Night Terrors

by Brad Hilderbrand

“I can’t feel my arm.”

The woman’s eyes were glazed, and she was convulsing in shock. Her left arm was gone, nothing left but some jagged bone near her shoulder and the pool of blood that had convalesced around where the limb once was. Every time her heart beat more of her life trickled out onto the pavement, and she would likely be dead from blood loss in a few minutes. Even if the bleeding at her shoulder could be staunched, she was also missing a large chunk of her abdomen, as well as her right leg below the knee.

“Shhh. Don’t worry, help will be here soon. You’re going to be fine.” Derrick knew it was a lie, but he wanted to try and keep the woman calm and relatively comfortable in her final moments. As horrific as her injuries were, she would pass away before she ever felt a thing. A special enzyme in the chilanders’ saliva anesthetized the bites instantly, much in the same way humans don’t know they’ve been bitten by a mosquito until the bug is long gone and the affected area begins to itch. However, now that the creatures were gone the numbness would wear off rather quickly, and if the blood loss didn’t take the woman soon the shock surely would.

Of course, while mosquitos draw a bit of blood and may leave behind malaria, the chilanders devoured entire bodies and the only remnants of their prey were typically a pile of bones. Derrick didn’t used to believe any creature could be so horrific but that had all changed. He heard the stories, saw the videos and now he had seen their handiwork firsthand. He knew now that the only thing these creatures lived for was torment and suffering.

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