A small town in Poland had had to deal with a nuisance beyond squalor and taxes one late autumn – the local graveyard was being disturbed by what appeared to be a wild animal. Every morning the citizens would wake to see the earth in front of a grave torn asunder, like a wound in the world. The beast didn’t appear to have reached the bodies, fortunately, and the town posted a watch in order to capture the strange creature.
The first night, a huge shape lumbered through the streets of the town. An uncanny fog had settled over the town, and the militiaman could only see the small silhouette of the beast as it lumbered into the graveyard. The man’s senses were overcome by the reek of acrid smoke, and doubled over coughing as the beast tore through the ground yet again. He recovered moments later to see that the headstone was smashed to bits, and a trail of viscera lead out of the gaping hole and down the muddy streets. He gave chase, and followed the trail to the town’s bakery. Nailed to the front door with her own ribcage was the corpse of an adolescent girl. The man recognized her – she had been murdered three weeks previous, the killer never found.
The man quivered, and called for the rest of the militia. Within half an hour the twenty of them were gathered at the front of the cemetery, crossbows in hand and dogs at their sides. The dogs whined and tugged, and absolutely refused to follow the scent of the beast. Fortunately, they did not need to – the stench of smoke was still in the air, and the man knew that the beast remained in town. After an hour of searching, they returned to the bakery. They were cold, wet, and directly below the beast as it stared down from the rooftop. With an almost human shriek, it leapt down onto the muddy path, ruby eyes glinting and greasy black fur shining in the dull moonlight. It paused, and that was just enough time for the militiamen to fill it with iron crossbow bolts.
It twitched and collapsed, and the men all breathed a sigh of relief. That is, until they heard the sound of dragging behind them. The corpse of the girl tore itself from the wall and was pulled towards the corpse of the dog as if being pulled by a meat hook. The girl’s corpse met that of the dog, and they twisted together in a sick dance as the clammy flesh melted together. The beast rose, convulsing as the bones of the girl popped into place and her dirty hair sewed itself throughout the dog’s skin as it formed a new coat of fur.
Then two of the man started gurgling as flesh was stripped from their bodies as if torn by an invisible hand, muscle torn out without breaking the skin and their bones splintering and slipping through like medical needles. The process was over in ten seconds and the beast loomed, now the size of a bear. Its new left eye, appropriated by the man’s best friend since childhood, stared at him pleadingly before being overtaken by a tide of red. The beast shivered and opened its mouth full of human teeth, smoke pouring out of its throat as it looked upon the terrified militia. Then it strode past them, the guards shrieking in agony as the arms holding their weapons simply [i]fell off,[/i] the mud becoming to become inundated with as much blood as water. As the militiamen bled to death in the dirt they heard the sound of the screaming baker as he was dragged out of his home above the bakery and into the streets. Then they heard the sounds of a man confronted with his secrets. Then they heard the sounds of a man being buried alive, and then finally the sounds of their own heartbeats slowing to a peaceful stop. Only the first man survived long enough to tell anyone what had happened.
Sometimes they don’t have anything against you, see. You’re just there. Wrong place at the wrong time, and you become meat.