This story is by Noah McKay and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Royle, a taller man with dark hair that he let hang to about his eye level, walked down the streets to his work. He was a sales representative for a company that sold inspirational tutorials. He looked at the familiar buildings as he went by. As he waited for the signal of the light across the street, he saw what looked like a wolf walking stoically down the street, the cars passing through it as if it were a hologram; but it wasn’t quite a wolf. Royle gasped. The people standing by glanced in his direction, then turned their attention back to the light. Why isn’t anybody else freaking out? He asked himself, This is a nightmare come true. He looked once more at the beast. He could not see it’s eyes, but, from what he saw, it looked to be five feet tall on all four legs and had fur that was pitch black, so black that the darkness seemed to leak from its fur. There was not a word to quite describe it, but it seemed like it’s essence was shifting. It was like it was made of oil and it was going through itself.
He leaned toward a fellow commuter and motioned towards the beast, “It’s almost beautiful.”
“What are you talking about?”
“That wolf thing over there,” he said as he pointed to it a second time.
The man he was talking to shook his head and walked away.
“Well sorry if I said something offensive,” Royle said under his breath.
He kept watching the beast as cars passed through it. With each step the beast struck, frost sprouted from the ground. The beast stopped mid step and turned its head toward him. It’s eyes somehow darker, deeper, and more captivating than the rest of its essence. They seemed to have a weight to them that pressed down on him like nothing else ever had. His body then felt frozen. Only one thought could pass through his mind: Run.
With effort, he turned from the beast and dashed down the sidewalks, pushing people aside as he went. He was no longer concerned about looking fresh for his job. He was simply hoping to arrive.
As he kept running, he saw more creatures of a similar state as the first come around corners. All based on different creatures, some not looking like any creature he had ever seen.
“What is happening?!” he looked up and saw what looked like what would happen if you put a drop of black ink in a cup of water, billowing horizontally across the sky. They seemed to be dark spirits. He ran faster.
Out of the ground in front of him came a beast that looked nearly human. He guessed he could pass through it so he kept running. When he reached it, however, everything stopped and the world turned black; he only knew his own thoughts.
Royle screamed silently, What is this?!
This is the realm from which we come from, came the reply. The thought richer and more soothing than any sound he had ever heard.
Royle’s interest spiked and he asked, Where did it come from?
Your wildest dreams.