Character: The Tenth Doctor
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word count: 524
Disclaimer: The Doctor and all other mentioned characters are property of the BBC, and are used without permission.
I'll say this for my old friends the Daleks and the Cybermen-- if they're coming for you, or if they've got it out for you, you'll know. Although they have become in the last few decades quite proficient at the whole "staying in the background, plotting horrible things while letting lackeys and innocents do our work for us" business, they're not very subtle when it comes down to trying to kill you themselves. To wit: turning the entire Empire State Building into a giant death ray or constructing a hundred metre-tall steam-powered robot to stomp about London.
You'll hear them. You'll see them. If you're lucky and they haven't got so many that they'll cut off any escape, you can run.
But there's lots of nasties out there in the universe that don't let you do any of those, if they can help it. And they do everything they can to keep you from hearing or seeing them, and certainly from running. Sometimes, they're simply predatory life-forms, beings who must consume the energy they need to survive by taking it from other beings somehow. It's hard to fault, say, a bear for killing a fish to eat it; that is its nature. Besides, and more importantly, neither bear nor fishie is sentient.
And then, there are the killers. Sentient, reasoning individuals who make the conscious choice to take the life of another sentient being. A few of these do it for sustenance. Others-- too many others-- do it for the pleasure.
I abhor the taking of life, and those that do so are some of my very least favorite entities in creation.
If I were to pick a couple of worst cases, though?
Let's start with the Vashta Nerada. Nearly every civilisation in this universe shares one thing in common: a fear of the dark. It is the void, the unknown, the bogie man in the corner of your bedroom. Well, as it turns out, we've all got good reason. Microscopic in size, a swarm of Vashta Nerada look like nothing more than a shadow, a bit of darkness cast against a surface. Inside, though, that shadow roils with destructive power.
The shadows chase you until there's no light to hide in. They attach themselves to living beings, hidden in plain sight, waiting to attack. They can even do a fair job making a corpse seem reanimated. They will chase and feed until there is nothing left.
Even more dangerous and many times more creepy are the Weeping Angels. Muderers from the dawn of time, they are actually capable of flinging a being back through time, leaving them in the past to live out a life that wasn't meant to be, and consuming the lost potential of their proper destiny. What makes them so terrifying is that if they've got you in their sights, there is only one way to escape-- to make sure that you have your eyes on them. You can't turn away, you can't fall asleep, you can't even blink.
We've all been frightened by scary stories. I'm sorry to say some of them are all too true.