An Ancient Evil

📅 Published on March 16, 2021

“An Ancient Evil”

Written by Mick Dark
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 11 minutes

Rating: 7.67/10. From 6 votes.
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The shivering Cro-Magnon man shifted uncomfortably in the dark. His back across the hard rocky surface was certainly an untenable reality for any decent sleep. He grunted and moaned and awoke with a start. Another nightmare. He wiped the sweat from his forehead. His back was in terrible pain. He sat up and rubbed at it where he could reach, palms outstretched to feel for this inescapably tangible pain. He stood and stretched out. This new cave was dark, save for an ambient glow of moonlight illuminating the entrance floor, lightly. The entrance was his portal to the real world. A world that was visceral and unforgiving. The man had been cautious since the skies had changed, his prey was becoming more difficult to find and, of course, since he had sensed that he was being watched and stalked. It had been over a month, if he could precisely indicate the time. Time, a construct that had not yet existed. He walked towards the cave entrance. The moon had uncovered very little in the blackened tree line ahead of him but staring up, he had always been fascinated and enamored by the countless stars in the sky. To him, they were what they were and there was no explanation nor did he need one. They were dazzling and the most favorite component of his world.

He pulled his deerskin up over his cold, cramped shoulders and shifted back on the ground. His bedding – a pile of various sizes and origins of animal hides and dried grass – was shifted across the cavern floor and it was far too dark to re-assemble. He wasn’t able to sleep. He knew that had a predator seeking him and he could hear it. It was outside. Not close but he was aware that he needed to stay silent but it was a matter of time until he was discovered. He was alone. No support. No longer. Recently, he has seen a decline in prey. The nights were longer and the days much shorter with a less bright sky. He couldn’t account for this and why would he attempt to, when he only ever operated solely on instinct but something was different in recent months in his world and he felt it.

He was cold. It was a cold time that came repeatedly since he was a child. He watched his parents die when his mother plummeted from the side of a mountain, across the forest to the far side of his visible reach during the migration with their clan before their clan had abandoned them due to a lack of shareable food. Since then, he had stayed far from this place. It was forbidden from that point on. His father had been torn apart by wolves that had hunted them for days on their trek. They caught up with them as they rested near a large tree in a clearing. The man, as a boy, was ushered up the tree for safety. They would never be safe if his father didn’t fight back. His father decided to use a thick branch to fend off the beasts. They were too many and the man, as a child, spent two nights in the tree until he was too fatigued and starving to stay any longer and climbed down. He was now alone. That began his journey that culminated to this moment. Now, he had been tracked for weeks while he hunted. These were not wolves this time. He rarely caught anything significant as he, himself, was the prey and as he heard the unmistakable sounds of his hunter and would quickly and silently make his way back to his dark hole for refuge. He never saw it but it was not a sound he’d ever heard before or a scent that he’d ever known. The man had known the feeling of having been chased down and had battled with dozens of creatures, large and small, toothy and slithery, furry and strong. He knew all of their sounds. He would be approximately 16 or 18 years into his life and during those times, beginning with an early need to be independent, he developed good instincts and strength and nerve. He was fortunate to have survived with all the right characteristics. He was, after all, a lone being in a dangerous world with even more dangerous elements. Now, he was aware of new dangers. Dangers that had arrived when the sky turned strange and the darkness became more frequent; when the sun became a deep red.

It was cold. He remained as bundled up as he could while he continued to listen. The cave smelled of raw, rotting meat from a former meat-eating tenant and that, alone, was a lure for various owners of fangs lurking outside that exposed place. As dark and menacing as it was outside, with its soft glow of moonlight, it was pitch black and comforting inside, in contrast. Like every night, he waited for the world to become bright again. He would need to keep silent and try not to sleep. The closeness of growls indicating this beast was aware of him. It didn’t come and go. It remained, distant but it remained. Low, breathy growls perpetuated throughout the evening. He would need to relocate. He was fatigued. He was hungry and cold and he couldn’t resist the weight of his eyelids. He instantly fell asleep.

Some hours later, the man awoke again with a series of grunts and snorts. He peered around the brightened cave, saw his few possessions, scratched onto the wall with a chalky rock that he had carried with him, in order to mark this place. He scratched an illustration of the image in his head of how he believed this beast would have looked, as a warning to others. He felt it was like a large wild boar based on the sounds but the smell would have accounted for it to be dead for months. There was absolutely nothing to determine the visuals of this creature. He only knew that it was far more terrifying than anything that he would have ever experienced. The sounds were bone-chilling and deep. The growls, roars and howls were similar to the speech of another like him but not like him. It was something different.

