Evan opened his eyes and blinked the tiredness out of them. He looked at his watch, which read 6:16. He laid on his back for a few minutes, looking up at the top of his tent. He rolled a bit, trying to find a comfortable position, as his back was hurting. No matter how he laid, the pain deep within his back refused to subside.
He eventually got up and reunited with his friends outside their respective tents. The group had an annual camping trip they went on, and this year was no different. Evan’s friend Anna was cooking breakfast over the campfire that was still burning from the night before while her boyfriend Jake cleaning up the mess they’d made of the campground the night before.
Evan sat down on a seat fashioned from a tree stump and noted a sharp pain in both of his calves and his triceps. It was an almost pulsating pain, and Evan could’ve sworn that when he looked down at his right calf, he could see it bulging out a bit, much to the same tune as a heartbeat. He took some ibuprofen and tried to put it out of his mind. Eventually, the group’s fourth and final member joined them when Dave exited his tent.
The group of four sat around talking and eating their breakfast of eggs and bacon, talking about what the day was going to bring. The plan was to start the day off with some hiking, which would eventually lead them to a place to swim, then they had a plan to pretty much party the rest of the day and night away with a fire.
After breakfast, the group all got prepared for the hike, which for Evan, included deep stretching, as he didn’t want to bring the group’s morale down by complaining all day. They set off and began up the trail that rested a few hundred feet from where they’d set up camp for the night. On their way up the trail, they passed multiple other campsites, exchanging greetings with families, couples, and other groups of like-minded campers there for a good time.
After about a half hour of hiking, Evan noticed his calves and arms hurting again, with that same throbbing feeling as earlier in the morning. He looked at his arms, and pointed out to his friends that it looked like they were visibly pulsating, but they attributed it to simply getting a workout, perhaps in an attempt to not cause Evan to worry. They continued on the trail, and eventually made it to their destination: a small lake with a good cliff for jumping off of.
They came over the hill which brought the lake and cliff into plain view, as well as the numerous other people already there swimming. Dave, ever the risk taker, decided that the group would jump off the cliff to start their swimming session, much to the dismay of the rest of the friends. But, not wanting to seem like the scared one, none of the other three spoke up.
The four friends found a spot to safely set their belongings and climbed the backside of the cliff to the top, which was essentially just a large boulder overlooking the rest of the lake. The top of the cliff was smooth, perfect for getting a running start to jump off into the water. When they got to the top, there were a man and woman there, both psyching themselves up to jump off. With some encouragement from Dave, the two finally leapt off the cliff hand-in-hand. The four friends looked over the edge and saw the two drop into the water, then safely come to the surface and swim off to the side.
Evan twitched. Just once, but it was a big enough twitch to warrant some curiosity. He felt pain in his arms, a kind of pain he’d never felt before, almost as if his bones were stretching. He attributed it to the same soreness he felt earlier. He winced as he watched Dave take a running start and leap off of the cliff, plunging into the water below.
While David swam out of the way so his friends could jump, Evan’s pain moved down to his legs, the same kind of stretching sensation as he’d had in his arms, and he let out a small gasp. The gasp went unnoticed by Jake and Anna, who, like the couple had before them, leapt off the cliff.
All of Evan’s extremities were now throbbing. He looked down at his forearms, and to his horror, they were actually stretching. He dropped to his knees, but suddenly, his knees began scraping against the flat surface of the top of the cliff. He then realized that his toes were keeping his feet in place, while his calves were stretching, pushing his knees forward. Evan heard his friends from down below, cheering him on, yelling for him to complete the jump like they had.
As Evan’s limbs continued to lengthen, he suddenly snapped his head forward, his eyes having gone from a light blue to a pale pink color. He then felt his jaw unhinge, at which point he let out a yelp before feeling both his top and bottom rows of teeth protrude farther from his gums. He took his left arm, now nearly 1½ times its normal length, and used his stretched out index finger, which had grown a sharp, pointed nail, and ran his finger against his bottom row of teeth. He found them to be sharp and jagged, and much longer than normal.
He then began to smell something. He didn’t know where it was coming from, but it smelled like a dull metal. Suddenly, this smell was overpowering. He needed to find its origin, and he needed to find it right then and there. While his bones were making cracking sounds, and his tendons stretched like they were made for elasticity, his skin pulling, barely able to contain the newfound growth in his limbs, Evan quickly jumped off the cliff, and dove into the water beneath him, which would become the place he finished his transformation.
