Mr. Darcy had enjoyed the wait. The world going about its business was always an interest to him. He enjoyed the occasional pat from passers-by, plus the odd tit bit that was infrequently offered up to “such a good dog”.
His dietary intake of souls was well looked after. Many a lone, and wayward, pedestrian of the two and four legged variety had succumbed to his wiles and terrible ferocity. Blood was a far superior tipple to water he had always believed.
Trotting across the road, dodging traffic and being yelled at by those that knew no better. Once he reached a magnificent oak, he walked twice around it, had a piddle, and then trotted off to the paddock beyond the big tree, jumping through the tumble down fence, and into the long lush green grass.
Mr. Darcy reached the well. It was an old friend really. Since the well had been dug, very few people had used it for extended periods. Locals throughout time gave it a wide berth. Too often had a wife and mother had not returned from the daily grind of drawing and carrying water. Many a berated child had gone, never to return home, but surprisingly had always been good enough to leave the wooden water carrying vessel somewhere near the well.
All were assumed to have fallen to their deaths within the freezing, black embrace of the green slim coated confines of the well. And, some had had this as a fate. But far from all.
Mr. Darcy did what the well could not. The well couldn’t chase children to exhaustion, all the while working along the lines of a sheep or cattle doge. Pushing, driving those before them either into culverts or holes in a tangles of bloody, screaming, and often broken limbs, with nothing more than a pathetically feeble fight and scream left in them.
There were occasions when he felt he was due slightly more upbeat sport than would be generally encountered. With that he would sheperd the sport providing cuisine. He would let them run, cat and mouse, to the fence, and then bring them back to the well again and again and again, and hope in his horrible black heart of hearts they would succumb to fear and exhaustion, and throw themselves in to escape him.
From there, the true sport began in the well, and Mr. Darcy was in his most favoured element. Sometimes he would join the poor wretch in the water, chasing them and worrying them until they finally went under, at which point he would dive below, bringing the near drowned to the air of salvation, or the air of prolonged agony and despair. Over and over and over.
As the damned started to pass out, giving up on the chance of further life, preferring the option of death to a life that was ultimately the same thing, just the much slower and exceedingly more painful option, that was Mr. Darcy. He was the ‘Left Hand of Death’, and the ‘Tormentor of Souls’ after all.
Mr. Darcy would blur, and the drowned would imagine themselves lifted from their water grave by an angel, or some hypoxic hallucination of a bird to return life back to their weary bones.
Back on the wonderfully thick and soft green grass, with sunlight and birdsong all around, hey would be slowly eaten alive by him. Fingers, hands, women, children, the elderly, and the robust; all reduced to a state too weak to prevent it. No more screams, blank eyes stared beyond the rim of submission and despair. He would then gently roll them onto their chests, and chew through the spine at the junction of the skull causing one last primal howl from the beaten. The soul would be drawn out, long, tender, juicy, and ever so mouth wateringly aromatic. He would dine on it, being the finest cuisine of all. And in his opinion the finest of the finest cuisine of all were the souls of children.
The remainder of the body parts of the beaten went into the well. His preferred aquatic waste disposal unit.
Then he would sleep.
He was a good dog.
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