Short Fiction: The Glaistig

Rhys crashed through the brush, the limbs ripping clothes and flesh, but he was ignorant of the pain.  The thudding of hooves were catching up and he attempted to force his way through the woods with greater speed.  Heart aching, tears streaming down his bearded face, the burly man felt a terror that was alien to his spirit. The sounds of giggling behind him increased the fear that clawed at him more noticeable than the foliage that ripped gashes in his body.

He was taken by surprise when the trees anded and he found himself in a clearing, it’s beautifully maintained surroundings lost on him.  Turning about, he fumbled to draw his wood axe and face the creature. There was no more running. The woods had turned silent. The thing was no longer pursuing him, but the lack of sound was more alarming..

Rhys stumbled around the glade, his breathing ragged and labored.  Panic continued to rise within him, leaping up into his throat when his footing slipped and the big man stumbled to the ground.

He angrily kicked at the stone, realizing with horror that it was a skull, slick with moss.  Whimpers were the only sound that he was capable of uttering. Struggling to stand, his eyes fixed on the skull, realizing more half-hidden bones were scattered around.

He was still attempting to straighten up when the blow from behind sent him to the ground.  Fear spurred him to roll over, reaching for the axe, but a weight dropped on his body, pinning it to the ground.  The face of a grinning, beautiful face inches away from his own. As he stared, the curved horns became apparent as well as the feeling of hooves weighing down his legs.  Rhys became aware of talons digging into his shoulders. He was dumbfounded, until the creature began to giggle, its mouth opening wide and showing rows of sharp-tipped teeth.  He could finally scream, but it died into a wet, gurgling sound as the creature lunged at his neck.

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