The Demon's Hound

John, an old combat veteran, received a letter from an old Army buddy, who said that he should gather his closest friends for an adventure into mining topaz in Alaska with him. He said that a large deposit was found and he needed help to get the gem out of the mines into the general public. It sounded like a very lucrative offer, so he asked a few of his closest friends if they would be interested in doing some mining for profit. The job offered minimum wage with a percentage of the output if they would help. Since most of them had low paying jobs with little hope for advancements, they jumped at the idea of getting a percentage of the profits. One of them, Toby, was an experienced cutter and saw a way to increase their profits by cutting the gems as they were brought up. Thomas loved the idea and said that he would give him the job if he really wanted it. Everyone was thrilled at the idea and started to celebrate at the local bar.

Each of the five guys was a strong, able fellow with a good head on his shoulders and a love of hard work and play. Only two of them, John and Toby, were married men. The other three didn’t have a care in the world. Susan, John’s wife, was good with book keeping and Karen, Toby’s wife, could do the cooking for everyone. Everyone had a job to do and things were really looking up.

The party and plans were over heard by an old man who had lived in the wilderness of British Columbia. He couldn’t help but listen to the loud noise from their table and decided to interrupt them. He told them of the dangers of flying over the mountains of his native lands and about the demon that hid there. It was said that the demon was a hunger that wouldn’t die, wouldn’t sleep and would keep coming until they were all dead. None of the locals would ever travel alone and unarmed for fear that they too would fall victim to this dreaded beast.

His story made them all silent for a little while and then Mike spoke up and said that this old man was just talking to scare us away from going to Alaska and becoming rich. After all, who would be insane enough to believe in supernatural beings swallowing up people in this day and age? Such stories were best suited to scare children, not grown men. John broke in and said, “There is one thing we should prepare for on our journey and that is supplies and rifles just in case we do get stranded in the wilderness. I would say a three day supply of food and at least twenty rounds a piece should do. We would need it for hunting until we can get to a town if it should come to that. If not than we could use them at the camp for our recreation.”

“I’ll bring a thirty odd six just in case we should run across Boo Boo,” Bob said.

“Which one,” Jimmy asked. “The old man’s creature or Yogi’s side kick?”

“Maybe I should bring an extra box of rounds for Yogi and his cousins,” Bob chuckled.

The old man snarled and went about his business as the others laughed him to scorn. “I warned ’em,” he said to himself.

The next few days were spent packing and preparing for the trip. They had agreed that most of their belongings should be sent off ahead of them while they took just what they would need in Bob’s twin engine plane. Thomas had agreed to pick up their belongings and place them in their cabins by the time they arrived. Finally they were all packed and ready to go.

The next morning they all gathered together for one last breakfast in town before setting off. Everyone was in high spirits with dreams of becoming rich. They talked and laughed about how they would spend their money. John and Toby were very practical with investing their funds into property and savings for their families while Bob, Jimmy and Mike dreamt of wild parties and lots of women. Susan and Karen just laughed and said, “Children must play, but they will grow up soon.”

After breakfast they headed on down to the plane and started out on their journey. John sat in the copilot’s seat with Bob at the helm. Karen and Susan were right behind them with the others towards the back. Everyone’s excitement grew as they entered the clouds. Mike broke out the champagne and handed everyone a glass. “Let’s toast to a new beginning,” he shouted. Cheers and laughter filled the plane as they ventured onward.

A couple of hours later, Bob noticed that they were heading into a storm. Bob didn’t like what he saw as it was supposed to be clear weather ahead. He looked over at John and said, “It looks like a bad storm up ahead. I may need your help to get through this.”

John looked back over at him and said, “Ok Bob! Just let me know what you need done.”

The turbulence started picking up and both Bob and John worked together to keep the plane as steady as possible. The gauges were useless so they didn’t know where they were for the time. They just went at best guess for direction. Suddenly, lightening hit one of the prop engines and started spluttering. Soon it became apparent that they needed to land before they ended up against one of the mountain peaks. They dropped below the ceiling and a small clearing was spotted, so they headed towards it. Everyone braced for a rough landing. As they landed, the craft jumped violently until it came to a stop.

Outside of a few bumps and bruises, everyone seemed alright. The storm had passed almost as quickly as it appeared, so they got out to assess the damage. Bob climbed up to check out the engine while John and Toby looked for other problems. Susan and Karen got out the food supplies, while Mike and Jimmy gathered up some wood.