Once he was completely submerged, his limbs shot out like bullets, extending to nearly three times their normal length. His jaw unhinged even further, and he snapped his jaws closed with the power of a vice grip. Hardly able to comprehend what was happening, Evan gave in, mostly just expecting to drown. The moment Evan let go was the moment what Even was turning into took over.
The monster that was Evan could inexplicably breathe under the water, and took advantage of that fact. Even under the surface, that dull metal smell was permeating the area around him, and his nose acted like that of a bloodhound. His pale, pink eyes could see perfectly through the relatively unclean lake water, and the smell seemed to be coming from three moving objects in front of him. He swam through the water at unbelievable speeds, and when he was in range for his new arms to do what he needed, he struck.
First, his right clawed hand pierced through Dave’s chest while his left wrapped around Jake and Anna, pulling them closer to him. While pulling Dave’s heart out of his body, Evan took his gaping maw and c;amped down on the area between Anna’s neck and shoulder, and took 3 bites, working his way down to her heart and spitting the rest out. He maneuvered his mouth into her mangled body and ripped out her heart with his jagged teeth, cutting through it as he threw it back down his throat.
He then took Dave’s heart, which had been resting in his right hand, and brought it to his mouth, chewing it instead of swallowing it whole. Finally, it was time for Jake. Evan took his right hand and wrapped it firmly around Jake’s face, using his left to create a bind around his victim’s feet. He then pulled in opposite directions, the end result being Jake torn in half at the midsection. Evan discarded the bottom half and slithered his hand up the top section for Jake’s heart, which he found with ease.
After consuming Jake’s heart, Evan finally stuck his head above the water. He noted all the people, or moreso, their beating hearts, which now that he was out of the water, he could hear almost as if they were amplified, and decided to swim under the water to get everyone he could before trying his hand attacking on land.
He whisked through the water, taking victim after victim very cleanly and quietly, doing all his damage underneath the surface, consuming human hearts and any bits of human bone and flesh that got the way of them. It didn’t take long for people to notice their friends and loved ones disappearing underwater, and soon panic ensued. It was at this point that the monster formerly known as Evan decided to take his rampage to land.
Using his long limbs, he pushed himself off the floor of the lake and emerged from the water in a jump that easily cleared 10 feet above the surface. People were horrified at this…this thing they were seeing. Its limbs were long and thin, much like a Daddy Long Legs spider, and its head was twice the length of a normal human cranium due to the gaping black hole within its unhinged jaw, the path to which was only interrupted by three rows of hideous, sharp teeth.
Evan’s long arms and legs took him to the shore, where he used them to his advantage in scooping up people that were trying to run away from him. As quick and efficient as he was in the water, he was twice as vicious on land. He used his razor-sharp fingernails to rip his targets apart and seize their hearts from their chests, sometimes quick enough to consume them while they were letting out their final beats. In mere seconds, mild-mannered Evan had turned from a calm, peaceful student on a camping trip to some kind of monster one could only conceive in their nightmares.
After he was done ravaging the small beach, he began using his long limbs to traverse the trail back to the campgrounds, stopping on the way only to tear unsuspecting groups of campers apart and feast on their hearts. This continued for nearly 30 minutes, until Evan started feeling his limbs tighten. He suddenly wasn’t able to run as fast as he just had been, and his vision returned to normal, instead of the hyper focused, red tinted shade he had over them before.
Evan quickly made his way back to his campsite, but blacked out before he reached his destination. When he came to, he found himself in his tent once again, only now with his clothes tattered and torn, but his limbs and face back to their normal states. He sat up and looked around, wondering if it was all just a bad dream. That’s when he exited his tent and realized he was alone. He realized the condition of his clothes, including the fact that they were soaked in blood. He looked around but couldn’t see anybody near him, but noticed a blood trail leading to their campsite.
Evan considered trying to hide the evidence, but knew deep inside him that the monster was just waiting to come back out. He changed clothes and waited a bit before walking down the trail towards the parking area. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks. He smelled that same dull metal smell in the air getting stronger as he approached the lot. He fought the urge to go towards it.
Then he felt his forearms and calves begin to twitch.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Series