The legend of the beast began in the birth of the 1800s. Many sightings have been reported along the woods of Hull. The half wolf, half man bipedal has caused anxiety and hysteria amongst the many disgruntled inhabitants, causing worriment for their safety. This type of folklore has always had a magnetic effect on me. Pulling me into theories and philosophies like a reader is drawn to a well written book. My background in journalism spiked an interest I haven’t felt since leaving the agency. Compelled to learn more, I decided to research further into this fascinating ideology.
My trip to London was accompanied by two friends made in my early studies of journalism, both still working within the industry. Matt, the high spirited, overly positive transfer from Aldgate, London, was my first choice for my departure. He never turned down an opportunity to revisit his home land. He’d just hit the big 3-0 last week, and thought of the trip as a belated birthday gift for himself. My other companion, Lindsey, the straightforward, overly honest ex girlfriend of mine who’s always had a sixth sense of finding out my plans, volunteered herself the third to go. I couldn’t turn her invitation down. Despite our breakup I still had feelings for her. After all, who could deny those dark green eyes of hers. In a few short hours we were all aboard the plane, headed towards London.
An unexplainable sense of dread fell over me the closer we got to our destination. Somehow, I felt that our spontaneous vacation would end in sudden tragedy. Despite my assumptions, it was already too late to turn back; I wanted to know if the legend was true. But deep inside the crevices of my mind, I wanted it to be nothing more than a fairytale.
The hotel we choose was in the perfect location, just a few blocks away from the drain. We were in luck to find two rooms still available; Matt and I roomed together while Lindsey was given her own. The time of our arrival, just a few minutes before 3am, left us tired and weary, forcing us to start our investigation the following day.
Thinking our voyage would be more enjoyable during the night, we agreed to some sightseeing before then. London is more picturesque than I’d ever imagine, the serene environment and aesthetic landscapes almost makes me forget the spine- chilling creature that lurks nearby. Many learned of our plans, overhearing us during lunch, and tried feverishly to warn us against it.
“I’ve seen the beast and what it’s capable of, that drain is a place no man should tread”, a voice calls out to us as we begin exiting the diner. We turn to see a crippled old man, draped in tattered clothing slowly approaching us. Lindsey faced the man and began to speak. “Thank you for the advice but I’m sure we can handle this on our own.”
“I’ve given my warning, just know, if you do not wish to listen, things will not end well for you”
“Sorry to interrupt but, are you threatening us?”
Matt, becoming increasingly distraught, decided to interrupt the conversation.
“Young man, I do not wish to threaten you, but I cannot watch another soul be ripped apart by that monstrosity”
“thanks for your concern, but we don’t need your help” Matt rushed us out of the door and we quickly walked back to the hotel and gathered in Matt and I’s room. The old man’s words began to trouble me, maybe he was on to something, maybe he really did witness the creature with his own eyes. Maybe, that’s why he became crippled.
No matter what I began to think, I couldn’t call off the investigation. My friends and I have traveled too far to let it end on assumptions and word of mouth.
“Guys, maybe we should listen to that old man, he may be right, what if it is too dangerous?” Matt spoke his words softly, I’ve never heard him sound so solemn before.
“What, and let that man intimate us, no way!”
“It’s not showing intimidation Lindsey, it’s being careful, we’re not sure if this thing exists, and I don’t want to die finding out that it does.”
Lindsey sat on the edge of my bed, sighing loudly. “I don’t know.” She looked up at me with those beautiful eyes of hers. “What do you think we should do Alex? We came all this way, I’d hate for this to all be for nothing.”
I took a deep breath before uttering a word. “We’re not going anywhere, we’ll just, bring some weapons along, I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
They nod reluctantly in agreement and we soon set out on our daring escapade. Our weapons of choice were a kitchen knife, Matt’s custom metal baseball bat, and an axe we purchased at a hardware store. “Are you guys sure these’ll be enough to fight an 8ft tall werewolf?”
“We’ll be fine Lindsey, we have more than enough to defend ourselves”
Matt was smiling ear to ear, I was happy to see him cheerful again. Only a few feet away from the drain, the old man stood staring us down like a lion stalking his prey. He remained silent, and I could see the anger on his face turn to pity as he began to walk away. The others didn’t seem to notice him so I kept his presence to myself, despite it making me a bit uneasy.
The drain was quiet and surprisingly serene. The water glistened under the pale moonlight, forcing my nerves to calm. “Well, if that creature does exist, I know why it chose this area to live.” Matt must’ve felt the same about the drain as I did. Even Lindsey’s face displayed a more relaxed expression. We began to walk further along the drain, and with each footstep, my fears that the beast was real slowly depleted. Until I heard a low growl in the distance.