The man held his furs to his chest and lumbered out of his rocky domicile, stopping at the edge. He grunted lightly and sniffed the air. It was cold. Hard to determine a scent but nothing was gliding through the freezing air. He decided to move towards the forest. This would protect him from the cold wind and there are typically some habitable spaces under uprooted large trees where he could get some cover from the wind and rest, although it was going to remain cold. The forest has always been the safest place. The larger predators don’t come into the forest. He may be able to disappear for a while. Eventually, he would need to make it to the mountain. He had a home there that was always safe. It was familiar by sight and rose high, where nothing else treads or hunts. First, he would need to find some food. He was starving. He dropped his possessions and snatched up his sharpened stick and shook it with a grunt. It was something he did when he needed self-encouragement. He then stopped and sniffed the air. Some stark scent, familiar but unknown, crossed his nostrils and it made him clench his fists and widen his eyes. Immediately, fear gripped him. This thing was close. Somewhere in this dark forest. This was the closest he has ever known its presence to be to him. The smell was rich and old, musty and decaying. He had no words for it. Why would he? He only knew its features. It was a rare creature and that smell, albeit weaker until now, was usually accompanied by hideous noises, but there was nothing. Only a presence of scent. It was enough to convince him to move on. It always stayed nearby without making itself known but never this close and not without revealing its presence by a growl or a hiss.

Whatever it was seemed to be sleeping. This must be it. His prehistoric mind wasn’t exactly sophisticated but it was naturally calibrated enough and fortified with nerve from nearly 18 years of being tuned to this landscape and this conclusion, to him, was cut and dry. Sleeping or not, this new bothersome denizen of the man’s private piece of the world was not welcome and there was no doubt that, whether out of curiosity or frustration, it would need to be dealt with head-on.

However, for now, the man was hungry. He moved on and sniffed for a meal. Finally, he had come across a family of half-eaten badgers that were tasty enough. The raw meat and blood were commonplace for him. He washed the accompanying gore off in a river and had a drink with his cupped hands and back to his cavernous divot in the forest floor near a felled redwood and covered up before that early red sun started to dip. Today was a tough day. No sleep and lots of ground to cover. He forced himself up, coaxed by the upsetting colonic presence of rotting badger and emptied his bowels, curled back into his dirt pit, covered himself and closed his eyes. Dusk had only arrived but sleep could not wait.

The forest was less ambient than usual. Quiet enough, with only a whistle of wind slipping through the branches of alder and pine. The cumulative rattle of dead leaves on this not-to-be-known-as-October early evening, the remote trickle of the thin forest rivers that provided delicious fresh, cold water, and the odd delicious frog or snake. Soon enough his world would turn white with snow and then all would be more silent but this evening was quieter than he could ever remember. Eyes closed, the almost silence was disturbing enough to make his eyes flicker beyond his eyelids and keep him awake and alert. That pungent scent returned like a rolling boulder. This time it was finally accompanied by sound. Cracking branches and rustling leaves.

Slow but determined, rhythmic steps nonetheless. Was distant and took some time to distinguish the direction. The man opened his eyes, stared at a low, full moon, mouth agape as usual. Focusing on the sound, he had two options – to seek it out aggressively and be done with it finally or to lay quiet and focus on making it through one more night. The stench was growing. Imagination perhaps but it seemed overwhelming. The smell of a rotten carcass mixed with mildew and musk. This was familiar. Dead things don’t follow you. It wasn’t the rotting carrion that he might come across on his journeys. This was following him. It moved with him. He knew he was being hunted.

Working on his dozen or so years of sharpened instinct, he’d move quietly.  He pushed himself as deep into his hole as he could and remained quiet. It knew where to find him if it wanted. Another crack of tree branches and then a sustained hissing moan….. a terrifyingly high-pitched exhale, very close. The man made a small grunt and squeezed into a fetal position clutching a thick branch to his chest and feeling his heart pound. An hour passed by. He was provided no respite, certainly no sleep. The echoing wheezy breathing through the maze of trees never ceased. He was prompted to rise. The man moved out of his small space and upright against the large oak, leaning into it and focusing on the sound. He felt the unavoidable urge to run but he’d not make it far before he cracked his skull into a tree in the pitch dark. He waited and listened and if it stopped, he would carefully move into the opposite direction of the last ominous breath. Eventually, the breathing surrounded the primitive man. His head spun from left to right up and down. He jumped back into his shallow dirt hole. He was terrified. He has never been terrified.

The sound of footsteps upon brush was distinctively isolated directly in front of him, moving slowly but clearly towards him. Then, two glints in the moonlight. Glowing in the pitch. Moving with the sound of the steps. Whatever it was, was advancing towards the slack-jawed, Cro-Magnon and he was frozen. Then, through a small slit of vision between his nearly shut eyelids, the man saw a figure between a group of trees. It had reached up to hold a tree and leaned its head in, audibly sniffing into the air. The hairy, confused man remained still. This being was shrouded in something darker than the surrounding blackness around it. It was foul-smelling. The man had, on occasion, eaten maggot-infested elk meat that he had stored without any reaction to its putridity but this was beyond anything he had experienced. A small grunt escaped his lips. The being knew of his presence and then whispered in words that the man couldn’t understand. The thing moved towards the man, slowly, its shrouded fabrics fluttering in the breeze while it outstretched a hand towards him. The man pushed himself into the ground as much as he could, recoiling from this thing; this entity that he couldn’t recognize. The thing’s face came into view, obscurely but with enough moonlight to identify. Its head was smooth and hairless and not like any adversary or clan member he had known and the thing was pale. Very pale. Its eyes … empty. It had eyes but they were black and hollow. It was difficult to tell from the dark. Only then did the man realize that the putrid thing was not walking. Yet it moved towards him.

