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Within the Shadow by Evan Dixon
SUMMARY: A young man witnesses the horrifying nocturnal battle of a vampire and the werewolves of the forest.
It was a quiet night, with the evanescent moon hanging overhead flaunting its luminous aura. Stars flickered in various places across the black gulf of the sky, and the trees stood like silent watchers in the night. Emerson was a little disturbed by the quietness of the forest, because usually there were noises everywhere. But he ignored it, pushing it to the back of his mind, not listening, not caring about what his conscience was telling him. He had had a good thanksgiving dinner with everyone, including the mayor's lovely daughter, and wasn't about to let the unusual absence of sound within cloud his thoughts.
Holding his lantern up high, the young man began his journey through the woods to his small humble home, located deep within the forest. In his other hand, scarred and calloused from many days of rough living in the woods, was a shotgun, with a nice mahogany handle and furnished barrel. It was his pride and joy, a gift from his father, who was killed some time back in the Civil War.
Emerson soon became lost in thought as he took the usual path through the oaks and pines. That dinner was really lovely, just as lovely as the mayor's daughter, Alice. Yes, he enjoyed being with her. Emerson expected she enjoyed his company also. Well, that would be something if he married her, wouldn't it? The young hunter and coppersmith that lives in the woods, marrying Alice, the mayor's fine daughter-
Something stirred behind one of the oaks.
With quick reflexes, Emerson set his lantern down on the ground, quietly but quickly, and drew his gun up to point at the tree. He stood there for a few minutes, a little nervous, but only after going behind the tree and checking did his doubts blow away.
And then, from somewhere up above, Emerson heard a distinct snarl.
With a yell of fright, Emerson pointed his gun up to the top of the tree and fired a shot that knocked him onto his back. The thing in the tree howled and leaped from the branches straight towards him. With amazing agility, Emerson leaped up from the ground and ran, kicking over his lantern that he had left on the path. The lantern burst, and a fire began to spread across the forest floor.
With the fire growing steadily, and his foe somewhere nearby, Emerson realized he had to get out of the forest, and quickly. Thankfully, however, the fire did not spread, as the path served as somewhat of a fire-break. So his home would be safe. Thankful for this fortunate happening, Emerson took off down the path back towards town, to warn the population that there was someone, or something, in the woods.
It was at that moment, however, as Emerson looked behind him, that a slightly crouched figure leaped with amazing height and speed over the flames, landing with somewhat of a thud. Emerson looked with horror at what he saw down the path about thirty feet in front of him. It was a werewolf.
Never before had Emerson seen such a horrific creature. It had silvery gray hair, with yellowed fangs that were dripping with lustful saliva.