At first, there was nothing.
Then, there was everything. The sweat, warm and cool, leaking from Albey’s skin. The beating of Albey’s heart, the flowing of Albey’s blood, the screaming of Albey’s pulse in his ears. The blowing of the wind, the chirping of the insects, the rustling of the denizens dashing betwixt the towering burnwood trees. The crackling of the fire, the pluming of the smoke rising through the stone chimney out into the endless wood.
Now, there is anything.
“WHOOP! WHOOP WHOOP!”
The War has begun.
Albey’s body trembles as the screams blast through the night. Horrible, pained screams of shock and spite, of rage and misery, of fear and horror. He smiles to himself in the dark divot beneath the cabin.
The rumbling arrives as the screams continue like a shock wave, like a herd of stampeding whitetails all converging on an especially full garden, but there is no garden here. There is only the cabin in the clearing in the center of the isled forest littered with broken glass, the cabin with the chimney leaking its skunky cannastralis smoke, the cabin where Albey made Peace with the ending of his Life, for he may be a Mad Poet but he is not a fool, and he knew he could not survive.
Fists banging on the walls, the door. Scaling the cabin, stomping on the roof. Screaming as they find the waiting blades. Albey cannot help but smile.
Rocks cracking, mortar shattering. The chimney fell, they broke it down. They’ll be here soon. Inside. Albey grips the dagger tightly, the hatchet even tighter. He knows he will not survive the night, but still he will fight them off. Still he will swing and cut and slice. The Mad Poet will die, but he will not die willingly. The wheel of ka spins on an axle all its own, but it can be made to change directions. All it takes is effort, and one will not know until they try.
So Albey shall try.
Albey the Mad Poet shall try.
The Maddest Poet shall die trying.
Cracking, splintering wood. The door is open, they’re funneling in now. The unbolted boards rumble inches above the Mad Poet’s head. Smashing. Breaking. They’re demolishing everything. He can hear the glass in their feet scraping against the floor.
“WHOOP!” they scream in rage and pain as they bring the house to ruins in search of their lovely herb, stomping the glass further into their feet and cutting their hands on the shattered wood and stone.
The table, the shelves, the steamer trunks, the bed. Gone, it’s all gone, it has to be, for they’re punching at the walls now. Through the cracks in the loose boards Albey can see a growing glow, as if the fire was spreading through the house. There’s too many of them inside, they’ve trapped themselves. They’ll burn alive with him. He won’t need to swing his weapons, they’ll burn alive with him.
The boards sag above Albey’s head. His heart stops beating, his blood frozen in his veins.
The commotion ceases at once. There is no noise now, save for the crackling of the fire, the blowing of the wind, the creaking of the boards as the creature lowers to peer through the cracks. Their eyes meet, the ape’man and the Mad Poet. Closer, it lowers closer, Albey can see the blacks of its eyes. All pupil, no iris. It’s close enough for him to feel the heat of its breath, smell the putrid reek.
Albey shoves the tip of the dagger through the crack between the floorboards, sheathing the jagged blade in the creature’s bottomless black eye.
Screaming. Blood dripping through the floor, landing on his face, his lips. Albey tastes it and smiles a wicked grin.
He draws the dagger back and stabs again, aiming for the other eye. He does not know if he hits his mark, but he does know he landed the strike; the creature lifts its head from the floor, takes the boards with it. Ten ape’mans, a dozen in total, stare down murderously at the ashy ‘man in the divot.
None of them seem sure what to do. They’re not looking at Albey anymore, they’re all staring towards the center of the cabin where the screaming creature went to die with a dagger in its eye.
But did it die?
No, no it did not.
The bigfoot less one bottomless black eye did not die, nor did it lose its sight. It looms over him now, the dagger sticking out from its flabby cheekbone, the blood running in rivers from its dark, matted fur.
“WHOOP!” it says, grimacing in pain when the dagger jerks with the motion of its jaw. “WHOOP? WHOOP’BUCC’WHOOP?!”
“Everything is as it should be,” Albey says, raising the hatchet’s blade above his shoulder, “just as it always is.”
Albey swings the hatchet with the fury of a Poet gone Mad and buries the blade up to its handle into the center of the biggest and the strongest’s skull. It stares at him from one eye, drips dirty blood on him with what remains of the other, then stumbles back out of view. The other creatures watch it go. There is a loud thud as it strikes the hardwood floor, then a silence. Albey breathes once, then twice, then all the bigfoots look down at him.
They grab him, all twelve at once, and rip him from the divot.
The drag him out of the burning wreckage of the cabin, punching his arms and legs until they stop kicking and flailing about.
They throw him onto the bed of broken glass beside the firepit, but he keeps screaming.
The bloody ‘man keeps screaming, he just won’t stop screaming. Staring at them. Seeing them, screaming at what he sees.
The dozen bigfoots each take a rock from around the firepit and hold it high above their heads.
Howling. Distant. Coming forth, forever closer.
The bigfoots without rocks dance and frolic with mirth among the clearing, their feet stinging miserably, a’leak dark and dirty blood.
Snarling, growling, rustling in the trees.
The bloody ‘man will not stop screaming. His eyes will not shut. The bigfoots must make him silent. Must make him shut his pretty eyes.
A creature brings a rock down on his leg. The bloody ‘man keeps screaming.
Another brings a rock down on his arm. The bloody ‘man keeps screaming.
A third brings a rock down on his junk. The bloody ‘man screams ever louder.
A bigfoot brings a rock down on the Mad Poet’s head. The bloody ‘man screams no more.
On his legs. On his arms. On his chest. On his head. On his legs. On his arms. On his chest. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head. On his head.
Dancing, hollering, WHOOPing with glee.
Barking. Howling. Branches break. Rocks scraped by razor claws.
Splattered blood. Shattered bones. A screaming ‘man reduced to pulp. A once seeing ‘man who shall stare no more.
Pain. Bodies falling. Bigfoots ripped to screaming shreds.
The blind wolves howl to the black moon above.
The black hounds hunger, are starved for the kill.
The wolves of the Calla howl forth on this night, and the creatures shall dance no more.
This has been the last subchapter of the last chapter of The Face of Fear, a novel about bigfoot written by the writer in Untitled Bigfoot Project. Here is everything you need to know about it:
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~