The Right Coast

December 09, 2004
A sweet story
By Tom Smith

My 11 year old, Patrick, offers this sweet, little story for his creative writing class:

The Howling Wind

Lee and his family were on their yearly camping trip. He had enjoyed it the first few times, but now, on the ninth time, it had become an unceremonious routine. The only thing he had to look forward to were the s’mores, which he had enjoyed all his life. He also had a cool, new tent this time, which left him with two things to look forward to on the week long trip: eating and sleeping. What to do in the time in between was a mystery.

He had just finished rolling out his sleeping bag for the night. His parents were asleep when he heard a loud, screeching noise, like a high pitched whistle, or a whole chorus of screams. It was very unsettling. He assured himself that it was only the howling of the wind. He crawled into his sleeping bag, his hands shaking. His feet dug compulsively into the cozy fluff. His gaze drifted to the small, netted window that topped the tent as he tried to calm himself. The stars gleamed back at him like the unblinking eyes of fish. Then he heard the noise again, and it triggered a new burst of fear in his mind. He again insisted that it must be the wind. He glanced back at the window in an attempt to calm himself, only to see a huge, flying creature silhouetted against the dark night sky.

Then he felt something splat on his face, and pain erupted in his eyes. It felt as his head had been cut in half. It was not the pain so much that troubled him as the horrible, helplessness he felt as he tightly shut his eyes. The next thing he knew, he was flying above the tent. He opened his eyes, but there was nothing to see. He was blind. The claws of a bat tightly gripped his arms, dangling him in the air. He heard a whisper from the creature above.

“Can you ride on the back of the wind?” hissed the strange creature. “Can you escape from its icy grasp?”

Something splattered on his face again, and his sight returned to him. The last thing Lee saw were the huge, demonic bat’s eyes bulging insanely, a malevolent smile on its face, showing its many, sharp fangs. “My children hunger,” she said.