The man knew he must flee. He had no idea how to combat this thing. He felt too terrified to move. The being was close and had opened its clawed hand to grab at the man, the man produced a scream that he has only used in fierce battle with his larger prey and then hooted and howled his way into the forest and barely out of the grasp of this dark figure. When he turned to ensure he was not being followed, he saw the thing in the distance. It had its mouth spread open, larger than the man would have seemed possible for any animal and in its maw, long, sharp fangs glistening in the moonlight. The creature then uttered a shriek with both hands outstretched, pointed, tapered unimaginably long pale fingers pointing towards the man. There was a rage and desperation of loss in its wail. There was no further motivation needed for the man to leap out of this forest and towards a more open space that he knew but there would be far more to travel and with no sleep.

The man had reached the edge of the forest and moved towards a sheer outcropping that he was familiar with and climbed up the rocky wall, holding roots and jagged edges. Thoughts of the creature still raw in his mind. He grunted with each push up and onto the rocky plateau. He pulled himself up and onto his back, catching his breath. The stars were lighting up the sky in billions but to him, they were simply pinpricks through the black veil of night. He didn’t understand the stars any more than he could understand the existence, suddenly, of this entity that stalked him. Untold billions of stars. More stars than sky. A brilliant backdrop.

He knew that he couldn’t rest. He kept moving until he was a day’s walk towards the mountains that were only mythical figures in the distance during his life and an impossible journey. The distance was of necessity now, and on his leathered, bare feet and wrapped in deerskin, the man traversed the bogs and marshland, rushing rivers and craggy, sharp surfaces to reach the foot of the once distant illusion. The pieces of panorama that never seemed real until now. The vertical stretch of rock that he now began to climb seemed endless. He nearly slipped to his peril numerous times. He found himself latching onto some tenacious branches living somehow in this rocky environment.

This man was enormously strong and persistent. A strength far beyond what his troll-like figure would assume, he hoisted himself up onto a mesa that seemed halfway to the top but high enough for him to see across his known existence. It was dusk and the sun was buoyed atop fleeting clouds that would soon be enveloped in darkness and no longer in existence. The sun burned orange and shone, on an angle, across treetops, hills and far-reaching plains that were far more than he has ever known as home in his perhaps 16-18 years of life. There was some pride welling within him. A feat like this must be seldom accomplished. He had weeks in his journey, sleeping very little to ensure that he made the distance that he needed. A distance and now an altitude that would certainly see him safe. Safe from his enemy, safe from ghostly visitors with fangs. The man was not an analytical being, he was instinctive. He did not spend time wondering what dimension, what plane of existence this monstrosity had come from. Why did it want him? Why did it stalk him? Was it still searching for him? He had heard the sounds all around him. Could it move that fast or was it not alone?

The man only understood that he needed to be safe, that he needed rest and that he needed food. He knew that he could survive on his recent feed of fish from the stream he had crossed and the mountains surely had animals living within its space. His formation of a primitive plan while poised at the top of his high cliff, looking down…..was interrupted by an immediate stench. He knew this stench. It was far worse than it had ever been and with heels at the edge of the rocky drop, he turned towards the blackened rock face ahead of him, halfway up this immense mountain. The sun had now been laid to rest for another day and he was alone in his safe new surrounding dismissively closing his nose from the unbearable putrid scent.

The creatures, only visible by their outstretched pale hands and gleaming fangs, moved from their shadows, by the dozens, floating towards the man. The man froze. He didn’t need to peer behind himself to know that the fall would kill him like it did his mother, feeling the edge of the cliff with the soles of his feet. The man, if he had ventured in the opposite direction after his first encounter with this demon, may have rewritten fate. The ignorant and unfortunate prehistoric man, understanding absolutely nothing except that he had unwittingly entered the coven’s nest, saw that these bloodthirsty ghouls speed had increased with white claws outstretched and uttering sounds that would be articulate to them but only noise to the man. There was no tree to climb this time.

Their flailing cloaks patching over the glow of untold billions of bright stars above the doomed man, as they all soared with him, as he leapt to his death.

The hungry demons emitting shrieks in the winter wind. Their empty eyes and fang-filled mouths expanded terrifyingly wide in anticipation. In anticipation of their next meal.

Rating: 7.67/10. From 6 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Mick Dark
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Mick Dark


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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