“What the hell was that?” I looked around in a panic, trying desperately to find the source of the sound.
“What? I didn’t hear anything” Lindsey looked around as well, confused about my sudden outburst. I heard the growl again, this time it was louder. We stopped dead in our tracks, beginning to hear what sounded like faint footsteps. We ran as fast as we could, ducking beneath the reach of the bushes surrounding us. The rustling of steps began to grow at an alarming pace. My heart sank into my feet and I desperately wanted to gain control over my excessive breathing.
“We’ll have to come up with a plan” Matt gripped his bat tightly in his hands, the footsteps turned into quickened poundings upon the ground. We began running once more.
“What kind of plan would work against a beast?” Lindsey yelled.
“I have no idea.” A deafening roar echoed behind us. Matt managed to catch his foot in a branch and tripped, falling hard to the ground. “Matt!” Lindsey and I yelled in unison, I ran over to help him up. A low growl pierced my ears, I mistakenly peeled my eyes away from Matt and looked up. There it was, standing right in front of us.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, not only were the legends true, but we were now standing face to face with the beast itself. I didn’t know whether to be afraid or be in awe; a few seconds later I received my answer. Its jaws unhinged letting out a ferocious roar, it’s eyes glowed a bright red. I grabbed Matt by his shirt collar and pulled him up effortlessly off the ground and took off running.
The beast was quick, there’s was no way we could outrun it. We were abandoning the use of our weapons and I felt it was time that we used them. I began to pull out the knife hidden underneath my shirt. “No! Not yet, it’s too close, we need to trap it!” I heard Matt’s words but I could not heed them. I couldn’t allow my friends to die after putting them in this situation in the first place.
I yanked the knife out of its resting place and jabbed into the shoulder of the beast. It yelled in pain, grabbed me by the neck and slammed me to the ground. All I had managed to do was anger it even more. I gasped for the air that escaped my body from the impact. I looked up to see Matt slowly approaching it with his bat. I wanted to warm him against it, but my voice had left me as well. Lindsey watched in horror, unable to do anything to save us.
Matt lifted the bat above his head and with all the strength he had, smashed the bat over its head. It broke into pieces as if it’s head were made of concrete. The beast turned abruptly to face Matt and before he had time to react, the beast had him in his grasp. Matt screamed, trying to wiggle his way out of its hold but there was nothing he could do; it placed his head in-between his palms and squeezed until he turned Matt’s head into nothing but a bloody pulp of brain and skull. Lindsey screamed at the sight.
I stumbled backwards, tears streaming down my cheeks, my feet becoming stagnant. Lindsey grabbed me and began to run; not a second later the beast reached out, grabbing onto my jacket sleeve, I flailed my arm around in an attempt to get free but it was too strong. It began pulling me towards it.
“Lindsey, you’ll have to let go of me and swing the axe at it!”
“No, I can’t, what if it kills you! What if it doesn’t work!”
“You’ll have to try, or we’ll both end up dead!”
She unwilling let go of me, catapulting me into its arms. It quickly through me down and began clawing at my chest, it’s razor sharp nails lacerating my flesh like a pound of ground beef. I cried out in extreme agony, and just as I was about to lose consciousness, I saw Lindsey sneaking behind the beast, slicing the axe deep into the creature's skull. It fell to the ground with a loud thump, still barely breathing.
Lindsey began dragging away my feeble body, I drifted in and out of consciousness until I eventually passed out. I awoke laying in a hospital bed, Lindsey explained to me that after I passed out, two of the townsmen showed up with guns, saying they heard screaming coming from our direction. While waiting for an ambulance to show, she guided one of the men to where we fought with the beast.
“It…it was no longer there, neither were the remains of Matt,” she said with a confused look that I'm sure I was wearing as well. “They were sure we made the whole thing up, but I know what I saw! Matt was…”
She slowly trailed off then remained silent. Tears stung her eyes and the sight of her sobbing made me tear up as well. The cops showed up at the hospital a couple of hours later and we explained everything. They were given the gruesome task of informing Matt’s parents of the incident. It sounds a bit selfish, but I was happy they were the ones to do it.
It’s been over three years since the incident, Lindsey and I haven’t seen each other since then, we couldn’t bear seeing each other after what happened. I wonder if she blames me, after all I’m the one who asked Matt to come in the first place. I keep trying to tell myself he decided of his own free will, but that doesn’t make the guilt grow any smaller. I blame myself everyday for what happened.
I’m writing this to warn anyone who decided to read it against hunting down the beast yourself. My fondness for legends cost me two of my closes friends. I would hate myself even more if I allowed unsuspecting victims to go exploring as well. So please, don’t go to the Bramston Drain at night, and whatever you do, if someone warns you against seeking out a legend, heed their words, it may just save your life.