The only constant light belonged to the village of Oakdale as it was consumed by flames in the distance. Screams were carried along the wind but were snuffed out by the growing storm. It didn't matter; by the time the cries reached Ervin's ears, the source was already dead.
It had only been two days since the creatures made their presence known. Two days since one had slaughtered his wife and abducted his daughter.
A hint of smoke drifted past and crept into his nostril. Diluted as it was, he could still detect the scent of charred flesh. Ervin tightened his grip on the sharpened chair leg. It seemed to be the only useful weapon he carried. Bury the wooden spike into their chest and they go down. Bullets only angered them. Still, Ervin pressed on with a rifle hanging over his shoulder; a single shell resting in the chamber.
Ervin stopped in his tracks and waited, half hoping to hear the sound again. It was hard to tell in the rain. His eyes and ears had been playing tricks on him for quite a while. Every tree bore their abominal faces and every sound, that horrid noise.
A flash of lightning revealed the beast. It squatted on the outstretched limb of a Black Walnut tree; eating the throat out of a young man. It was the first time Ervin had seen one since that first night. It was almost exactly as he remembered. On the second flash, the creature lifted it's head and sniffed at the air; it's long, stringy hair hiding it's face. A third flash, it's hollow eyes were locked onto Ervin's.