I’ve never been all that afraid of monsters. Moths, sure. Spiders, yes. The inevitability of death? Obviously. But despite all my fears about ghosts and demons and other things I’m never quite sure that I believe in, monsters have never been a big concern for me.
Maybe that’s because I tend to lump things like the Jersey Devil in with demons or because there just aren’t enough genuinely terrifying stories of monsters out there. Oh, sure, you’ve got your Goatman and your Mothman and Sasquatch (which I am quite familiar with, being from the Pacific Northwest), but none of them have really left a lasting impression on me. As a teenager, I always wanted to go on a monster-hunting road trip across the US–it never happened, in part because everybody seems to think ‘monster hunting’ also includes staying in haunted hotels (it does not) and in part because I hate road trips.
There are already a lot of things to be afraid of in life. I’m grateful that this, at least, is not one of the ones that keeps me up at night.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Noun: From Greek capri for “goat” and pede for “foot”)
A creature that has goat feet, such as a satyr.
Martha’s face flushes, not just from the speed of whirling around the dance floor. Her partner’s arms are strong, his steps lively, and beneath the lanterns his handsome smile has a mischievous glint. The midsummer air smells sweet, heavy with the scent of fruit and wine and incense.
As the song draws to a close, her partner bends at the waist to kiss the underside of her wrist. Shocked, she draws her hand back. He runs off, and it’s with a rush of fear that Martha spies his footprints: four depressions in the grass like a pair of cloven hooves.