It was a Thursday night. Not so different from any other night. Or at least that’s how it began.

I had gotten a call from Josh, my cousin, to go hang at his place. This usually consisted of playing on his computer while he strummed that damned guitar of his. But it beat my own empty house. So here I was, driving my car across the island on the deserted back roads. Windshield wipers occasionally swept the light spray that permeated the air.

As the road curved closer to the shore, the moon glanced its pale, ghastly light over the unsuspecting bluffs. It was really quite beautiful. The cold blue that painted the sky seemed to glow from the depths of the ocean as well. I could see why they called it a “blue moon”. I wished I had my camera with me at the moment. Nature can exhibit such a cold beauty at times, perhaps that’s why I like nighttime so much. It lacks the warmth that everyone takes for granted. Without night, you can’t appreciate the day. Without evil, you don’t appreciate the good.

I should’ve kept my mind more on my driving, but being accustomed to these roads, I allowed my mind to wander. A large shadow passed in front of the car. Instinctively, I applied my brakes but my gut told me it was too late. The car swerved across the wet pavement, sliding into the ditch.

Something was reaching for me. Reaching for my mind. Frozen, lifeless hands grabbing at me. Struggle as I might, the hands were filled with terrible strength. I couldn’t see anything, but dark outlines in a flurry around me. Out of the darkness, a single knife, long and glistening. And a beast’s head on the handle, the fangs seeming to grow as the knife came closer. The blade was mere inches from my face, the fangs now longer than the blade itself. The cold metal fangs grazed lightly past my cheek. Suddenly they plunged deep into my neck. I heard myself screaming in terror. Only it wasn’t my voice. Something machine, like a siren…or a horn…

A horn. Something about fangs. Why were my eyes so heavy? My head throbbed in one long, drumming pain. Slowly I leaned back and some of the pain went away. No, that wasn’t pain. that was a car horn.

My eyes snapped open. I had just been in an accident. I had almost hit something, or maybe I had. For what the wrecked car was going to cost me, I sure as hell had better saved something’s life. I stumbled out of my open car door and quickly assessed the damage. My head hurt and neck ached from the whiplash, but nothing permanent. The car would most likely be totaled. I glanced 40 feet up the road, and there lied a dark mass. Damn it. Wrecked my car for nothing. Shouldn’t have swerved. But it was all instinct.

I began to walk up the road to see what unfortunate animal had lost its game of Russian roulette. It had to be the size of a small deer. Details were hard to make out. Then my stomach dropped like a rock.

It was a person.

My head spun. Who? What? What was someone doing walking in the middle of the road? At this time of night? Oh God, I’d killed them. My throat, I couldn’t breath. I vomited on the side of the road.

I gathered my breath. Slowly, I inched closer. It was sprawled at an awkward angle. A girl, no older than 20, locks of her long dark hair draped over the road. She was pretty. Or she had been. Now, her life had drained from her veins. She had been crushed by my car.

My heart pounded. My hands shaking. I’d never seen death so close. I had never thought I’d be the cause of one. Her lifeless eyes were caught in an unseeing gaze just beyond me. So recently alive, I almost expected her to move. And then she blinked.

“Holy Hell!!” the words escaped my lips.

She sat up.

“You know nothing of hell.”

I ran. My legs took me without even thinking. Adrenaline flooded through my veins. Only one thought maintained. Run.

I ran for what seemed like hours. Through forest, fields, and roads. Fear drove me forward. My clothes were torn and I could feel blood running down the side of my face. But no matter how far I ran, it wasn’t enough. Fear pushed me onward.

More forest lay to my left, and a house on a hill stood on the right. A thought of reason finally drove its way into my brain. Civilization. I should have been running to people. Running to a phone. To the police. To anyone.

The brush rustled behind me. Something was coming. Something almost silent, but not. And it was determined.

I began running up the hill with a new burst of adrenaline. I leapt over a barb-wire fence in my path. I was almost across when my shoelace caught, yanking me from mid air. My face plummeted into the dirt. I twisted around and kicked to free my hindered leg. The old, rotted post loosened itself from the ground, entangling my leg even more. The barbs shredded my pants and skin alike as I kicked at the wood and wire mess encompassing it. Finally I was freed.

I stood, my pants ragged and tattered. One bloody sock covered a numb foot, the shoe lost in wire and wood.

But the house was near.

I turned to run again. She stood there. Watching.

“What the hell are you?!”

A slight smile spread across her full, dark lips.

“Your death.”

She advanced slowly, choosing her steps. Instinctively, I began backtracking. Right into the barb-wire trap I had just gotten out of.

I fell backward, my hands digging deep into the vicious wire. She stood over me, taking in the success of her hunt. Ever so gracefully, she kneeled down. Her hand gentle stroked my face. But there was no comfort there. It was an icy hand intent with death.

My hand found a shard of wood that had splintered from my encounter with the fence. Fingers grasping it tight, I thrust it forward, burying it deep into her chest.

Her eyes flashed shock and anger. She grabbed my hand in a vice-like grip and twisted. My wrist snapped like a twig. Suddenly it loosened. Her body shuddered and collapsed next to me.

“Fool. It’s too…late…” Her final words coughed their way out.

Too late? I had won. I had defeated her. I had been her prey, but she had underestimated me.

A vision of fangs flashed in my mind.

Too late…

My fingers ever so slowly found their way to my neck. There were two holes where my neck had been violated…