You find online what you believe to be a story about how there are things out there. Things that can look like anything, be anywhere, and that prey on humans. There isn't much detail on what they look like or what they can do, but it's almost Halloween and it's just a story. It isn't like there's any harm to reading it.
His gasping breaths echoed in the cool night air. His worn shoes slapped the wet pavement as he ran. Looking over his shoulder proved to be a near fatal mistake as he stumbled over some of the refuse laying in the alley and almost fell.
He staggered out to the street and, as luck would have it, a taxi was idling nearby. Running over, he startled the driver when he slapped a hand on the window.
"I need to get out of here!"
The cabbie blinked a couple times, shrugged, and gestured the man in. It was late and he was taking a cigarette break, but if the guy was in such a hurry, he'd put up with it. Might even pay extra. "Where to?"
"The overpass near Fifth street."
It was only minutes later that they arrived. The driver turned toward the man. "Alright. Twelve fifty."
"Sure, sure," the man responded, nodding and leaning forward to reach for his wallet. "Say, what do you think about those bodies that have been found in the area?"
"I think it's something I don't need to worry about." Figures. Another one of those weirdos.
The man smirked. "I think it is," he said, voice dropping into a gravelly tone. His arm snapped forward, wrapping around the cabbie's neck.
The driver struggled, tugging at the arm cutting off his air. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the inhumanly sharp teeth bared in a wide grin. His scream was cut off as the teeth tore out his throat.
The officer sighed, stretching out his neck and shoulders. Just past noon and already he was longing for home and the cold beer waiting in the fridge. He could just about taste the meatloaf his wife had said she was going to make tonight and hear the kids laughing over his re-run baseball game.
"Excuse me! Officer!"
But that was still a few hours away. He pasted a polite smile on his face as he turned, taking in the small woman making her way to him. His smile turned more genuine when he saw the shawl wrapped around the older woman, reminding him of his own grandmother.
"Yes, ma'am? Do you need help?"
"Yes officer. I heard screaming earlier."
His attention focused on her, serious now. "Where?" he demanded, hand dropping to his pistol.
She turned, lifting an unsteady hand to point at an alley; one of those dirty ones that was cluttered with garbage and was nearly impossible to see down from the street.
"Stay here," he ordered, drawing his gun as he moved across the street. He peered cautiously around the dumpster angled against the building to the right. Seeing a splash of old blood that nearly blended into the brick, he reached up to use his shoulder radio.
A sound from behind startled him around, gun raised to shoot. The old woman was stood in front of him and made him lower his gun again.
"Ma'am, I need you to go back over to the street."
She nodded absently, peering around him. "My, isn't that a mess?"
The officer frowned, hands tightening around his gun. "Ma'am, please go back. Now."
She smiled gently, lowering her hand from where it was holding her shawl about her.
He followed the motion, blinking in quiet shock when he realized that she didn't have hands as such. They were twisted and claw-like with long yellowed talons. His eyes flew up to her face and he saw her teeth grow long and needle like before she was on him, knife sharp nails digging into his stomach.
The two bullets he managed to hit her with didn't seem to do anything more than irritate her. Her weight drug him to the ground where she began to tear at him in earnest, his screams little more than a counterpoint to the blood splashing over the walls and garbage.
The little girl sat on the swings, crying softly. Those boys were just big meanies, picking on her like that. It wasn't her fault that she couldn't run as fast or as long as most kids. It was the asthma that the doctor told her mama and daddy she had.
"Are you okay?" a voice asked, warm and gentle, unlike those boys.
She looked up, big eyes full of tears, to see a young couple. The lady was pretty like her mama and the man looked nice like her daddy. She sniffled and nodded.
"Why are you out here all alone?" The man asked. "It's getting dark, you should be home."
The girl looked around then shrugged. "Billy and his friends were picking on me after school so I ran away. I don't know where I am," she answered softly.
The adults exchanged looks then the lady smiled. "Why don't we take you home then? Where do you live?"
The girl looked at them, tears fairly well gone, and said primly. "Mama and daddy said I should never go anywhere with strangers."
"That's true," the man said. "But I bet they also said that if you need help, you can ask a policeman, fireman, or doctor, right?"
She nodded warily.
"Well, my wife is a nurse, that's pretty close to being a doctor."
The little girl thought for a bit then nodded. "I live on Charles Street," she said, sliding off the swing and accepting the woman's hand.
"That isn't far from here at all. I bet you just got turned around," she said, smiling down at the girl.
The girl happily walked between them for a couple of blocks when the man suddenly grabbed her and carried her into an alley.
"I'm hungry now," he snapped at the woman, cutting her protests off. "I don't want to wait." He grinned down at the girl, revealing sharp teeth.
Wide eyes turned to the woman, who brushed the girl's hair out of her face with sharp claws, leaving light scratches over her forehead. "She's such a pretty one. We should leave her face alone, give her parents something to look at when they bury her," she whispered, an odd hissing quality to her voice because of her own long teeth.
The man's laughter mingled with the girl's scream before he reached out and casually broke her neck.
You hear something behind you, drawing your attention from your computer screen. You turn, curious, and see a blond child.
"Hello," he says pleasantly, smiling, and you see the teeth descend.