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THE WOMAN DIED pleading for her life with the monster’s calves.
The few final moments she had clutched at its ankles, spitting out words and hacking up globules of sticky gore on the ground. She had prayed with despairing breaths for mercy, promising respect and care and love in exchange for sweet forgiveness. Visually, verbally, with her fingertips stroking pleadingly along its skin – and if it must have revenge, then at least not on him. A human may be touched to tears by such compassion, but there was no shiver of pity in the bloodied figure watching her life slip away. Then, finally, she died.
The monster wiped its foot in her shredded clothes. Wet, squelching sounds followed its turning, and it stepped over the mutilated corpse of the woman, thrilling with the memory of her cries. The Moon – cold, unforgiving – painted its flushing face in a pale grey film. A pair of eyes as big as walnuts watched in utter horror as the monster approached unflinchingly through the blood-sprayed grass. How the same blood dripped from its warm fingers, blood yet warm not minutes before. It twitched sickeningly at the boy’s reaction.
The boy’s knees buckled when she came near, and he curled on the ground, tears gushing out of his eyes. He covered his neck with his hands, hands so like this monster’s, yet gentle, human. Hands which had bled for changing its broken strings. The monster swiped at empty air, and the boy’s voice stuck in his throat. A hand seized him – an invisible, clawed hand – and like a cut of meat on a stove he was flipped over, the monster drinking the fear from his revealed face. It had the shape of a human, but there was no humanity in its maddened gaze. The blood on its hands shone in the cruel moonlight, the shine reflected in its eyes. Its hair was knotted; it wore clothes like a woman’s, but they were rags not skirts, and blood all over. Its lips were split and ground between jagged teeth, a red trickle running down the side of its chin. Its voice was the rasp of a body dragged through a forest.
The monster crouched, levelling its blood-shot eyes with
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