Moth Man :
Perhaps you remember it. Perhaps you don’t. Either way it doesn’t matter. After all, I do.
In the winter of 2011-12 there was a string of people who disappeared without a trace on Newfoundland Island. They all lived in remote groups of about 20 people, barely qualifying as villages. They had all gone outside in blizzards, and everyone believed they had wandered off into a white-out and got lost in the storm. None of their bodies had ever been found, and the fact that more than two feet of snow had fallen on top of the bodies didn’t help.
Anyway, onto the portion of the story that involves me specifically.
I lived in a small community of about 37 people. One of the missing peoples was a member of our small hamlet. It was in one of the worst storms of that January, and despite our warnings, the man in question pushed past us like a man possessed, screaming something about “the need for Food” and “needing to go up”. All save five of us never saw that man again.
They were the lucky ones.
By the third day after he had left it was light enough and clear enough for us to go outside. We were in the middle of a valley surrounded by two high ridges, and the snow was about 4 feet high when we went outside, however when we cleared away most of the snow from the single road going through the town we saw that the snow was only that deep in the middle of the valley, and it was manageable on the mountains. Given his previous statements we also thought that this was a reasonable place to begin looking. Five of us returned to our respective homes to get mountaineering equipment and weapons. As we left the comparative safety of the village we climbed up the mountain and were approaching the peak, when suddenly something leaped out of nowhere onto one of the members of our troupe. I pulled the .358 Magnum revolver from the holster I had strapped to my side and shot the creature from the back of my companion. The bullet went straight between the eyes of the bastard, and could see that it was a wolf. The dead creature fell limply of the man as he stood up, shaking the snow off himself. I could hear the gunshot echoing between the walls of the valley.
I knew I had made a mistake as soon as the corpse fell off him.
There were waves of snow travelling at unbelievable speeds down the mountains towards us. The noise of the wall of snow falling was deafening, and I yelled to all to brace for impact. I saw two of us swept away by the snow, and I hunkered down as I experienced a limbo like nothing anyone who has not been in that position could know. I had to keep my eyes shut as tight as I could, and the moments when I did open my eyes all I could see was a blank white nothingness. I could hear nothing because my ears were filled with snow, and eventually I realised that the movement had ceased. I knew what I had to do in these circumstances, and I released my bladder and felt it move towards my feet. I breathed a silent thank you that it hadn’t been the other way around. I heaved my hands around to my head, and started to slowly dig upwards.
Progress was slow, but I eventually clambered out of a small hole as the thick snow caved in behind me.
“Hello?” I yelled, despairing.
Suddenly I noticed a flash of bright orange down the mountain about 500 yards away. It was Teller, a man from New York who had come and lived in the village for about two months. I didn’t know much about him, but I liked him nonetheless. He was wearing a high visibility coat, and I was glad of it. He was waving and yelling, and I saw the avalanche rumbling on behind him. I put on the snow shoes and walked briskly towards him. I pulled him out of the snow and helped him put his snow shoes on. We decided to walk together on the same kind of level, looking for the other members of the group.
Firstly we found the body of one of the group. His airways were full of snow, and we decided he had suffocated.
“Nasty way to go”, commented Teller, “but I’ve seen worse”.
“How so?” I asked him.
“I served in Vietnam, a medic, you understand”.
I was about to tell him I did, when I saw something that caught my eye. There was a person lying on his side about 300 meters above us. I started up the mountain, Teller following me. It was Jackson, the fourth member of the group, he was unconscious but alive, and we sat there wasting precious time as we waited for Jackson to wake up. Suddenly he started coughing, and lumps of snow came up along with a small amount of blood.
We trekked on for about another half an hour looking for the two missing people we were looking for. It was getting dark and there was the sound of wolves baying for blood, so we started down the mountain. It was discouraging to say the least, having lost two members of our party and not having found the first missing person.
That last point was about to change.
The sun was setting behind the crest of the ridge, when suddenly I saw a red tinge on the surface of the snow. I pointed it out to Jackson and Teller, and we started digging down through the snow. We only had to dig about 2 inches before we saw the lifeless, frozen face of Farmer, the original missing person. He was almost as white as the snow he lay on. It wasn’t as if he was just cold, it was more as if he had had the colour sucked out of him. We excavated the rest of him from the icy robes that surrounded him, and discovered the gruesome fact of his death.
