Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #91
The line between past and present was blurred. Drops of sweat rolled down Krane’s forehead and into his unblinking eyes. He had been forced to dig out a small cavern with his mountainous hands, and now he was cooped up inside the claustrophobic space. He was waiting, thoughts crawling sluggishly while he waited for any noise or sound. The tracks here were fresh, the smell of the creature still hung thickly in the air. It was a rich, earthy aroma that curled its way into his flaring nostrils. Fat, bloated flies buzzed annoyingly around him. They landed on his freshly cut leg.
Wooden prosthetic. The dry wood was greedily sucking up the salty sweat that ran down his body, for it was dreadfully hot under the ground. He was beginning to see things, hear things. He grabbed a fistful of filthy nuts from beside him. He had picked them fresh from a plant near the edge of the tall grass. He also had salted meats in his sack, but those would only serve to make him thirstier. A voice swam up to him through his delirium. An echo of his brother.
“Brother, this is an impossible task. Leave with me! We can even take the boy. You’re delirious, snap out of it.”
Krane had slapped his brother, shouted as he hobbled on his one leg, lurching towards the blurry silhouette of his departing sibling. When he finally touched it, the silhouette spun around, six talon-tipped arms reaching out and ripping him to shreds. He shook his head, the waking dream receding into the recesses of his chaotic mind.
That was when he saw it; a bird, young and untaught. It began to sing, attempting to fill in the blanket of silence that hung over the savanna.
A blur, a snap as branches collided with something moving at extreme speeds, and the bird was gone. In its place was perched the creature that haunted Krane. Elongated skull twitching from side to side. Four eyes scanning the surrounding area as it gently clutched the small bird in its jaws. Krane watched it without even taking a breath. His lungs screamed for oxygen, but he could not risk it seeing him. It slowly got down from the tree, three of its arms helping it safely as it inched to the floor, and suddenly without warning sped away. Dirt cloud rising high above into the sky, choking and blinding. Krane emerged from the mound, covered in clods of brown and tufts of grass stuck in his bushy eyebrows. His eyes were wide and bloodshot as he began to follow the trail.
Sam was hurting all over as he fell down the steep incline. He tumbled head over heels as dirt struck his eyes and stinging plants bit into his shins and elbows. When he finally came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, he had thoroughly scraped his knees and elbows, leading him to be even more irritable. Sam did not enjoy being irritable. He was so hungry! It felt as if a black hole had replaced his stomach. If he did not feed it soon it would feast on his other organs… He crawled along the bank of the stream, head pounding with each pull towards the thing he thought he had seen. A plant, he had been sure of it! Something green brushed against his face. He stopped and wildly thrust his hand around before he grabbed the plant and pulled it out by its roots. It had strange, purplish fruit with a hard scaly shell. He peeled it away with haste, but he was surprised to find a small pill, featureless save for the numeral inscribed on its exterior inside instead of any edible flesh. He gasped as he saw it, this was the first pill he had ever taken! The best high he ever had. He quickly cupped freezing cold water from the stream into his hands, and swallowed the pill with a gulp of water. The elation ran through him like fire in his veins. Muscles relaxing and pain fading away. He smiled and closed his eyes, feeling the warmth spread through him like a gentle hug as the drug descended down his throat. The hug was strong and nice, maybe a little too strong. The warmth faded away, replaced with a searing grip. The hug turned into a chokehold as he spluttered and croaked. He writhed and convulsed, pushing himself into the stream in the hopes that the temperature of the water would shock him out of it, but it was no use. It only served to make him almost drown, as he fought for air. Little did he notice that the stream, like all other bodies of water here, originated from the peculiar fissure in the sky. They snaked impossibly down through the air, in complete rebellion against the forces of gravity. No waves disturbed their silvery surfaces even in the strongest of winds. Sam was too preoccupied with balancing the desperate need for air with the bliss of the drug to notice that when his body struck the surface of the stream, the whole length of it shivered, akin to a cobweb catching a hapless fly. The current carrying him began to slow, then stop, then reverse its direction, ferrying him up helplessly towards the gaping maw of the fissure.
End of Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #91