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The Drink

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He stuck his shovel deep into the fresh earth and wiped away the sweat and tears from his eyes. He couldn't believe she was gone, just like that. As far as he could remember, she was fine last night, but by morning, she was dead.

Tuberculosis. That's what it must have been. She must have caught it from the foul air down by the lake.

His dog rubbed up against his leg, eying him with a mournful look upon its face. He realized it must be hungry, so he lead the dog back towards the cottage. He only looked back at the grave once, and he shed more tears before closing the door to his cottage and submitting to sleep.

She paced around the room, protectively as she... Why must he... hard earned money... she would... back? He couldn't... her tongue... bastard... it on... she looked up... mixture of... again...

He woke up startled and disturbed by his dream. She was in it, but the events were blurred. He grasped his bottle of moonshine and noisily drank a mouthful. He turned over on his bed, felt for a woman who was no longer there and fitfully fell asleep again.

Later, the dog awoke to a strange smell. It was one it had never smelled before and it did not like it. The dog charged out of its small house and barked furiously into the shadows.

He woke to the sound of his dog barking. He staggered out of bed and instinctively grabbed for his musket. Damned wolves again, he thought. He threw open the shutters and let his eyes adjust to the night. He could see his hound at the end of its rope, braying madly at the darkness. As he stared longer at the shadowed forest, he saw a dark shape huddled in the middle of the path.

He raised his musket and fired into the night at the shape. He missed his mark but the shape soundlessly retreated into the woods.

"And stay away, you mangy beasts! Nothing here for you! Scram!"

The shape that was no longer there did not reply.

He reloaded his rifle and waited for a few moments at his window for the wolf to return, but the night was quiet. He tossed a piece of jerky out to his dog and went back to sleep as his dog retreated into its doghouse.

As morning came, he walked out into the woods with his dog to find the wolf's tracks. He could see his own tracks from the day before as well as his dogs, but there was no third set. Maybe he and his hound was seeing things, as the both of them were getting on in years.

He checked the grave site. He didn't expect to see anything, nor was he surprised to see the fresh grave undisturbed. He gently placed his hand on the makeshift wooden gravemarker, said a quiet prayer, and returned home.

She paced around the room, at him. He... protectively as she... threats. Why must he... Why must he spend all their hard earned money... If he continued to... come back. He couldn't... bit. He... her tongue. She... face, calling him a bastard... .broke it on... she looked up at him, shedding a sour mixture of tears... forgiveness... again... She... and again with the... were drowned out...

He bolted awake and immediately drank a swig of moonshine. The dreams were becoming less blurred, but he was still clueless as to their meanings. But despite his confusion he felt one emotion above all else.

Dread.

With another swig of moonshine, he attempted sleep once more.

The smell returned again. The dog flew out of its house and barely got off a pathetic whimper when it saw the source. It tried to scamper back into its shelter before it was too late.

He awoke not to the expected howl of his dog but to a blood-curdling shriek. He jumped out of his bed, tossed the shutters open and glared through his musket's ironsights into the night. There was no movement, but his dog's rope was severed and the hound was gone.

"Here boy," he called and whistled to the dark woods. The dog never came.

He swallowed his sadness for the lost dog, but watched for a half an hour for the wolf. Brave and powerful as it might be, it didn't return that night.

A search of the woods provided no clue as to the wolf's whereabouts, not the location of his dog. No footprints were left by either animal. Again, the grave was undisturbed, but the entire clearing seemed wrong. He said his little prayer and left the cold forest.

She paced around the room, screaming at him... .protectively as she... with insults and threats. Why must he... much? Why must he spend all their hard earned money on... If he continued to... she would ... come back. He couldn't... Not one bit. He bellowed... her tongue. She... across the face, calling him a bastard. He ... broke it on... As... she looked up at him, shedding a sour mixture of tears and... begged for his forgiveness... again... She began to... again and again with the... as she died.

Cold terror awoke him once again. He finished his bottle and got up to fetch another, of which he finished half of it in one gulp. He laid in bed once more to wait out the night.

He woke up with a cold chill unnatural to the normally warm nights. As he looked around, he saw his window open a crack, as well as his lantern blown out. He fumbled around in the dark for his matches, finding them next to his moonshine. He placed the lantern on his lap, struck a match and lit the kerosene. As he did, he let out a frightened gasp.

Blood was everywhere. Not splatters, but clear and legible words scribbled on every surface of his bedroom. Each word was the same word.

"Bastard."

In the corner of the room, furiously scribbling on the wall with the bleeding leg of an old dog, was a black shape with long hair and sharp fingernails. It turned its shriveled head in his direction as he gasped.

Upon meeting the creature's red eyed gaze, everything came back to him in a painful flash.

She paced around the room, screaming at him. He clutched his bottle protectively as she accosted him with insults and threats. Why must he drink so much? Why must he spend all their hard earned money on the drink? If he continued to drink, she would leave him and never come back. He couldn't have that. Not one bit. He bellowed at her to watch her tongue. She slapped him across the face, calling him a bastard. He raised the bottle and broke it on her jaw. As she hit the floor she looked up at him, shedding a sour mixture of tears and blood. She begged for his forgiveness. He hit her again, cutting her deep across her forehead. She began to scream even louder as he cut her again and again with the broken bottle. Her screams were drowned out by his as she died.

She leapt across the room, tearing through sheets and clothing to get at him. His screams were drowned out by hers as he died.



Credited to zombieontherise 

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