Author: Scales Proofreader(s): Merp-Merp, PurpleUnisaurus
May I present The Beast! This is a project I will be working on for a while, however I don’t make any promises for when chapters will be uploaded. I will try and get one out every week though. Let me know what you guys think of this and feel free to point out any grammatical errors because I write most of my stories at 2 am in the morning.
The Tragedy of Jaguar Valley
Through the roses and the thorns, through the brush and the leaves, in the darkness of this god-forsaken forest rested a young man. He couldn’t have been older than 25, with the slightest bit of stubble showing itself on his chin. He sat in his chair, nonchalantly looking up at the canopy of vibrant green leaves above him. The forest was practically buzzing with life, the perfect place for any nature enthusiast to sit back and relax; of course, this man was no nature enthusiast.
Without even moving his head the man reached down beside him, grabbing a dirt-covered bottle with a slightly green hue to it. The man took a chug of the unidentified substance and sighed contently, with a single flick of his wrist the bottle flew towards a large oak tree. The bottle shattered into a million pieces and littered the ground like strangely colored snow. The man gave out a drunken laugh and returned to staring up at the canopy.
To the man’s right, there was a small orange tent, barely large enough to fit a single person. The rods were scratched and the cloth was faded. It was obvious this wasn’t the man’s first hunting trip. To his left, there were two men struggling to get a fire started. The two men sat there with two rocks and furiously struck them together over a small pile of sticks.
The man giggled at the two and shouted, “You morons, just use the lighter!”
One of the two men scratched his chin and looked up at the drunken man in the chair. “Don’t you remember John, you left it at home!”
John giggled again and looked in his bag. “Why yes, I guess I did do that,” John shakily stood up from his chair and wandered towards the other two men, observing them striking the sticks together.
John sighed and exclaimed “Didn’t either of you go to boy-scouts as a kid? Geez, let me,” John examined the sticks the other men had collected and shook his head. “These are no good- how do you expect to start a fire with damp sticks? You also have no kindling.” The other men looked at the ground, ashamed. “I have to do everything around here, I’ll go collect some decent wood. You two prepare the other tents.”
The other men nodded and started unpacking their own tent. This one was dark blue in color and in much better shape, almost as if it had never been unpacked before. John stumbled over to his bag and grabbed his rifle as he looked back at his friends with an almost-demonic smirk, pointing the rifle towards them.
“If those damn coyotes come out to play…” With that, John slowly made his way into the forest, scouring the brush for good fuel for their fire.
As John scanned the horizon for some good-looking branches a stick that was protruding out of the ground caught his eye. John grinned and started making his way towards the stick. He bent down and pulled the branch out of the ground and silently cursed to himself. The branch was wet, no good. John looked up at the clear sky. Well, I guess it did rain pretty hard on the way here, but there has got to be some dry firewood here somewhere. John silently cursed to himself and continued further into the forest.
As John was looking through the bushes he stumbled upon a fallen apple. John smirked and picked the gorgeous apple up, examining it through and through. It was a mighty fine apple that lacked bruises despite it being obvious that the apple had fallen from somewhere. As John stared into the apple he realized just how perfect this apple was, even covered in dirt this apple was the best one he ever saw.
John took the apple to his shirt, wiping all of the dirt off of it, giving it a hypnotizing gleam. We could make quite the apple cider with this beauty. John carefully stashed the apple in his pocket, while trying to find where this blessed fruit came from. After a few seconds spinning in circles looking for the tree, John spotted it. The tree was magnificent, perhaps the tallest apple tree John had ever seen. Its branches were brimming with life; just being around the tree was exhilarating. It was almost as if the tree was calling to him, luring him in with its beauty.
The branches were filled to the brim with apples just like the one John picked up before. The branches of the gorgeous tree seemed to be drooping with the sheer weight of the apples. Despite the rain from the night before, these branches looked quite dry. Without so much as a second thought, John started making his way towards the tree, although something peculiar was happening as he neared it.
Each step closer towards the tree and another apple dropped from its branches. As the apple fell to the ground it became completely rotten. The leaves soon started to fall, the branches lost their strength and started becoming duller. An extremely confused John tried to step away from the rotting tree, yet his legs wouldn’t move. John froze and his eyes became very dull.
“You little brat I will kill you! Thinking you are so much better than me, look at what you did to me!!!” John screamed, pulling his rifle off of his back. The forest became very still, almost as if questioning if this man’s sanity, seeing as there was no one else there.
“Who the hell are you? Get awa- It’s you. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to, I wasn’t myself.” John cried out as he sunk to the ground with his face in his palms.
As John broke down into tears the once magnificent apple tree started changing shape, its dead branches slowly merging together and its roots tearing themselves out of the ground. John continued screaming and crying as the tree became a somewhat recognizable form. With a big bulky body completely made out of branches. With front legs slightly bigger than it’s back legs it truly was a terrifying creature. Out of its head sprouted two horns, made completely out of branches. At the end of those branches was the only sign of life on this beast, three small leaves that were just barely budding.
However, these small signs of life were not enough to override the dead appearance of this beast. On the monster’s head, there were two orbs that were a dark red. Considering the way they moved they appear to be eyes. In the monster’s mouth were rows upon rows of twigs. While these twigs at first don’t look threatening, on closer inspection one would see that the twigs were razor sharp.
As John screamed the demon turned it’s attention to him. “Get away! I said get away from me! It wasn’t my fault ok?”
Through all his delusions John pointed the gun and pulled the trigger, shooting a bush nearby. Birds fluttered into the air at the noise, and all of the forest stopped to observe this strange scenario. The monster made a weird grunting noise, almost as if it was laughing at the hysterical man.
John sobbed and prepared to load his gun again, but before he got the chance the beast opened its mouth and snapped him up, his rifle dropping to the ground with a thud. John didn’t move; at that moment his fate was decided. The beast got a good grip on him and started shaking him around, almost like how a crocodile kills its prey. When the beast decided that John was indeed dead the monster tilted its head up and swallowed his lifeless body down in one gulp.
The beast gave a satisfied grunt and headed off into the forest, looking for its next victim. There was no blood, no body parts, in fact, not even a sign of a struggle. All that was left of this tragedy was a horribly deformed rifle that had blood ingrained into the fine wood. The forest saw this as their cue and resumed their activities without so much as a second thought.