The Beast

By Joseph Logsdon

Martin Polly was dead. When the police found his mangled body, they discovered that he had been attacked by a wild animal. They did all they could to catch the culprit, but in the end, the animal couldn't be found. Refusing to give up, Fredrick Jackson continued to search for the wild beast. Martin was his best friend, but that wasn't his only reason for continuing with the investigation. For some unknown reason, Fredrick felt responsible for Martin's untimely death. If he could solve the murder, he could also forgive himself.

One night, around midnight, Fredrick visited the home of Martin's widow. She was, for lack of a better word, very beautiful, but at the same time, she was also very sad, so sad that she didn't even bother to eat. Before she could fall asleep, however, Fredrick opened the door.

"Don't you knock?"

"I'm sorry, Lenore, I'll be sure to do that next time," Fredrick laughed as he closed the door.

"What do you want?"

"Have you found anything else?"

"I told you, the case is closed. I'm satisfied, the police are satisfied, the whole world is satisfied. It's not that I don't want to help you, it's just I've been through too much. You can understand that, can't you? Martin was killed by a wild dog, end of story. No matter what you say, I won't get involved. Besides, finding that beast won't bring him back, will it? I can't get involved, it's just too painful," she cried.

"Lenore, don't be angry with me. I must avenge him, no matter what the cost. I'm not asking you to get involved, I'm only seeking your advice," he stated.

"Like I said before, the case is closed," she replied.

"I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing it for everyone else. As we speak, that monster is on the loose. The longer we wait, the more likely it is to kill someone. Do you really want that to happen?"

"If you're trying to make me feel guilty, you can stop wasting your time. You're right, there might be a wild beast out there, but at the end of the day, it isn't my problem. I have my life to live, just as you have your life to live. It's a shame, I know, but it's the truth," she stated.

"Did you even love your husband?"

"Just because I won't continue with this investigation, doesn't mean I didn't love Martin. On the contrary, I practically worshipped him. Every time he looked at me, I instantly felt alive. Believe me, I would give anything to have that time back, but alas, that time is gone," she sighed.

"It doesn't have to be, you know," Fredrick stated.

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, who am I kidding, I love you," Fredrick admitted.

"Are you serious?"

"I guess, somewhere deep down, I wanted Martin to die. It sounds crazy, I know, but there's no other explanation, is there?"

"What do you mean?"

"For the past few days, I've been feeling incredibly guilty. I know it's not rational, though somehow, I can't seem to get rid of this feeling. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I can't shake this feeling. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I killed him," Fredrick gasped.

"Why, that's impossible," Lenore laughed.

"Is it?"

"Well, you're not an animal, are you?"

"I don't know, I just don't know," he gasped.

Unknown to Fredrick, hair was beginning to grow on his arm. Little by little, he was becoming something else, something that couldn't be tamed. He fought it, of course, but in the end, he lost the battle.

"Fredrick, is it just me, or are you beginning to shed?"

"It's nothing, really," Fredrick gasped as his teeth grew sharper.

"What's happening to you?"

"I don't know, but whatever it is, it isn't good," he gasped.

"My God, you're growing a beard," she gasped.

"Lenore, if you want to live, then I suggest you run, before it's too late," he gasped.

Before Lenore could flee the scene, Fredrick lost all control. Using all of his strength, he bit into her soft flesh, causing blood to drizzle out of her neck. Whether he liked it or not, Fredrick had to accept the fact that he was doomed to suffer a fate worse than death. When he found her body the next morning, he called the police. When they arrived, however, they refused to accept his story.

"For the last time, I'm telling the truth," Fredrick shouted as the police officer handcuffed him.

"And why should I believe you, huh? The last time I checked, we sent people like you to the nuthouse," the officer laughed.

"The beast killed her, not me," he screamed.

"Yeah, and I'm Abraham Lincoln," the officer laughed.

The End