Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction
The Werewolf. By Poppy Crossland
A hazy mist blanketed the moors. I was sure I had seen this place before. The crooked tree’s claw, poised to strike, the black church’s winding spire- a witch’s finger- pointing into the night. Yes, I thought, surely it cannot be, but it must, I mused, I’d been here in a dream. The full moon’s glow shining bright from above as the grey clouds caressed it, as though whispering into it’s very soul that I was there. A low rumble. A sudden flash. The naked tree was suddenly hit with a precise shot of lightening.
The world slowed down, as I watched the tree’s hollow carcass split in half, one side catching ablaze as the other fell to the ground, its crash tearing through the silence as branches contorted and snapped. Then silence again. A grotesque decapitation of what once was a magnificent tree, maimed by its own glory, how it dared to stand tall in such a desolate night. One half lay in pieces on the ground, the other quietly smouldering, wisps of smoke fading into the night.
I remembered these exact events replaying before, should the church bell toll now then I decided I must concede to my apparent descent into insanity. Bong. Bong. Bong. My thoughts interrupted, as the church bell rang, I let out an inhuman howl, feeling my very soul rupture, the part of me clinging to my sanity- hoping, praying, that this is all a dream, suddenly torn away from me, rendering my slender body weak to defend itself from the insanity which was slowly taking over, filling me, drowning me, flooding my lungs, swirling in my eyes, clouding my vision, as though the hazy fog had now made a home for itself within my pupils.
Knowing what was coming, I ran towards the church, hoping to protect myself from the evil terror which I knew was to come. Recollecting my prophecy, I ran as fast as I could towards the tired grey brick building which loomed over the moors. A murder of crows scattered from the ornate, devilish gargoyles atop the church’s walls and I could have sworn I saw the goblin-like creature smile at me. Just for a second. But before I could look again, I heard a shrill, inhuman shriek pierce my ears and send shivers down my spine.
“Too late” I muttered to myself, turning to see a shadowy figure. “It must be the vile beast from my dream”, I thought. Suddenly gaining some superhuman courage and strength, I leaped in the darkness, through the sea of mist, towards the disgusting creature which I remembered so vividly from my dream. I bore my teeth and opened my hands wide, ready to attack.
I thought. Inches away from the monster’s face-no, not a monster- I saw fear. Utter, unaltered terror consumed the body of the man before me, and then I realised. That man was me. And in the reflection of his glasses I saw the beast- was me.
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