XVII – The Doctor

“Devious creatures, aren’t they?” came a familiar voice from behind the doctor.

The doctor didn’t have to look to see who it was.

“What are they doing here, Archibal?”

“Staking their claim,” Archibal said.

“I’ve never see so many of them,” said the doctor. “I know have seen them before.”

“Do you remember where?”

“During the war. I never thought I’d see them again.¬†What are they?”

“A badersnatch,” Archibal was unfazed by the question. “The most vicious creature anyone can envision. They are warped by time. I, myself, find them as mysterious as their presence. There was once a story told that you could see them on the mountains of Montenegro. Against the moonlight, their silhouette was as grotesque as anyone could imagine they’d be. They were neither human nor creatures of this world. That they came from the depths of hell created by the devil himself. They detest the light which any creatures of evil do. Hiding is part of their stratagem. It’s a way to lure you outside… How many did you see?”

“Eight, I believe,” said the doctor.

“There are probably more hidden in the shadows,’ said Archibal. “The greater their numbers the stronger they are.”

“Why would they be tormenting these people?”

“These are ancient grounds,” said Archibal. “The mountains of Montenegro aren’t too far from here. They probably roamed these grounds way before the humans did.”

“What can we do?”

“For now, wait until sunrise,” said Archibal. “They are cunning creatures. They will ruse their victims anyway they can. Be careful, Warwick.”

 Archibal faded away and the doctor was alone again.

XVI – The Doctor

John couldn’t see the werewolves from the windows. He looked through all of them, finally pausing at the window over the sink in the kitchen. The doctor was able to catch up to him. John was staring out intently, expecting to see their red eyes. He was disquieted.

“This isn’t the first time they do this,” John was obviously angry. “Vanish like this… As I said before, they never repeat their routine. Every night is different. We never know what is going to happen. It upsets my sister greatly when they simply disappear.”

“But it angers you,” the doctor found John’s anger curious.

“This isn’t the first time,” he said.

“It’s happened before?”

“Eight summers ago,” John said. “It was the year our mother had passed away. It happened exactly like this. They attacked the house then stopped. Our father had looked out the window and he didn’t see them. He thought they were gone… He went outside to be certain. He told us to stay inside and that he would return… We heard his gun go off and then he began to yell… We never saw him again… I wanted to help him, but he made me promise to protect my sister and never go outside no matter what. I had to protect Sarah, she was frightened… The next morning a few neighbors were able to help me search for him, but we never found his body… They never leave. They stay close by while they keep the gambit going. No amount of gunpowder kills them, not even fire. Only the light keeps them at bay”

“How long has this been occurring?” the doctor felt the man’s pain.

“Since I can remember,” he said. “Our father said they just one day appeared. He was sitting on the porch with mother when he saw these red eyes approaching. It hasn’t stopped since then. I’ll understand if you change your mind. Most people would.”

“I’m not like most people,” the doctor said.

“Sarah, wondered if you were scared,” John said. “She was upset with me when I sent you to the barn. I had to know.”

“Know what?”

“If you were scared. That is why people leave. That is why other doctors refused to come here,” John turned to face the doctor.

“I have to admit I was,” the doctor replied. “Are you?”

“You get use to it,” John said. “I know Sarah tries to hide it the best she can. We all do.”

“Why did you want to know if I got scared?” the doctor said.

“There is something about you,” John said. “Something different. You didn’t question me when I mentioned Dacia. People here really need a doctor. Fear keeps people away.. I’m going to see how Sarah is doing. She might be worried.”

John walked away leaving the doctor by himself in the kitchen. The doctor could heard John’s footsteps go up the stairs onto the second landing, ending in his sisters room. The doctor was by himself, still staring out the window expecting to see the red eyes of the creatures that stalked them.