The night was growing darker. It wouldn’t be long before it would be as dark as the coal which lay a hundred or so feet beneath his own, yet nowhere near as black as the creature he had just witnessed.
Ed Lord’s heart raced, rushed in his ears and crashed against the walls of his chest. He quickened his pace and stumbled over his own feet, the simple act of walking no longer automatic when accompanied by haste.
He knew what he had seen but who would believe him without proof? He increased the grip on his rifle and kept his eyes trained on the horizon beyond the dry stone wall he was approaching. Only the wall was between him and it, only the wall to his proof. He couldn’t fail, there was nowhere for it to go to ground!
Badgers! You could stick your badgers; he had something special, something no other bugger alive had seen and lived to tell!
How fortunate that he had exchanged his latest metal-detector finds for that scope from Howell! Once he reached the wall he would be able to take his shots leisurely. There was no chance that he would miss, no bloody chance at all! Only the wall and a couple of feet between them now!
He could clearly picture the events that were about to unfold, the events that were only a minute or two away. He had no doubt that it would bolt when it heard him reach the wall. It had no other option but to leg it across the moor hoping to make the ridge. He would have it before it got half way, probably only need one shot, two if he was unlucky.
He hit the wall running and quickly took aim a few feet to his right where he had visualised the creature would reappear -– nothing there! He scanned the breadth of the moor slowly and felt his body relaxing slightly as he did so; he could take his time, there was no rush.
How lucky was it that he had been the one to spot it? Fate! He was meant to get this kill! He still couldn’t believe what he had seen though. A good job he didn’t give a stuff for the old wives’ tale about how a black fox could live in a man’s shadow and never be seen. A load of bollocks, as far as he was concerned! And what tripe about it being bad luck; this was his lucky day! He’d seen it all right and now he would kill it, stone dead!
There it was! The adrenalin rushed throughout his body and tingled in the tips of his fingers. He would just line it up nicely, wait for it...
"What the bloody hell?!"
He dragged his eyes away from the sights for a split second and then back again in disbelief. It was just sitting there watching him! Well, he’d be the one to have the last laugh! “Prepare to meet your maker, sucker!” he whispered under his last breath and applied pressure to the trigger.
He never heard the shot. Only felt the intense pain as teeth sliced through his jugular. The black fox in the distance howled a greeting to his saviour and then made a dash towards the ridge of moor ahead.
Video: Black Fox
Labels: Present Day, Refuge of Delayed Souls, Web Fiction