The Thing


Aragorn could hear the distinctive noise of two knocks against his oak wood door. It was about 7:30 and the sun had just about gone down. Aragorn got out of his rocking chair. He walked over to the door and opened it, behind the door was Legolas. Legolas was the town sheriff, and Aragorn had called him down to his house to look at something in the woods behind his house.

"You wanted to show me something Aragorn?" Legolas said.
"Yeah yeah, c'mon I'll show ya. Pumpkin juice?" he asked as Legolas walked into the house.

"Nah, Gertrudes been a askin' me to cut back lately, you know women..." he replied solemnly. "Now what is this all about? I got off work an hour ago and I'm hungry Aragorn, so could we get this going?"

Aragorn nodded and made an arm gesture to signal to head towards the back porch. "C'mon, it's just back here, caught it back a couple weeks ago, didn't think much of it at first until m'dog Scruff went missing a few days back. Searched up and down those woods and didn't find much except for his collar. I'm real worried Legolas, and I think you should see this." They were now outside, the cool night air blowing against their faces. Directly behind Aragorn's house lead into the woods so they wouldn't be too far from his house. Twigs snapped constantly as they walked further into the woods. Until they reached it.

"There they are, measured 'em myself, 14 inches long." Legolas looked down at what looked like huge footprints. He scratched his head and sighed.

"Good god Aragorn why didn't you tell me about this before?" he said kneeling down to get a closer look at the tracks. "Hell these almost look human excluding the gigantic size. How many days ago did you say you found these?"

"Well I was taking a walk out here, and I saw several of these leading to various trees and figured they were just bears, but after taking a few closer looks like you said they do almost look human. Maybe some guy in town you figure?"

Aragorn gazed into the track with such intensity, his eyes narrow and focused. He shook his head, "Shucks I ain't never seen or even heard of any man with a 14 inch foot size. What we have here maybe something other then human, an animal or something of that sort. And where did you find Scruff's collar?"

Aragorn pointed his finger to the left of where they were standing, "Twenty or so feet back from this here spot. The tracks over here lead up to it, c'mon I'll show you."

They began walking towards the collar. It was beginning to grow darker and darker and hard to see. Leaves ruffled and branches snapped as they kept walking. "Aragorn, now c'mon, it's been a good forty feet and these tracks ain't leadin' us to nothin'."

Both of them were out of breath. Aragorn didn't know where the collar had gone, it was there just the other day. "I just don't get it Legolas, I remember it bein' here yesterday I couldn't imagine where it's gone to. Ya s'pose something snagged it like a 'coon or some kind a squirrel?"

Legolas sniffed in the night air and shook his head, "No...I'm pretty sure you and I aren't alone in these here woods..."

"Yeah..."

"I think it'd be wise to meet back up in the mornin'. Gertrude's probably worryin' as it is, and it's gettin' late. Let's start to head back, I'm sure the collar Legolas turn up sooner or later," he said quietly as the wind blew in a slow but frequent wave.

They started back towards the house as Legolas pulled out the arrow from his Sack. There was little visibility in the woods and they were having trouble finding their way back. Aragorn was guiding the way while Legolas provided the protection. Everything was fine until Aragorn heard the arrow drop and hit the ground. He looked back at Legolas, only Legolas wasn't there anymore. Just the arrow light that had been dropped. "...Legolas?" Aragorn asked in a low tone. And that was when everything shut down. The birds quit chirping, the owls quit hooting, and the crickets quit cricketing. Everything went silent. He repeated himself, "Legolas?"

Aragorn picked the arrow. His hands were shaking as he looked around the woods, and that was when he caught a glimpse of something far off, something big.

"Legolas! Legolas!" he screamed as his voice echoed throughout the woods. His screams were followed by a distant howling noise, it sounded nothing like a wolf, it was such a unique howl, like nothing Aragorn had ever heard before. He began to walk opposite of where the howl had come from. He began to walk fast, very fast. That was when another howl became audible within the forest, this time closer. Something was coming for Aragorn.

He was now to the point of running now as his legs worked as fast as they could. He wanted to scream but he wouldn't let himself. Fear was running throughout his veins as something in the woods chased after him, and at a very fast rate. This thing wasn't only big, it was agile also. And then Aragorn stopped, pausing to listen for the creature. He was even more frightened now, for the sounds of something approaching had ceased and everything was silent once more. He circled the woods looking for something, any thing.

Aragorn felt it... I'm being watched he thought to himself. And that was when something big fell from one of the tree branches above him and grabbed Aragorn snapping his neck like a tooth pick with its large hands. He dropped the arrow and made a horrid groan that lasted a mere five seconds before dying. And so the night grew colder, as the entity from within the woods headed for its next destination...the shire.

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