He lived in a swamp, deep down under the muddy water. He had been living there forever. He didn’t know anything else, and he didn’t care much about anything else. He was the swamp, and the swamp was him.
He ate creatures. Fish. Frogs. Deers coming to drink, snakes and lizards. His favourite food, though, was humans. Tasty, intelligent humans. They had a different flavour, somehow. They screamed in another way when they saw him, when he caught them. They knew. They understood the terror of his horrific existence, his desire for malevolence.
Humans were rare around the swamp, though. Several centuries had past since the first young man paddled over his head, and he could probably count on one hand how many he’d had since then, twenty or thirty or something. It was time for another.
He went up to the surface. He knew there were humans close, he could smell the distinguished odour of their sweet blood. He couldn’t understand why they never came up here. Birds came by all the time, there was one just beside him right now. He caught it surfacing his big mouth just underneath it. Just a small bite, and full of feathers. Human, that’s what he wanted.
Well, if they wouldn’t come to him, he would have to go to them. He pulled his big, formless body out of the water. He didn’t like it up on land. It was too dry up there. He hated it. The dirt stuck to his feet, the dust to his body. When he found the human supper it would be worth it.
He followed the smell through the bushes, the branches scratching his body. He kept on.
He went through a field of straws and grass. Small seeds and thorns stuck to his legs. He kept on.
The village was in front of him. He knew from the smell there were people there. Delicious little children, chewy old men. This was going to be great.
The darkness covered him as he crept through a lawn, in between the houses. He avoided the street lights.
He saw some tables further down the road. At one of them a young couple was sitting. He’d never had a young couple before. They looked tasteful, sweet and piquant at the same time. The fresh smell of pheromones mixed with the delicious spicy chicken on the table. The blood pumping fast through their veins. He moved closer, snuck his big, blubby body close to the ground.
What a beautiful night!
Sure is, Marion.
I love you, Peter!
And I love yo…
He jumped them. They had no time to scream, no time for anything before his mass devoured them, chewed them up and swallowed. They were tasty. The chicken gave them a nice, piquant edge, and the wine was exquisite.
He heard screams. A woman was standing in the restaurant door. A man came running. He wasn’t hungry any more, so he turned and went back home to his swamp. This hadn’t been too hard, after all. He should go out to eat more often, he thought as he floated into the water. A crocodile came by for dessert.