its pouring outside of the tent. the weather is not cold enough for it to turn to snow, but still colder than is comfortable. not that any time is comfortable. occasionally there will be a sunny enough day, and it'll find a warm enough rock that the creature doesn't consider itself freezing anymore, but its never warm. the only time it can be warm is when its eating, when it has hot struggling prey that oozes heat like it has too much. the creatures stomach growls angrily at it. how dare it think of food and have none to offer! but the creature is doing its best, it is hunting. it has been away from the main camp for five days looking for food, but to no avail. evidently nothing else likes the rain either. knowing the rain isn't going to let up and that its late morning outside, the creature slides out of its sleeping bag and rolls it up and puts it away in its backpack. it steps out of the tent and is greeted by the falling sky, pouring down on it, soaking through its thin jacket and plastering its long hair to its skull. the creature grumbles and zips the tent back up. it decides it will leave the tent set up and just return here tonight instead of trying to break the tent down in this weather only to set it up again later. the creature leaves its backpack in the tent and starts toward a human trail. its a long shot, but there may be someone crazy enough to brave the rain, and if there is, hopefully the creature will run across them. the creature is miserable and still tired, but its hunger drives it forward, towards the possibility of food. its been nearly half the day when the creature finally hears something. its hard, in the rain, to hear, smell, or see things, so whatever it is must be loud. at this point the creature doesn't care if its a squirrel, as long as it can be eaten. but as it gets closer the creature is able to make out words.
“i did not sign up for this! its cold, and rainy, and miserable, and we haven't seen anything exciting!” a man cries.
“oh shut up! he cant control the weather, and this is still beautiful. the wind is just singing!” a woman shouts back at him. well, not the wind, but the creature is singing.
another man is trudging in front of them, keeping an eye on their surroundings. “they say that these mountains are home to the fleischesser, a cannibal monster, and it sings to lure its prey into traps.” he calls back to the first two.
“well thats just stupid.” the man states. “theres no such thing.”
“maybe there is, and it only eats complainers like you!” the woman pokes at him. the man glares at her. “but listen to it, rick! isn't it beautiful?” she insists.
“oh yeah, the wind sure can sing, should put it on american idol.” the man grumbles.
“youre just grumpy because you didn't pack enough socks. oh, the singing stopped.” the creature stops singing, trying to get a read on the group. the female would be the easiest to catch, as she responds to his songs, but the two men pose a problem. one of them knows about the creature and its tricks, the other is simply too stubborn to be lured away by something so insubstantial as something singing in the wind. the creature considers. it only needs one of them for itself, but all three could feed its whole family.
it is wet, and cold, and grey, and awful, and rick doesn't want to be here. his girlfriend roped into doing this 'mountain tour’ and it has just been dreadful. rick decides he hates cold, and he hates snow, and he hates rain, and he hates their superstitious tour guide that tells stories of monsters hidden around every corner. speaking of him, where'd he go?
“hey, olivia, wheres our guide?” he calls out to his girlfriend.
“he's right, oh. he's not there. he was right-oh my god.” she stops and her hands cover her mouth,
“what?!" rick jogs up to her and looks down at what she’s staring at. “oh my god.” their guide is laying on his back in the snow, his neck at an odd angle. “fuck, what the hell happened.” he looks toward his girlfriend but she's disappeared as well. “olivia!” he calls out.
“rick!”he hears her scream. how'd she get so far away?
“olivia! where are you?” he yells out, starting toward her voice. he makes it a few yards but stumbles on something in the slush. rick looks down and screams. olivia is laying in the snow with a long slash across her throat, the ground around her stained a deep red. oh god. oh god oh god. olivia is dead, something killed her and their guide and now he's alone out here, and olivia is dead. rick falls to his knees next to his girlfriend and sobs. then he hears the singing again. its more substantial this time, closer, less like the wind, more like a person. or a fleischesser.
“please no, no.” he wails at the possible creature. the singing stops and rick lifts his head. standing before him is a young man with long hair covering his face, in a thin jacket and worn out jeans. the young man tilts his head.
