When my father passed away, we cleared out the attic before the house went up for sale, and I boxed up some loose written materials and photographs. When I finally got around to sorting through it all, I was delighted to find some items that had belonged to my grandfather. Among them was the shell of a bound book labeled, “Journal.” The pages had been torn out, and all that was left was writing on the inside of the back cover — apparently the last page of his diary spilled over.

This is what it said:

The night went nicely, until we saw the first signs of daylight. It was then that the creature crept over the horizon. We saw it through the binoculars, with big fangs and slobbering jowls, crawling over houses and cars, tipping over office buildings, slowly making its way toward our encampment.

It was just us up top, the men. All the women and children were down in the underground bunker. We passed the binoculars from one man to another, staring in disbelief, waiting for the inevitable.

After we’d seen our fill, we sat down with our backs against the waist-high wall of sand-bags and smoked our last cigarette together. Riffy told an off-color joke to ease the tension. Then someone made a comment about how our cigarettes were stale. And as the monster crawled closer, we began to feel the ground vibrating with each plodding step and the sounds of the breaking glass and crunching metal grew louder and louder.

We put on our helmets and checked our body armor to make sure that we were protected, and Scotty and I readied the flame throwers as the mammoth beast came into range. As it closed in on us, I began to think I’d be lucky if I got off a single burst before it killed us all. The range for our flame throwers was 20 feet.

“Aim for the eyes!” Scotty shouted over the din.

And I did. As the flames hit its head, it reeled. I tried to keep the flame on target, right on its eyes, but it pulled its head from side to side and the stream from my thrower bathed its nostrils and ears in flames.

Then it lifted its head and fell forward. Even though we had the creature, I didn’t let up, blasting the thing square in its closed eyelids. I could see them burning, and it let out a mighty roar and batted an arm at our encampment, wiping the top clean.

I wasn’t so much thrown as pushed hard and fast, and I watched helplessly buried among broken sandbags as the creature tore up the ground and destroyed everything that was dear to me.

I sat there and sobbed, watching the beast creep off into the distance, stopping only to bat a military helicopter out of the sky.

And they were the lucky ones. Me? I survived.

This has been my latest installment of strange and unfortunate fiction. I hope you enjoyed it!