It was the favorite story among the old folk, the one they told while rocking on front porches in the early summer evenings, when the fireflies lit the fields like so many floating stars. Emma sat on the steps and listened to the familiar beginning, her jar held tightly(more) between her knees as the blinking insects climbed up the sides, hoping for a freedom that wouldn't come for hours yet.
"Remember the year the well ran dry?" Owen asked. His rocker pressed against a loose board every time it came forward, creating a rhythm of groaning creaks that reminded Emma of Grandaddy's knee.
"Hottest year on record. Thought my Luann was gonna die that year," Hal answered. Emma watched as her Grandaddy snapped the fly swatter against the porch rail. "Dammit! I missed 'em."
"Lots of people died that year," Owen said. "Praise God Luann wasn't one of em."
"That's the year I saw the demon," Hank whispered. "Should've known somethin' bad was about to happen. Never saw eyes like that before."
"Now Hank, you don't know it was a demon," Owen said. "You never saw nothin' but its eyes."
"I had three drained cows that morning. No animal drinks blood like that. Then the well went dry."
"Could've been a chupacabra," Emma interjected. "Christopher says they drink goats' blood. Maybe they like cows' too."
"Boy's as dumb as a doornail. No such thing as a chup-a-what-a." Owen huffed, his rocking growing faster.
The old men continued recounting the sorrows of that year, but none of them would believe what she and Christopher had found in the abandoned well four days ago. That's why they had to catch it.
The fireflies were growing sluggish. Emma gave the jar a shake, wishing Christopher would hurry. Night was approaching.