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The Chisel

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Evil Rat

Artist's rendition of a chisel.

If you venture deep into the forests of the Appalachian Mountains, you must wear tight-fitting clothes at all times. Make sure that your pant legs are tucked into your socks, and be sure to wear heavy boots. This is very important.

Because what many don't know is that there is something stalking these mountains. A creature with a voracious appetite for human flesh. They hide all around you; in bushes, under rocks, or in the branches of tall trees. Their dark eyes leer out from under their camouflage, watching as you progress further from the safety of civilization on your leisurely hike. You may have already seen them. Lots of people do. Most take them for voles, or extra small field mice. A baby chipmunk, perhaps.

But these assumptions are all incorrect, and often fatal guesses. The correct identity for this creature is the chisel. You may smirk at the name, might even chuckle a bit. Chisel? Seriously? Why such an intimidating name for such a small, and harmless rodent? Well, once you find out, you won't be laughing anymore.

You see, the chisel isn't like other dangerous creatures. It's small, quiet, and unassuming. It has natural predators, such as hawks, foxes, and the occasional hungry house cat. They can be killed by mousetraps and rat poison, just like any other rodent. The difference however, is one little thing. One very little, yet extremely important aspect:

Their speed.

Chisels can move faster than any known land mammal, minus the cheetah. They move by propelling themselves forward with their powerful back legs, and then sprinting about on all fours. They have tiny claws that help move them along effortlessly, a bit like cleats for soccer players. However, their claws are for more than running. Much more. I mentioned previously that whilst trekking through the Appalachian Mountains, one must always wear tight-fitted clothing.

The reason for this choice of clothing, is to protect you from the chisel. The little beast has a very unique survival technique: It only needs to feed about once a year. This is because its body can store calories for extended periods of time, thanks to a special gland. Because of its tiny digestive tract, the chisel constantly defecates while it eats, so that it can take in more calories than its stomach should be able to hold. You may be asking yourself what could possibly be so large that the chisel needs a super sped-up digestive system just in order to devour the entire meal? Well that's the simplest answer of all.

It's you. The entirety of the furry rodent's diet is human flesh. This is why you need to take as much care as possible, to prevent the chisel from getting close to you. They usually try to get in via a hole in your shoe, or a rip in your clothes, and like I already told you, they are fast. So if they do find a way to the surface of your skin, you won't even know it.

In the unfortunate event that a chisel should infest your clothes, the first thing that it will do is bite you. You may be thinking to yourself, won't I feel this bite? And if so, how hard can it be to rip the little pest off and throw it to the ground? Well, the thing is, the chisel has another highly evolved method of survival. When its fangs sink into your flesh, the chisel releases a numbing agent. The most you will probably feel from this initial bite is a quick pinch. Many people mistake it for a bug bite of sorts. They tend to ignore it, or they may involuntarily slap the unseen annoyance. But the chisel is a hardy animal, and will usually hang on. The only way to make sure that it is indeed a chisel, and not just a pesky mosquito, is to fully remove, with great haste, the article of clothing where you felt the bite. For obvious reasons, most people aren't about to take off their clothes while out in the middle of the woods. And this is very, very sad. Because by refusing to do so, by shrugging off any and all concern, they have unwittingly sealed their last hours on this earth.

After the first numbing bite, the toxin begins to flow forth with ease, and the chisel can begin its gristly feast. The little rodent will burrow into your body as you continue your jaunt through the woods, devouring flesh and organ as it goes. You won't feel a thing. Most people only become aware of their fate hours later, when they remove their clothes to shower and discover blood gushing from a hollow wound. They begin to panic and usually try and call for help. But by this point, there is no one who can save them. Even in the event that help did arrive in time, their body is now festering with the feces of the chisel. Their once healthy body is now contaminated. Eventually, the little creature will start to run out of its toxin. Thankfully, the pain is short-lived. The last thing most victims feel is a tiny form wriggling under their skin, usually around the ribcage. The chisel is a connoisseur of bodily organs, and it always saves the heart for last.

So if for whatever reason you decide to take a trip through the Appalachian Mountains, be cautious. It isn't the bears, cougars, or wilderness you need fear. It's the little creature hiding in the brush, just below your feet.

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