Among towering, dark pine tree in the horror of the blackest forest the creature moved a claw. Its cavernous mouth gaped wide. Yellowing fangs glowed in the night like sharp, serrated saws. Rotting remains of flesh hung from the jaws as carcasses from a butcher’s steel hook. Ropes of bulging veins criss-crossed beneath thinly stretched skin. As its fearful feet rustled dead leaves, the forest moaned in a cruel east wind, the trees whispered in trembling fear. It opened the graveyard gate. A skeleton moon sailed from behind a dark cloud. Mounds of newly dug graves shone in the ghostly light. With deadly intent it dug, dug deep. A body wrapped in a shroud was dragged into the air again the head held in the cavernous mouth. Back into the forest it lumbered and lurched to enjoy its horrific feast the savagery of the beast satisfied for one day, at least
He sat in the humid jungle; his heart drained, cold, frozen beyond ice. No pulse, no beat responded, even to his own hand. The cave in its darkness offered deeper darkness, a savage blackness: fur, pelt, claw, tooth. Deeper, ever deeper, they were there these, his kin, his familiars, hanging, closely, bloated processing the last feed. Night rolls inside; he feels the vampires, restless, weak, seeking reviving transfusion. One by one, gathering, swarming, they fly. Dark coated, snub nosed, his wings now spreading, his thumbs transforming- tiny, stubby wing digits to climb the sleeping prey. Cattle lying, agents of revival; the colony descends. He climbs, claw thumbs grappling. Sharp incisors puncture the tough skin. His tongue long, viper-like drinks, lapping the dark red stream
Sarah Das Gupta is a school teacher from near Cambridge, UK who has also lived and taught in India and Tanzania. She has had work published in over 70 magazines/journals from many different countries, including US, UK, Canada,
Australia, Germany, Romania, Croatia, India, Nigeria and others.