The Creature

“The lights went out, but the chaos continued all around me.” Joshua Taylor told his young grandson.

“Grandpa, this is a great story, but it isn’t true, and that kid has no clue what he is doing at the register. This waiting is killing me!” Jase Taylor was a very hyperactive 12-year-old and kept giving the boy at the cash register dirty looks. The kid at the cash register was obviously new to his job and kept messing things up with the orders of all the customers.

“Jase, that is exactly what I am trying to tell you. Impatience can kill you if you are impatient with the wrong person. Listen to my story and heed my warning. Not everything is always as it seems to be and not everyone is who they appear to be.” Josh looked down at his grandson and continued his story. “After the lights went out, I just tried to hide and stay out of its sight. I hid behind a big display of canned spinach. I figured that if it came to it I could use the cans as a weapon. My priority though was to get the hell out of there and as far away from Sam’s Market as I could.”

Jase’s twin brother Jesse ran up to them. “Grandpa! Jase! Hey, what were you guys talking about?”

“Gramps was just telling me a story from when he was our age. He says that there was a monster right here in this store!” Then Jase leaned in and whispered to his twin. “Not sure if I believe him though!”

“Can you tell me, too, Grandpa?” Jesse asked.

I suppose I can. Now both of you listen close to my story. Every word is true.

Josh began telling the story all over again. “One minute I had just been standing in the checkout line here at Sam’s Market and the next minute I felt like I was in a scene from a horror movie. I had been more than a little irritated with the incompetence of the young girl at the checkout counter, but my irritation paled in comparison to that of the boy in front of me. He had gone from grumbling under his breath to loudly hurling insults at the girl and her supervisor who was attempting to help her. The girl kept apologizing to everyone in line, but that did not stop the boy’s insults. The girl was becoming more and more visibly upset and then she actually started to transform. I could not believe what I was seeing. I just stood and watched in disbelief. In twenty minutes’ time, I witnessed a face that could have only been described as magnificent turn into something horrid.”

“Grandpa, you’re pulling my leg. Aren’t you?” Jase was looking up at his grandfather with wide unbelieving eyes. Jesse looked on with an expression of eager anticipation waiting for the story to continue.

“No. Not at all. This is what really happened. Let me finish, Jase.” Josh cleared his throat and started talking again.

 “Before my astonished eyes the sweet smile of that check out girl became a snarl of pure rage. Her calm unblemished face twisted into that of some demonic entity. Eyes as blue as a clear summer sky became red glowing embers. Her long dark hair spiraled upward and compressed into large sharply pointed horns. Her small frame shuddered with the force of transforming from about 5’2” to well over 7 feet tall.

As the beast that had been the girl heaved the overflowing grocery basket of the next customer in line roughly 150 feet across the store, I abandoned my own cart and started backing away. The beast-girl leaped over the checkout countered and roared at the boy who had been insulting her. Before he could react, the beast had grabbed him by the head with both of its gigantic claws. Its fingers clasped the back of his head and it sunk both thumbs into his eye sockets. I heard two sickening pops as his eyes were crushed and the thumbs pushed into his brain. Before I turned away I caught a glimpse of blood and brains dripping down both sides of what remained of the boy’s face. The creature then crushed the boy’s skull and threw his body aside. It pulled the entire checkout counter out of the floor and smashed it against the nearest wall. The counter must have hit a fuse box as it smashed through the wall because there was a shower of bluish sparks and that is when the lights went out.” Josh looked at Jase and then at Jesse. “This is where I was in the story when you ran up. Jesse. As I was telling your brother, when the lights went out, I looked for a place to hide to stay out of the beast’s sight. I found a display of canned spinach which I figured could double as a hiding place and a source of possible weapons if the need arose. My first thoughts were of trying to escape though. I had no intention of even trying to fight that beast.”

I heard a lot of crashing and screaming in the darkness. I stayed hidden behind the canned goods. The beast roared again, and the big front window of the store shattered from the force of a large shelf being thrown through it. People started running out of the store and into the parking lot. I followed cautiously. I got to the broken front window and peered outside. Chaos. Destruction. People running everywhere. I tried to get to where I left my bicycle, but I was knocked down by a panicked man running for his life. I rolled onto my back and was looking up into the red glowing eyes of the beast.

       The beast was snarling, hot drool dripping down onto my face. I thought I was going to die. The beast was crouched over me, it’s muzzle inches from my face. I struggled but couldn’t break free. I thought about the girl, how panicked she looked just before the change. I locked eyes with the beast and started talking to it, to her. I don’t even remember what I said but the beast seemed to calm down. Then crashes and screams from behind us distracted her and she snarled, and her mouth opened, her teeth glinting in the lights of parking lot. Just when I thought the end was near, the beast’s face kinda relaxed and then it moaned as if in pain. The beast got up, then fell to the ground rolling around in agony. A few minutes later it was the girl again.

She looked around in horror at the remains of the storefront and the chaos of the parking lot. “Oh my god! What have I done?” The girl dropped to her knees, covered her face with her hands, and started to cry.

She looked so scared and innocent…and beautiful. I got to my feet, draped my jacket over her bare shoulders and pulled her to her feet. “Come with me. You need to get out of here before they notice you.”

She looked at me strangely, “Why would you help me? I would have killed you.”

“You didn’t kill me tho. You didn’t kill anyone. That beast did.”  I walked her over to where my bike was parked. “Take my bike. Get as far away as you can.”

She touched my arm. “Thank you. I don’t even know your name. “

“My name doesn’t matter. Just take the bike and get out of here before they see us!”

She disappeared into the woods behind the store. They searched for weeks. Searched for the beast and for the girl. She’s never been caught. I hope she’s still alive.

So, boys that’s my story. Just remember when you are in line and you’re feeling impatient with the clerk; the beast is still at large.

Jase said “Aww gramps you’re pulling out legs! Not one word of that story is true!” Jesse nodded in agreement with his twin. But both boys were much quieter and kept a close eye on the boy at the checkout register.

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