• T. Mark Mangum

Thump thump thump


It was a dark October evening all the campers were huddled in the common house which had rows of bunks on the second level and a balcony that looked down upon the dining area. A large fire burned in the hearth and the teens were chatting, drawing, reading, writing, or playing a game.


As the evening progressed the teens’ interactions faded as more of them became aware of the thump thump thump that sounded upon the wall of the common house.


“What is that?” one asked.


“Look at the mist outside,” another said.


“It is only on that side of the building,” another teen across the room announced.


Thump, thump thump. Some of the bravest among them decided to get a closer look. They decided no one would get any sleep if the sound continued.


So they put on their shoes, and jackets, the night was chilly, a few of the boys grabbed bats from the sports locker and they went outside. Others watched from the one window on that side of the building. All they could see was the mist that ebbed and receded as if the wind changed directions every few moments.


The campers left the warmth and safety of the Common House and went around to the side of the building. The thump thump thump increased in tempo.


“Look a shoe,” a boy with a bat said.


“Isn’t that Mr. Hamilton’s shoe?” the girl with the short blonde hair asked.


“Mr. Hamilton,” she said loudly.


“Shhhhhhh,” all the others exclaimed.


At the side of the building, they saw above the mist two dim lights. The lights hovered about four feet off the ground. They were even with each other and every so often they would move a little and turn off and on.


“What is it?” a camper asked.


Thump thump thump “Ahhh, help,” a voice whispered in the dark.


“Crap, what was that,” the boy with the bat said.


Thump thump thump. The lights shifted down. The mist spewed in the same direction. Then, a thud and a crunch like something breaking.


“Ahhhh, run,” another whisper.


Thump, the sound stopped but now a noise was that of something chewing.


The mist thinned a little. “It's the steam of breath,” the blond girl said.


“It is an animal, look,” another said.


A boy who had run back into the common house to retrieve a flashlight came around the corner and shined the light on the beast. It was a massive dog that at the moment was munching on the body of Mr. Hamilton. His lifeless form in pieces before them.


The beast looked up at the light a leg hanging from its mouth. Thump thump thump the sound came. The boy shifted the light to the sound, it was the tail of the hound beating against the wall.


The beast looked toward where the light shone and back to the boy holding it.


“Woof-woof,” it wagged its tail, coming toward the light.


“Run,” someone screamed.

© 2021, T. Mark Mangum

T. Mark Mangum, a product of the unimaginable worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, Conan, and the Lord of the Rings. Lover and writer of fiction tales. He is a Veteran, a father of six, and a game enthusiast.

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