"In Tall Grass

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In tall grass
Jeremy K. Phillips
89 Briarwood Street
Greenbrier, AR. 72058

In Tall Grass

Jeremy Mac

Ever since my babies came into the world it seems like I haven’t had any time for myself, with the feeding and nurturing and all, motherly things you know, and now that they were nestled down and fast asleep I wanted to enjoy some good ole me-time.
After a quick bite to eat I treated myself to a nice, long, soul soothing bath and then afterwards I went for a peaceful stroll in the front lawn. The day was sunny and warm with a light breeze slowly pushing a few clouds across a baby blue sky. A perfect spring day. Before giving birth to my little one’s, twins they were, I often enjoyed days like this out on my own, occasionally visiting family and friends, but now that I had my babies I haven’t had the time to do anything at all. I haven’t even been able to enjoy a whole meal for myself. That didn’t much matter though, because they would always come first. They were my only true joy now. How I loved them so.
Normally I am very alert and well aware of my surroundings, but for the past few moments my mind wondered off into such deep nostalgia I didn’t realize something was stalking me from within the bushy shadows. I was walking in the tall grass at the perimeter of the yard when a searing pain shot through my back. It happened so fast that I didn’t have the time nor the breath to utter a sound. It was all I could do to turn my head to find myself staring into the slitted yellow eyes of a ghastly creature colored in deep shades of grey, its nose a small, fleshy, black orb with two flared pits, and a multitude of wrinkles creased its face as lips drew back from pink gums to reveal a row of the most monstrous fangs I had ever seen. It was then that I remembered the stories. I had been warned but I’d never given them much thought. I always believed them to be exaggerations. But now I knew for a fact they weren’t exaggerations at all, they were just as real as this green earth we all lived on.
It pounced onto me and sank its teeth into one of my legs; my flesh tore open and before the pain fully registered I heard the sickening sound of my own bones splintering. The creature was not merciful, it played with me. It got up off of me and, crouching low, made a slow circle around me, staring me down with fierce intent as a sound came from it; a low rumble resounding through its neck and idling ominously just beneath its head. I could feel its vibration through the ground, it spoke volumes, as if to say: Go ahead. Try to take off. I dare you.
Just as I was about to make a move it attacked; a razor claw swatted me and then held me down onto the green grass now speckled red with my own blood. It held me there for several seconds, those powerful pointed claws like red hot pins pulsing deep into me. I could see the creature from the corner of my eye, its large demonic head, looming over me, curiously observing me as if I were an oddity and my very existence was to bring it pleasure through my pain.
It ebbed off me, watching me with morbid indifference as I feverishly tried to get up, my limbs twitching all over, until it batted my vain attempts back down to the ground. As it swatted me from side to side all I could think of was my babies. What will happen to them? They’ll be so alone and vulnerable. It was my last thought as its long pointed fangs encircled my head and crushed into my skull, sending me into a deep void of darkness from which I will never leave.

The creature was female, and like many as herself she took great pride in her hunting skills. She’d had many victims and hunted mainly for sport, and although her victims differed within a wide range of species, she adulated herself for the hunt-kill of this particular kind. With it clinched between her sharp teeth, she entered her domain. The others were sure to be inside and she loved to flaunt her kills.
As she entered the largest area of their living quarters the youngest of them emerged at the same moment through the halls vast entrance, opposite of her. When he saw her his pace slowed and his eyes narrowed as he considered what she had brought inside. Once he understood what it was, he sighed exasperatedly. With nothing more that could be done he lifted his head and yelled, “Mom! The cat killed another bird!”

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