“do you believe now? what was being told to you? have you learnt your lesson?” the man asks in a rough voice. then its voice changes, “did you like my singing? did you think it was beautiful like olivia did, rick?” now the creature sounds like olivia, how excited she was about the singing wind. rick sobs harder and clutches onto olivias jacket. the young man follows the movement with his eyes then looks back up at rick.
“why are you doing this?" rick wails. the man smiles.
"because im hungry rick, i haven't eaten in oh so long, wont you understand?” the man croons softly, no longer using olivias voice. rick shivers, the mans low voice sliding beneath his skin and raising goosebumps. “oh rick, are you cold?” the creature asks in a sickly sweet voice. rick closes his eyes and holds onto Olivia harder. he's going to die, out here in the snow and the rain, and he doesn't want to see it, cant stand to see it. he feels a hand pointed with claws run over his head and down his neck to rest on his shoulder. the hand unzips the jacket he's wearing and peels it slowly off his body. oh god is this monster going to…he’s so caught up in thinking he may be raped by the monster he's not expecting the razor sharp teeth that suddenly sink into his shoulder. he screams and the creature whose teeth are embedded in his shoulder purrs. then more pain as rick can feel the flesh on his shoulder rip apart until theres just a gaping hole and the sound of chewing next to his ear. oh god the thing is eating him. its eating him alive and rick cant just sit here and let it happen! despite the agonizing pain in his shoulder rick opens his eyes and stands. the monster in the body of a man is snarling.
“i was trying to make this easy for you rick. sit back down and ill kill you quickly, stand and fight and you'll be alive the whole time i eat you.” it threatens.
“kill me quickly? what, like you killed olivia?” rick spits out.
“her death was near painless. your opportunity for such a death is slipping.” the monster snarls. rick screams and lunges toward the creature, going to tackle it. the monster dodges and swipes its claws across the back of ricks shoulders. rick cant help but scream as the claws slice open his skin and blood begins to trickle down his back. he falls to his knees and is kicked hard between his shoulder blades, sending him face first into the slush. his shoulders burn and the spot that the creature had bitten screams at him. then knees plant themselves on his lower back and he cries out, though its muffled by the watery snow he's pressed in.
"you lost your chance." the monster hisses, then pulls ricks shoulder up and bites again. he screams in terror and pain as again and again chunks of meat are torn from his shoulder and back. rick begins to slip in and out of awareness, the pain ebbing and flowing. he's vaguely aware that he's stopped screaming and feels the tugging at his body lessen. or maybe his feeling lessens. he's not sure he cares anymore. olivia is dead and he's being eaten and why should he care at this point? theres nothing he can do and he doesn't feel anything anymore anyway. ha, anything anymore anyway. any any any.
“goodbye rick.” goodbye? wheres he going? oh, he's going to sleep, sleep sounds nice. goodbye olivia. or hello.
the creature bids farewell to rick as he slips away and feasts on the mans body. sharp pointed teeth rip through the flesh and a greedy mouth swallows it. the creature eats and eats till its full to bursting, then pushes itself off the half eaten corpse and lays out in the snow. it has to rest for a while, give its stomach a chance to digest, before it can begin its journey back home. an hour later it gets to its feet and hikes back to its families camp. it gets there and its family is huddled in a tent, waiting for it.
“venerunt. ego cibum adprehendit.” [come. i found food] it rasps. the tent opens and its sisters tumble out, excited.
“cibus! cibus!” [food! food!] they call out, running about each other. the creature watches them with amusement and starts back toward the bodies once its parents has come out of the tent. its family follows it to the food and when they reach it its sisters all dive at olivia, ripping her apart. its parents share the tour guide and the creature manages to eat more of rick. one of its sisters leaves olivia to join the creature and together they finish him off, head smashed open to get to the brain and bones snapped so they could suck at the marrow. they fight over the heart but, being bigger and stronger, the creature wins and eats it in just a few bites. its sister hisses at it and goes back to eating whats left of the mans viscera.