Special thanks to the Cannibal for the first installment of his Summer Beast Story. Hey Cannibal, I forgot to ask, what's the title?
The Cannibal's eyes slowly fluttered open. First one and then the other. His other senses began assessing the situation. How long had he been asleep by the side of "Clinton's Ditch" in the mud, weeds and assorted goose crap? He knew that it was probably only twenty minutes but he felt scads better. True, his legs still screamed with built up lactic acid and his lower back ached from an old kayak mishap, but these were minor inconveniences that would disappear when he ran the last twenty eight miles to cross the finish of the Summer beast 100 mile Run.
As the Cannibal lay in the weeds by the side of the water he sensed something wasn't quite right. He knew he had a forty five minute lead on Babba so that wasn't it. Something just didn't feel right. There was the sound of the canal water lapping against the rocks on the shore and a bit of light from a waning crescent moon that gave just a hint of visibility to the pitch black surroundings. He could hear the unsure crunch, crunch of an approaching runner on the Towpath trail. You could just tell from the uneven sound of the footsteps that he was a 5K Ultra wannabe. Nothing rhythmic in his gait as his mind wandered amid the pain and darkness. His glaring headlamp was also a dead giveaway that this was his first attempt at the distance. As he approached you could hear the faint strains of the Rocky Theme playing on his IPOD. Jesus, another rookie mistake!
Wait a minute, thought the Cannibal, canal water lapping against the rocks? The canal water doesn't lap against the rocks out here! There was no wind and with only a four mile per hour current the canal is usually noiseless. Not unless. . . . the hair on the back of his neck was standing up as he moved his head slowly toward the dark channel.
Mr. 5K clomped by, oblivious to the hidden Cannibal, his head bobbing to the IPOD tunes. he never heard or flinched when a slimy tentacled figure slipped from the inky water enveloping him in its wiggling suction cupped arms. Horrible sucking sounds and a mild struggle ensued. The chaos didn't last more than fifteen seconds and the dark figure slithered back into the canal. it appeared to be swimming west, its appetite partially satiated.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .