The wind howled and the skies howled on the night of the new moon. Its light glowed eerily on the land before it, casting shadows on the ground. The air smelled of ozone and wet soil, with just a hint of pumpkin and copper.
Standing amid the grove of trees our story takes place in, a figure stood. A harsh smile lit upon his face. His tongue traced his teeth, perfectly white – a small chip on the bottom of one of his front teeth. His fingers were clasped together, a silver ring resting upon his thumb.
The figure was as still as death, and just as merciless. If someone had looked upon him in that moment they may have guessed that he was waiting for something – and they would have been right. But thankfully, no one was there to gaze upon this man – if you could even call him that.
As the moon reached its peak, his smile hardened. It was time. At last. He had waited nearly 20 years for the full moon to finally rise once more on All Hallow’s Eve. The time had felt long, but he had waited. And now? Now, he would be rewarded for his patience – and on such a good year, as well.
And with the thought, he swept away into the night, the shadows seeming to cling to him, as if they were a young child looking for attention from their father. He paid them no mind, paid the landscape around him no mind. For any other, what may have taken hours instead took seconds, as he reached upon his destination. He was free! He was finally free from the grove that had held him in place for 20 years! But this year, this year was special.
For this was the year of 2020, and with the last All Hallows Eve moon having taken place 20 years ago, this would indeed be a good night. If you were to look up the number 20, most would say that there was no significance – especially not of a magical nature. But there was a reason the Mayans had based their number system on the number, just as there was a reason the Mayans had disappeared. His smile widened gruesomely as he thought of his proudest moment.
They had been wise to fear him – most no longer did. The city lights flickered in the valley before him. It was different from his time – had been for a while. But that just made it easier, didn’t it? After all, they no longer practiced the Old Ways. They no longer wore those masks in an attempt to scare off spirits, nor did they properly prepare their silly pumpkins. No, they were defenseless to him now. He was the predator and they they prey, but unlike a leopard and a gazelle, they had no chance for escape and no idea that an escape was needed. The thought disappointed him slightly, but only slightly.
The thrill of the hunt had been fun years ago, when humans still gave him a challenge, but alas. He drew in a deep breath, taking in the scent of warm flesh, taking in the sound of beating hearts and rising chests – it would be his pleasure to put an end to that.
And what a treat, that these humans felt it fit to offer their children up to him – why, they paraded them around like a walking buffet. He moved through the town with delight, not yet feeling the need to do anything. After all, he had all night, and sometimes the fear was just as delicious.
He watched as parents pulled their children slightly closer to them, as teenagers crossed the street to avoid him, how an infant burst into tears at sight of him. It was all so very… tasty. Feeling cheerful, he started humming. His voice rasped, like a razor scratching against a mirror.
Tonight was his night… And it was time to play.
Author’s Note: This is a piece of fiction, and I claim artistic license for any inaccurate claims in this work.