beyond.

The beast approaches.  Its dragging, heavy gait reaches your ears like a threat.  Your home groans and struggles, a victim to the monster’s size.  You don’t need to see it to know that it is massive.  You don’t need to see it to know that the boxcutter will not be enough.

It reaches the door to your bedroom and begins to push its weight against the too-small entrance.  You hear the strain of the doorframe, but it’s the monster that gives.  Flesh tears, and you can see the splatter of blood staining the white plaster of the walls.  The beast continues onward, uncaring, even as you hear its blood pooling on your floor.  Its breathing is slow, almost labored.

The smell of coppery blood is so overpowering that you worry you’ll gag if you breathe in.  You go as still as possible and try to hold your breath.  The beast is visible through the slits, an abomination of black fur, skin, and blood.  It drags itself around the room, knocking over furniture and shaking posters and pictures from the walls.

You allow yourself to think, for a moment, that it won’t find you.  It’s just an animal and an injured one at that.  But then you hear it sniff the air haltingly.

The monster leaps into motion, whirling to face the closet.  It seizes the sliding door, its fingers tightly wrapped around the slits.  One of its hands is almost human, but the fingers are too long, the skin stretched so tight that it is broken and bleeding in places.  The other hand is inhuman in every sense, clawed and enclosed in dark fur.  

The soft wood of the door shatters, and the beast flings it away.  

You’re too horrified to scream.  The monster fills your bedroom, its back against the ceiling.  Half of it is human, pulled and pushed to a monstrous size.  Its human limbs are meters long, bloody fur emerging where the skin has succumbed to the pressure.  There’s a sickly, wet sound that grows and grows as more of the human is consumed by the beast.

The half-formed head of a wolf and a human head fight for a presence on the same neck.  Fear and agony are on the man’s face, but his open, screaming mouth is silent.  His eyes tell you all you need to know regardless.  The wolf’s maw opens, and in a single snap of white teeth, bites the human head off like a grape from a stem.

The monster roars, a sound so brutal it shakes dust from the ceiling and rattles the windows in their panes.  It stops abruptly, coughing blood and bone like a dying engine.  You can tell the wolf is no less tortured than the man that it had once been.It takes a long, shuddering step forward.  You drop the boxcutter, knowing that it won’t help.  Knowing— seeing with your own eyes— that there are fates worse than death.

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