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Steppe-tuv

See the child
See his sobbing flight across the empty steppes
Before him, the mountain slopes loom
Bleak; jagged
Safe
Behind him, five-hundred metres near, charges the Beast
Roaring, stomping forwards
Reptilian
Its arms bent; long, lean, ending in clawed fingers
It was monstrous; mountain sized
Its hide the shade of a greying corpse.
Webbed spindles ridging crimson down Its spines
Its snout that of a caiman; saw-toothed fangs
Its eyes golden flame
Animalistic
Soulless
It had come from the city
Rising from the depths and the nightmares and the hate
Rising and devouring
It had devoured a million before
And now It saw the child
He ascended the slope
Breath hard, lungs burning within him
He paused before a cabin
Small, squalid
Safe
Unsteadily built
The Beast would tear it through with ease
Empty, it was, of all but hope
Hope hidden at the back
Hope in the form of a crawl-space built into the slope
Small, miniscule, but enough to squeeze inside
Safety within the space
The Beast came stomping before the cabin
Roaring
Ear-shattering roaring
It tore through the cabin’s roof easily
Ripping to pieces its walls and skeleton
However, in all Its monstrosity, the Beast did not hold the gift of acute scent
It could not find the child
So It left
Stomping away Its departure
Gone
The child stayed within the crawlspace a long time
The world a silent buzz around him
Later, the child picked through the shattered rubble of what was once a cabin
Searching for food, water, anything
Then came the woman
Young, kind
She gifted him a small can
Beans
“Follow,” she said, wordlessly
And he followed
And they went off together, leaving the rubble to rot
And in that rubble, at the back of the cabin wall
In a crawlspace built into the mountainside
Blocked in by wreckage
A child slowly starved to death
The world a buzzing silence around him



Written by N.R Edward1
Content is available under CC BY-SA