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Howl

A myth submitted to the site by Jay Mint


“Oh for goodness sake!” Timothy looked at the decreasing number of energy bars on the screen of his phone. Not that it mattered; he wouldn’t have been able to get any reception out there anyway. Not on the moors. Timothy was now stuck on the narrow road that weaved its way through the moorland. Miles from anywhere with no food, shelter, phone signal or idea where he was going, ‘It’s like a setting for a horror movie’ He thought to himself, laughing nervously.

He thought about hitching a ride then soon forgot about it. Who was going to drive along this road? He decided that he would follow it until he found an Inn or cheap hotel that he could stay at for the night. As he began to walk he wondered why on earth he had gone for a walk on Exmoor, especially today with the thick layer of fog that had started to drift over the hills. He wasn’t an experienced walker and he didn’t really know his way around the moorland.

Timothy had come to Exmoor for a relaxing holiday. In 5 Star Hotel he had booked for himself, there was an info desk telling him about the local walking routes he was able to take. And, forever being the explorer, he decided to take the longest most difficult route. He was deeply regretting it as he walked against the painful blisters that had formed in between his toes; now that he looked back on it perhaps flip flops weren’t the best shoes for hiking. Perhaps when he was able to get some reception he could call mountain rescue? No, he didn’t want to be seen as one of those idiots who climbed Mount Everest in jeans and a t-shirt.

As he walked he heard the distant rumble of a motorbike coming from far off but in his direction, it became louder and louder until eventually the dark outline of the bike could be seen. When the biker saw Timothy it slowed to a walking pace and then stopped altogether, the biker got off the vehicle in a smooth fashion and took of its helmet. A long mane of shaggy blonde hair fell from the helmet to expose the face of a chubby weather-beaten looking man who surveyed Timothy with a pair of deep set beetle black eyes. “Hello,” said Timothy extending his hand towards the biker. The man looked at it and grunted, taking it reluctantly. His grip was so strong he almost broke Timothy’s fingers; indeed, Timothy had to stifle a cry of pain.
“I don’t know if you could help me at all? It’s just I came out for a walk and I got lost in the fog, could you tell me where the nearest town is?”
The biker looked him up and down. “Why are you wearing flip flops?”
Timothy was taken aback by the question.
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“Only an idiot would come out here in flip flops.”
“Look can you just tell me where the nearest town is?” The biker’s face remained expressionless, there was a long pause and then- “You’re a long way off; the nearest town is about 6 miles from here.” Timothy felt his stomach clench.
“Oh great!” He muttered under his breath. “Would you be able to give me a ride?” he asked helplessly.
“No.” The biker replied, his face expressionless, his voice was monotone. There was another awkward pause. “Why not?” Timothy said, he could hear the aggression in his own voice.
“I’m running low on gas as it is, I can’t have any extra weight on this old thing.” Said the biker; kicking his vehicle.
“Then why did you pull over? Are you thick? Is that it?”
The biker took a long, long time to reply. For a moment, timothy thought he was about to be punched round the face until the stranger said. “Be careful when it gets dark on the moor, ok?” Timothy could hear a note of urgency in his voice. “Stay on the road, keep quiet and don’t switch on a torch. Not even to light your way, all right?”
“Get lost! What is this, a wind up? Get out of here you fool!” Timothy was enraged, how dare this fat moron tell him such lies!
“Don’t say you weren’t warned.” Said the biker; putting on his helmet and getting on to his bike. “Don’t say you weren’t warned.” And with those last few words echoing around Timothy’s head, he sped off into the fog, leaving a menagerie of twisted shapes behind him.

Timothy just stood there dumbly for about a minute and then pulled himself together. “Rubbish,” he told himself, “All a load of rubbish!” He found himself saying the words out loud. What had the biker meant by- “Be careful,”? He hadn’t believed a word of it but the encounter had shaken him, badly.

He began to walk once more and as it got dark he whistled to himself, he reached into his pocket and took out a miniature torch. The biker had said for him not to use a torch, not even to light his way. Timothy even thought about putting the torch back in his pocket, but then he told himself that the biker had been a weird old man with nothing better to do but creep out tourists. He flicked it on and a small beam of light illuminated the road. What was the other thing the biker said? Keep quiet? Well he was going to whistle all he wanted and flash his torch all he wanted. He even started to wander off the road. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea he thought to himself as he trekked uphill, his feet becoming increasingly cold and muddy.

As the first tear formed in his eye as he realised he was completely lost and alone he heard the most peculiar noise he had ever heard in his lifetime. It was a cross between a dog barking and a human moan, it became increasingly louder until the final noise was the deep howl of a... wolf? “It’s the wind!” He said aloud “Just the wind, the wind never hurt ANYBODY!” He yelled the last word and the howling immediately ceased, the air seemed to thicken and tighten. Timothy was now prepared to admit it, he was terrified. He had soiled himself but he didn’t care, all he wanted to do was go back to the hotel. Timothy heard a low growling noise very close to him, to close. He would have judged it as around 10 feet away from him; he immediately began to sprint in the opposite direction. He heard the piercing howl start up behind him; it followed him and slowly came closer and closer. Timothy dropped his torch, He couldn’t see a thing! He kicked off his flip flops and gained speed. Tears flowed from his eyes thick and fast, he was going to die! The... thing behind him was about a meter away now! He could feel its hot breath on the back of his neck, it must’ve been huge! Timothy knew it was going to outrun him, he could hear its pace compared to his. His running was like a gentle trot for this creature, Timothy let out a piercing scream as he felt something long and jagged sink into his leg, he fell to the ground and screamed in agony. The pain was horrific; he just wanted it to end...

By Jay Mint
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