“One body reported near The Sheffield General Cemetery. Male, middle age, Caucasian, red hair. Over”: voice came from police radio.  

“Alpha, Charlie Alpha Tango. On my way. Over”: Elliott replied. And looked at sleeping Curt and the back seat. He turned the vehicle towards Sheffield General Cemetery. He was returning home after his shift, met curt on his way, so agreed to give him a ride.  

Elliot and Curt are childhood friends. Curt is a Journalist. Elliott is a constable. For both of them, it’s their big career break. They are good friends. Supported each other since they were kids. They went to the same school, Grew up in the same neighborhood. Basically. They have known each other for their entire lives. But still, there was a lot of difference in their thoughts. Elliott is Police Officer but he is religious too. On the other hand, Curt is more of a science man.  

They reached the Cemetery. There is a male dead body and it is matching the description. Elliott called in the paramedics and reported back to his station. Curt woke up in between and he joined Elliott by his side. Though he is a journalist, still he can’t write these things until the police departments release an official confirmation. They were waiting for the Paramedics.  

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Before the Paramedics and back team arrived, Elliott had done the investigation as the first responder. Once the team arrived, they outlined the body’s position. Marked the area with tapes and took pictures. After which the medical examiner moved and turned the body. Once done, they saw 3 big claw marks on the body’s chest. The body was taken for post mortem.

Elliott asked Curt to leave for his home, as he has to report the incident back and it will take a long time for him. Upon asking Curt said that he is planning to walk home as it is not far away. But Curt didn’t let him do that. Not at least when a killer is on loose. He did not want to take any evidence. So, he made him ride home with himself, doesn’t matter how much time it’s going to take. It was past midnight when Elliott dropped Curt’s home. 

Elliott received the Post Mortem report after 2 days. The guy has died due to an animal attack. Those claw marks are the reason for his death. Those claws were so deep inside that it pierced the guy’s heart and made him bleed to death. Must be a bear or a wolf or any wild animal. Maybe a Hyena or Leopard. But the only problem is, this city does not have any wild animals. Then what was it which killed the man? 

In the next few weeks, the Police Department has found several dead bodies with claws piercing the heart of the victim near the Cemetery area or Porter Brook river. The Police Department was actively looking for the killer. But they have not found any single evidence till now. Though few calls were coming in about the sighting of a demon near the area where dead bodies were found. The police department assumed that the killer has a large body size, so people are taking him as a demon.  

It’s been a month. Elliott was again the first responder to a crime scene. The location was again near the Sheffield General Cemetery. This time someone reported seeing a demonic creature. Roads were deserted due to the recent events. People were scared to leave their homes after dark. While going to the location, Elliott stopped his vehicle abruptly, as he could see something standing in the dark. Looks like it was crossing the road and Elliott has caught it in between.  

When he flashed the car lights again then he saw a huge black furry dog-like creature. It had red glowing eyes. It was far from the vehicle, so he could barely see it. But Elliott can smell its foul, stinky smell. The creature was scary. It was completely black with big fur, Canine teeth, and huge claws. The tip of the claws was red. That thing was staring at Elliott and he feels that it is staring at his soul through his eyes. He has never been so scared in his entire life. That thing stared at him for a moment which felt like an hour and then it moved to cross the road but it vanished in thin air. 

Elliott couldn’t believe what he had just seen. He was scared, frozen, and numb. It took him some time to get himself together. He gulped little water and poured little in his face. He drove to the crime scene. It was a dead body again. The body was lying on the ground in his back. There were three very deep claw marks. They were so deep that Elliott could see the broken ribs and the torn organs. It was scary, nasty, and creepy. Elliott vomited. He has seen a fair share of dead bodies in his job, but this was different. 

One old man was lying on the ground, not far from the dead body. He was scared, sobbing, and still on call with the operator. Elliott reached to him, comforted him, and gave him some water, and asked him to sit on his car’s back seat. While the old man was getting comfortable, Elliott called for backup and paramedics. After all this, he turned to talk to the old man. He was still scared and jumpy. Elliott asked him what he saw and where? To that old man replied “It came. I saw it. I saw it. Believe me. Please…” and started sobbing. 

