Blindly Into The Night (429 Words)

Her mind awash with fear the behemoth charges blindly onwards, destroying all that stands in her way. Commuters are crushed in their cars as they sit in the traffic caused by her arrival, fences, walls bushes and trees are all flattened as she bolts. All she can think of is returning to the safety of the water.

Gone are the thoughts of stealth, as are the graceful movements of a silent hunter. The earth rattles beneath her feet, windows are shattered, car alarms are set off adding to the cacophony of screams that fill the air as this nightmare creature tries to return home.

Having run full circle since emerging from the lake, the behemoth comes down the Broadway and along the side of the park approaching the aftermath of the carnage she has caused.

Emergency vehicles crowd the road beneath her, their blue lights dancing over the scene. A loud throbbing noise fills the air as the police helicopter circles in, shining its spotlight on the behemoth. Blinded the light the beast staggers backwards shielding her eyes, the helicopter flies in closer recording her every move.

The noise, the lights, the fear it is all too much for the behemoth and she swats at the helicopter sending it spiralling to the ground. The resulting explosion is met with an ear splitting roar from the terrified beast. Driven back by the flames and not knowing where else to go the behemoth unleashes another roar and lumbers into town.

Down Lichfield Street she roams, the fear sinking deeper with each step. Her once fertile land now smothered in concrete, trees replaced by buildings she is lost and alone. Standing on the corner of Lichfield and Bridge Street she desperately sniffs the air trying to pick up the scent of something to track in the hope it'll lead her to sanctuary.

She doesn't hear the cars coasting to a stop behind her, or the boots on the road running for cover. The first she knows is the sharp sting of bullets as the armed response open fire into her back. Whipping around looking for her attackers her tail slices through the pillars of the Saint Matthews hall. She doesn't see the half dozen armed officers crouching behind walls or in doorways she only sees the two black Audis abandoned in the road.

Stepping forward she brings her foot crashing down on them. Turning around again her tail whips over the ruins that were Saint Matthews's hall. Sniffing the air frantically again she finds nothing and heads off blindly into the night.


The Tears Of A Clown (462)

Jackson had wanted to be a clown ever since a trip to the circus as a child; he took performing arts at college and honed his craft. When he was nineteen Jollies came around and his dream finally came true, he ran away to join the circus. In the ten years since he had travelled the country, fell in and out of love, broken hearts across the land, made thousands laugh and given nightmares to countless children.

Life on the road wasn't exactly as glamorous as he thought it would be, they hours were long and the work hard. But he loved tending to the animals, especially Luna. She was an Indian elephant who had never seen her homeland; he looked deep into the eye of his beloved and asked "Where did it all go wrong?" Her deep brown eye blinked as if in understanding. Despite towering above him and weighing almost three ton she had a gentle touch and she wrapped her trunk around him, pulling him into a warm embrace.

Reaching out Jackson lovingly strokes Luna' ear and says, "come on old gal, we can't mope about all day" and writhes his way out of her grip. Hanging her head Luna nudges him gently, "ok, ok here you." says Jackson reaching into his trouser pocket and pulling out a handful of peanuts, that Luna hoovers up with her trunk.

With one final stroke of her trunk Jackson says "I'll come and see you later doll, I've got to get ready for work" and turns to walk away. As he is walking towards his caravan he catches a flash of green from the corner of his eye. Turning around for a better look he can't believe his eyes.

Luna, her eyes wide with fear, has been snatched up by the behemoth. Blood pours out of the stricken beast as claws sink deeper into her haunch to stop her struggling. Effortlessly Luna is lifted towards the razor toothed maw and she is bitten clean in two.

Acting on instinct and out of love, Jackson runs screaming at the behemoth. Grabbing a pitchfork out of the pile of hay he lunges at the beast's gargantuan foot, driving the sharpened steel down with all of his might.

The roar is deafening, the behemoth has never known pain before, she has only ever known hunger. Dropping what is left of Luna onto one of the caravans she inspects her foot. The wound is only shallow and she licks it gently dislodging the fork.

Blood seeps out of the wound and pools beneath her foot. Gingerly the behemoth rises to her full height again. She glances around in a panic looking for danger but sees nothing. Her hunger forgotten the beast charges off blindly towards town.


Breaking News (498 Words)

"Make sure you get the blood in shot!" Cassandra shouts at her cameraman, a tired looking chap called Trevor. Trevor obligingly starts a sweeping shot from the pool of blood the firemen are hosing down, up Cassandra' legs and then focusses on her face.

Staring in disgust at him down the lens Cassandra says "You didn't just take a shot of me in these wellies did you? You really wouldn't be that fucking stupid would you Trevor?"

Without saying a word, Trevor starts the shot again. He starts with the firemen scrubbing the path, pans across the park, zooms in on a woman throwing fish back into the lake, zooms out again and focusses perfectly on Cassandra face.

"This is Cassandra Donahue live from Walsall arboretum, a place normally associated with tranquillity and quiet reflection. But not today, today that peace was shattered by . . . by. Shit, what are we calling this . . .  this thing?"

Trevor sighs and stops recording, he was better than this. He dreamed of being on national news, maybe in a warzone, maybe in Washington or Hollywood, anywhere really other than regional broadcasting.  Last week they had reported "live" from the scene of a mugging, a mugging that had happened two days previously and half a mile away.

Looking at Cassandra he grits his teeth, desperately trying to keep the mask of servitude in place. She has her phone clamped to her ear and is shouting at someone else for a change, "Well it needs a name!" There is a brief pause where Trevor guesses the poor sap on the other end of the phone tries to suggest something but gets shot down in flames. "Godzilla? Are you stupid? Are you fucking high? This is the news, this is real life you fucking moron."

She hammers at the red button on her phone, the twenty first century version of slamming the phone down. "I'm surrounded by fucking morons." She declares to the clouds as if god is listening.

"So what are we going with then?" asks Trevor.

The look Cassandra shoots him tells him, to keep his mouth shut and just keep the film rolling. He starts his shot again, panning over the debris and carnage, slipping in a brief deliberately out of focus shot of the fire engines strobing lights and then ending up once again on Cassandras face.

"This is Cassandra Donahue reporting live from Walsall arboretum, where the normal tranquillity has been shattered with reports of a dragon emerging from Hatherton Lake."  

Cassandra stands statue still in her pose of professionalism for a few seconds before saying "fuck it, cut it there and we'll drop in the witness reports and their shitty mobile footage in later."

Trevor sighs knowing the "we'll" means him. He also knows that the "mobile footage" will gain more fame than anything he will ever shoot.

"Should have gone to film school." He mumbles to himself as he trudges back to the van.