The English Teacher

Sample Description #1

The Visitors by Ammon D.

The cave had started out simply as a crack in the cliff, a possibility of a shelter from the wind and rain. It ran deeper than expected, and the battered and drenched man crept along, feeling his way. He had obviously been running, and not just from the rain, as he struggled in vain to quiet his breathing which came in ragged gasps. Every couple of feet a gasp for breath would be a gasp of pain, as he scraped his already ragged knee on the side of the cave. After twenty feet the opening was dim light behind him. Blood trickled unnoticed from a gash that ran up his right leg from his knee, and then soaked into what remained of his pants where it caked on with the what was already there. No longer visible was his haggard face, drawn and pale from pain and exhaustion, pinched in with visible determination. Hair made his face rough, and blended into his close cut hair, which was missing along with part of his scalp above his left ear, while his left eye was nearly swollen shut. What remained from his shirt and pants were in shreds, and he bled from a dozen minor cuts, not as bad as that on his knee but, still sure to cause considerable pain. Some of the cuts were dirty, obviously from falls taken while running over rocks, but others were smooth and equally obviously not the result of any accident.

The light at the end of the tunnel leading to the outside suddenly dimmed and the man held his breath, his lips silently moving. He heard a slight scuff, and the shadow over the end of the tunnel moved on. The man again started to breathe slightly, and then stopped as the light was suddenly blocked again as something leaped into the tunnel. Unfortunately for the current inhabitant of the cave, there weren't many obstructions to seriously impede the progress of the attacker, and after a brief struggle the man gurgled his last breath, and then there was again silence in the cave. Shortly however a light was lit, and then the hunter proceeded to build a fire. Now revealed in whole, the cave, after the small entrance and short tunnel, broadened out to a near perfect circle. In his hurry the hunter didn't notice this, or the ordered grooves in the floor that all ran to, and underneath the wall opposite to the entrance. Once the flame was going nicely the hunter set up a spit for his meal. The hunter was a man also, his head shaved bald, but tattooed with colorful designs. The hunter was large, fed well, but without any extra fat on his body; obviously in excellent shape. He was also mostly naked, with only skins wrapped around his waist for clothing. The skins were hairless, and plainly had never had fur. The multicolored tattoos ran down from his head in swirling lines all the way to his feet. One side of his face was pulled into a permanent grimace from a scar that ran in a ragged line from his mouth nearly to a large and mangled ear that was full of various sharp pieces of wood meant to serve as ear rings. His skin was very tan and weathered, with numerous scars displayed as mute testament to battles won in the past.

After the fresh meat was placed over the fire, the hunter sat and leaned back against the wall content. While he had been preparing, it had gotten dark outside, and so he did not notice the dark shape creeping down the tunnel. The hunter's eyes slid half shut, and he smiled slightly thinking of his feast and the just successfully completed hunt. He barely had a chance to start a scream before his throat went missing. The rest of his body was soon spread throughout the room as the thing ripped at his body in a frenzy, blood and body parts splattering wetly against the walls. The thing that had been creeping down the tunnel had a head that was of disproportionate size to the rest of its thick and scaled body. Standing next to the man it had just ripped apart it would only have come up to his chest, but still would have weighed at least half again as much. The dull scales were black with green base that seemed to drink in light. Its head was similar to that of a piranha, with protruding eyes and teeth, without a noticeable snout. Visibly amphibious, this creature had a short tail, much like a tadpole, and legs that ended with clawed flippers. Its thick arms had large hands, serrated claws, and webbing that had helped speared blood throughout the cave during its frenzy.

It quickly went to work feasting on the hunter, and what part of the original prey that hadn't yet been cooked. As it did so blood ran and collected in the grooves on the floor, combining with what was there from the first man, to finally push along and under the far wall. Unnoticed at first, a wail rose in pitch and volume, slowly drowning out the storm outside. With the moaning screech the stench of congealing blood, mixing with that of cooking and burning flesh, seemed to increase and would have been nearly overpowering if there had been any humans still alive in that cave. The creature enjoyed the smell, even as it realized something horrible was starting to happen. Light from the fire cast larger shadows without visibly dimming, and the walls shrank, as the ceiling dropped lower in the dying light. What blood was left on the walls and floor liquefied and started to run freely to the wall on the far side from the entrance. Fear was introduced to the creature for the first time in its life, as a feeling of dread and doom washed over it in waves, making it cower to the floor, not even thinking of running for the exit.

The wailing vanished suddenly as slowly in the center of the room a new shadow came into existence. Spreading and condensing at the same time the center of it expanded slowly, and from it like a mist, darkness spread throughout the room. Light from the fire nearly disappeared entirely; the walls were no longer visible and only the flames faintly shown through, flickering vainly. What had been the center of the darkness was now nearly seven feet high, and roughly man shaped. The head was smaller than a man's would have been, and the body was long and thin. It gave the impression it would have been transparent, if any light that hit it would actually have escaped to reveal something more about this being. Terror and despair emanated from the darkness, in waves, leaving the creature now prone on the floor trembling, what little intelligence it had long since fled into the core of its mind. Outside of the cave animals felt a growing desperation and shook in fear before fleeing together as they would a forest fire. Those with keener hearing heard a new scream start, one clearly this time of pain, as the creature, this time the victim, lived on long past what the first two had.

Return to: Creative Writing Lesson Plans