Mattius Wise

Mattius Wise

Username: Mattius The Wise

Reader Advisory : This story contains adult content.

More Than The Wind

Copyright © 2010 Mattius Wise

The cobblestone laneway steams in the night, sparsely lit by the tall wrought iron lamps that strain to peer through the thick oak leaves. Houses on either side are set back behind high stone walls wreathed in ivy and morning glory, locked tight with black iron gates. A lone man runs through the lane, his roughly sewn leather shoes kicking up sprays of rainwater pooling in the cracks. He carries a small cloth sack, partially filled with a bounty of worth. Interrupted he flees, unaware of the wrath he has stirred. The lone man runs on.

His attention is averted by something in the trees above. The wind, but more. A shadow passes over the lamp above. Small, too fast. He can hear no more through the wind, but he can feel it. He can feel it watching. Something spooks a pigeon ahead of the man and he stops, heart thumping in his chest. Should he turn on his heels and run? Run again, run further. The choice made, a quick vault over a nearby wall sets the course behind an old stone cottage. It stirs again. He slows. Something more than the wind. Over the roof a quick pitter patter of tiny feet gives way to swift crash into a fig tree on the back lawn of the property. Swift, barely discernable from the noise of the wind it enters the canopy. The man approaches the yard. Mostly alone, unaware of anything beyond fear. Something had been following him. His throat like a furnace, deep lingering clouds of breath trail the man catching the moonlight in their dance. He looks up at a rustle of leaves, more wind.

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Eyes fix open and pupils dilate at a glistening through the leaves. An eye, yellow and wide in the moonlight, for a split second just an eye. The cloth sack falls to the ground forgotten and unwanted. The hands that were its previous home now shaking in the Autumn air. A feeling of dread hangs on the fog. Something more was coming. The scout had been spotted but the enforcer was surely en route. A group of fleeing birds breaks the silence left by the momentarily still night air. Back down the alleyway comes something much more than the wind.

Grinning it sits, less than three feet away in the foliage. Grinning knowingly. It has no rush, it’s only need, just to follow and to know. They know the same things, the scout and the enforcer, all of the same things. Frantically onward the lone man runs. The cover of the fig tree behind him, the realisation of immense tree numbers in the area takes the man. It could be anywhere, with it’s yellow eyes. Any tree, any rustle. The interwoven limbs and tangled twigs create a dark net of doubt and fear. On a birch along the path is a small shadow. Small flickering beams dappling through the tree leaves illuminate a tuft of white fur and a glistening white fang two inches long and sharper than a razor. The man dives to the ground. Run. No more. Hope begins to fade. In all 2’10” of it’s splendour something more than the wind drops before the man. Two rows of sharp white teeth open wide amidst a white furred face. Overwhelmed by fear a small whimpering sob emits as some form of appeal from the mans dribbling mouth as he tries to cover his face.

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Up close the Eyes are a thick bloodshot orange, almost to match the orange fur running down the side of it’s head and covering the body bar the chest. It stares unblinking as if to say: You are fucking dead.         It bears it’s teeth, but no attack.

Two thuds on the roof are just the introduction as something massive moves on to the fig tree and accompanied by a great many leaves and broken sticks, thunders to the ground. A cottage occupant investigates a noise on his property to find something much more than the wind. Seven foot of sinewy primate dominance thunders disapproval and backs it with vigour. Lifeless and contorted, a cottage owner’s corpse sits atop the dewy grass. Escape dwells amongst impossibility now. The enforcer had come. The scouts trail sealing the fate of a lone man.

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