The village was silent, eerily deserted. Long,m the shadow of death hung over it, the shadow of death and the stench of decay. Silent, other than the rasping whisper of the wind, slicing through bending poplar trees and the empty, hollow caws of the ravens.
Black and proud they stood, wallowing in the entrails and remains, feasting on what had once been men, women and children. What had once been human beings, now cast about, smearing thatched roofs and the cobblestone town square. Cast about, in a seemingly haphazard fashion – but spelling out a sinister truth.
The beast had struck.
Devouring one and all, consuming all it could – if we were lucky we would have arrived too late.
The Fates had another idea.
Our footsteps startled the ravens. They took fright, took flight, leaping out in an instant from that carrion field, their harpy’s wings showering us with ichor and filth.
A blood rain, and at the boom of a thousand pairs of wing taking flight we heard it – the grunt, the sharp intake of breath.
It knew of our presence.
It rose from its lair, from the nest it had made for itself, from a nest of cracked and broken human bones. Its hackles sharpened, like quills from its back, ready to pen a new tale of violence, of destruction – Death, incarnate. Death, reaper of souls, scourge of the living.
But we had something of our own to say about that. The clash and thunder of men, brash before battle, the steady beat of your heart as you make your peace with this world and prepare to kill an abomination. The monster’s head was worth a pretty price in Berlin – and a hefty burden he exacted, exalting in the rivers of blood he opened.
He tried to flee, and got caught fast between the poplar trees – I lost five good men that morning. Squealing, screaming terror erupted, and I wasn’t quick to silence him.
I took my time.
His death wasn’t a good one.
Written for the A to Z Challenge as part of my series on Under-represented Monsters. Thought I’d go for something a bit more ‘traditional’ and this Germanic monster seemed to fit the bill quite nicely (also, not a lot of monsters out there starting with V, other than the obvious.) Apparently this wee beastie would eat and eat and eat before lying around for a day or two and then finishing the *ahem* digestive process by squeezing itself between two trees. Didn’t work out for this little guy. The Vielfraß was a misunderstanding about the nature of the Wolverine by Germanic peoples… This is one of my first attempts at writing an ‘icky’ horror story, tell me what you think, comments and criticism always welcome!