by Brent Moore

DISCLAIMAR:  If there could be a rating system for books as there currently is for movies and television, this story could easily be rated B-14.  This implies that this work may contain violence, profanity, or adult situations.  Who am I kidding?  It’s all violence.  Just remember, if there is a dead body covered in blood, it’s really just an actor covered in ketchup.

October 17, 1979:
         It was a dark and stormy relationship.  For that reason, Julius and Nora decided to spend the weekend together and alone in a cabin in the woods.  They were having a nice romantic time together.  Unexpectedly, there was a knock at the door.  Not an ordinary knock, knock, knock, but more like the sound of a five pound mackerel being thwacked against a doorpost.  At first, the couple decided to ignore the banging.  Then the knocking stopped and turned into a scraping or perhaps a gnawing sound.  Despite the unusual sound, the two continued to ignore it.  Then the door swung wide open.  A horrible creature pounced into the room and there was nothing the two troubled youngsters could do to escape.  The next morning, Owen Nichols, owner of the campground found the twosome dead, in a pool of blood.
     *     *     *
        20 years later:
         “Michael is so dreamy!” said Jenny.
         “Id take Tim over Michael any day,” Mary retorted.
         “Michael rides a motorcycle.  Michael is the quarterback on the football team.”
         “Tim can get into college!”
         “Well, your just jealous cause you can’t have him!  Look!  Here he comes now,” Jenny stated as Michael, clad in his leather jacket, rode his Harley over to where the ladies were standing.
         These three and another six of their friends had decided to rent a large cabin for the weekend.  Simon drove up in his large van with Tim about five minutes later.  By the noon departure time, Carla and Cindi arrived also.
         “Should we wait for Brady and Susan?” Carla pondered
         “They knew to meet here at noon.  We should give them fifteen minutes and then leave.  Besides, they wouldn’t want us to wait,” Tim explained.  At 12:15, Tim, Mary, Cindy and Carla piled into Simon’s van and pulled out.  Michael and Jenny rode off on his motorcycle.
    *     *     *
         Susan’s car broke down on the way to the meeting site.  She wouldn’t miss this weekend trip for anything, even if she had to walk to the rendezvous spot.  She didn’t make it until 12:45, when the rest of the group were long gone.  There was only one thing she could do to make it to the campsite on time - and that was to hitch a ride.
        As Susan was walking down the highway, a man in an old pickup truck pulled over to pick up the coed.  She got into the front seat and noticed the man had a gray beard that hadn’t been trimmed in months and wore a ragged orange shirt.
         “Where ya goin?” he asked with a ragged voice.
         Camp Castorcanadensis!” was her reply.
         He grunted in understanding.
     *     *     *
        “What’s going on back there?  What’s that smell?” Simon asked while driving.
         “Nothing!” came the reply.  Carla was riding shotgun, Tim and Mary were in the second seat and Cindi was in the back, smoking pot.
         Carla responded, “Now that’s not true, Cindi is back there inhaling wacky weed.”
         “Are you crazy?”  Simon lamented.  “If a cop pulls us over, we’re all going to jail!”
     *     *     *
         Susan, while riding as a hitch-hiker noticed that the driver had a noticeable scar on the left side of his face, was missing the end of his pinky finger on his right hand, and had a tattoo on his right bicep of the state of Colorado.  He had a colt 22 pistol on the dashboard and a hunting rifle behind the seat.
         The truck stopped at one of the very few red lights on the state highway.  A man with a Bronx accent came up to the truck with a bottle of Windex and a squeegee.  He poorly attempted to wash the windshield and walked to the driver’s window asking for a tip.  The driver grabbed his gun, shot the man in the shoulder and sped through the intersection as Susan watched in disbelief.
         It wasn’t too much longer until Susan decided to take her chances walking to the campsite instead of spending another 15 minutes with a psycho.  She ordered the scruffy guy to pull over and let her out.  He didn’t.  Now, she was terribly afraid.  A mad scramble ensued when she grabbed for his rifle and aimed the barrel right to his head.  “Stop the car right now!”
