Black Dog Book by Allen Wolfie Simpson
When I was sixteen I stayed after school one afternoon. I was working in the school library, as I was part of the library club. We all made turns to stay after school to help the library teacher, Miss Mathers, clean up. It was just me and her in the room. Everybody was gone. The library smelled of old books and new books, the smells only well-read book-junkies like I could enjoy. I was busy dusting the gardening section. The teacher walked over to me, said she is going to the teacher’s lounge to fetch a book she left there, she promised that it will not take long. I just nodded and continued cleaning.
As her footfalls disappeared I saw something glint before me… It was a book, but it did not look like a gardening book. Glancing at its back, it looked leather-bound, in black leather, with an engraving of a silver ankh with horns at the bottom. That silver occult symbol was the thing that caught my attention. The backside had no book title written on it. Curiously I drew the book from the shelve. No title on the cover either, just a bigger silver horned ankh shined on a sea of black again. Was this a gardening book?
Swallowing deeply, I held the book to my face and sniffed it, It smelled of old book and leather, strangely also a weird irony aroma hidden to it. I opened the book carefully, noticing that the first page was yellowed. Words were written on the page in a gothic script, most of the words were faded. The only words I recognized was ‘Canis’ and ‘Liber’. I knew enough to guess that it was Latin or Greek. There was a picture of a dog but the dog’s head was scratched over with a pencil. I scowled at the sacrilege of it. How can someone try to scratch something out of a book with a pencil? I walked over to the table where I kept my pencils and erasers, picked one of my erasers up. I started to erase the scratching over the dog’s face. Suddenly a cold wind blew in at the library front door which was bizarre since it was a warm summer’s day. I ignored the cold and kept on cleaning up the vandalism in the book.
When the dog’s head became clear I was stunned. It did not have a dog’s face, it was the face of a human. A man-like face, eyes deep-set, with a sharp nose and full human lips, partially open, showing little fangs. I started to feel dizzy, felt myself swaying. I heard a sound behind me, turned around with the book in my hand. My teacher was back, I will never forget what happened next… she stood there stirring a cup of tea, with a book clenched under her left arm. That same moment, the book in my hand grew colder, and suddenly something ‘pushed’ out of the book, as if breaking through a veil. It was that very face I saw in the book… Terrified, I tried to close the book, but my hands were glued stuck.
She let out a fearful shriek, the book under her arm and the teacup fell to the ground. She tried to move but was glued to the spot. Now, that demonic head that appeared out of the book was followed by the neck of a dog, then the body, soon what looked like a human-headed black dog stood before me. My teacher turned pale and whimpered. Suddenly the black demon dog jumped onto her and bit her. It bit her a few times, with each bite she grew smaller! She was shrinking. I yelled, prayed, cursed, trying every verbal skill I knew to wake up from the nightmare…. but I was not asleep.
When Miss Mathers was small enough, the demon dog picked her up with his mouth and threw her at me… she disappeared in the book…
Then it looked at me. I felt its deep-set eyes connect with mine. A realization of death dawned on me, I found the energy to move, desperately doing the only thing I thought I could do. I attacked the monster with the open book. I held it open in front of me, hoping the evil tome would suck the demon dog back in. For some strange reason, and I don’t know how I managed it. The book somehow sucked the dog back in. It was like watching planets fall into a black hole. I captured the beast into the pages of the book. Gingerly I closed the hellish tome, exhausted with fear and awe, I fell onto the closed book and blacked out…
Hours later, I woke up, greeted by the twilight of the early night. I grabbed a pencil, opened the book. Inside was a picture of the demon dog eating a woman, she looked like Miss Mathers… I scratched out the dog’s face as fast as I could. I grabbed the book, put it in my bag and left the library.
Over the next few weeks, Miss Mathers were reported as missing. I was questioned about her disappearance and managed to assure the authorities, my parents and everybody else that I knew of nothing of her absence.
I am forty-six years old now. I still have the cursed book. No-one must ever open it. It is damned. How it appeared in that library I will never know. What it really is, I never want to find out.
If you read this and find the book amongst my things, don’t try to burn it… Trust me it does not work.
Let no-one see it.
That abomination must never have another soul.
(c) 2019 Allen wolfie Simpson
(c) 2019 Allen wolfie Simpson
Writer’s Note: This story was inspired by my dachshund, Buddha. We always joke and call him a hellhound because in heatwaves he likes to tunnel under my blankets and lie in my bed. We just can believe how he wants more warmth on a hell-warm day. The story is also inspired by the actual legend of the hellhounds, but the creature in my story is not like those monsters, it is more like something from a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The picture I used for the story’s cover is a photo of Buddha I manipulated with my meagre photo enhancing talents (or lack thereof) lol
Interested in more of my horror? Then read Roof. It is a post-apocalyptic story.