Clayton warmed his hands by the fire. It was a cold enough evening, though thankfully the snow was not falling. He had kept his mouth shut listening to them tell stories. Finally, it was Clayton's turn. He smiled and looked to the group.
"Was a few months ago. The most fearsome critter I ever seen. Head of a frog with teeth long and sharp as knives. Spikes stickin' out it's back. Long tail with what may as well be spears stickin' out of it. Thick legs with claws. This sucker was all about bringin' forth a world of hurt. Now, you think that when the good lord put a critter like this on his earth, that he'd make able to dish it out, but not able to take it? You sir, would be wrong. Hunters came to try to take this critter down and they swore its hide was thicker than anything the ever seen. Bullets almost bounced off of it, and all that would do is make it angry. There'd normally wouldn't be much left of anyone after that."
One of the men called out, "How in the hell would you know about what they swore if there weren't survivors."
Clayton smiled, "I never said there was not any survivors. Just there wasn't much left of anyone. Met a few on their deathbeds. One managed to pull through, though he's really only got one arm. Keeping one limb out of four is better than none, I guess. Anyways, I set off into the woods to track this thing down and send it back to god his-self."
Clayton's eyes slowly scanned the crowd, "Three days I went in, further and further from civilization. Out in the wilderness where even the Indians don't venture. There, I found signs. Trees with gashes and claw marks. Too deep for bears. Body slumped against a boulder, above it bloodstains and a deep hole, like something stabbed into rock. I knew I was close.
"Something was in the air. I listened and realized it was too quiet. Then, I heard the growl I turned and saw it as it charged towards me, look of death in its eyes. I knew that if those stories were true, the eyes might be the only chance I had. I fired. Hit the thing, but missed the eye. It roared, but, clever devil, started weavin' through. The devil saw fit to give it brains on top of it. It weaves and goes low. I fire a few more shots. I know that if I run, that I'd be cut to ribbons. It jumped at me. I dropped the rifle and pulled up my shotgun."
Another voice interrupted again, "You ain't got a shotgun."
Clayton growled, "You want to tell this story? Look, so I dropped the rifle and pulled up my shotgun. Had cut the thing down for this. Packed in extra powder and loaded it with as nasty everything as I could. I swear I moved fast as the death that was comin for me. It's maw was open and had clamped down on my arm. I'd like to say I kept things together, but really, it was pain that had me clench my hand into a fist, pullin' the trigger. Overstuffed barrel in the maw of a beast with nigh impenetrable skin. The shotgun blew up in there. Between that and the teeth, my hand wasn't doin' too good. But I was doin' better than that thing."
Clayton rubbed his left arm unconsciously as he continued, "It don't mean much to you, but that thing's bite nearly took me out with the infection it gave. I burned it so as the infection wouldn't spread. Took me a few more days extra to get back home, and a few more after that to get the infection treated. And that my friends, is why if you ever deal with a hodag, you bring yerself some dynamite and save yourself the trouble."
Soon afterwards, the crowd brought their own nitpicks to the story. How Clayton managed to survive with the full use of his arm. He stressed the dramatic effect, but his eyes looked to his hand, where there still was a scar. Despite the healing that Gaia had granted him, the creature had left a scar on him. Had he a pack to go to, he would use this as a point of pride. Instead, it was brushed off by a group of ignorant ingrates.
He leaned back and turned to hear the next person tell their tale.
1 post • Page 1 of 1