         The truck pulled over and he allowed her to get out.  She, with the rifle still aimed at his head, got out of the vehicle.  “It’s not loaded.  I like your attitude,” he laughed as he drove off.
     *     *     *
         The other seven coeds arrived at Camp Canadensis right on time.  Waiting for them was Owen Nichols.  Tim gave the man $120 in cash, the cost for the cabin, and Simon and Michael unloaded the food.  All the ladies unloaded the bags and gossiped more.
         Michael was looking through the belongings in disgust.  “Hey, guys!  Nobody brought any knives!  Now what are we going to do?”
         Everybody looked at Cindi.  “What did I do?”
         Mary quickly commented, “Don’t be too disappointed.  The human sacrifices can still go on as planned.”
         They all had a good chuckle.
         As this was transpiring, Owen Nichols thought to himself, “I forgot.  This is the night I’m not supposed to rent the cabin to anybody!”
     *     *     *
         Susan, now on her own, figured if she cut through the woods, she could make it in about an hour.  Her rifle came in handy as she could use it to whack away all the branches and vines that were in her path.
         As she was walking, she heard a rustle through the leaves behind her.  She paused and listened.  The sound was getting closer.  Then it stopped.  “Who’s out here?” she exclaimed as she brandished her rifle. “I’m armed!”  Now, she heard a rustling sound from her left.  She turned and looked and couldn’t see anything moving.  She heard a sound coming from behind her.  She peered over her shoulder and again, saw nothing.  Then, she heard sounds coming from all directions.  It was hideous; it was terrible.  There wasn’t just one but ten of these monstrosities!  These beasts encircled her.  There was nothing she could do.  One jumped on her back; one on her arm, one on her leg, one in her hair.  They tore off her flesh as they scavenged her body.  She had been reduced to a carcass.
     *     *     *
         Sundown was soon approaching.  Carla turned on the cabin’s television set so that they could watch the “Gong Show” even if the reception was staticy.
         “Tonight on channel 46:  7 O’clock: “Celebrities caught doing embarrassing things while under hypnosis” followed by “Teenage Hedonist Beach Party” at 8:00”
         Then an urgent news bulletin came on. “This just in.  An inmate has just escaped from Kennedy Federal Penitentiary.  The escapee is the notorious axe-murderer Chuck Strappard, better known as “Chuck the Scraper.”  He is to be considered VERY armed and VERY dangerous.  Officials suspect that he is either on foot or driving a truck that an outside contact has left for him.  His distinguishing features include a noticeable scar on the left side of his face, missing the end of his pinky finger on his right hand and a tattoo on his right bicep of the state of Wyoming.  Be on the lookout because he might want to kill you!”
         Just then a huge thunderclap screamed across the sky, despite the fact that moments earlier, the sky was cloudless.      Seven grown adults screamed as loud as their lungs would allow.
         Then, there was a knock on the door.  The seven grown adults stayed as quiet as their lungs would allow.  The door fiercely swung open.  A man with a disfigured face and clothing soaked in blood came towards them swinging an axe.
         “Hi, Brady” Mary calmly said.
         Brady lifted the mask off his face, put down his nerf axe and questioned, “How did you know it was me?”
         “This is how you always make an entrance.  Frankly, the effect has worn off.”
         To nobody’s interest, Brady started to explain how he made his costume.  He is the type of person who speaks a lot without saying anything.
     *     *     *
         Mr. Nichols had feared that he made a terrible mistake by renting out the cabin this night.  He and his dog Rufus had started to search out the area a few minutes before sundown.  After half an hour of searching, he found his shocking discovery.  He found Susan’s dead body in the woods.
         “No! No! Noooooo!  It’s happened again!  The BEAVERS!  The beavers are back.  What have I done?  What have I done?  I’ve rented out the cabin when I knew the beavers would come back.  I should warn the authorities.”
