The Waterwood Murders: Part 2

*Trigger warning: Sexual assault and violence mentioned*

 

We didn’t get to talk to Noah for a few days since you know, his sister was just murdered. I’ve heard people need a bit of space after traumatic things like that happen. We had to wait the respectful amount of time, which felt like years instead of days. Eventually, we got to talk to Noah. Henry and I drove to the Starbucks in the next town over where we were set to meet Noah. I was nervous as all get out. Butterflies were threatening to fly right out of my stomach.

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Unlucky

By Jen P

 

On my daily trek down Main Street, I realize that Halloween has finally arrived. For weeks, the shop owners have been decorating for the occasion with their banners, orange flowers, and pumpkin carvings—my favorite of the three. I recognize my own likeness on one, so I give it a lick as I pass by. Hmm. That one’s been sitting out too long. But today must be the actual day they’ve been preparing for, as the humans themselves are dressed as witches, vampires and the like. The smaller ones carry buckets and sacks full of sweet smelling treats; while many of the larger ones drink warm cups of apple mead. If I’m lucky, I may catch some of the leavings.

I weave between the legs of the hairless giants, especially careful not to get stepped on by one of the females—as their paw-covers are sharper than those of the males. The few humans who notice me, jump back. Some turn and walk the other way. But mostly, I’m invisible.

I slip into my favorite alley unscathed, then leap into the dumpster behind the seafood restaurant. Looks like their whitefish spoiled. Pity for them. Dinner for me.

Finished with my meal, I hop from the dumpster to the damp alley ground. I then slip back onto the street and continue towards the suburbs. I’m full, but I never stop looking for food. Sometimes my meals have to last me a few days.

As I round a corner, a sharp shoe rams into my shoulder, sending me flying. The female attached to it merely stumbles.

My immediate reaction is to hiss. The female takes two steps back, clutching her heart, and shouts, “Cursed Little Wretch!” before removing the offending shoe. I’m no dummy, so I run. The shoe lands in the spot I just vacated, and the female’s curses follow me as I bolt through a thick patch of bushes at the back of the building. I imagine myself as little more than a black streak to the passing eye as I cover a distance in five minutes that usually takes me fifteen.

Once I make it to Pine Street, I settle back into a slow prowl.

Cursed Little Wretch. That’s a new one. Continue reading

Original Works: The Dream Keeper, by Jen P

On a warm spring evening, I trot along the invisible barrier between reality and dreams. A darkling fox with green glowing eyes sniffs the air, then whips right, away from me and deeper into the nightmare realm. Though I’ve cloaked myself in shadow, the creatures still sense my presence.

As I near a creek, the chorus of frogs grows silent. I dip my head for a drink and watch them balance upon the dancing reeds. Their tiny black eyes look but do not see.

With my belly sated with fluids, I whinny loudly, delighting in the splashes that follow.

Mine is a solitary existence. It has been this way for centuries and must remain so, so I make time to find joy in the little things.

The frogs resume their chorus long after I’m gone.

I don’t know why I come here every night to pace the border. If I were somehow to be seen by human eyes, my life would be forfeit. Not only would the humans try to dissect me, but my own kind would hunt me down and trample me to death me for exposing us.

But I am restless.

Tending the dreams of the living makes me feel dead inside. We were meant for more than this—though no one will tell me what it is we used to do. It must have been important for us to have so much magic. Though apparently, it was not so important we’d risk our extinction. But centuries of repressed instinct have done nothing to curb my need to find something… more. Continue reading