500 Word Short Story
The Skinwalker
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

Adrian Lampard's house was located in a suburban area just outside the city, in a newer development of five acre plots. He had been there less than a month. On most nights he was up past midnight reading before he hit the sack. Tonight was no different.

His reading was interrupted by a curious sound coming from the patio. It was quiet, but it was there. A low, almost wheezing sound. Like a heavy smoker trying to catch his breath after climbing a flight of stairs. Then light tapping on the patio's sliding glass door. This was the third night in a row he had heard the sound. The first two nights he dismissed it. Tonight he quickly flipped on the patio lights.

Something moved in the distance. It was at the edge of the light and disappeared into the darkness, too quickly to make out what it was. It seemed too big for a man, but it didn't look like it was on all fours either. He thought it might be a coyote, but he really wasn't sure. In the morning he would look for tracks. Maybe that would tell him something.

The following morning he searched around the house, but came up empty handed. With nothing physical to go on, he decided to talk with his neighbors to see if they had been hearing strange noises after dark. The first two hadn't heard a thing, but when he talked to the neighbor right across the road from his place, it was a different story.

This place wasn't part of the development. It was a much older house. The woman who answered the door was an older Native American woman. When Adrian asked her if she had heard anything around her house at night, she grew quite serious. “I told them not to build there, but they wouldn't listen to me.”

"Why?" Asked Adrian.

“This is the land of my ancestors. Some of their souls still roam the land. I see them from time to time.”

“Do you see them around my house at night?” Asked Adrian.

“No, my house,” she replied. “I have no idea what might be around your house.”

Adrian went back home still unsure of what he was hearing. He decided to set up a trail cam to see if he could get a picture of what it might be.

The first two nights showed nothing. On the third night he captured a blurry image of what looked like a fast moving coyote... or not. He wasn't quite sure.

Early one morning there was a knock at Adrian's door. It was the old woman from across the road. “I have talked with the souls of my ancestors.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “They tell me a skinwalker roams this area. I'll say no more. I've said too much already. You must look this up on your own. I tell you, they are dangerous.”

Adrian looked up skinwalker's, then decided to move.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.