     *     *     *
        “Hey, do you know what we could do to pass the time?” Michael asked sinisterly as he pulled out  a deck of cards. “Strip poker.”
         “That’s a great idea.”
        “I’m in.”
        “Count me in.”
        “Me, too!”
         “Wait a moment,” Carla said as she looked at her watch.  “It’s nine o’clock.  It’s past our bedtimes.”
        “You’re right.”
        “I’m out.”
        “Count me out, too.”
        “Maybe next time.”
         Everyone in the group went to their separate rooms.  The guys went upstairs in the same cabin and the ladies went to another cabin around the other side of a lake.  Tim and Mary stayed behind.
     *     *     *
         Tim and Mary were enjoying a nice romantic evening.  They were in a cabin in the woods while enjoying a nice romantic fire.  They were discussing how they could stop the depletion of the ozone layer.  They heard a knock at the back door.
         Tim said, “I should go see who is at the back door.”
         Mary responded, “Don’t leave me!  I’m afraid of being in the dark and I’m afraid of being without you and I’m afraid there might be a monster out there.”
         Tim replied, “Don’t be silly, Mary.  There’s no such things as monsters; and if there are, why would they be knocking on the cabin door of two perfectly innocent teenagers?”
         Mary cried out, “Don’t go out there!”
         Tim opened the door and there was a beaver sitting right outside the door.  “See, Mary,  it is just a cute little beaver.  I told you it wasn’t a monster.”  Just then, the demon-beaver leader lept into the air and bit Tim in the jugular, killing him instantly.
         Then, the other nine Demon-Beavers came into the cabin.  Mary screamed, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
         All ten demon-beavers started to walk towards her.  She raced to the fireplace and picked up the poker.  She waved it around while yelling, “I’m not afraid of you!”  The demon-beaver leader laughed as all ten continued to inch closer to her.  As Mary continued to creep backwards, she fell backwards into the fire, where her body burned into a crisp.
     *     *     *
         A minute ago, Mary screamed, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
         Simon, Michael and Brady, in the men’s quarters, were startled by the shreik.  “Someone’s in trouble!” Michael yelled.  “Let’s see if they’re o.k.”  The guys rushed down the stairs to see what was the matter.  That’s when they found the two bodies and horror set in.
         “What ghastly terror could have done such a thing?  We need to go to the girls cabin to warn the others.”  The three ran to the other side of the lake.
     *     *     *
         The group had been full of tears for a few minutes when an old jeep pulled up to the cabin.  Out of the jeep came Owen and another older gentleman.
         Simon rushed out of the cabin to meet the two.  “Something terrible has happened!”
         Owen acknowledged, “I know and I’m afraid it’s all my fault.”
         “Is there something you’re not telling us, Mr. Nichols?” Carla prompted.
         He responded, “This man can answer all of your questions.  This is Dr. Alex Von Braun.  He used to work for the Genetical Research of Animals Laboratory.”
         “Hi.  I’m Dr. Von Braun.  You might remember me from some other famous animal disasters like the Killer Rabbits, the Deadly Minks or the Great Platypi Terror of `84.  But, I’m afraid that what we have here is much worse than what we earlier thought.  I’m afraid we have demon-BEAVERS!”
          “Gasp! Not demon-beavers!” Jenny exclaimed.
         “Yes, demon-beavers.  Let me give you the story.  It started in the summer of `79.  Officials from the Pentagon contacted us at the Genetical Research of Animals Laboratory, or as we like to call it, GRAL. [pronounced: growl]  They wanted us to develop an animal species that the U.S. military could use for zoological warfare.  To make a long story short, we genetically engineered a male and a female.  Together, they had eight offspring.  We even named them Buckwheat, Chomp-Chomp, Woody, Flapjack, Skinny, Gnawboy, Chucky, Gaptooth, Beavis, and Merle.  We couldn’t foresee the horror that we created.  They broke free and have been running amok ever since.  Every year on the anniversary of their escape, they go on a killing spree.  For the past several years, Owen has remembered to not rent the campsite, but this year, he forgot.”
