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The Kushtaka

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MJI

Artwork by Nick Gucker

My name is Kevin Willson. I only thought it was right to write about what happened to me and my family. Before my incident, I was a very logical and a skeptical man. I didn't believe in bigfoot, werewolves, ghosts, or anything to that nature. They were just silly bedtime stories that my mother use to tell me. Now a days, I am not too sure what I believe. when I close my eyes, I can see her... Anyway, before I get too ahead of myself, I should probably start at the beginning, back before I met those thing.

My wife, Monica and I lived in Reno Nevada for basically our whole lives. When my wife got pregnant, I was so happy! All my life I had wanted to be a father and teach my child how to grow up in the world. I can still remember the day that my son was born. He was so small and fragile, and I was so happy that my dream finally was coming true. Of course I was happy for Monica as well giving birth to our beautiful child, Toby. A few years after Toby's birth, Monica and I started talking about moving. We wanted to get out of the city and desert and find a nice small community where we could raise our son. We searched for weeks, hundreds of cities and every state that didn't have a desert in it. Finally, after weeks of searching for the perfect city, Monica found the city of Juneau. It was the capital of Alaska and yet, it only had about thirty thousand people in it. We checked our budget, and came to the conclusion that we would move to Juneau.

When the plane landed in Juneau, it was raining. Not heavily raining mind you, just drizzling more or less. We were told by some locals that it rains quite a bit in Juneau. We didn't mind though, we just wanted out of the big city stress and clutter. We had already made plans on renting a house and getting interviews for jobs before we moved up there, just to be in the safe side. We took a cab and started our way to our house, which was in a part of Juneau they called Doulas. We had to cross a bridge to get to Douglas, which we learned from the cab driver was a large island next to mainland Juneau.

He dropped us of in front of our house, and what a view we had of the water! We were on the beachfront and had our own stretch of beach where we could go strait to the water. It was very beautiful, and we had thought that we had made the right choice for everyone. As we settled into our new house, I remember glancing outside and seeing an animal floating in the water, staring towards our house. I knew nothing about animals, but I thought I should take a picture of it, to symbolize that this was our good luck symbol. By the time I had gotten the camera and came back to the window, it was gone. I didn't know it at the time, but the animal I had seen, was an otter.

That night, I was woken up by strange noises coming from the beach. I got out of bed and looked out the window to see dark silhouettes running on all fours. I managed to grab my camera and snap a few photos of the things, and I went back to bed. The next morning, I showed my Monica and Toby the picture of the animals. They were amazed at the animals and Monica thought that whatever they were, they were cute. When I wet to work, I showed some of my coworkers the picture, and one of them blurted out:

"Oh! Those would be sea otters playing in your property!"

I remember asking him if they were dangerous, he replied with:

"Only if provoked, or unless it's a kushtaka!"

Everyone but me laughed at what seemed to be a joke that went straight over my head.

"Don't make fun of them!"

The new voice startled me, and I spun around to see who it was. It was a man who appeared to be an Alaskan native. The others sighed and went back to work, except me. I wanted to know what this kushtaka was. I asked him why you shouldn't make fun of them, and he replied with a classic.

"You're not from around here, are you?"

I shook my head, since there was no sense in lying.

"Well," he replied,

"kushtaka is a Tliget word meaning, "otter people." They are known for being shape-shifters and for killing and eating humans."

I went home that day thinking about how stupid that had sounded! Shape-shifting human otters? What a joke that was!

A few nights later, I was in the living room watching TV while Monica went to go drop Toby off at a friends for a sleepover. As I sat there, I heard a sort of scratching coming from the backdoor. I got up to go look, and as I reached for the handle, I heard the sound of a baby crying on the other side. I froze as the sound made my hair stand up on end. The crying was coming from just outside the door, where I just heard scratching noises. I wasn't skeptical as I said before, but for a brief instant, every horror movie I had ever watched came back to me. I shook the feeling off and opened the door. I looked down, and staring at me with bright green eyes was an otter. That was very concerning for me, considering there was no baby there. I stared at it for a few seconds, before I tried to nudge it away with my shoe. As I touched it, it hissed at me and swiped at me, taking a good chunk of skin with it.

I yelped in pain and the otter scurried back to the water. I sat down holding my wound as it dripped blood onto the hardwood floor and looked up to witness he otter stand on two legs and look back at me. It gave me a eerily human like grin, showing its sharp teeth and licked his claws. I don't know if my heart had ever beat that hard before, but I can say that honestly, I had never been that scared for my life before. I quickly got up and slammed the backdoor shut and locked all the doors and windows. When Monica got home, I told her about what happened and showed her my wound. She took me to the hospital, and she continuously tried to convince me that i was just in shock and imagined the whole thing. I know what I saw though, and I didn't know how to explain it to her without sounding crazy.

After getting a series of rabies and tetanus shots, we went home. As we walked in the front door, we could see that our house was thrashed. Furniture torn up and scattered everywhere, dishes shattered and everything else in between. As Monica called 911, I noticed that the backdoor was wide open, it had large law marks running down it. When the authorities arrived, they told s that it looked like a bear had gotten in. I told them that I locked the back door, an they responded with:

"Huh. That's strange behavior for a bear then."

