The Chronicles of the 21st Phantom chapter 1
From the Chronicles of the 21st Phantom:
Superman4 puts his writing skills to the test and brings you and adventure about Lee Falks legendary hero!
The tribal Drums had sounded. Those things can be heard for miles. It’s not random tribal drums, it’s the drums calling upon The Phantom. That’s me, the natives have known me by this name as well as my ancestors who have carried the mantle before me. One of my sworn duties is to appear before the Bengalla tribes but today seemed different from others. Call me paranoid but the drums sounded urgent and that bad feeling you get when something is up, I was feeling that all over. Like always I took my place and Guran prepared the smoke which would hide my arrival as I sat down. The smoke cleared, I could now see the Bengalla tribes men. Unfortunately my fears about the urgency of the matter was not cleansed. The tribal chief was the first to speak “Ghost Who Walks, many of our children have gone missing. We sent group of hunters to search for them but only one returned and he was badly injured.” my concern grew “Injured by what chief?” “The hunter described the beast as a sort of wild man. He too sick to say much else.” I had never heard such a report before. Bengalla has Lions and even its share of reptiles, not many poachers were brave enough to travel in Bengallas jungle. I would find the thing that did this “Fear not tribes of Bengalla I will search for the missing children and find out who or what has done this.” with those words Guran threw up the smoke and I disappeared before their eyes. With cases like this, with missing children, always hit’s a personal nerve. I lived here for thirteen years when I was young but my wife Diana is still new to all this. I worry when she goes out into the Jungle even with Devil by her side. I can’t rest until I find the thing responsible for the disappearances.
I decided to leave at sun set and not bring Devil with me. Diana seemed upset but then again when ever I set out alone she always worries. She knows that I must do this and understands her duties as my wife, The Phantoms wife.
It’s an hour in. I’ve made my way on foot where the children and hunters had disappeared. So far nothing…dead nothing. The jungle was eerie and too quite. No bugs, no birds, nothing. What ever was out here had spooked them and….wood knocks. Strange, never heard that out here before. But there it was echoing through out the jungle. Someone or something was banging a large stick against a tree. However no such animal would have the thumbs to do it, so it must be man made. In this case I felt it was best to take to the trees, a person wouldn’t be able to spot or smell me up there. Being careful not to make a sound I leaped and swung tree to tree in the direction the wood knocks were coming from. As suddenly as they started they had stopped. Had they heard me? No way that they could have. The night was too dark for them to see me but I would be able to see them. No more wood knocking, the jungle was silent again. I decided to stay in the trees and continue moving to where I thought the wood knocking had come from. The jungle air felt cool and a little more wet for this time of year. And….skunk? I lived in America long enough to know that smell. But there aren’t any skunks in the jungle. Something else was going on, I could feel it. Crunch, crunch, SNAP! Heard that like a roar of thunder something was running fast and towards me. I crouched in the tree to stay hidden and out of sight. WHAM!!! With a sudden great blow before I knew it I was out of the tree. It all happened so fast but something had hit the tree hard enough to knock me out of it. I was dazed but I could hear it breathing. A very heavy breathing. I staggered to my feet. Next thing I knew I was ducking a tree branch being swung at me. My training had saved my life. The beast was half hidden behind the tree and my head was still throbbing from the fall, couldn’t get a good look at what ever it was. I pull my right .38 out of its holster and fired. It was fast though, moved into the brush. The shot missed. It was circling around me trying to flank me. It leaped out at me fortunately I was able to dodge out of the way and get off a shot. HIT! I’d gotten a slug into it’s chest however this just seemed to anger. Its scream made my ears throb. With a mighty swing of its arm it knocked me down and for the first time I could clearly see it. The beast stood about nine feet tall, covered in dirty brown hair from head to toe and its eyes were blood shot red. Not in the supernatural sense more the infected with the Bengalla equivalent of rabies sense. In all of my travels and even in the chronicles The Phantom has never encountered a beast such as this, only heard of such a thing in American fiction and Folklore. Doesn’t matter what it is or how it got here, the creature is both a danger to itself and to the people of Bengalla. It’s coming at me again. I don’t stand a chance at close range it could rip me in half. I have four more bullets left and six in my left .38. I decided to draw the other one out. I aimed for the heart but as if it could read my mind it dodged out of the way. I leaped up towards the trees but my leg was caught by the beast. My chest hit the ground hard and I was met with a searing pain in my back. Blood trickled down my suit, the beast had clawed me! With my free leg I kicked it square in the face multiple times before it let go. I nicked it’s face, it howled in pain. This was the opening I needed but the beast wasn’t moving. It just stood there with its wounded face in it’s left palm. The creature looked at me, I could see the pain in it’s eyes. Not from the gun shots but from the virus that drove it to kill. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that tears were running from it’s eyes. Killing this creature would be a crime against nature, I had no way of knowing if it was the last of it’s kind but I knew what I had to do. I raised my pistol and fired. The beast had gone silent and almost looked peaceful. I decided to burn the creatures remains so that no one would know of it’s existence, in case there were others and I would search for the remains of those who were lost. The creature in it’s last moments almost seemed…human.
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