Vanessa drove through the fence and slammed the gas pedal. The man in the car behind her was right on her tail. It was pitch black out at midnight in the middle of nowhere in Homestead, Florida. She drove faster until her tires got stuck in the mud of the unpaved dirt road.
“No, no, no! Not now,” she said to herself.
She opened the door and slipped into a knee-deep mud puddle. Her whole outfit was dirtied and her drenched. The heavy rain came down hard. Each drop came like a rock hitting the roof of her car.
Vanessa’s breathing increased in speed as she felt this overwhelming sense of panic. She struggled to stand up on her own two feet. The mud was far too slippy, but bright headlights growing near sent her scrambling even more. She finally stood up and looked around for an exit. There was nothing but a thick cornfield on one side, and a small forest on the other. She slipped away into the forest as the headlights finally reached her.
A woman wielding a shotgun stepped out of the car. She was unusually tall with even taller boots. She smirked as she saw Vanessa’s footprints and a mark in the puddle signaling her direction. The woman stealthily walked into the forest with her gun slung over her shoulder. Her hair was hidden under a baseball cap, and her athletic jeggings and shirt made it easy for her to hop over fallen branches from the storm.
“I know you’re in here, Vanessa. Your time is up!” The woman shouted into the forest.
She looked around and listened closely. The forest was still despite the steady rain. Not a single frog, cricket, or bug was chirping or making a single sound. She smiled, knowing her target was nearby. She trekked through the sopping wet greenery.
I can’t let her get away, the woman thought to herself.
Vanessa kept an eye on the woman from a distance. She slowly backed deeper into the trees until she heard a crunch followed by excruciating pain. She looked down to see her leg got caught in a bear trap. Vanessa let out the most deafening shriek.
The woman smiled and sprinted towards the sound. Vanessa cried out and desperately tugged at the trap. Its sharp metal had dug deep into her skin. It was burning her and she couldn’t hold in any more screams.
“Please, no!” Vanessa screamed as the woman approached her. `
“The silver trap should have done you in,” the woman said, puzzled for a moment.
She got out her gun, but Vanessa kicked it away. Vanessa clawed her and her long nails left deep wounds. The woman winced in pain but powered through.
“Vanessa, you can’t go eating people anymore. You have to pay for your crimes!” The woman said. She hit Vanessa with the butt of her gun which gave her enough time to back away and aim.
“Please, no!” Vanessa said. “I know, okay. I know I messed up. But please, you don’t understand. I can’t help myself.”
The woman’s hand shook as she held up the gun. “I can’t trust you, anymore. This city has seen enough pain. You know exactly what those demons did; to Puerto Rico, to Cuba, to Mexico; to our livestock.”
“I can’t control it,” Vanessa replied. “I promise you, I tried. But once you look into the eyes of the beast, you can’t go back.” She looked up at the thick brush of trees above. A full moon was peaking out of the canopy of leaves. “Please, Estifani.”
Estifani lowered her gun and sighed deeply. She turned to walk away but shot Vanessa’s leg before leaving. Vanessa yelped and wailed. Tears streamed down her cheeks until it began. Estifani was halfway through the forest when Vanessa’s body grew three times the size. Heavy patches of fur grew on her skin. She grew so big that she tore through her clothes. Vanessa grew fangs, a long animal snout, and ears of a bat. Her fingers stretched out and turned into long bony claws.
Estifani heard the banshee-isque shriek and quickly ran into her car. Something ran up behind her and slammed into the side of her car. It was Vanessa. She was transformed into a powerful beast; a cross between a bat and a mutated wolf. Estifani fumbled for her keys and dropped them.
“No, come on!” She said to herself.
Vanessa glared at her through the windshield and hid before Estifani could catch a glimpse of the beast she had become. Estifani turned on the engine, looked back, and backed up the car. She gasped when a giant claw punched her windshield. She slowly turned back around, and there she was: a beast eyeing down her prey. Vanessa broke the glass and pounced through the gaping hole.
The next day, the bright Florida sun was beating down on a group of cops investigating the cars. Several reporters and a small crowd had gathered around the crime scene.
A newscaster held her microphone as she looked into the camera to announce this incident for Channel 9. “Here we are at the scene of what locals are calling another chupacabra case. The chupacabra has been attacking this community for centuries. Now here have an expert on the case, Marisol Hernandez. Thanks for joining us, Marisol.”
Marisol was a short brown Latina. “Thanks for inviting me to discuss this. We have been warning authorities for years, but no one has listened. And now, two great community leaders are gone. They will be missed dearly. Latino legends from various countries all describe a different creature; some see it as a reptile, some see it as a deformed dog, wolf, or even a hairless kangaroo. These creatures have existed in our lore for hundreds of years and may even predate European settlement. We believe that these creatures would have been invasive and spread through the slave trade and colonization of the Americas.” Marisol said.
The newscaster nodded along and spoke up. “Yeah, sure, Marisol. Let’s let the crime scene investigators tackle this. Anyways, authorities are still searching for two missing persons; Estifani and Vanessa Garcia who were last seen driving down this road in the middle of the storms last night. According to witnesses, the two were a lesbian couple who often frequented the area. Reports say that Vanessa had been acting strange days before. Some think that Vanessa killed Estifani, while others believe that this is the work of the devil. We may never know what happened to the two lovers in this tragic scene.”