A cop goes to search for missing patrol.
The night was a cool autumn in the small town of Clifton. No more than a few hundred people live here at any given time. Though crime is rather low, the police still have patrols at all hours.
Officer Sam Davies begins his patrol tonight in the same manner as every other night. He stops off at Jim's Diner.
"Hey Jim. Can I get the usual?" Asks Sam.
"No problem," Jim responds. Turning around Jim yes to the back,"One Davies special to go!"
From the back can be heard a booming voice,"On the way!"
Waiting for his meal Sam reads the local paper to find a half finished crossword puzzle. Next to it in the job search several ads are circled and most have been crossed out.
Jim brings a styrofoam container and to-go coffee cup," Here you go Sam. Enjoy."
Stepping out to the cool air Sam's breath can be seen as his radio beings going off with the sound of his name.
"Yeah what's up Shirley?" Sam inquires to the night dispatcher.
"Two officers have yet to come in from patrol. Officers Charles and James. They last called in from just east outside of town. They reported seeing lights in the woods and haven't reported back yet," the cracking voice of Shirley explains.
"Right. I'll see what I can find," Sam responds.
Eating his sandwich as he drives, Sam passes the town limits. Another ten minutes of driving passes when he sees the patrol car on the side of the road.
Getting on his radio Sam reports in,"Shirley i find the their car. I'm going to take a look. Maybe they just fell asleep."
"Roger that," Shirley's crackled voice responds.
Sam getting out of his patrol car and turns on his high powered flashlight. Slowly stepping up to the car, Sam shines his light in.
Sam activate his radio,"I've located the car. I don't see anyone around. You said they went to check out some lights in the woods?"
The static on the radio is getting stronger but he can still understand Shirley,"Yes that's right."
"I'm going to head in and see if I can find them," Sam informs.
"Ok. Report back as soon as possible," Shirley's static voice says.
The dark of the forest seems endless. Sam's light bounces off only a few trees before disappearing. Almost as if the first itself swallows the light. Only small patches of silver moon light break through from above. As Sam slowly enter, the only sounds that can be heard it's the crunching of the autumn leaves below his feet.
As he shines his light slowly back and forth he calls,"Charles! James! You guys out here?"
The only voice he can hear is the echo of his own bouncing off the trees that surround him. A small clearing emerges in front of him where he sees the silhouette of a figure pacing in circles.
Sam calls out to the figure,"Hey can you help me? I'm looking for two police officers that came out here."
The figure stops and turns to face Sam. Standing still for what felt like forever. Sam's heart races as he cannot figure out what this person is up to.
"If you know anything I need you to tell me,"he commands.
The figure then turns away and behind to run disappearing into the dark. Sam draws his service pistol and slowly approaches the clearly the figure was in. As he enters he notices the leaves start to turn blood red and the sky takes a bright and deep blue color.
"What is going on?" He wonders.
Passing through the clearing he sees a small well lit cabin several yards away. Slowly he approaches it while sweeping the area in front of him with his flashlight and firearm.
When Sam comes several feet away he muses to himself,"What's this doing here? No structure is supposed to be out here."
Approaching the door he first knocks on it and says,"Clifton police. I need you to answer some questions please."
No response comes from within. After knocking again Sam determines no one is inside. Maybe it belongs to the person he saw before. He decides to try the door anyways. It swings open and he could not believe what he sees.
In a rush panic he calls for Shirley,"Shirley call 911 we need an ambulance and back up now!"
Before he can say anything else the door behind Sam slams shut. He rattles door before being slammed into it. He lets out a final scream of unimaginable pain.
The next morning police stand in an area roped off by familiar yellow tape. Inside are the officers and a doctor that acts as police medical examiner when needed. The surround three bodies covered in fresh autumn leaves.
The Sheriff just arrives and goes directly to the doctor,"What you got so far Doc?"
The doctor looks up with his glasses reflecting the morning light,"At first glance it would seem these officers were attack by an animal from the slash marks covering the bodies. These wounds though are far too deep for any known animal in the area. Also if you look along the edge you can see burning around the wounds. I've never heard of an animal that can cause burning attacks.
"What the hell was it then?" the Sheriff asks.
"Frank. I have no idea," the doctor responds.