By time the food was ready, Bob climbed back down and told them that the engine was almost shot, but thought that he had enough spare parts to get it running for a short while. They could stay in the air long enough to get to an airport, but they needed to smooth out a pathway to get airborne. With both engines running they had just enough room to clear the trees if they could have a relatively smooth access. The girls said that they didn’t mind helping Bob with his chores, but the guys would have to do the hard work of clearing a path.

After the snickering and razzing were done, Bob said, “Well it’s for sure we can’t get anything done tonight. It’ll be dark soon so we’ll just get to it in the morning. I suggest we all sleep in the plane tonight. It’s way too wet out here and nobody brought tents to sleep in.”

“Well I had prepared us with a bottle of rum,” Mike said. “At least we can party a little while we are here.”

“Wait to go, MIKE!” Jimmy shouted. “Let the party begin!”

John went to the cargo bay and brought out his 44 Auto mag. He thought it was best to be prepared in case a wild animal would get brave enough to attack them. Bob thought it was wise to also bring out his thirty odd six so he could reach out and touch it from a distance. “Never know what might be out there,” Bob said. “May be Boo Boo or that creature the old man spoke of.”

Darkness fell and everyone was feeling pretty good from the rum, yet there was a certain uneasiness that everyone felt, but couldn’t figure out why. John was the first to speak up and asked; “Do you guys noticed anything funny?”
“Yes,” Toby replied, “but I can’t place it.”

“Maybe it’s the creature,” Mike chuckled. “I think the old man’s story is beginning to get to you guys.”

Karen spoke up and said, “I noticed that there aren’t any mosquitoes in the air. We should have been eaten alive.”

“Listen!” John motioned. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Susan asked. “I don’t hear anything.”

“That’s just it,” John replied. “Not even a cricket chirping.”

Just then the air got still and John said, “I think we need to get into the plane NOW!”

“Hey you guys,” Jimmy retorted. “I think your imaginations are running wild. There’s no danger and the old man’s story is not real.”

Suddenly a bloodcurdling roar sounded not far away. Everyone scrambled towards the craft as fast as they could. John’s pistol was out and ready while they all got inside. Then he entered and shut the door behind him.

“What the hell was that?” Toby cried.

“I don’t know,” Jimmy replied. “Could be a griz’.”
“I left my rifle out by the fire,” Bob said.

“Do you want to go get it?” John asked sarcastically.

“No,” Bob replied. “I think it will keep ’til morning.”

It roared again and came closer. John went up to the cockpit to look around, Toby followed. Not far from the fire John could see a figure standing upright with a pair of red, glowing eyes staring at him.

“Ah shit!” John screamed. “Look!”

Everyone scrambled to look outside. “What is it?” Susan asked.

“Hell if I know,” John replied. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

It was about seven foot tall with the head like a bear and a body like a wolf. Within seconds it ran over to the plane roaring and then pounded on the side of the plane. It hit so hard that the whole craft shook violently. The girls screamed uncontrollably as the guys braced themselves from the shock. It kept up the pounding for a few minutes then stopped and dead silence filled the air.
Fifteen minutes passed by and Susan asked, “Do you think it’s gone?”

“I don’t know,” John replied. “I can’t see anything out here, but that doesn’t mean anything.”

“Damn, I gotta pee badly,” Karen said.

“You can go out there and see if that creature is still there,” Jimmy said.

“Fuck you!” Karen retorted.

“I made a small potty in the cargo hold in case someone couldn’t wait on the trip,” Bob said.

“Ah you’re an angel,” Karen said. “Come with me Toby. I don’t want to be alone in case that thing comes back.”

“I have a 44 Mag revolver in my suitcase you can use,” John said.

“Just don’t put holes in my plane,” Bob demanded. “It’s hard enough to fix as it is.”

A couple of minutes later, the roaring started again and the craft started vibrating from the pounding. Slowly the plane started moving around in a circle. “Whatever it is, it’s a strong bastard,” Bob said. “I hope it doesn’t destroy my plane.”

Susan curled up to John and asked in a low voice, “Are we going to die?”

“Not on my watch,” John replied with a smile. “We’ll be alright in the morning and we’ll be able to get things underway before night falls again.”

Silence filled the air once more and Bob finally remembered the radio. “Let’s see if anyone can hear us” Bob said. “In all this excitement I forgot we had communications. If we can’t get this bucket of bolts together, maybe we can get help.”

“May Day, May Day. This is Ramjet. Over.” Bob said.

“Ramjet?” John questioned.

