Low growls answered, followed by hoarse exchanges of air. “I am.”
“This will be over soon, Ty.”
“It’s never that easy, Theo,” Tyler scoffed between his cycle of inhales and exhales.
Theo caught a glance of his blood-shot eyes. The moonlight funneling between the bars on the window highlighted the moisture collecting on his forehead. His bare chest glistened as well. A septum piercing dangling from his nose reflected the light. I always hated that thing.
“We’re ready this time. We have medical staff on standby as well as trained hunters. It’ll be quick and easy.”
A rumbling vibrated Tyler’s sternum. Snot flung from his nose as he grunted, “Minutes . . . for you.” A growl interrupted his speech. “But it feels like a lifetime to me.”
Theo learned to be cautious of warning signs before there was a need to check the sky. Ty’s speech patterns swayed between functional sentences and animalistic snarls. Sweat soaked him like an addict suffering withdraw. The whites of his eyes transformed into a merlot while his iris faded away. Then—
Rattling disturbed his thoughts.
Tyler’s nailbeds carved into the wood, the shavings falling upon his toes. He jostled his restrained limbs, struggling against the chains binding him to his seat. The intensity of his efforts increased until he practically exhausted himself.
“Are they too tight? Are you in pain?”
There was another series of nebulous sounds. “Not . . . tight en-enough.”
Theo hesitated. He wished he could ease the burden off of Tyler’s shoulders. Tyler was disgusted with himself and dreaded these nights. More than once had Tyler awoke from his slumber, crying for this curse to be lifted. Yet, his prayers were always ignored.
Theo cautiously approached, gingerly laying his fingers upon his forearm. “We’ll get through this—we always do.”
“Pl-please, lock . . . the . . . cage.”
He scanned his quivering body, noticing a light dusting of fuzz festering upon Ty's smooth skin. His pecs were enlarging, flattening and widening his shoulders. The transformation was underway . . . the last sign would be . . . Theo glanced toward his nose. It was morphing; the bridge was thickening while the tip curved upward. As the anatomy of Ty's facial structure shifted, his piercing bounced.
Theo peered into the night once more. All these changes signaled the time had finally arrived: a blood moon.
“Now!” demanded Tyler, followed by an intense snarl. “Go, now!” He released a mighty bellow.
No matter how many blood moons they survived, Theo always harbored an unshakable terror. He was cognizant to mask his fear, wearing a brave appearance for Tyler’s sanity. He didn’t want him to believe he thought him a monster, but there was nothing more petrifying than being a witness to the sheer malevolence that overcame him.
The gate was secured with several dense ropes. Theo was accompanied by three agents deployed by the government, each equipped with enough tranquilizers to subdue a herd of elephants. Doctors and nurses scurried behind a wall for their protection. He could hear their whispers. This was the first of many for them. Together, they had successfully performed hundreds of operations, but here they were as green as a resident.
The women and man standing beside him steadied their breathing. These were veterans—war heroes who had seen the worst of humanity. Even with their skills and training, they weren’t foolish to believe they had this situation controlled. Normally, they would have tripled the troops, but their division wasn’t growing at the same rate as their number of cases. Their colleagues were scattered across the country, preparing for the imminent blood moon in the quiet hours of dusk just like them.
A realization impaled his gut as he tuned into their murmuring. It was silent. The chains weren’t jingling nor was there groaning. Ominous silence always indicated the impending rampage, but it wasn’t time—
An extraordinary roar made the very essence of their beings tremble. With a single abrupt motion, Tyler shattered his restraints. He growled deep from within his diaphragm. Metal particles scattered and forced the observers to shield their mugs. He barged forward colliding with the cell. The structure’s resistance absorbed several slams before it was ripped from its hinges.
An agent tackled Theo aside as the gate shot overhead, knocking the other two officials from their feet.
“Sir, stay down,” demanded the woman as she aimed her weapon. The shot was fired and the tranquilizer impaled Tyler in the leg.
He shouted in response and flicked the vessel aside.
Before she loaded her weapon, Tyler charged ahead and checked her across the room.
Theo remained low, watching as the raging bull trudged forward. A dense mane flowed from his scalp and a thick layer of hair coated his entire torso. Tyler towered over the medical staff, his hind legs bending as he crashed through the exit.
Scrambling from his stomach, Theo soared after him. Tyler’s speed was astonishing, especially since his human form struggled to run a mile. His overall strength was magnified, too, not so surprisingly since he had gained an additional two-hundred pounds of raw muscle. After all these years, there had been no scientific explanation to why these events occurred or how it had chosen him. Tyler’s parents were a typical suburban family and his sister’s most exciting talent was riding a bicycle without training wheels.
Mountains fenced Theo’s periphery as he traversed the rocky terrain. Trees were scarce along the range except beside the waterfall crashing in the distance. Run-offs created tiny streams branching into smaller valleys, reaching each end of the plateau they were stationed upon. The area was vast, but barren. All he had to do was follow the thundering cries.
The chase came to a halt near the lake. Tyler was on his knees, arms wrapped around his head. The tranquil rush of water splashing against rocks filled the void.
“Ty . . . Ty, can you hear me?”
His frame continually rose and fell.
