TO A CLOSE

It’s now or never.

You scrabble to your feet and hurry forward to close the door before the creature can retrace its steps and come back to find you.

You’ve only just reached the door when the creature catches you. A strong clawed hand shoots out from the darkness, wraps around your neck and lifts you clear off the ground. The creature steps back through the doorway almost smugly. It’s cloaked, the concealing hood pulled forward to cast its face into shadow. A long forked tongue flickers forward, tasting the air.

“Interesting,” it hisses, turning you this way and that. “You are not what I expected.”

You open your mouth to reply but can only emit a strangled gasp.

“Why sabotage the theatre?” it continues, unconcerned. “How did you plan to use the blood?”

You clutch at the long fingers around your neck, shake your head as best you can. “What… blood?” you manage to say.

That snake-like tongue tastes the air again. “Interesting.”

It lowers you slightly and your toes scrape against the floor — maybe you’ll escape this encounter alive.

“You are innocent,” the creature says, slowly. “Unfortunately, witnesses are dangerous.” Then it lifts you high once more and snaps your neck in two.

THE END. (Try again?)