Author's Note: Ok, yah, I know, why am I starting another story when all my other ones aren't finished. Well, it's because I really wanted a horror story for Halloween. I promise that I will try to finish it by October 31th, if I can escape from all the college essays and school papers. This story is based off a real ranch in Utah where several paranormal studies have been conducted. It is fictitous though and no plagarism is involved since I haven't the time to read any of the other books on the subject. I just thought it would make a marvelous Halloween story.

The night was still with the humming silence of the desert. Tall spiky yucca stood stiffly among the small feathery shrubs. The faint pink of cactus flowers glowed in the moon's pale rays as they turned their flushed faces up towards the glimmering stars in the inky blackness. Coyote smirked maliciously back at them from the shining full orb with all his cold indifference to the placid world below.

Cutting through the desert, a long black expanse of road ran north towards the distant monolithic mountains. The white painted lines shone superficially from the shadows giving the area a cheap plastic appearance like that of a Hollywood set for a gaudy cowboys and Indians movie. The tufting bushes rustled slightly as a shallow breeze breathed across the rippling sand.

From out of the night, a small shape limped slowly forward dragging its back left leg behind at it at an odd angle. The creature emitted a low hollow keen, accompanied by an eerie rasping wheeze and popping sound as if its lungs kept deflating like a punctured balloon.

A mangy and worm-eaten head of what used be a dog lowered it head to ground and sniffed, snuffling loudly. Swathed in moonlight, meaty red muscle glistened wetly and the sharp white of bone peeked out from beneath the grey ribbons of flesh and glutinous yellow fat. Where its nose should have been, two gaping cavities nudged the ground. One ear hung loosely only by a couple threads of tissue and an eye had receded shriveled into it hollow socket while the other protruded slightly, glassy and black with burst blood. With each rattling breath, a milky fluid ran out of the two nose cavities, bubbling slightly with each popping exhale.

It stumbled toward the road and collapsed in a rotting pile of meat and bones.

A rumble of a car engine and pounding beat of music broke the silence as an old beat-up blue truck roared from down the highway. It slowed slightly as the engine stuttered and suddenly jerked to a stop with a cough of exhaust. The blaring of music stopped, leaving a ringing silence of receding dissonant beats. A young man, in dirty overalls and tangled yellow hair barreled out of the car, slamming the door shut with a loud oath. He lumbered to the front of the car and wrenched the hood open. With a hiss, smoke poured out of the car's rusting innards and the man reeled back coughing violently.

"Aw hell," he wheezed as he spun around in a 180 degree circle scanning the horizon, dirty hand against his forehead, his eyes reflecting utter disbelief. In each direction, the gray sands of the desert touched the darkened sky, except in the north where sharp jagged peaks thrust up into the air.

"Aw hell," he repeated leaning over the front of the car and thrusting a hand into its innards. He stood there bent over, rummaging, until there was loud snap and he yelped and sprung back with an oath, sticking his now oil-stained finger into his mouth.

He stood there uncertain, his lank hair falling in his eyes and finger in his mouth. He sucked pensively for a moment and then will a desperate lilt to his walk, he slammed the hood of the car closed and jumped back into the driver's seat. He turned the key to the ignition.

The car stuttered and coughed. Again. With a sound like a gunshot the car jumped a meter or so forward and then commenced stuttering and coughing dissipating into a dying wheeze.

He got slowly out of his car this time. He looked disgustedly at the beat up blue bumper and muttered under his breath that sounded discernibly like 'shit.'

Apparently, this just wasn't Jake Havoc's night. Having driven all the way up from Albuquerque must have drained what little remaining life existed in his ancient blue Ford. Needless to say, he had not expected to be stranded in the middle of nowhere in Utah at 3:00 o'clock in the morning.

He leaned against the truck forlornly, hoping that maybe a late night driver would come along soon and pick him up. He was just contemplating if he should just walk the rest of the way when he heard the sound, a shallow breathy keening and coughing up of fluid.

He stilled listening. There, he heard it again, over by the dip in the road. Though the shivering foreboding of fear prickled up his spine and raised the hairs on the back of his neck, sheer curiosity compelled him to wander over to the shallow pit hole from which weak raspy whimpers emitted.

As he drew closer, he could make out something that looked like a buddle of rags in the pale dark. A sweet, slightly musty smell stung his nostrils and he stopped momentarily, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

He continued forward and leaned down to peer at the quivery brown lump. As he bent closer, it raised it head and smiled up at him, maggots dribbling from it mouth and its bloated black eye reflecting the moonlight. He reeled back and scrabbled away in mix of horror and disgust, a cry emanating from his lips.

He scrambled behind his truck panting broken sobs and peered cautiously over the hood. He could see the bloody corpse dog smiling, snuffling white milky froth, its mangled head turned towards him.

He shuddered. Between the ceaseless keening, he heard the snap of a twig and a large shadowy mass rise up from the desert floor. It crept with a terrifying speed towards the dog. Utter disbelief assaulted Jake. It just couldn't be possible, what? He shook his head in denial, terror gluing his feet to the ground.

It would have been a man, except for the animalistic grace in which it bounded over to the dog. A large, beastly head and long jagged claws descend upon the whining corpse. With one quick jerk, it ripped off the dog's twisted leg, and the dog let out a loud bubbling snort.

Jake watched in horror as the being ripped apart the dog with its claws, it man-like legs crouching on the ground. The snort screams of the dog diminished into silence and the being raised it massive wolf-like head to gaze at the trembling man behind the truck. Its eyes glowed red and its lips curled back in a snarl.

With a choked cry Jake suddenly found that his legs could moved and he threw himself upon the door. The thing dropped the partially eaten carcass and bounded silently towards him.

Jake sobbed and cursed as he fumbled with the door. He wrenched it open and felt a blinding pain in his shoulders as he was jerked backwards screaming into the desert air.

Hope you liked the first chapter. It will get weirder as the story continues