The unknown is far worse than the known. As the saying goes, better the devil you know than the demon you don’t.
Rare are the times in which I find myself afraid. June 17 has, unfortunately, been added to that blessedly short list.
On the evening of the 16th, I found a trio of my sheep butchered. The meat was still there, as were the choicer bits. The animals had simply been killed out of hand, and brutally so. Their throats were torn, and the creatures dragged about as they bled.
They were tortured to death.
The beast which killed them left behind a trial of cloven hooves as if the thing itself walked upright like a man. Wiry gray hair, the thickness of a sewing needle, was occasionally caught upon the branches of trees, and scat left behind was littered with the bones of small animals.
Near the edge of the Hollow, a short distance from one of the stacks of hay the Broullin brothers had harvested, I saw the creature in the starlight. It had horns like a ram’s, and a snout much the same. The beast didn’t wear any clothing, and its gray fur was matted with blood and filth. When it saw me, the beast howled out a challenge and charged, straight into the barrels of both my Colts.
After it collapsed to the ground, dead, I saw the creature transform, as if some glam was removed from it. I no longer looked upon the beast but upon the form of an unknown man.
I left his body to rot in the morning sun and to feed the ravens who roost in my trees.
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