Sanguine

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The Daily Post – Daily Prompt: Ghoulish

He lightly strolled down the left side of the road. Taking his time and a deep breath of fresh 2AM air, he looked up to see the sky to be perfectly still and clear. He thought contently to himself about how lucky he was to be able to experience that kind of serenity on such a normal average day. After having eaten just a little too much, he decided that walking would be a good idea to let things settle and since it was so early in the morning with nowhere to be, taking his time would be perfect.

The shops to the right were all closed now except for one gas station that was only dealing with customers from a caged window. The lights from them all shone brightly so as to continually advertise to all midnight walkers and drunken parties. The road itself was quiet, with a car passing every once every 10 minutes or so, which was the complete opposite of the day time hecticness.

The street lights controlling traffic to the side streets shone brightly giving the long straight but hilly road a sort of Christmas vibe of green and red. The cold crisp air hitting his lungs caused his chest to get slightly colder with each breath, but since this had all the main hallmarks of a cold winder holiday, the coolness went unnoticed.

He had walked a strolling pace for a good 15 minutes at this point and noticed that to his left were homes that he was passing, up until now. It had all turned into tall trees so as to create a wall that rose up to a height of roughly 8-10 meters at maybe half a meter apart. A wall of that much green just added to the calmness of the night.

Out of the peripheral of his vision to the left he caught a figure following his pace. He looked to see a dark figure following his every move, only to realise that it was the shadow that was being cast from the shops on the other side of the road to the right. Giving himself a slight smile at the potential fear inducing thought that was for nothing, he continue to walk at his leisurely pace.

Most people tend to repeat a few of the scenarios of any event we’ve been through, especially if it rose the heart rate a little. The only time this isn’t the case is when we are so completely distracted by something else, we either just do not notice, nor do we care to. Traversing his memory from beginning to end, he logically put it all together to confirm his suspicion of being suspicious about a figure that was only him. He smiled again at the thought of jumping at his own shadow.

The final run through of the memory only a minute prior revealed an odd potential fact. The shadow that was mimicking his every move was only showing in between the wall of trees, not on the trees themselves. He checked his peripheral immediately and noticed that his memory was serving him correctly.

Blood turned to a thick sludge of ice that his heart was apparently still able to pump. He turns to look for this shadow and found that the shadow was no longer mimicking him, but had turned to face him. The shadow had stopped walking forward and was facing his direction completely still, yet keeping up with him the entire time moving along with him. He stopped walking, attempting to make out the shadow with a body so far into lock down from utter fear he could have easily been mistaken for a roadside statue decorating the sidewalk.

The shadow bolts in his direction with incredible speed. It happened so fast that he barely had time to raise his eyebrows a centimetre or two. The shadow that launched itself at him caught the ambient light of the night and revealed itself to be the most ghoulish creature he had ever seen. And how it would have been the only ghoul he would witness for what was the quickest and longest of half a second.

It was the hand, which could have easily been mistaken for a claw, outreached towards him that hit the light first. As the full creature came into the view a body could be seen covered in the dirtiest rag you can imagine. This body had found a way to survive without one of its main organs intact, for the dirty rag was what was left of its skin.

The face looked as though it had aged 1000 years but never died, and every single teeth had gone from normal human structure and become pointed perfectly. There were no ears to hear, no lips to speak with, no tongue to taste with and no eyelids to rest with. Most of the senses and abilities that give humanity a reason to live had been taken from this thing and given the only task it could perform which was to consume with an enforcement of endless hunger.

That night a new shade of black was seen and no one would ever know. The colour of a swift, fearful and bloody end.

The blackness of consciousness nonexistent.

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