Wendigo 4

“Jimmy, there is a dead deer down on the train track. Someone has to pull it off before any of the kids see it,” the teen said. The kiddie park hired teens during the summer, and none of them old enough to handle a job like that. Most of the deer were close to two hundred pounds and could total a car. If the small train it, all those kids would fly off, and someone would sue the small amusement park. Sales were already struggling this year. There was no way they could keep the gates open if an accident happened. Even though the place ran as a nonprofit through the city, the city was broke.

“Well, goddammit, who the hell,” Jimmy said, stomping off down the rickety old tracks of old number 9. It wasn’t a big train. It only had twenty bench seats, and sometimes they had to kick the fatties off the train for it to run. God knows, he could never figure out how some of those kids even pushed themselves into the narrow seats. Dragging a shovel behind, the sound of metal scaped the tracks, echoing through the park. It was dark out there, and the lights of the park seemed to dim the farther he walked. A black mass laid across the tracks, and it was huge.

“Oh, fuck!” Jimmy gasped, pulling the old snot rag from his back pocket to cover his mouth from the smell. That scent couldn’t be from the gutted animal. It was too fresh to smell like death. The one thing he knew was that no train killed that animal. Not one of there’s at least. Jimmy poked it with the shovel, pushing it to the side to reveal a massive bite mark. It was at that moment that Jimmy knew tonight was the night that he came to play. Every old grey hair on the back of his neck now stood up, the gentle breeze blowing them back and forth. Fall was coming, and it wasn’t even September yet. Farmers almanac claimed this winter would be one for the record books.

“What the hell got this thing?” he asked. There was no one with him. Jimmy knew that he was on the loose, and this wouldn’t be his last kill for the night. His only hope was that he could keep the beast at bay, so he didn’t take every kid in that park. Caught off guard by the movement and shadows, Jimmy shook his head, dragging the dead deer from the track. He needed to get this out of view or shut down the train for the night. That was something that everyone looked forward to riding last. The park’s motto was, “The last ride is always free,” well, the last train ride. It had been a tradition since 1947, and he swore it would go on till the park closed for good. Kids of all ages looked forward to the free ride. The old and young would all wait around for the park to close out the season with that last toot of the old horn.

Dragging the big buck to the edge of the river, calling out for the beast to come to get the meat, “You got my attention. I’ll make sure I have one for you tonight, but no need to waste this meat.” Growls from below and the crunch of leaves forced Jimmy to back away in fear that he would take him instead. Over the years, he had seen him, but it was rare, and he was never close enough to smell him. “Come on, take it. I need to get back to the kids,” Jimmy said. A large hand reached out, pulling the deer as though it was the size of a rabbit. The power and strength behind Wendigo frightened him, but he couldn’t allow the legend to get the better of his fears. If he did, there would be no escape.

The gurgling sounds came from below. Jimmy walked off, dragging the shovel behind. Within minutes the old train would fill, and the sounds of kids screaming would fill the park, telling the beast that soon he would get what he waited a full year to eat—a human.

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