The Beast Of Renshaw

       Peter Morgan / Horror
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The Beast Of Renshaw

Copyright 2016 Peter Morgan
Published by Peter Morgan at Smashwords

Cover art © 2016 by Mike Stuart

Smashwords Edition License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

The wind howled as the rain repeatedly battered the young man’s olive skin as he ran through the Renshaw forest. As he stopped momentarily to look back, his brown eyes caught a glimpse of grey fur dashing between the trees. Letting let out a cry of despair he continued running, hoping to escape the monstrous forest, into the safety of the road. One of his expensive trainers slipped off as he was trying to climb over a mossy boulder, he looked down as he saw it lying by a creeping vine but was forced to leave it as he heard panting followed by a low toned growl. The rain stopped suddenly as the wind picked up. The young man could see the road in the distance, and he began laughing and crying from exhaustion and terror as he made his way towards safety.
He looked up at how the trees had woven their branches together, blocking out the meagre sunlight struggling to break through the dark grey clouds above. He stumbled to the edge of the forest and looked down the embankment at the road. He noticed a blonde man in a black car had stopped. The passenger, a blonde woman, was looking up at the forest and straight at him. He screamed as he stepped forward, as his ankle was mauled by what looked like an ancient bear trap. Dropping to the ground, he whimpered as he watched his means of safety drive away.
As he sat there he heard faint panting again. He desperately tried to open the trap using a branch, but screamed louder as it snapped the wood and cut deeper into the bone. The panting gradually become louder and, as the sound of a beast snarling filled his ears, he resigned himself to the fact that he was about to die.
He trembled as he felt its warm breath on the nape of his neck. He hung his head down and prayed for salvation. Seconds later he heard someone shouting in the distance. He heard whatever was behind him run off as a woman’s voice echoed through the trees.
“Hello!” she called.
Instantly worried what the beast would do to her, he shouted a warning, “There is something in the forest!” “It’s coming after you!” He heard the woman scream as he tried again to free himself. His ankle pained as he tried to get his foot out of the wrought iron trap. Positioning the branch between the rusty iron teeth and using his other foot to lever it open, he finally got his mangled foot out of the trap as he heard something approaching him. He dragged himself towards one of the big oak trees but realised he had left a trail of blood. He rested against the tree as his heart began to race. He heard panting again, he closed his eyes and sat still.
“Are you alright?” he heard a woman ask, as he opened his eyes.
“I thought it had got you,” he said, as the woman knelt down looking at his ankle.
“You thought what had got me?” she asked seeming confused.
“I heard you screaming and then...” he was interrupted, as the woman looked at the severity of his injury, she studied the bear trap and then glanced back at the man.
“Those damn traps,” she mumbled.
“What happened to the wolf?” he asked.
“Wolf?” she chuckled. “There are no wolves on Black Mountain Island,”
His vision became blurry as the blood poured from his wound.
“We will never get to the hospital in time,” she stressed, as she tore the bottom of her shirt. She took the rubber band that was holding her hair in a ponytail and used it in conjunction with the ripped shirt. He groaned as she wrapped the material around his ankle and then put the band in place to hold it together.
“Don’t put any pressure on that foot,” she instructed him, as she looked for the easiest route to take. “There is a man living in the heart of this forest,” she explained as she helped him up. “I will take you to him and he will stop the bleeding.”
The young man did not argue, he was in such a numb state of shock that he just blindly went along with the helpful stranger.
“Well, stop the bleeding and any infection, then we can take you to the hospital,” she concluded, as he slowly limped along with her help.
As they hobbled into the forest, the body of a woman lay half eaten not far from where the young man initially heard the screams. Something tugged at her body before it was ripped into the bushes, bones could be heard breaking as she was being devoured. A pair of ochre eyes glared out of the bushes before the blood-stained beast streaked past at lightning speed, vanishing into the autumnal foliage.
“What is your name?” she asked the young man, as they made their way deeper into the forest.
“I’m Harkin,” he told her. He noticed her smile. “Why are you smiling?” he asked, observing her pale cheeks becoming flushed.
“I’ve not heard that name before,” she answered, as they ended up in front of a small stream.
They both stood still as they heard something moving through the forest.
“Don’t make a sound,” she whispered, slowly pressing him against a great oak tree.
“What are you doing?” he whispered as she let go of his arm.
“I’m going to go see what that is” she replied. “Before it comes to see what we are.”
Harkin felt sick at the thought of trying to run in the shape he was in. As she walked two steps forward a great red deer leapt out, almost trampling her. She gasped and she jumped out the way of its foreboding antlers. It stopped and looked at Harkin before darting off.
“Could it have been a deer that was chasing after you?” she asked, as she put his arm around her neck.
“I saw grey fur,” he said with conviction in his voice. “It was a wolf.”
The woman was silent for a while as they walked.
“In winter the red deer tend to turn a greyish colour,” she explained.
“It’s autumn,” he said frowning at her.
“I know that!” she raised her voice slightly, “But if you start telling people you are seeing wolves in the forest can you imagine what they will think?” she asked. “I’m just trying to spare you from ridicule.”
As they spoke they were unaware that they were being tracked by the beast, it stalked patiently, watching, waiting…
“Would it not have been easier just to wait in the road?” Harkin asked, as they were making their way even deeper into the forest, to which the woman shook her head.
“You could have been sitting by the side of the road for goodness knows how long,” she moaned. “I did what I thought was the right thing.”
Harkin looked at her, her eyes kept flitting and she seemed slightly on edge as if she knew something and didn’t want to worry him.
“What is your name?” Harkin asked the stranger.
“You can call me your saviour,” she joked, trying to lift his spirits.
He looked down at his ankle, blood was seeping through the torn grey shirt.
“How did you know what to do with the wound?” he asked as they slowed their pace.
“Endless hours of medical shows on television,” she joked as Harkin finally cracked a smile.
They heard something ruffling in the autumn leaves behind them.
“It’s a deer,” she assured him, as they moved carefully over the mossy ground. The trees deeper in the forest looked much more ominous. You could see that humans had rarely come to these parts, as the pathways were disappearing in the overgrowth.
“How do you know there is a man in the heart of the forest?” he questioned her, as she seemed unsure which way to go when the pathway came to an end.
She pointed to what remained of a pathway. He looked down and noticed that underneath the weeds and moss there were cobblestones. They both looked back as they heard branches snapping.
“It’s a deer,” she repeated herself.
But she was wrong. The beast snarled as it watched them. Its nostrils twitched feverishly as it picked up the scent of Harkin’s blood. It descended into one of the many burrows of Renshaw forest and threaded through the maze of damp muddy passageways beneath Harkin and the mysterious woman.
“How do you know about the man in the middle of the forest?” he asked again. “And what were you doing in the forest?” he continued to question her.
“Settle down Detective Harkin,” she joked.
Harkin stood still, “Just tell me what you were doing in the forest!” he insisted.
“As I can see you are in your running gear,” she pointed out. “Did you stop to think that maybe I was doing the same thing?”
Harkin looked at her clothing and realised she was probably out for a walk or run herself.
“Happy Detective?” she mocked, as Harkin nodded.
“How do you know about the man in the middle of the forest?” he persisted.
The woman tugged Harkin’s arm to carry on moving, but he pulled back.
“I’m waiting,” he told her as he stared into her baby-like face.
“My father lives in the middle of the forest!” she shouted. “Jeeze Harkin, how
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