You just never know who some people are when you meet them. Especially at night in a KOA campground. I remember one or two times our family stayed at some KOAs. It was fun…the six of us and our family dog. The smell and crackle of campfires and pine trees and grilled food. The conversations from faceless people who seemed friendly enough….
I’m so glad we never ran into any of the sort in this next story. At the rate they were going, I don’t think they had many converts. Always keep your vehicles parked facing your getaway. Just sayin’.
This story has never seen the light of day…or been published.
A Sermon Unleashed
© F. P. Dorchak, 1989
A large part of his oxygen escaped, his knees rubbery.
“How do you know this?” Phil asked. It was dark, the smell and crackle of campfires in the air, and he and a guy named Darrell stood in an open area of a KOA.
Darrell chuckled again, and this one was much worse than before. There was no doubt as to the vileness in his tone. And the darkness just exaggerated everything.
“Because I made it all up!” Darrell said, his voice now rising above their personal conversation and carrying over to some of the closer people around them, including a group at a van. His laugh was unabashed and wicked and Phil’s eyes froze on Darrell’s shadowy face. He wasn’t sure…but it seemed like Darrell’s face was…changing? In the process of change? It had to be a trick of what little light there was. Why and how would Darrell’s face be changing, it didn’t make any sense, but that was how it registered to Phil’s mind.
“In a way, buddy, I feel sorry for you,” Darrell said. “You are not gullible and stupid like they are,” Darrell said, forcing thick words out of a now extending mouth. It sounded like his tongue was impeding coherent speech. And there were weird, abrading sounds seeming to come from Darrell. Like muscle and bone were moving around…pushing each other out of the way….
In the next instant Phil felt a powerful force strike him. Not that he knew it, but it came from a hairy but muscular hand and clobbered Phil like a flying slab of concrete. Bowling over, he smacked his head hard on a good-sized rock. That was the last he recalled before blackness….
Out from the shadows charged a figure.
He was tall…and he drooled as his face contorted and his cruelly clawed limbs completed their restructure. From under a quickly thickening mane hissed one word:
“What’s going on here?” someone asked from the darkness. Flashlights clicked on everywhere at once. A girl named Brenda, from that group, whipped her head around and saw shadows running toward her group. She quickly made for her boyfriend’s truck. She’d just managed to dodge out of the path of some rushing thing that went past her for the group she’d just left.
“Phil? Phil?” Brenda called out. No answer.
The crowd behind her was hit by a rude flurry of fangs and claws. Their shrieks cut into the air as the group split up, people trying to outrun the faceless fury that ripped apart their bodies. No matter where they ran they all blundered into more of the same…it was like hitting a wall of rotating knives.
The attacks came from everywhere.
Sounds of screaming, tearing, and growling.
Brenda continued calling for her boyfriend. She never saw him…on the ground only ten feet away…unconscious.
The shrieks from the growing feeding frenzy increased. Other groups further up the campground’s road were going through the same agonies. Brenda saw several of the van group try to rush back into their van. One, a rather large lady, fell hard to the ground. She never got back up, as a closely following beast quickly fell upon her. Another growling shadow continued on to the van. It lunged inside it with the handful of people doing the same.
The van rocked
(don’t come knockin!)
Brenda’s voice was frozen in her throat.
She watched as silhouettes from the friends she’d just been with were being ripped apart into smaller silhouettes.
Something bump against her foot.
Whatever the thing was, it had hit her foot like a heavy, wet rag doll and she was afraid to look down. Rag dolls usually had more than just hair.
Gradually the sounds of struggle died…and all that remained were the sounds of quiet tearing. Squinting, Brenda saw several silhouettes run off into the night, but still saw no Phil.
The rocking van stopped.
Somehow spared, Brenda slowly backed up to the driver’s side of her boyfriend’s truck, and inched her way into it, ducking low. Silently she cried Phil’s name, tears running down her face. She fumbled several times with her keys before starting the truck. Dirt spat out from the tires and she dug two deep channels on her exit from the massacre. Several spitting stones hit Phil, who remained unconscious behind the van. A hairy head popped up from within the van, then went back to its business. Several of the other werewolves looked up at her as she sped away, one beginning to give chase…when Darrell called her off. She could go…they had enough for tonight. There would be plenty of time for her later.
There was always time.
Phil lay in the dirt. Blood pooled against his back as it sluiced out from the van. All around him lay the spoils of slaughter. The breeze was still warm, but it now carried a sickly sweet aroma with it. Amid the quiet sounds of eating, echoes of screams and agony still hung thickly in the air.
There were no more revelers, stargazers, or lovers.
Only mutilated bodies.
Phil slowly came to…his eyes painfully straining around in their sockets. His face was pressed into the dirt.
He was afraid to move.
But his consciousness was short-lived, and he again fell back into blackness.
A tall, naked, and muscular man emerged from around the van. A man with gray hair, his body covered in blood and gore. He came up to Phil’s position, his watery eyes looking down upon him. With one mighty, still-clawed hand, he lifted Phil’s unconscious form effortlessly into the air; examined it. A diseased grin formed beneath rabid eyes. What formed on its tortured face could have been called a smile.
“Phil,” the creature said, chuckling, “you always doubted me; doubted your girl. You never had the faith…but your girlfriend does…and to get her, I need you.” He chuckled. “Come along, my friend, we have much work to do!”
Dust whisked along the roadside. The blood that had been pooling up against Phil until now broke through the built up meniscus and branched out into chaotic little patterns in the sand.
“Faith, dear people…a little faith can get you through the worst of times!”
Darrell laughed into the morning dusk, returning back into the hills from which he and his kind had come, Phil’s unconscious form draped across his powerful and scarred shoulders. His followers grabbed their spoils, and quickly followed….
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