“Hey, I liked the series when I was a kid.” Bob replied. “May Day, May Day. Can anyone copy? Over.”

“Ah, roger Ramjet. We copy four by. What’s your 10/20? Over.”

“Unknown at this time,” Bob said. “We have seven scared people here and a creature of unknown origins. Over.”

“Roger Ramjet. This is Corse Air Mobile. It wouldn’t happen to be a large mammal with red eyes and looks like a cross between a bear and wolf does it? Over.” the voice said, chuckling.

“Roger that, Corse Air Mobile. How’d you know? Over” Bob asked.

Dead silence for a short brake, then; “Ramjet. We’ll have someone in your area in three hours. Do not, I repeat, do not exit the craft. Do you copy? Over.” the voice said.

“Roger that, Corse Air Mobile. What is it? Over.” Bob asked.

“No one knows Ramjet. Do you have weapons? Over.” the voice asked.

“Roger that, Corse Air Mobile. We have two rifles, two pistols and a shotgun with about twenty rounds apiece. Over.” Bob said.

“Roger that Ramjet. When the creature breeches the hull, go for the eyes. It will chase it off for a spell. Do you copy that? Over.” the voice said.

“Roger that, Corse Air Mobile. Won’t that kill it? Over.” Bob asked.

“Negative Ramjet. You can’t kill it and it always comes back, so stay sharp. Over” the voice said.

Suddenly the roars sounded off again and the pounding started up. The plane started going in circles, first one way then the other. Each thrash sounded like it was coming through the hull. Fear gripped everyone until it stopped again and dead silence. Mike got the weapons and ammo and loaded up ready to shoot.

Time and again the creature returned to try and get in. Each time they could hear the hull buckling a little more. Suddenly the creature returned again and the hull was finally breeched. Everyone opened fire on the creature, aiming for the eyes and a painful screech sounded and then silence once more. “They should be here any minute,” John said. “The three hours are about up. I can see the sun beginning to rise.”

“God, I hope they get here before that thing shows up again,” Karen cried. “It won’t take that thing long to get us.”

Suddenly they heard footsteps on the roof and then the window to the cockpit broke. Bob wasn’t fast enough to get out of its way and was grabbed by the creature. John stuck his pistol through the window and fired off a couple of rounds, sending the creature wailing away. Bob’s shoulder and back were gouged deeply and had to be treated right away. Susan cut away his shirt and started bandaging his wounds. “It’s learning!” John said.

The bloodcurdling roars kept sounding off and the attacks became more and more frequent. Soon they were down to two rounds apiece. Finally a voice came over the radio; “Ramjet, this is Ranger One. Do you copy? Over.”

John grabbed the mike and said, “Roger, Ranger One. This is Ramjet. Over.”

“Roger Ramjet. We need a flare to pinpoint you. Over.” the voice said.

“Roger, Range One. Sending flare. Over.” John said. He sticks the pistol out the window and fires the flare.

“Ramjet. We spotted your flare and are heading in your direction. Can you set fire to something for us to see you? Over.” the voice asked.

“Roger, Ranger One. We’ll have a small fire shortly. Over.” John said. “Let’s put some gas into the rum bottle with a burning rag and toss it out the hole. We can shoot the bottle and get a small fire going.”

Mike stepped up and said; “I’ll do that. Just keep that thing off of me.”

Just as Mike was finished with the bottle, the creature showed back up and tried to enter through the opening in the back. Mike stepped back while the other two guys emptied their weapons into the creature. It ran back wailing and Mike threw the bottle out and then shot at it. The first shot missed the bottle and he took special care with the second and last shot available. It hit and shot a flame into the sky.

Soon the choppers closed in and landed with machine guns readied. John and Toby carried Bob while the others ran to the choppers. Just as they were about to reach the choppers, the creature showed up again. The door gunners started firing, but the creature kept coming. John almost made it on when the creature grabbed him and pulled him off. The door gunner kept firing until the creature had enough and ran away. Susan and Toby ran to help John onto the chopper and they flew off.

The crew master broke out the first aide kit and bandaged John up until they landed at the base. An ambulance was waiting for them and took John and Bob straight to the hospital. A couple of days later, Thomas and the others showed up to check on John and Bob. Everyone was happy to see that they made it through the rough spot and were on the mend. They now know better than to laugh at old men and their tales.

The Demon's Hound

JRGarland

Jefferson, United States

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Artist's Description

This was done for a contest I found. The winner gets $100. I had fun writing it and wanted to share it with all my friends here. Hope you enjoy it too.

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