Prompt Images


FROM: John Woodson, Midland Gazette reporter

TO: Sara McLaren, Midland Gazette associate editor

SUBJECT: Lopez Police Statement (!!!)


Sara,

The following is an excerpt of the statement given to Texas State Troopers by one of their own, Rosalina Lopez. She is, as you know, the first to arrive on the scene at the motel where the bodies were found. I obtained it from George, my contact within TDPS. This is why I have to go out there. Highway Patrol is not telling us anything, but this is the third official sighting already this year of the creature we’ve been hearing about from townsfolk.

_________________

—the “low fuel” light having been on for some time, I was relieved when I saw the lights. The gas station and the motel beside it looked fine from the outside, and I pulled in. I will say, though, that its large signs and pointed roofs make the place seem from a bygone era, like the Fifties, and I wonder if that is not going to unsettle travelers rather than draw them in from the highway.

Anyway, the pump did not accept credit cards, so I entered the store to pay with cash. On seeing that there was no one inside—no cashier, no customer—I felt I needed to look around a little more to make sure everything was alright. It was 2:00 A.M., I know, but with the store open and well-lit as it was, there needed to be someone there.

Having walked round the station, I entered the Permian Motel’s parking lot. Likewise, not a soul to be spotted. 

But there were three vehicles: a Suburban, a Tesla, and a Mustang, to be exact. As well as I could see through the windows, the lobby and the restaurant were operational. I was on my way to the lobby when I heard a groan. It was a groan only someone gravely wounded could have made, and, given the deep stillness all around, with not a cricket to be heard save for the crunch of the gravel underneath my steps, I shivered from head to foot when I heard it. 

Turning my attention to where it, in my estimation, issued from, I noticed a haphazard trail of blood, which led further on to my right.

Sitting on the floor, with his back against the front bumper of the Mustang, was a young Black man, whose clothes were thoroughly blood-soaked. I could not immediately tell if the blood proceeded from his own wound or someone else’s. On closer examination, he had horrific cuts on his arms, and swooned as if on the verge of losing consciousness. The blood must have been all his. The cuts were too large to have proceeded from any knife, but too deep to have proceeded from a blunt tool. It was as if a lion had clawed at him as he held up his arms to it in self-defense.

But, a lion in these parts?

I tried my best to calm him, because he looked at me with the most terrified expression. He was clearly in shock, with his attacker yet in his mind’s eye, and physical pain probably overwhelming him. I told him to wait there because I needed to radio for help, and left in haste for my patrol car. 

On my way back is when, beside a hedge, I discovered an object covered in blood. I looked closer, expecting it to be roadkill, but it was a severed leg. I gasped and nearly tripped over for sheer fright. I now ran, beginning to fear for my life, though I had yet to see anyone or anything that could harm me.

I locked the car as soon as I entered it to call in. That’s indeed, as you may hear from the tape, when, about 200 feet in front of me, in the middle of the highway I saw a thing standing on its hind legs, so large, so immense, so evil, and just so horrifying that I lost my ability to speak and nearly to breathe. It leapt off in the opposite direction after a few seconds of staring me down, and the night soon wholly enveloped it— 

Keven Balderas

Keven Balderas is a manager for a Houston-based staffing firm. Graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Classics, and in 2020 with an MBA.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more