Journal Entry: Black Shuck
rating: +3+x

KATHERINE WOLFF’S JOURNAL ENTRY

BLACK SHUCK

The Black Shuck is a big dog with ghostly black fur and fiery red eyes. At a first glance, it would seem like a malign fiend, at least, that is what the DTC wants everyone to think. They have made up lies and stories to demonize it to fit their narrative of magic being evil and sinful. Their stories say that the Black Shuck is an omen of death and that it only brings despair to those who see its eyes. To be completely honest, I believed it at first. I believed what the stories said, but I learned the truth when I encountered the creature myself.

It was a busy night at Mr. London’s office. We had been doing paperwork for hours, so I went for a walk. I lit a candle and took it outside with me to illuminate my way. I walked on the riverbank of River Thames. It was a peaceful evening, but I felt there was something amiss. I was not sure what it could be. This feeling persisted until I turned around and saw it: The Black Shuck.

I saw its red eyes, but they were not like I expected them to be. They did not seem to show aggressiveness or wicked intentions, but a sense of fear and vulnerability. It did not run when I approached it. I tried to pet its head, but it seemed to want to go somewhere, so I followed it. I remember thinking it was a bad idea and that I could not return home, but little did I know what was going to happen.

We walked for almost ten minutes around London’s streets when it stopped at a particular house. It was not remarkable, as it looked exactly like the ones next to it: small houses with barely any windows. The thing about it was that the door was completely open and you could hear screams from the inside. Before I could question anything, two DTC agents came out of the house with two young ladies: one of them was blonde and the other one was brunette. I guessed they had been meddling with magic, as you could see the stains of potions on their robes. The agents saw me as they went out.

“What are you doing outside this late in the evening?” One agent said.

“I am just taking a walk… with my dog.“ I answered, trying to not raise suspicion.

The agents stared at the dog’s red eyes, and it roared back at them. I think that is when they knew. They knew what the Black Shuck was, and they were going to arrest me for meddling with magic. I feared being arrested as much as I felt bad for the girls and the black dog that brought me here. I thought that I really should not have followed it.

“Is this not the Black Shuck?” As the agent asked that question, the Black Shuck jumped towards him.

The other agent struggled to help his colleague with the hound, leaving the two girls free from his grasp. My heart was beating faster than it ever did. The girls signaled me to follow them and ran as far as they could. Not knowing what to do, I went after them. I looked back for a second and saw the Black Shuck biting the arm of the second agent; the first one was laying on the floor, I am not sure if he was still alive. We ran and hid in a dark alley outside of the agents’ line of sight. We stood there, catching our breath, saying no words, but I needed to know what was going on.

“What was happening back there?” I asked the girls.

“You will not tell the police, will you?” One girl said.

“I will not. They would try to arrest me too if I spoke about this.” I said, convincing them they could trust me.

“We are thaumaturgists. We make potions using branches, plants, and fruits we collect from the forest. The latest potion made a strong and bizarre smell and the neighbors probably called us out.” She explained.

At that moment, the Black Shuck came to the alleyway we were in, covered in blood. The girls smiled and pet it.
“Is the Black Shuck- I mean, is this your dog?” I asked.

“No, he is not. Chester comes to help when we are in danger.” The brunette girl said.

“They call him the Black Shuck, but he is not a monster like they say. He saves people in danger, especially when the danger is the Department of Thaumaturgy Control. He hates the DTC as much as we do.” The blonde girl said.

What the girls said opened my eyes. The Black Shuck and other magical creatures did not attack people for fun or because they are evil, they are defending themselves and others. Every day, my impression of the DTC becomes worse and worse. When the danger had passed I said goodbye to the girls and the black dog guided me home safely. When I got back to the office, Mr. London was worried about my whereabouts, I had never seen him this worried about me, I felt flattered. Not in a romantic way, of course, he is way older than me. I told him what had happened but he only told me to never go out in the night by myself as that could have ended way worse than it did.


When I wrote this, I thought this would be my only encounter with the Black Shuck or Chester, as the girls called him, but that was not the case. I got to see him and the two girls again about two weeks later. Our second encounter turned to be more revealing than the previous one as I learned more about the nature of the Black Shuck.

Mr. London was going to be out for the entire day, so I was free from work. It was a vibrant, sunny morning, the contrary of what you would expect in England. I looked around in the marketplace for something that caught my eye. However, everything in the market was ordinary and not very interesting, as every magical item was illegal and DTC should take care of it immediately. I kept looking around until I eventually gave up and headed to the countryside. It was nice being in nature after being in the city for so long. I was in a little town similar to the one I grew in.

The town center was almost as lively as London's but the atmosphere was calmer and you could breathe fresh air. The village's market had many items, there was something that caught my eye but that's a different story. After I bought a few things, I approached a wooden bench to rest on. I almost fell asleep when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I jumped in shock. When I looked back to see who it was, I see the brunette girl from the other day, the one that was with the Black Shuck.

“Remember me?” She said with a smile.

“Wait, you are that girl.” She put her hand in my mouth to keep me shut.

“Come with me.”

She grabbed my hand and guided me to a small cottage at the edge of town. It had the appearance you would expect from a cottage with the walls covered in plants and flowers with a delightful smell. I could not tell what flowers they were but and I felt cozy. The blonde girl came out of the cottage and stood next to the door as she greeted me.