We cleaned up the mess when the authorities left, and went to bed. It took me a long time to sleep, because with every creak of the house, I was reminded of that smile the otter gave me and it lapping my blood from its claws. Weeks after all that happened, I was at the table eating breakfast with Monica. Toby then came down the stairs rubbing his eyes and looked at us. I will never forget he words he said next... He looked right at me and said:

"The otter people told me last night they want to kill me."

My heart sunk at hearing those words, and every time I think about that day and what he said... Anyway, after he said that, Monica blamed me for filling his head with scary stories. She and I drove Toby to school and argued the rest of the way home about whose fault it was for what Toby had said.

That night I couldn't sleep very well. The thought of what Toby said and Monica and I fighting, I was a little on edge and restless. So I thought I would go sit in the chair in the living room. I sat down and started to doze off, right as I heard a baby crying like before. I sat up confused, and then became scared for Toby. I got up and ran to his room to check on him. I opened the door to his room and froze in utter fear. standing over his bed was something ungodly hideous. it had the body of an otter, standing only about five feet tall.

Its hands were like those of a humans, but it had large curved claws instead of fingernails. Its face was that of a half otter and half man with that same crooked smile. It stared into my eyes with its hypnotic eyes and turned slowly towards me. I shook myself out of my trance and looked at it to only feel its sharp claws enter my shoulder and its heavy body pouncing on me, knocking me to the ground. It let out a piercing screech as it leapt off my body and ran for the door. I laid on the ground holding my bleeding shoulder as a loud shatter echoed through the house, followed by the sound of Toby sobbing uncontrollably. I blacked out.

I woke up in the hospital with a bandage around my arm and a few tubes sticking out of me. I looked around the room and saw Monica and Toby sitting next to me. Monica leaned down and kissed me softly and Toby hugged me. I was so overjoyed to find out that they were safe, I actually cried. The doctor told me that by my wounds, it looked like I was attacked by a bear. I argued of course, because I know that I was not attacked by a bear! It was one of those kustaka things, but yet ad I tried to plead my case to them, they told me that I must have dreamed that it was! I couldn't believe that no one was listening to what I was saying. I know that I most definitely sounded like I imagined it, but it was still the truth.

I stayed at the hospital for a few nights longer to recover fully. My last night there, I had a very weird dream. I was under the water, swimming in the rain. I popped up above the surface of the water and was staring at m house. I turned my head and glanced at what looked like four otters surrounding me, and nodded. We all then began to swim towards my house. I woke up in an absolute panic and looked outside as the rain pounded against my window. I had to get out of here and go check up on my family immediately! I got dressed, and since I was on the first floor of the hospital, jumped out the window. I ran as fast as I could, hoping that it was all nothing more than a dream, and I would find them asleep in their beds.

As I got to the front step of my house, I collapsed on the welcome mat gasping for air. I was soaked down to the bone and my lungs felt like they were being crushed. As I regained my strength, I opened the front door slowly and was greeted with the darkness of my house. I tried the lights, but they did not turn on. I gulped and stepped inside further, noticing the slight breeze coming through the house. I could see the back door was wide open. My heart beat faster and I walked towards my families rooms. As I walked closer, my vision had trouble adjusting to the pitch blackness that surrounded me. Suddenly, I stepped into something that squished under my weight and slipped out from under me.

I landed on my back and immediately gasped as the air was knocked out of me. I laid there for a few seconds before I looked to see what tripped me up. Lying on the ground next to me, was a body with its entrails ripped out, limbs torn off and face skinned. I stared in horror, for even though this person was virtually unrecognizable, I knew that it was my Monica. I turned away from it, not wanting to look at that abomination. Tears fell down my face as reality slowly started to sink in. After a few minutes, I heard a scream from outside. It was Toby. I got up quickly, shaking off the pain rushing down my back and heart, I sprinted out the back door too the beachhead. I stopped as I looked into the green eyes of a kushtaka. It was grinning crookedly as it held Toby by his hair. Toby screamed and kicked, trying to get away from the things clutches. I cursed at it:

"Let my son go you bastard! Take me instead!"

The kustaka smiled more, showing his sharp teeth as he did. It acted like my pleads for mercy entertained it. It held Toby up further and put his hand under him, holding him like a child. It slowly started to pet his hair as it spoke in a crackled, dry voice. No matter what has, or will happen in my life, I'll never forget that awful voice and what it said... It stared into my eyes and said:

"No... I enjoy this too much!"

With those words, it pulled Toby's head back and sank his teeth into my son's neck.

I screamed and watched in horror as it tore my sons neck out and then threw him at me. Toby landed on the ground with a thump, and I watched him die in front of me... The kustaka laughed and dove into the water, swimming into the black water.

After the cops cleaned up the mess, and I was released after being questioned for murdering my family, I flew back down to Reno, so I can be away from the ocean. I will always remember everything that happened while we were up there, and I will never forget those things that lurk in the oceans. Because of the kustaka, I will never go anywhere near the ocean again. I can not sleep in the dark anymore, and every time I hear a babies cry, I am reminded of those green eyes, and that horrible smile. The thing that I will remember most of all, will be that voice and what it said to me.

"No... I enjoy this too much..."

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