When I Killed It the first time, I thought it was over. It bled, the ground was stained, the chore had just begun.
When I killed It the third time I knew that it might never be over.
It was never really fast. The first time I saw It I was lazily tending to my garden. My nearest neighbor is a mile away, so it was strange to see a figure on my property. I can never remember Its face. It stood out at the edge of my property, just outside the grove of trees, and It stared at me. I waved at It, thinking It was human, thinking It would respond. It went back into the woods.
Getting the police that far out into the country is just not practical. It isn’t something you do unless your own gun doesn’t solve anything. So I kept watch, and kept my shotgun loaded. Apparently, It kept watch too.
I live alone, if you don’t count the four dogs and chicken. I don’t. I went about my business, waving the event away as some lost hiker, or some kid that came to the mountains to drop acid. It happens more than you think. I went back to work. Let the crisp mountain air sooth my spirit. When I looked back up, It was closer.
It was close enough that I could see Its features.
It wore clothing, It looked human. Until you saw that Its neck was too long, until you saw that Its limbs were too skinny. Until you saw the face that you can never remember. I turned around, ran into my house and grabbed my shotgun. By the time I was back out It was back at the edge of the woods.
So I killed It.
I followed It out and unloaded my shotgun into It. It bled, the ground was stained. It died.
I told nobody. What would I tell them?
I woke the next morning to see It back on Its feet. Unharmed. Halfway across my property. That much closer to my house. Rinse, wash, repeat. This time I buried It. That took most of the day.
It had sabotaged my car sometime after I killed It the first time and sometime after I killed It the second. I was stranded.
I locked my doors.
It didn’t matter.
That morning I woke with It reaching for my neck. It froze the moment I opened my eyes. It didn’t move. It said nothing. I attacked It. Killed It. Burned It.
It had torn my shotgun in half while I slept. It had taken my kitchen knives.
Now, as I sit on my porch, hoping to god that coffee is all I will need to stay awake, I watch the woods. I see It, out on the edge of the grove, looking at me. Waiting for me to look away. Every time I blink, It is an inch closer. Every time I look away for even a second, It takes a step forward. It knows that It will win. It is patient.
…I’m starting to wonder if I can do the job faster than It can.
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