Because of the thick fog and torrential rain the drive up to her family’s remote cabin in the mountains had taken hours longer than expected but Traci was just happy to finally be alone. Earlier that day, she’d stopped by her fiancé Mark’s place to retrieve the cell phone that she’d forgotten the night before only to discover that Mark was already home from work. Hoping to erotically surprise him Traci was already unbuttoning her blouse as she walked into the bedroom they’d shared the night before, only to discover Mark having sex with her best friend Beth Ann.

Arriving at the cabin, Traci paused to light the cabin’s fireplace before heading upstairs to unpack her bag. Stripping off her damp clothing she was about to put on a heavy sweater when she noticed her reflection in the bedroom mirror. Dropping the sweater on the bed she turned to admire her reflection. Traci might be 28 and moved on to a management position in the team’s publicity department but thanks to all those long hours spent at the gym she still retained the figure of the NFL cheerleader and Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit model she’d once been.

Deep down Traci always wondered about Mark, back when he played for the team he’d been one of the bad boys and even though he’d moved up to assistant coach those old habits are hard to break. Shaking her head sadly, Traci still couldn’t believe she’d actually been engaged to such a loser, and then to catch him in bed with Beth Ann of all people, the teams plump front office receptionist.

Still, it could have been worse and despite all her anger and frustration Traci saw the faint beginnings of a grin on her face, well at least I found out he was cheating before the wedding. Not to mention the look of absolute horror on his face when I marched out into the kitchen and, as he watched in horror, threw his 18 carat diamond engagement ring into the sink and switched on the garbage disposal.

On a sudden whim Traci decided to forgo the sweater and headed back downstairs, wearing nothing but her underwear, to return to the waiting warmth of the fireplace and the promise of several glasses or perhaps several bottles of vintage Merlot.

Hours later Traci stood by the window staring out into the driving rain, a half full glass on wine in her hand, when it happened. There was no warning, one moment the reflections in the glass showed the soft inviting leather coach, the fleece throw blankets, the coffee table with its almost empty bottle of wine, the next they were gone, replaced by a swirling cloud of thick black smoke. Turning to look into the swirling black abyss, Traci recoiled in horror, dropping her wineglass and instinctively backing up until she felt the window’s cold glass pressing against her back as a creature straight from the depths of hell stepped out of the darkness.

Nyhlloghast reached out with his left hand to grasp the human female tightly by the neck and lifted her from the floor. Instinctively the woman’s arms came up to grasp his wrist as he slowly began to tighten his iron grip on her slender throat.

He paused to savor the look of stark terror the human female’s eyes as she struggled helplessly within his powerful grasp, then savagely stabbed the razor-sharp talons of his right hand into the human female’s abdomen and forced his hand upward into her chest cavity.

As she watched the terrifying creature taking another bite from her still beating heart Traci knew she was dying, she could feel a chilling coldness overtaking her senses, the hot unmistakable coppery taste of blood in her mouth, the overwhelming unimagined pain.

It was then that she heard his voice in her mind, “You should feel honored you are the first human I’ve feasted upon in the long millennia since those ancient Egyptian priests managed to seal the portal between our worlds.” Pausing to take another bite out of Traci’s beating heart, Nyhlloghast continued, “Of course, now that the portal has reopened you will merely be the first of millions destined to sate the appetites of my race.”

Realizing that the human female had finally expired Nyhlloghast threw Traci’s mutilated remains onto his shoulder and walked back into the swirling blackness of the portal. Soon humanity would once again come to understand the real reason why they so instinctively fear the dark...