Sinister Countdown- Creepy Crawlies

The following tale is not for the faint of heart. It is a graphic, brutal, but true tale of a battle for our very lives!
I was sprung from a deep and peaceful sleep at 430 AM to the sound of Ms. Chickchick clucking concernedly (yes I can tell the difference between my chickens’ voices) It didn’t sound terribly upset, but still, chickens should not be awake at this time of night. Sensing trouble, I grabbed the gun, my trusty flashlight and ventured outside.
As I opened the back door and entered my yard, the crisp cool autumn air held the faint hint of danger, mixed with the garbage that I forgot to take out from last week, but that is another story. I turned the corner to my coop, the beam of my flashlight spilling ghostly shadows and images in front of me. Then I saw it.
My light pierced through the gray mist of darkness that seemed like it would swallow up everything if I was unlucky enough to run out of AAA Duracell batteries, and there it was. The demon coon. Coonzilla, in my coop, with his head fully inside the door trying, desperately, to push his large girth far enough into the chicken-sized opening to satiate his massive hunger on the soft warm bodies of my egg-laying pets.
Hearing my steps he stopped, backed his head out of the doorway and looked at me. Surprised to have been discovered, he ran up the tree next my bedroom window, not a hurried scared run, but simply a nonchalant, slow jog to make sure he was in a more superior position. He didn’t go far. At 7 feet up he stopped, he turned and looked at me with derision, as if to say “ya you found me, so what” I was only 2 feet from the tree, I could almost reach out and touch him, yet he showed no fear. In his mind, he had nothing to fear, he was Coonzilla. I stared in awe of his massive girth. “my gosh” I thought “he is the size of a dog!” quickly I regained my composure, I lifted my rifle, pointed only feet from his enormous heaving chest, sure of his imminent death, and pulled the trigger.
In shock and horror, I watched, not as he fell dead like I knew he must, but as he ran farther up the tree! Higher and higher he climbed, his movements more frantic now. He now knew I could hurt him. As he reached the apex of the trunk 30 feet up where it splits into 3 main branches, he stopped and stared down at me. He was in the same spot as the last coon foolhardy enough to take on me and my chickens.
With a strange feeling of De-Ja-Vu, I lifted the flashlight and my rifle up to the position. I aimed at one of his demonic glowing eyes, now brightly burning into me with anger, and fired. With a terrible snarl, he fell from his perch. Through the thick blackness, he fell, bounced off my neighbors shed roof, and into the corner between my house and the fence.
I moved in to make sure my foe was dead. He has to be dead now, he has to be! He was on his back, his chest still heaving but looking like he was in the last stages of life. Yet, as I got close his head jerked up, he stared as if into my very soul, and let out a snarl that would scare the most hardened murderous criminal. Shocked, yet prepared, I placed the nose of my rifle right up to his chest, where a year of high school AP bio told me his heart should be.
For the third time, I placed a Remington hollow-point .22 rimfire lead slug into his body. In strange and bizarre fascination I watched him roll over back to his feet, and he began to walk towards me. With the barrel of my gun between Coonzilla and me, I backed up and he slowly walked toward me. His once clean white teeth were stained with blood, he was wheezing like a man suffering from some sickening asthma attack, but now I had the beast head directly in front of me! I placed the gun between his eyes, he spat up blood but didn’t stop his inexorable march towards
me. I pulled the trigger. Nothing! My gun had jammed!
With visions of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone running through my head, I gained a new sense of determination, intent to crush his skull, I grabbed and barrel of my gun and swung it like a club with all my might into the bloody face of the demon zombie creature sent from hell! But it wasn’t enough! Although I changed his course away from me now, he was still alive. He turned to the right and began to climb the fence. The puny reed fence I put up wasn’t enough to hold his great body and it began to fall back towards me. Just when I thought all was lost, a pickaxe swung from my peripheral vision and smote the great beast! The cavalry had arrived just in time! My wife, Sheryl, swung with all the determination of a frontier wife defending her very children from ravenous wolves! She turned the coon around and he walked off about 10 feet and then collapsed.
We watched him for another 5 minutes until his barrel chest stopped moving…the beast was dead. I dragged his body to the porch and placed him in a large garbage bag. I debated whether or not I should behead the beast, burn the body and spread the ashes to make sure he didn’t come back, but instead, I think will make a coonskin hat out of him, maybe two.
Author bio: Tom Nielsen has held many jobs in his lifetime, from vet clinic to animal control, to lab rat caretaker. Amateur taxidermist, and raccoon wrangler. He did a short stint in the navy and has finally (possibly) settled down as a mild-mannered air conditioning technician. His previous jobs and innumerable hobbies have gifted him with a plethora of stories, some of which he occasionally writes down.

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