His chest had been ripped open with inhuman strength, and his heart, which was clearly visible, was intact save for a single hole punched straight into the middle of the organ. When we inspected the other wounds such as the ones on his hands- defence wounds, Teller said- they appeared to have been made with claws, and they were absolutely devoid of liquid blood. We knew that this couldn’t have been done by any non-intelligent being. The wound on the heart, and the fact that when the chest was ripped open there was no damage made to the heart confirmed this. But the wounds on the arms, and the act of the sucking of blood from the heart seemed to deny that this was human.
We were right.
We knew that we couldn’t take a body with us, and it was approaching complete darkness. We all had Maglites with us and we also had weapons with us- a 1216 shotgun, an M15 rifle, and my .358 Magnum. But we could see that whatever had killed Farmer we had to take the flight option.
We left Farmer’s body, skiing (we had chosen to change from snow shoes to skis after the light started to go). We were now in the shadow of the opposing mountain wall, and we had to switch from our heavy, hand-held Maglites to smaller, less powerful LED headlamps. It was a horrific experience, and we could all feel the eyes of some all-seeing, malignant presence watching over us.
Jackson wasn’t looking where he was skiing, and he suddenly went over, tripping on a rock that was on the top of the snow somehow, almost as if it had been placed there.
As the light of his headlamp swung round I caught sight of a creature. It leapt on Jackson, clawing at the arms he had put in front of himself. It reached towards his chest and caught hold of both of Jackson’s shoulders, and, using a dextrous claw on its foot, not unlike that of a Velociraptor. We watched in palpable horror as the beast used this to slit open the flesh in the middle of the chest and the sternum. With immense bestial strength and a roar of animal rage he thrust his hand inside the wound, and pulled them away from each other, creating an explosion of blood, and leant forward towards Jackson’s still beating heart.
I should probably back up for a moment and describe the creature. It was about 7 foot tall, and had light grey skin stretched taught over its bones and muscles. Its eyes reflected red in the light, and it had claws on its hands and feet. The claws on its hands were of a significantly smaller size than the talons of its feet, presumably to help manouverability. But there are two things that made it even more frightening. Its mouth was like a rotting hole on his face, ragged at the edges, with a needle-sharp proboscis which was revealed when one flap of ragged flesh was raised up. I have left, however, the most extraordinary feature until last. On his back he had two large wings, each bigger than me. They were like butterfly wings, but more drab, like a moths.
Anyway, back to the story. Jackson was still screaming, and the proboscis of that wretched bastard was still approaching the heart. Time seemed to slow down as I thought back about the missing peoples.
I realised that the creature was responsible for the disappearance and death of them all. They had disappeared every three days, which had to be how often he had to feed. And that was when I knew what I had to do if we were to have any chance of success against it.
I reached for the holster strapped to my leg, and lined up the sights on the .358 Magnum. I pulled the trigger on the revolver.
I shot Jackson in the heart.
It screamed out and leaped at me. I shot off the remaining 4 rounds of the Magnum. One of them must have hit his stomach or something, as gallons of human blood spilt forth from the wound. The other three wounds oozed a translucent blue liquid. It tried to take off, but Teller shredded one of its wings with a couple of slugs from the 1216. I ran to Jackson, tossing away my Magnum and instead picking up the M15 rifle from beside Jackson. The beast, though injured screamed with a last roar and rushed Teller. I shot the beast in the back and a fountain of blue spattered Tellers face. It fell over and Teller stood up, looked down the barrel of the 1216, and shattered the skull of the beast.
We looked at each other, shook our heads and, in silence, walked back down the hill towards the village.
The next day we went back to where the bodies of all four people had been. We found them all, but the body of the Moth Man (I had searched the web for similar creatures) had disappeared. His blood was still there and we sent samples of that to labs.
After the burials of the dead I moved. Teller had had a job offer as a surgeon in Point Pleasant, and I decided to move with him. After all, I had no family there and I wanted a fresh start. Besides, Teller was my only real friend, and the only one who would believe my story.
But this was not the end. I figure that it has a level of telepathic power which it used to make the victims come to him, and he had a family. I think as he was dying he sent an image of me and Teller to his family. And I think they want revenge. But for now they are happy just watching and waiting for the opportune moment.