         “In October of 1994, 3 student novelists disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while writing a documentary.  A year later, their writings were found.”
         Simon chastised, “Dr. Von Braun, let me get this strait.  You created these monsters?  You engineered demon-beavers?  What in the name of Gregor Mendel were you thinking?  Surely, you are a mad scientist.  The beavers should kill you!  What do you think of that, mad scientist?
         He apologetically and tearfully responded, “How were we to know?  We were playing god.  If I knew this would happen, would I have done it?  No!  We all make mistakes.”
         Simon retorted, “Well, Mr. Mad Doctor, my mistakes don’t kill two of your friends!”
         Owen sighed, “Oh, dear.  There’s another?  I only knew about your friend Susan.”
         Cindi cried, “Susan, too?  Oh, my goodness.  That makes three beaver related deaths.  This has been the worst weekend ever.”
         Brady, for once, had a good idea.  “Let’s not just sit here as beaver food.  Let’s get outta here!”
         Dr. Von Braun tried to start his jeep, but his engine did nothing.  Upon examination, he found a hole had been chewed in the gas tank.  All the other vehicles had their tires slashed.
         “We need to call the sheriff,” Michael commented.  He picked up the phone receiver.  “The line’s dead.  How can this get any  worse?”
         Just then, the power went out.
         Owen and the doctor checked out the power lines.  “These wires.  They’ve been gnawed on!”  Owen went to address the kids: “The doctor and I are going to turn on the emergency power generator.  However, it is a couple of miles over the hill.  There are a half dozen lanterns and a couple of flares in the closet behind you.  Whatever you do, stay here where it’s safe!”  With that, they started off.
         Five minutes later, Jenny said in disgust, “I don’t want to sit here waiting to die; we should do something.  I don’t care what Mr. Nichols thinks.”
         Carla agreed, “We should form groups, blatantly breaking our safety in numbers, thus each of us has a reduced chance for survival, thereby making a much more interesting story.”
         Michael continued, “Good idea.  Jenny and I will go to the other cabin to check for a working phone or weapons.”
         Simon added, “I’ll take Cindi and we’ll keep watch in the third cabin.”
         Carla finished, “Maybe Brady and I should stay here in case Mr. Nichols and the doctor come back alive.”
     *     *     *
         Owen and Dr. Von Braun were not far from the emergency generator.  The doctor commented, “These are smart beavers, not to be underestimated.  They could have set traps that we need to prepare for.  Keep your eyes open for anything.”
         Moments later, the doctor snagged over a tripwire.  This set off a tree with an almost completely gnawed off base, tipping it over, crushing the doctor as a whittled tree branch impaled him.
         As was customary, Owen cried out, “Not again.  The beavers.   They’ve killed again.”  He started to run off.  Then he heard something.  He stopped and sat on the ground.
         The beaver mother crawled over to him and started making noises: “chk-chk-chk-chk-chk-chk.”
         Owen responded, “Yes, Mother.”
         “Yes, Mother.  I will, Mother.”
         “The girl?  She means nothing to me.  I will, Mother.”  With that, he got up and left.
     *     *     *
         Carla fished in her pocket for a match to light a gas lantern.  She found a Canadian nickel and threw it to the ground in disgust.
     *     *     *
         Simon and Cindi decided that one of them should keep watch, while the other tries to sleep.  Simon volunteered to go first.
     *     *     *
         Michael and Jenny were in the other cabin, and, of course, the phone lines were chewed up.  There was nothing that could be used as a weapon, except for a fireplace poker.
         “You know,” Michael quipped, “We can take advantage of the darkness.”  So they did.  The only light in the room was from a gas lantern.  They were so engrossed with each other that they failed to notice a beaver enter the room.  This demon-beaver had a leather glove on its tail.  Each finger of the glove had a razor-sharp blade on it.  The beavers slashed Jenny all over her body until she was dead.  Michael watched with horror.  The other beavers smeared her body all over the walls and ceiling as blood ruined the new wallpaper.  Finally, a machete came down and cut off the Michael’s head, causing it to roll to the floor.