“We have not properly introduced ourselves. My name is Valerie, and this is Emily.” The brunette girl said.

“I am Katherine. Nice to meet you! So, is this your new home?”

“Mhm. Do you like it? We figured out we could not stay in London since the DTC will look for us. So we went here, to Valerie’s birthplace.” Emily said.

“It is nice and cozy, but I have a question. Why did you not stay here in the first place? The DTC is not as active here and you probably can gather resources easier here.” I asked.

“We felt we could reach more people like us in the big city, even if that meant we had to be undercover at all times. I guess that did not work out.” Emily explained.

“I grew in the countryside too, but I wanted to be an engineer like my father, so I moved to London, but it did not work out at first. I even had to pretend to be a man to get a job. Luckily, I met Mr. London around a year ago. He treats me nicely and with respect regardless of my gender.”

I felt something sinister, yet familiar when I stopped rambling about myself. Two red eyes were staring at me at the back of the cottage. Valerie and Emily noticed my reaction and looked in that direction. The Black Shuck came, seeing their approval.

“You already know him. Chester spends a lot of time with us recently. I think he likes this place. And he also makes sure the DTC does not come for us.” Emily said.

“If you do not mind me asking, do you know anything about the Black Shuck? I would like to learn more about it.”

The Black Shuck approached me with its red eyes and lifted its left paw. At first, I stared at it, confused by its intentions, until I understood what he was trying to do. I grabbed its paw and my vision blurred out. I woke up in a graveyard on a rainy night. It was a grim and empty sight with the Black Shuck standing in front of one grave. I walked next to it and looked at the grave but I could not make out the name that was written on it but I guessed it would be the Black Shuck’s owner. But when I approached it and I saw the dog’s name: “Chester”. Quickly, the scenery changed to the streets of London where the Black Shuck was walking during the night with a man, his owner. The DTC marched towards them from behind. However, the man and the dog did not seem to mind until the agents commanded them to stop.

“Sir, I need to ask you a few questions.” The agent demanded.

“I am listening.” The man answered.

“Have you had contact with magic or magical creatures recently?” The agent asked in an aggressive tone.

“No, I have not.” He answered in a confident tone.

The agent stood silent for a few seconds and sighed.

“We do not want to do this the hard way, hobgoblin.” The agent threatened.

The man tried to run away but the DTC agent shot him in the left shoulder with a revolver. When Chester saw his owner getting hurt, he assaulted the agent, only to be shot on the spot. The dog bled out on the streets and they took the man away. Was that it? Did the Black Shuck become a ghost to take revenge on the ones who killed him? Why did it not look for its owner? The hallucination and I came back to reality to see Valerie and Emily again.

“Katherine? Are you okay?” Valerie asked.

“Do not worry, I just had a strange hallucination about the Black Shuck.” I said.

“That was not just a hallucination, Katherine. The Black Shuck showed it to us a long time ago. We investigated what happened to his owner after that and we found him. Its owner was never a hobgoblin, as the DTC suspected. He was a human, just like us, framed by an enemy of his. The DTC captured him and they discovered he was, in fact, a human. Then the DTC convinced him to-“

Heavy knocks on the door interrupted Emily. Valerie, hesitantly, opened the door to find a DTC Agent on the other side of the door. Scared, she closed the door immediately on the agent’s face, who angrily knocked again on the door. I was afraid, and they were afraid too. I could not get myself caught. What would I do then? What would Mr. London think that happened to me? What would West Brown think?

“Horace is at the door.” Valerie said, interrupting my thoughts.

“Who is Horace?” I asked, confused.

“The Black Shuck’s owner.” She admitted.

“He is a DTC Agent?!” I say as the girls nodded.

That revelation shocked me. How could he join an organization that killed his pet, his friend? It made little sense, but at that moment we had to run or they would imprison us, or worse. Emily signaled us to go through the cottage’s back door and I, Emily, and the Black Shuck obliged. We could get away from him without problems, hiding in a nearby cave. It was almost like the time we met, but this time, the girls were the ones who saved us. I realized that the Black Shuck was not some sort of hero. It just wanted to help its close ones, or the remaining ones, at least.

“How… why did he become part of the Thaumaturgy Control?” I asked.

“They gave him two options: He could either join them or they would frame him for a crime he did not commit. The DTC cannot allow their errors to give them a bad name among their kind, so they lied.” Emily explains.

“His owner opted to join them to save his own life after they have already taken his friend's.” Valerie points at the dog.

“Then the dog came back, looking for his owner, but found he had joined the side of his murderers and could not be with him anymore. The Black Shuck hid, but we and some of our friends took care of him. Horace, the owner, does not know his friend is still alive.”

“The DTC forces people to make choices they do not want to make.” I said.

We ran through the backdoor of the cottage and hid in the forest until it was safe. When we returned to the cottage, we found a note on the table.

Listen, I know Chester is with you and I know you do not want me to see him because I am part of the Department of Thaumaturgy Control now. I know I am not in a good spot. I am aware it may be dangerous for you if they catch me with this information, but I want to see Chester, even if just once more. I have no family, no other friends. Just look at where I ended up without Chester. I only want to see him once, then I will leave forever. I will not disturb you here.

— Horace

I left soon after we got the letter, but I hope the girls do the right thing. I know it is not my decision or responsibility, but I would let Horace see his friend one more time. He deserves it.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License