Theo hesitated before stepping closer. “We need to bring you back—back to the station. I’ll be able to keep you safe there.”
“You . . . need safe.”
He can still speak, thank God. “We’ll be safe together, just—”
“Found them!” shouted an agent.
Twisting on his heels, Theo counted the three muzzles at shoulder height. “Wait, he can still communicate!”
A barrage of tranquilizers tunneled into Tyler. A howl of pain shook the heavens as he lifted himself up.
Theo frantically flicked his stare betwixt both parties before examining the sky. A reddish orb loomed overhead, speaking its devilish tongue; the blood moon. Horror lowered his chin to Tyler whose silhouette was intensified by the watery backdrop. Darts dangled from his backside as he reached the extent of his height. The tips of his horns pierced the air beneath the calling of its master.
“Tyler?” Theo quivered as he stumbled back.
The Minotaur’s vociferous battle cry made the government officials prepare for another round, but it was too late. Horns leading the assault, it barreled into them like pins and scattered them. One woman rolled and launched herself upright. She took another shot and landed a tranquilizer precisely between his eyes; a bullseye. Her relief warped into dread as it only seemed to anger the beast. With its crosshairs focused on a single target, there was little that could be done to save her.
Her agonizing shriek spurred the others into action; both firing another round. The attempts were feckless except for nettling the berserk Minotaur. The male escaped its path, but the last agent defended her position. She equipped a baton and with a switch, the entire length of the rod was charged with electricity. White sparks burst from all sides as she readied for the incoming strike.
The Minotaur embraced the initial impact with its bare chest. The weapon cracked against its fur. The beast cried as it placed its palm against the frizzled hair. Smoke wisped around as the agent zapped its leg, followed by its ribcage. The instant shock and burn disoriented it until it went berserk from frustration. Before she landed another blow, the half-bull hybrid grabbed ahold of the electrical current. The sizzling increased against its palm as it ripped it from the female’s possession.
The weapon bounced toward the lake while the agent was laid onto her back, no longer conscious.
Theo stood nearby as the final agent faced off with the mythological animal. The suspense fueled the intensity in the atmosphere. The trained medical professionals swarmed the field, avoiding contact with the walking bull. Yet, Theo was motionless. He was wary of becoming involved, until he watched the man replace his tranquilizer with a different weapon—a shotgun.
His legs reacted faster than his thoughts. Before he processed the danger, he placed himself in the direct line of sight. “What are you doing? You’re only supposed to sedate him!”
“Th-these things aren’t people—they’re monsters.” His words were quivering. The barrel of the gun trembled as well. “I refuse to die playing nice with Satan’s spawn.”
“I won’t let you kill him.”
“Kid, get out of my way or I’ll go through you.”
With a simple swipe, Theo was swatted across the map. Airborne for a handful of seconds, he collided back onto earth. The inertia propelled him even farther, twisting and turning upon the gravel. The pure astonishment left him breathless. The burning of his scrapes creeped across his arms and cheeks. He propped himself onto his palms, a blurriness befuddling his view. An unfamiliar blob was launched in his direction and plummeted into the depths of the lake.
His focus regained clarity and was able to identify the agent bobbing in the water. The Minotaur was in pursuit, dust clouds rising after each step. A classic game of cat and mouse ensued, the man desperately swimming away to escape the deranged farm cattle now diving in behind him.
The buzzing in Theo’s ears was replaced by an obnoxious fizzling. He searched for the source and found the energized baton. With a quick glance at the drenched Minotaur skimming through the water, he clumsily scampered over and grabbed it.
The celerity of his pace surprised him, since he used to be alongside Tyler in those dreadful miles. Theo shouted at the agent, “Get out of the lake!”
A combination of confused and frazzled, he obeyed and swam to land.
Theo stared at the Minotaur whose attention shifted to him. “I-I’m sorry . . .”
Fully submerging the rod, the currents easily traversed the entirety of the water in seconds. Sparks lit up the liquid and fried all inhabiting it. The Minotaur howled, unsure how to flee the chaos. It thrashed about, trying to escape the powered net casted upon it. It wasn’t until the beast collapsed did Theo pull the plug. He dropped to his bum while fish began breaching the surface.
The eeriness of the evening was suddenly lifted. The moon finally returned to the calm, peacekeeping entity they knew and loved. Relief filling his lungs, Theo made his way to Tyler who was now as hairless as the day he was born. He carried his unconscious lover to shore and laid beside him.
Minutes passed before Tyler returned, shooting upward and aggressively gasping for air. The two of them locked eyes and his instantly filled with tears. They flooded the dam and funneled across his cheeks, cleansing them of mud. His words were garbled amongst his sobs.
Theo latched onto him, squeezing him with everything he could muster. “I told you it would be quick.”
Ty sniffled, “It’s only going to get worse. That bull is getting stronger—I can feel it. Please, don’t let go of me.”
The image of the Minotaur recreated itself as Theo held him tighter. Nauseous flipped his stomach. What do we do?
About the Creator
I'm an author near Philly. I want to create a new world for readers to lose themselves in.
I love anime, video games, and most Netflix series, but I probably haven't seen the movie you're talking about.