     *     *     *
         It was Cindi’s turn to keep watch while Simon rested.  Halfway through her stint, she heard a voice sing from outside, “Ciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.”
         She looked out the window as the voice was heard again, “Ciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.”  She thought it was Mary’s voice.  “Help me, Cindi.”
         She left the cabin and once again heard, “Help me, Cindi.  I’m on the lake.”  She ran to the lake, climbed into a rowboat and started rowing.  “Help me, Cindi.  A little closer.  A little closer.”  She made it to the center of the lake and could not see anybody.  She realized she had been fooled.  There was nobody out there.
         At that moment, a demon-beaver leapt out of the water and capsized her boat.  She screamed as she started flailing in the water.  A couple of beavers tried to pull her under as the first beaver attempted to push her head underwater.  After a few minutes of struggle, she drowned.
     *     *     *
         Simon, who had been asleep, opened his eyes.  There was a beaver over him and it was holding one of those rods that you roast hot dogs on.  The beaver started to thrust it into Simon’s chest.
         It was only a dream.  Simon sat up and started screaming.  He quickly realized that Cindi was not around and had left him alone.  He checked his watch and it was 3:30.  If he could make it to sunrise, he would survive.  As for the moment, he needed to find Cindi.  He ran out of the cabin and immediately fell into a beaver-dug pit. Then a hot dog roaster was thrust into his heart.
     *     *     *
         Brady and Carla were pondering about the others.  Brady first commented, “Owen and Dr. Von Braun should have been back by now,” to which Carla replied, “We haven’t heard from any of our group.  Maybe we should check on them.”  They went to check for the rest and couldn’t find anybody.
         “Do you hear that buzzing sound?” Brady questioned.
         “Yes I do, and it’s getting louder!” she replied.
         “CHAINSAWS!” they both blurted.
         “The beavers are after us with chainsaws.  Look at that hill over there.  If we can make it to the top and find some long sticks, we’ll be safe until daybreak.”  They both began to run towards the hill with Carla in the lead. “Brady, there are some nice branches over there!” No reply. “Brady? (pause) Brady?” She turned around and Brady had fallen on the ground.  She was turning around to get him when she heard the sound of human flesh being torn up by a chainsaw.  She couldn’t watch.  She got back on course and would defend herself on the top of the hill.
         It was five o’clock-not too long until the sunrise- but Carla was extremely tired.  She had trouble staying awake as she kept nodding.  Oddly, there hadn’t been any beaver-ish activity for a while.
         She opened her eyes and now it was dawn.  She had made it through the night.  She was going to survive.  At that moment, a six-foot tall beaver running on its hind legs and carrying an axe was coming towards her.  When it was about 20 feet away, she heard a gunshot and the beaver fell over.  About 50 years away were the county sheriff and Deputy Bubba.
         The two of them ran towards her.  “Ma’am, are you alright? you look frightened!” she cried and nodded her head yes.  The deputy examined the beaver. “Ya got `em in the leg. He’s still alive.  It’s not a beaver but a guy in one a doese beaver costumes.” The sherrif went over to the beaver and took off the mask -  it was Owen Nichols. “Owen, Why?”
         “My mother - she told me too.  I would have gotten away with it had it not been for those meddling kids.”
         “It’s jail time for you Owen.  Can you tell me what happened here, Lady?”
         “Carla stopped her crying long enough to say, “Oh, it was terrible.  There were a group of beavers and they killed seven of my friends.”
         “Beavers, you say?” The sheriff nodded. “We have that beaver right here.”
         “No! there were others. Real Beavers. Ten of them - I think. Demon-beavers.”
         “Real Beavers? Did you see any of these....beavers?”
         “No, but I saw what they did.  Trust me. They’re real.”
         The deputy replied, “There are no such things as them there Demon-beavers than kill people and stuff.  I think you should go home and rest.”

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