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The Grand Adventures of General Macaroni

The Shadow Beasts

By Holly DraperPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

“Settle down now, grandpups,” he paused to sneeze, “Your ol’ granddog is gonna tell you whippersnappers a bedtime story.”

“Story! Story!” The puppies wagged in excitement as they spun around three times before laying down.

“A long time ago, I was the general of a mighty army of the best dogs the world had ever seen. We were large in number, brave of heart, and short of stature. We were the Anklebiters of Caninesville, and we were unstoppable,” he started in a low, gruff voice.

“I had just risen through the ranks and became General Macaroni, when we got the midday bark delivering the most terrifying news…” pausing for dramatic effect, General Mac choked on his own suspense and coughed, then cleaned his face with his left paw.

“What was the news, Grampy?” Questioned Brie, the runt of the litter.

“The shadow beasts had returned!” Howling, he startled the pups, and their little paws shook with fear as they quietly whined.

He sneezed again and continued, “The shadow beasts were quite fearsome, yes. But they actually prefer to consume our human pets, not us, little ones,” General Mac booped the closest puppy with his nose, providing some comfort.

“It had been many full moons since any Anklebiters had seen a shadow beast, and we decided to scout it out before planning our attack. How much do you little ones know about these beasts of the night?” He asked as he spun around two times, scratched at the floor, and spun once more before resting on his old, dingy blanket.

Cheddar sat up, wagging his tail excitedly, and answered, “The shadow things creep around in the darkness and slowly suck the souls out of the humans around them! We can only see them at night, humans can’t see them at all, and it’s very hard to get rid of them,” he snorted triumphantly, pleased with his answer.

“Very good, Ched! I see you’ve been listening to your old granddog’s stories after all,” chuckling, Mac licked the tip of his nose briefly, and continued his tale.

“In order to save humanity, each dog in our unit would need to be very vigilant at night, keeping an eye out for the beasts in our own homes,” he grunted, his eyebrows shifting as his gaze wandered around the room. “The only way to keep our humans safe was to scare the fiends away, night after night, with bellowing barks and sharp teeth.”

The old, retired general bared his teeth briefly and chuckled, “Of course, these teeth were much sharper and scarier back then. I warded off more of those monsters than I could count. And after a week of scouting and defending, it was time to come up with our action plan. We needed to gather all the shadow creatures into one area, and end their terror.”

The puppies gasped, and little Colby burrowed under his blanket. “That sounds really scary, Grampy. I don’t like scary stories…” his tiny voice was muffled under the blanket.

“We haven’t even gotten to the battle yet, Colby! When I was your age, I wasn’t so darn soft. I mean yes, my fur was soft, but my resolve was strong. I would walk uphill both ways to go potty every morning and night - in rain or snow. You pups have it easy now, especially since your ol’ granddog came up with the perfect plan to gather the shadow beasts,” he huffed, furrowing his white eyebrows.

“It was Halloween, and all the humans were running around in the streets begging for treats. They dressed as monsters, so their neighbors were unaware of who could and couldn’t afford their own treats. As they-”

“Why wouldn’t the humans just go buy treats instead of dressing up?” Asked Brie.

“Brie, humans do strange things all the time that we’ll never quite understand. They are as mysterious as they are kind,” Mac answered.

He slapped a paw onto his blanket and continued, “With the humans doing their weird treat begging, the shadow creatures began gathering in the streets, planning their soul-sucking stealth attacks. Our time to defend and protect was nigh. It was time to defeat the beasts once and for all.”

“The Anklebiters gathered in the cemetery, and barked the most beautifully haunting harmony of our people. This midnight bark summoned the shadow creatures to the graveyard, as we tricked them into thinking a massive gathering of humans were there. And then…” he stopped dramatically, and his ears perked up as if alerted to danger.

The puppies eyes were wide with anticipation as the old dog continued his bedtime tale, “We hid behind tombstones and crypts, and as soon as the beasts were inside the cemetery grounds, we attacked! Equipped with swords and daggers in our mouths, we slashed, stabbed, and slaughtered every shadow creature in the bone-filled field. Their dark, bubbling blood covered the grass, and their long, spindly limbs clawed at the air, begging for forgiveness. They found none, as we decimated them all.”

“How many did you kill, Grampy?” Asked Colby, sticking his snout out of the blanket.

“My count was somewhere around 50, but I’m sure I maimed even more than that. At long last, we had defeated the shadow beasts and saved mankind! But, we suffered some great loss as well…” he trailed off, sniffling as his paw covered his face. “I lost my best man out there, Fluffy. Oh, Fluffy was the toughest Pomeranian this side of the Mississippi, and a shadow beast clawed right through him. I held him in my paws as he took his last breath…” he sighed, wiping his face. “We gave him the proper soldier’s burial, and barked our last goodbyes. I’ll never forget him.”

“I’m sorry, Grampy…” Cheddar chimed in, getting up to give the old dog a comforting lick.

“It’s okay, his sacrifice made the world a better place for all of us. Now, get some sleep youngin’s. Good night, and don’t let the shadow creatures bite.”


About the Creator

Holly Draper

I’ve always loved writing, and I’m excited to get some work out there! I tend to write more on the dark and spooky side. So if you’re into it, check it out! My art insta is @drapersdapperdoodles, and cosplay is @drape_soda

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