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90 of 365

Part one here

In a flash, a green animal with red eyes emerged from the trees. Our jaws dropped as we stared at it approaching us slowly.

We were glued to the ground in shock. The animal agitated, at its space being encroached, made a loud screeching sound. I moved closer to Tim and held onto his hand. Somehow, running seemed a bad idea so we just continued to stare.

I could see its claws glow in the moonlight. It looked creepy and fascinating at the same time. The large animal edged towards us. It was on fours and took each step hesitantly. Either the animal was scared or it was preparing for an attack. A few seconds later, the animal had charged forward and grabbed a surprised Tim by his leg. Then, the monster galloped away. I was terrified to move or even scream. I just watched this beast run with Tim dragging along behind. I ran into our tent and dug around for my phone. I hurriedly called for police help from the neighbouring station. They said they couldn’t get there for a while and asked me to keep calm. Keep calm, at a time like this. They expected too much. The night air that was filled with Tim’s screams had turned silent. The green animal was gone. So was Tim. A few flattened leaves could be seen where the animal had entered from. The giant footprints of the animal near the clump of trees could be seen. The depth of the markings looked like it had waited for us to emerge, disarmed.

I contemplated going into the thicket after the animal. I couldn’t just wait. So I took the flashlight from the boot of our car and followed the animal. A fat tree branch was in my hand for protection. The animal looked fit enough to maul me and without backup, Tim and I would both be dinner. As I walked on for a while, there was no sign of Tim. There was also no sign of blood. So, I kept my hopes up. There were no other footprints of the animal to follow. It seemed it only left them when it stood a while. I walked deeper into the forest. Steadily the number of trees reduced till they opened up into a circular open space. Many trees had been cut and hence the breathing space. I sat down on a tree stump and stared at the moon. I was helpless and looking up gave me no solace. The moon looked gorgeous though. We would come out a lot early on in our marriage. I had loved the starry nights of the wilderness. My mind drifted into pleasant memories as the thought of the animal forced me back to reality. It moved fast and could be far away now. I was tired but I couldn’t give up. Not yet anyway.

The thought hadn’t finished crossing my mind, when I saw man and animal walking towards me. The glowing claws proved it was the animal. But the red eyes were lower than earlier. In fact, they weren’t on the head of the animal. The previously green animal had developed black hair on its head. Laughter broke the silence and my restlessness as two men emerged. One was Tim, the other a man in a green suit. My mouth dropped. I had been tricked.

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