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The acrid, sour smell of old wine could be discerned from 100 yards all around the kingdom. Men loudly laughing, yelling, screaming with drunken hysteria were heard for miles around. The clinking of goblets among the storytelling,(as well as the breaking of glass and furniture, made it plain that all was a jovial, drunken brawl within the castle walls.
The men were happy and tired, finally giving in to the dizzying effects of too much strong drink and excessive gorging. Their bellies full, and their thinking fuzzy, one by one, they sought a place to sit, or to finally lay down. Gone were the worries of the monster lurking in the woods. Forgotten was the threat of harm to themselves, their good king, or their kingdom.
The monster's hideous ears pricked up at the sound of distant snoring men. His senses intensified all at once. With a wicked gleam in his eye, and a spring in his step, he headed with haste toward the castle, and his dreaming victims. As though his lizard brain were controlling his legs, he sprang up and excitedly, yet, as quietly as he was able, ran toward the castle doors, a little bit of drool running between his fangs and into matted fur beneath his chin.
A horrible thud was heard as the monster, crazed now with the scent of human flesh, crashed in through the window. The groggy men, unsure if they were in a nightmare, or beginning to come to,saw a hideous gnashing of teeth over their heads, and a sense of utter terror, as they saw one another being beaten to a bloody pulp. A sense of panic, mixed with an inability to move quickly enough to escape him, made the men feel as though they were moving through quicksand.
The monster ran out of the castle and back through the woods, blood dripping from his claws, mouth, and fur. He felt a strange sense of contentment that his surprise attack worked so well. They would never learn-- ha! He outsmarted them all. Several severed heads lay in his wake, blood pouring out from all angles. Even as he ran back to his lair, he knew that the next time would come soon. He was planning it with eager, wicked anticipation. It would all happen again and again. The men had to sleep-- he had to kill. It was going to be soon.
The next morning, the King walked into a horrible scene. He looked around in disbelief, at the dismembered soldiers lying all around. How could he have saved them? How could he have protected them? This monster was out there, unstoppable, this much he knew. His men, good, loyal, brave, fighting men, gone, all gone. It was his duty as their king to do something ! His thoughts were in a jumble, his heart twisted in terrible pain. The worst of it was that he would strike again... The king knew this carnage was not over.
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