Elliott calmed him down and asked him to tell everything he has seen. He said “I recognized it as soon as I saw it. I am going to die too. I do not have much time now. I will die in 7 days. No one can save me. I have seen it. It will kill me too. It will kill everyone.” Upon asking again and again the old man said “It was the Barguest. The Barguest. It will kill me. It kills everyone who sees it. It will kill me. No one can save me. No one…” Elliott remembered the black dog-like figure he had seen. 

He tried calming the old man. He told him that he, himself, had seen that thing. It’s not any demon or supernatural. It’s just a huge hound. They are calling the forest rangers. They will catch that hound soon and everything will fall in place again. No one is going to hurt him. Nothing is going to hurt him. But the old man was not ready to listen. He was fixated on what he has seen. He was sure that he would die in another 7 days just like the dead body outside.  

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The back team, investigation team, and paramedics arrived. Curt has also shown up on the crime scene. Curt is writing a story on these killings. He has picked up interest as he was among the first responders when these killings started. After reporting the details, making sure of putting the old man in an ambulance, and dealing with necessary documents, Elliott decided to head home with Curt. They were traveling in the same car. Elliott was taking the next day off as he was feeling sick and terrible from the time, he saw that creature. Curt could see that there is something wrong with his friend. 

Upon asking what is wrong, Elliott told Curt everything, starting from seeing that black creepy creature to the old man’s prediction of death in 7 days and sighting of Barguest. Curt asked what is a Barguest? Elliott explained that Barguest is a mythical deadly dog looking creature with large claws and red glowing eyes. This creature kills the men and no one has seen the eight-day of life seeing this creature. Elliott was worried. But Curt laughed at his explanation. He said that Elliott seriously needs a day or 2 off as he is exhausted from working on these cases from last month. He should take some time out. He needs fresh air. He is thinking about stupid things. There is no such thing as Barguest. Elliott should stop thinking like a stupid and get something nice to eat with a chilled beer and sleep. That’s what he needs. 

Curt dropped Elliott home and told him not to think about these things and take some rest. He came back home. Did some research on these murders. He had to submit his article. He has to cover the entire story too. It is going to be a busy week for him. He completed his article, e-mailed his editor, and went to bed. He checked with Elliott if they can catch up for dinner.  Elliot was quite shaken up with last night’s event. Curt wanted to make sure that he is ok. And he can get more input about the case too.  

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They met for dinner. Had a good time. They ate, drank, chatted then headed to each other’s home. Elliott was in better shape today than yesterday but still, he was shaken up. Curt did meet Elliott for another 2 days as he needed to know more about this investigation, the identification of dead bodies. Besides they have got another dead body too. So, he had to know the details. He did not hear anything from Elliott again for another few days. Curt was busy with his work too. But he got a call from him one night. 

Elliott was scared, his voice was shaking. He could not speak much. But what Curt understood is that the Old man from the crime scene is dead. Elliott is again the first responder in this case too. Curt was worried. He asked him, where is he?” Asked him to stay safe until the backup arrives, and Curt is coming for him right away. Elliott was at the same spot. Curt grabbed his coat and headed towards the Cemetery. 

It was a foggy night. But Curt reached the Sheffield General Cemetery as fast as he could. He knew that Elliott would be in terrible shape as these things were already in his head and now with the old man dead, It’s going to be worse. He just wanted Elliott to pull it together until he reached him. After all, Elliott is his school mate and only childhood friend. With these thoughts, he reached the Cemetery. He could see Elliott’s car. But Elliott was nowhere to be found. He started calling him. Curt could see the old man’s body. Elliott is not irresponsible to leave the body here like this. Curt should look for him. He is worried now. 

Curt finally found Elliott, further from Old man’s body. He found Elliott on the ground. His eyes were wide open in terror. Blood coming out of his mouth and three deep claw marks on his chest. Elliott is dead. It’s the 7th night.