The fat man continues to run, wheezing and gasping for breath. His whole body shakes from the strain. Soon enough, he stops and doubles over, retching onto the pavement. The rancid odor of his puke contains traces of fried meat, beer and grease. His insides are as disgusting as his outward appearance, it seems.
He tries to say something in between wet, gurgling gasps. He probably wants to beg for his life. They always do. It doesn’t matter anyway. This isn’t a negotiation. It’s a hunt.
Another smell soon joins the putrid bouquet of sweat and vomit: urine. The poor bastard is really in bad shape. Best to just put him out of his misery. Especially before he attracts any attention with his pathetic mewling.
A lunge, more for dramatic effect than anything else. He isn’t going anywhere. A few slashes to deflate that bulging belly and make him bleed, adding a much more palatable smell into the mix. One swipe across the throat to remove his voice. And finally, the big finish. Biting right on the neck to suffocate. He struggles against the teeth, limbs flailing in protest. It doesn’t last long. He’s done.
The hunt is over. Time to eat.
Janine sat up in bed, half screaming. Her whole body was coated in a film of cold sweat, her sheets drenched. She hated it when she had the dreams.
She closed her eyes and sat still, wrapping her blanket around her shoulders and waiting for her breathing to slow. Over the years, she’d learned to control her reaction to the dreams, but she still felt sick.
After a few more minutes, when her heartbeat was thumping at a steady pace again, Janine went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on her face. A haggard young woman stared back at her from the mirror on her medicine cabinet. Dark, bushy hair that was strewn across her head, skin that was almost grayish in the dim light and dark circles under her hazel eyes.
“You look like shit,” she muttered to the woman in the mirror, and she agreed.
Janine downed two glasses of water, though her throat still burned, then walked back to her bed. In the silver rays of moonlight streaming through her window, she saw something glinting on the floor. Had she dropped an earring? No, she hadn’t worn any jewelry that day.
Curious, Janine bent down to examine the object. It was a silver wristwatch, attached to an oversized wrist that was sitting at the end of a severed arm. Janine swore and fell back onto the floor. It was the fat man’s arm.
She quickly scrambled to her feet and flicked on the light. The arm was lying on the carpet, a rusty stain underneath. The rest of the room was clean. No blood, no body parts, no bones.
Janine let out a huge, relieved sigh that almost bent her body in two. She got a garbage bag from the kitchen, put the arm in it, wrapped it around tightly, sealed it, put the whole thing in another garbage bag, and dumped it in the trash can. She’d deal with it the next morning.
She washed her hands and her face again, double checked all the rooms for traces of gore, and finally went back to bed.
Finally, Janine could enjoy a dreamless sleep again. Until the next full moon, anyway.