Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Genre: Horror

Dear readers,
I was recently contacted by a young writer named James Darko who asked if I would allow him to write a short story featuring a character named “The Behemoth” that I created for a story I published last year. Not only did I grant him his request, but upon reading his story, I’ve decided to share his work on my blog with his permission.
It’s my pleasure to introduce a new young writer to you. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy his story and the Lovecraftian title as much as I did.

By James Darko

          Robert Combs is my name, and by the time you’ve finished reading these hastily scribbled pages, you’ll understand why people think I’m insane.
          In fact, by the time you read this, I’ll surely be dead. Overdrawn and unemployed, this old house is all I have to claim. And soon, when I fail to keep up with the mortgage payments, the bank will snatch the place out from under me.
          But that’s not what unnerves me.
It’s the thing outside my bedroom window.
          Every night, it lurks outside my window. It conceals itself, hiding amongst the shadows, thinking it can fool me.
Every night, I hear the scratching of prodigious claws and the fluttering of its long, narrow wings. Every night, it waits patiently for me to sleep. Just waiting for me to slip up and let my guard down.
          As I jot all this down in a drug-fueled frenzy, it’s been four days since I’ve closed my eyes to sleep. The cocaine is still keeping me alert and responsive. But my supply dwindles with every passing hour and soon it will abandon me entirely, leaving a void that can only be filled by a bullet to the brain.
          The .38 Smith & Wesson was unearthed on my latest expedition to the attic. I found it in an old shoebox, still loaded. I forgot I still had the thing. It belonged to my late father. It’s the gun that ended his life. How ironic that the same gun will play a part in my death as well.
          Nevertheless, I will die on my own terms.
          This primordial creature… This retched abomination… This sin against nature…I will not allow it to take my soul.
          By speaking of this beast aloud, I have alienated myself from my friends and family. My sister thinks I’m having a mental breakdown. My so-called friends refuse to return my calls. My aunts and uncles think I should seek professional help. And my erratic behavior cost me my job at the steel mill.
          Many who were born and raised in Westlake have heard tales of the Behemoth. But few believe these tales to be more than small-town mythology.
          Judd Ballard believed the legends. He believed them so much that after a brisk encounter with this legendary Behemoth, he packed his car, fled Long Island, and never looked back.
          Judd resided in Mill Pond, three towns over from Westlake. He was there the night Victor Ward, Harold Dinsmore, Glenn Parker, and Drayton Sawyer were torn limb from bloody limb.
          For whatever reason, the Behemoth chose to spare Judd’s life. Perhaps so he could spread the word of the macabre incident and add to the mythology. Or perhaps because it assessed that Judd Ballard was an innocent man.
          Vic, Harold, Glenn, and Drayton all had something to hide. They all had a part in the death of Julian Campbell. Campbell, a registered sex offender, was under suspicion for the rape and murder of Victor Ward’s daughter, Mallory.
          It turns out Julian was innocent. The guilty party was none other than Drayton Sawyer. But Sawyer got what he deserved. All the men involved got what they deserved.
This monster, it punishes the evil souls, the wrongdoers. The ones who seek justice on their own terms. The ones who carry out their own wicked agendas. At least that’s what the legends dictate.
The Behemoth is a guardian, a protector. A purveyor of justice. So by now you must be asking yourself what horrible atrocity I committed to warrant its presence.
The .38 Smith & Wesson, I mentioned it ended my father’s life. I just never said how. It wasn’t suicide. I killed my father, shot him dead with his own gun. Then staged it to look like a suicide.
I was dishing out my own brand of justice. I felt my actions were justified. It was his infidelities that led to my mother’s alcoholism. It led her down a path of self-loathing and destruction that ended in a fatal crash that claimed her life.
Toxicology reports confirmed she was drunk at the time of the accident. She lost control, skidded off the road, and collided head-on with a tree. It was an ugly scene. Barely anything remained of the car.
We couldn’t even give her a proper service and have an open casket at the wake or the funeral.
If my father had kept his affairs private instead of flaunting his whores in public, mom never would’ve known. She still might be alive today.
          My father didn’t stand to speak at the wake or the funeral. He never even shed a tear. It wasn’t a week she was in the ground before he was out running around with his whores again. I couldn’t stand the sight of him anymore. Something had to be done. So I took matters into my own hands.
          I confess. I’m a sinner. I’ve done plenty of bad things in my life. And now this beast has come to harvest my soul. I deserve to pay for my sins, but not at the hands of this abomination.
I got a glimpse of it one night when it was hovering in the shadows. It could’ve been eight or nine feet tall for all I know. Its weight indeterminable. Its body was a crust of dry reptilian scales. Long, narrow wings flapped effortlessly in the breeze. Atop its broad shoulders rested the head of a triceratops, a prehistoric creature that’s been extinct for about two-hundred million years.
Three horns jutted from its misshaped skull. Two vertical horns protruded above its glowing yellow eyes and one curved horn above its mouth. Its sharp, prodigious claws looked capable of tearing through a steel vault. And did I mention its fangs?
Oh, sure, go ahead and say it. Robert Combs is crazy. He’s a loon. But be warned, citizens of Westlake. The Behemoth is real, and one night, you might find it lurking outside your bedroom window.
Oh, God…I see it now. Two yellow eyes staring back at me through the window. It’s closer than ever before.
Please don’t judge me. Please forgive me. I’d forgive you if you were faced with the same utter annihilation that awaits me outside that window.
The .38 is in my left hand. My finger is wrapped around the trigger. The barrel is pressed against the side of my head.
Please forgive me.

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