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Baying At The Moon
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)

This contribution is part of a series:-
1. Baying At The Moon (11-Jun-2010)
A full moon night, a boy, a monster...and a lynch mob on the loose.
2. Dark Of The Moon (3-Sep-2010)
When the moon calls, fighting the monster within is futile, and can be yourself.
3. Ill Met By Moonlight (11-Oct-2010)
Some monsters are much, much worse than others who stalk the night and merely want to kill you.This is part 3 of the series of stories which began with Baying At The Moon and continued with Dark Of The Moon.
4. Hunter's Moon (31-Oct-2010)
The Woman and the Boy face danger from a different source, one which may be the most lethal of all.
5. The Darkness Before The Dawn (25-May-2011)
The Boy, alone in the streets of the town, gets into trouble. This is Part Five of the Werewolf Series.
6. Descent Into The Dark (14-Jul-2011)
In a desperate attempt to halt the Change that the full moon brings upon them, the Woman and the Boy climb down into the bowels of the earth, and into a greater danger. This is Part 6 of the Werewolf Series.

Page 1

She walked down the narrow ditch, stepping carefully over the clutter at the bottom. For many years, the ditch had served as the local garbage dump, and it was paved with rusted tin and broken glass. The full moon sailed across the sky above, but here, under the canopy of leaves, the light was shifting and uncertain. The ditch was dangerous in many ways, but it provided cover.

She crouched as a ray of the moonlight glinted off something bright and shiny, fighting down the growl that threatened to burst free of her throat. A slight breeze moved the leaves above, and the moonlight shifted, and the glittering thing turned out to be no more than a shard of broken windowpane, harmless unless stepped upon. But she did not relax. She could never relax on the hunt.

The ditch was bordered by scrub bushes, and they rubbed against her heavy shoulders, scraping against her flanks. The bushes were thorny and snagged her fur. Impatiently, she tugged and sent a whole line of them to shaking. She froze, ears erect, but nothing happened. After a while she went on.

Where the trees ended, she paused for a long time, in the shelter of some bushes, waiting. The moonlight washed the open grass of the park before her like milk, and glittered off the little lake in the middle distance. She was not interested in the park. At this time of night there was no hunting there. Beyond the park, where light shone dimly through the trees, was where she would find meat.

It was a long time before a scrap of cloud covered the moon. Silently, moving flattened to the ground like a big cat, she slid across the grass, feeling the dew on her belly. Skirting the little lake, she paused and sniffed the air, her nostrils flaring. There were birds somewhere close, large water birds nesting in the reeds around the lake. She could smell their droppings. But they were not the meat she wanted tonight, and they were elusive prey, liable to slip into the water as she came.

Across the park there was the road. She disliked roads. Roads were not safe. Roads were dangerous with large fast moving metal objects the meat used. She shrank back from the road and began trotting along it, screened by undergrowth.

Ahead of her now she saw lights. The lights were bright, too bright, and too numerous. There was a building with noise from it, too much noise; talk and laughter and loud, loud music, which made her ears hurt. She could smell meat, but too many. Too much danger. She made a wide detour past that building. It meant she had to cross the road in moonlight but it couldn’t be helped, and besides she could see more lights, smaller and further away, on the other side. The road was free of meat vehicles and she crossed in a sharp trot, her head low and ears flattened.

Finally, she was in the shadows again, and much closer to the other lights. There were houses there – isolated houses, with gardens between them. She sniffed again, and growled very softly. She could smell the meat, now, and she felt the hackles rise along her back as her heart rate accelerated. Very slowly, she began walking towards the nearest house. Now was the time of supreme danger and supreme ecstasy, the moments she lived for. Now was the time of the hunt.

The boy sat at his table, looking out of the window, wishing he were somewhere else. He could hear his aunt move back and forth in the next room, banging things around. She always banged things when she was angry, and lately she seemed to be angry all the time. Her anger tended to be vented on him. It was easy to vent on him because he was a "parasite", left with her by his father after his mother had died a year ago.

He sighed. It was hard to forgive his father, although he wasn’t really at fault, with a job that kept him moving all around the country constantly. Certainly, his aunt made no attempt to forgive his father, even though the man sent money regularly for her to take care of his son. His aunt was convinced his father was living it up and had dumped the boy on her. Or at least that was what she told the boy, over and over again, at least six or seven times a day.

He could do nothing to please her, no matter how hard he tried. If he spent his evening on schoolwork, he was too lazy to help her – and she was forever engaged in cleaning and tidying up. His father had once called her neurotic, but that hadn’t stopped him putting his son with her. And if he helped her, he was trying to evade schoolwork. Entertainment was out, of course.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:General Horror
Type:Short story
Rating:7.61 / 10
Rated By:48 users
Comments: 4 users
Total Hits:13619

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