Blood and death.
Those were the only two things on the mind of the Beast.
At one o’clock in the morning, in the heart of the large college campus, a gentle rustle of crisp autumn leaves tossed along the pavement by the breeze. Street lamps dotted a narrow cement pathway, giving off a hazy, yellow glow, intermittently flickering on and off, as if trying to succumb to the night.
The inky blots of darkened shadows crowded around the Beast, cloaking like camouflage. It watched a girl jog down the small pathway winding through the middle of the campus.
Sculptures jutted out of the ground, resembling a kind of freakish cemetery, rather than the school’s common area; a labyrinth of twisted metal and contorted faces standing sentinel to the grounds.
Thick, black lips curled into a smile as the Beast watched the girl. Though the hour was late, it knew she wouldn’t be nervous; it had seen her make this trip many times before.
Chipped in onyx, rimmed with red, the dark eyes glittered in the overhead street lamps. It glared at her from the dark—waiting.
Nostrils curled, inhaling her essence—her taste—the eyes closed in pleasure. Its muscles tensed, body readjusting in preparation for the strike.
Fur bristled; thick, black nails dug into the hard soil and a stick snapped beneath one heavy paw. The massive head flew up, and the girl froze. Her eyes grew wide as they moved to locate the origin of the sound.
The Beast smiled, thinking she resembled a frightened deer, thin fingers twitching at her side like the flick of a soft, velvet ear; brown eyes alert and anxious, checking the surroundings while the unknown hunter lurked hidden from sight.
The smile widened, revealing one long canine. The girl glanced right over the Beast, unable to see the danger.
As she came closer, the Beast’s lips curled back, exposing razor sharp teeth, and a menacing snarl erupted from deep inside its chest.
The girl turned and the Beast leapt toward her, knocking her hard to the ground. Her head cracked against the pavement, pupils empty and unfocused, blinking compulsively up.
The Beast’s muzzle descended toward her, spattering her cheek with thick globs of saliva as its rancid breath beat over her face. Two heavy paws stepped onto her chest, forcing the air from her lungs, constricting her breath. Sharp nails tore through the thin fabric of her jacket and her mouth opened wide in silent anguish. Her ribs cracked and gave way to the unbelievable weight of the Beast’s body. The paws jerked downward as her chest was crushed and began to compress.
The girl couldn’t scream because she couldn’t breathe.
Slender arms rose in defense, fingers clawed at thick fur, and hands shoved at unmovable legs.
The white teeth flashed again, sinking deep into tender flesh, blood rushing around the wide muzzle as it tore out the soft throat. A spray of hot liquid arched high into the air, raining down along the top of the Beast’s face and hackles; clinging to the monstrous body like delicate rubies.
The dying body jerked beneath the heavy paws, convulsing violently, and the thin limbs thrashed against the pavement. As the surge of blood began to ebb the body relaxed into a growing pool of rich liquid, encircling the girl’s ashen face like a crimson halo.
Silence once again resumed.
The only sounds that remained were the whispering rustle of fall leaves and the deep and feral growls of feeding as flesh was stripped from bone.

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About the Author, Kitrisha Rasmussen
Kitrisha Rasmussen emigrated to Arizona from Utah, and is now a convert to the sunny Arizona way. She loves time spent with her husband, three crazy boys, and baby girl. Although motherhood has undoubtedly cost her a few brain cells, she manages to escape the straitjacket. She enjoys art and history, and is always in the mood for a good horror flick or book.
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