Evil comes in many shapes and sizes. Some in the imagination of man and woman, others, not so lucky for they exist in the real world…ask yourself, what is fact and what is fiction?
The creature advances on her lifeless form.
They watch in stunned silent horror, helplessly as the drama unfolds in front of them. Across the clearing the voice of Pastor Steve can be heard, he is praying out loud for strength, and guidance.
As the creature reaches down to Veronica, Philip opens the makeshift gate in the fencing, and with a primal scream launches himself at the beast, armed only with a hunting knife, he attacks with a blind fury, stabbing at the creature and the two bodies go down in the dirt, the beasts growls and Philip’s screams of rage fill the night, suddenly cut off as the powerful jaws clamp onto his throat, and rips the life from his body.
The creature stands, Philip’s blood running from its massive jaws as it once again turns its attention to the group behind the fence, Veronica forgotten, lies behind it in the dirt, consciousness slowly returning.
The creature’s eyes lock on Adele, the object of its hate as it moves forward towards them. The sound of the gate at the chicken houses opening causes the beast to pause and turn, and in the moonlight Pastor Steve steps out, into the open, clutched in his hands are the crucifix and bottle of Holy Water, the pastor has found his calling, a warrior for good against evil.
He calls out to the group. “I’ll hold this creature of darkness at bay, get to the launch as evil cannot cross moving water, get to safety.”
“My brothers, we know who you are, we know your families, but you know us not. I offer you the gift of life, join us or die here now at the hands of the leopard, prove to us that you can be trusted, go forth and kill a white man. Make the kill look like our brother, the leopard. Bring back the man’s heart and genitals, for I will make a strong potion to give you power beyond your imagination. Do this and you live as one of us, refuse and you die by our hand.”
A ripple of fear washes over the group at the witch doctors words, the Leopard Men are on a recruitment drive, and the men selected for recruitment don’t have much of a choice, join or die.
One of the young men, breaks free of the circle, and throws himself into the darkness of the forest, screaming in terror. The witch doctor turns to the men and issues instructions. Petrus and two others moved off into the darkness in pursuit of the fleeing recruit.
Several times the terrified man is forced to make detours into the heavy underbrush to avoid his pursuers, his heart hammering in his chest for he has heard of these killers for hire, these Leopard Men. These eaters of men, and he wants no part of it and his fear pushes him blindly forward.
The talons striking from behind sink into his chest and abdomen, as strong arms encircle him, pulling him into a death embrace, he abandons all hope of living when he sees two others in front of him, the steel of the claws flashing in the moonlight. His body is dragged through the forest, back to the waiting men at the fire.
Petrus enters the clearing, dragging the body by the ankle, tossing it to one side with contempt. The witch doctor moves forward, the glint of a sharp blade in his hand.
“Now my brothers we eat, we eat the flesh of the coward for tomorrow night, we are joined by these three and they need to be baptised in blood, let them join us in our feat, lead them and show them how to kill, put blood on their hands so that they will swear allegiance to the brotherhood. Bring me back the heart of a white, and if they do not take part in the kill, bring me their heart’s as well.”
‘You are but cattle to me fools; you cannot escape me for you have been given to me, run like mice but I will find you and taste your blood.”
Peggy glances behind them and sees the demon moving swiftly in their direction, running on all fours in an effort to cut off their escape, she lifts her revolver and in quick succession fires off four rounds at the advancing creature, all four hit their mark. The demon falls to the ground once more.
The steps of the church are under their feet as they climb up towards the door, a howl of rage follows them as the demon rises back up from the mud, and rushes forward towards them.
Suddenly, as if the very ground beneath its clawed feet had turned into red hot coals, the demon gives a shriek of terror, and throws itself backwards away from where it had run.
It stands across the empty space glaring malevolently at the party, huddled on the steps of the church, its hunger for them radiating from its eyes, yet it will not advance.
“You puny human cattle have only delayed your end, and what would have been a swift death will now be slow. You will end up begging me to end it. You are on holy ground, and you have the sanctuary of the church, but I am older than that. I will wait and relish tearing out your lungs and hearts from your bodies, this I promise you.”
With that the demon turns to meet Amos as he moves on to the church grounds, the blood streaming from the wound on his temple, a result of the butt of the rifle being harder than his head.
“Bring them to me mortal, for I will feed, and feel their bones crush beneath my jaws, I hunger for their blood.”
The night is dark as the thunder rolls across the sky, flashes of lightning turn night to day and the heavy rain pelts down through the canopy of trees as the killer moves silently towards the village.
No-one will hear the screams tonight as the thunder drums out across the sky, and the killer moves steadily through the forest in the direction of the sleeping village. He pauses as he breaks through the thick foliage that surrounds the village.
Slowly he surveys the area, his eye moves over the mud huts, he smells the wood fires that burn inside, and hears the sound of people sleeping as he steadily moves across the muddy open area towards a hut closest to the edge of the forest.
He pauses at the door to the hut, his sense of smell tells him that the people inside are sickly and weak. He tries the door, but it is wedged shut firmly from the inside, so he moves around to the back of the hut, and standing, tests the mud walls.
He applies his weight, and the wall starts to crumble. Terrified voices ring out from within, that the Devil is here, and the sound of their fear drives him on, and with a lunge the killer enters the dark interior of the hut.
The terrified screams of the occupants are unable to penetrate the night as the thunder and lightning drown out all sound, as the killer grabs an old woman by the shoulder, and drags her through the broken wall, out into the darkness.
The lightning flashes, the lion stands with his victim between his forepaws, looks back at the hut, towards the cowering people inside, issues a deep growl as if challenging them to follow, reaches down and drags the still screaming woman into the forest.
These books are available from Vanilla Heart Publishing, and the links to both the e-books and the print copies can be found at www.vhpbooktours.com
I hope you enjoyed the small teasers from the four books, and possibly your interest has been captured…I hope so…enjoy, keep the light on, and remember that when you hear that creek on the floorboard, the knock on the window or the shuffle at the door…it is only your imagination playing tricks on you…or is it?