What must be done
She was flying quickly through the air. She had left home a few hours ago to start the search. It was always hard to leave her children alone, they hated it and so did she. She had no choice, the food was over and if they wanted to survive there was only one thing to do. The search. The hunt for the monsters.
The gigantic, horrendous monsters were everywhere around her home. There were others like her and her children but they hid away just as she did. It was a magic world the one they lived in, but it wasn’t theirs. It was the monsters’. The creatures moved around towering on most of everything that could be seen. They mostly disappeared at night, which is when it was safer to go out, but other than that they were omnipresent. Thankfully most of them preferred to stay in their caves. Hideouts of solid material as enormous as their inhabitants, so much so that you could lose yourself in there. Many that had gone inside didn’t come back.
She moved over a big green leaf at a quick speed and turned left, the air moving her hair continuously. None of the monsters were in sight yet. Normally she would have been pleased but right now she needed the opposite. The monsters hid a liquid, a liquid which ironically was the main source of food for those like her and her children. Life has a very annoying humor she thought. The greatest monstrosities hid the greatest treasure. And so she, like everyone else, had to risk everything to go on the search. The search for the monsters. The search for the food.
The last month had been really relaxing. She had stayed home and minded the kids. They were growing so fast. She knew that soon she would have had to let them go on their own, but it was still hard for her to acknowledge it. The eldest was now able to move around the house when he wanted and being too young and reckless he often went too far away. She had an argument with him just three days ago. What if the monsters found him? What if he hadn’t come back at all? He didn’t listen of course, always so stubborn. But she knew it was inevitable, it is the age after all.
Some clouds in the distance were moving in her direction. Better be quick she thought, rain is never too kind. She increased her speed even more and after a moment finally saw the caves. God, were they not impressive. The caves looked like regular blocks of rock but some areas were made of strange and different materials. They had many different entrances but throughout her hunts she had noticed that the monsters only used one or two. Who knows why those creatures do anything. Dark clouds sometimes rose from the top of their caves. Dark, toxic clouds; probably the product of some disgusting evil being done inside. You could expect anything from them, after all, they killed hundreds of her kind daily.
She approached one of the entrances that the creatures didn’t seem to use and sneaked in unseen. The place was so massive that even the monsters couldn’t see everything that happened inside. She went down and stayed low, trying to blend in. The floor of the cave changed color in different places as did the walls. An array of trinkets lay all around, their use unknown. These objects varied in size, color, and shape but all were huge to fit the monsters who used them. She moved inward and into a corridor. Some pieces of black matter were scattered around. Some had holes in them and some others were tied cautiously. She knew from experience that the monsters used those weird things on themselves, to protect the lower part of their bodies. A long tube attached to a round enormous device sat in the far-away corner.
She shivered. She knew what it was from the tales, thankfully not from experience. That was one of the war devices that the monsters used to kill her kind. It was an instrument of genocide. Once that thing was pointed at you, well it was over. A legend said that it brought you into another land. A small, dark, clouded, toxic land. It was said that somebody once escaped from that land and came back to tell the tale and warn everyone about the danger. She didn’t know whether to believe that or not, not that she was going to try and verify herself anyway.
She moved into another chamber and there she saw it. One of the monsters. Disgusting as always. Huge and hideous with their long extremities. Constantly covered in a skin that protected them, even though it wasn’t fully attached to them and it also changed color from monster to monster. This one had a red and blue skin which covered all of its body, except its upper terminations. She started getting closer to it. She tried to move slowly. She could feel her fear creeping up inside her. She took a moment and put it aside. The food was over. Her kids needed her to do this so she moved forward again and started to go up towards the area not covered by the skin. She was almost there…
It turned around suddenly and faced her, his eyes wide open. Lucid and terrifyingly white eyes moving around the chamber, trying to catch something. She must have made too much noise. She moved to the side leaving it to check the space where she was a moment ago but it didn’t fall for it and turned in her direction once again. She sat on a wide slate mid-air of the chamber. Hopefully by standing still and making no noise the monster would have given up. It was still looking around her. Its face glancing at that side of the chamber. Its eyes went up and down, up and down. It moved to go away but then the tragedy. Its gaze moved right where she was.
It sprinted. Its long body stretching towards her. The upper extremity descended on her position. She flew away just in time. The monster slammed against the slate producing a loud, dry noise. Her heart couldn’t keep the fear away, now mixed with adrenaline. The monster didn’t lose her sight and rushed to follow her. She had agility as her advantage so she turned and moved and flipped around trying to make it lose eye contact. The monster kept trying to use its long extremities to squash her. It came really close different times. Like a whip, it rose and then fell with strength. At a certain point it came so near she almost felt it on her leg. She was sweating and felt like crying. She couldn’t hear her thoughts. She completed a lap around the monster’s body. In response, it turned around and tried to squash her again. The two sides of its body were closing up on her. She moved downwards as they closed on each other. The air movement that was created as a result pushed her on the floor. It was her opportunity. She moved to an angle of the chamber before the monster could see. She managed to get there and turned around. The monster was circling around itself but didn’t know where to go. She remained still for another few seconds then allowed herself to catch her breath.
Her body felt heavier than usual and her legs were shaking unwillingly. She couldn’t move for a minute and when she did her body seemed to refuse such command. She sat still again. It was the first time that the hunt had gone wrong; the monsters had never noticed her before. She didn’t know what to do. She panicked. Her blood turned into ice. She decided to go back home. She saw another side entrance in the chamber where she was where she could sneak away from. She prepared to go for it but...
No. No, she couldn’t do that. The panic had lowered just enough to make her think. And she thought of her children. She was there for a reason and she knew that if she had gone back her kids would have died of hunger. No, she had to stay and try again. She couldn’t leave without the liquid.
She moved timidly towards the monster who now sat on the other side of the chamber. It didn’t seem to be looking for her anymore. It faced the other way so it seemed safe enough to try again. She took a deep breath, pictured all of her kids’ faces, and moved out of her safe angle completely. She got behind the monster with no problems. Now she had to get to the upper area where the skin wasn’t protecting it. She got up as silently as she could. The monster was busy doing something and this time it didn’t seem to notice her. She managed to get to the top and sat on the unprotected space.
She was trying her best to not shake, the end of the search seemed so near. All she had to do now was to get the liquid and go home to her kids. She took the extraction drill from her torso where she had tied it and put it in near her mouth. Then she drilled the hole into the monster’s body. The process was quick. She finished up taking the liquid she needed and prepared to extract the drill from the body. She started taking it out. Behind her, a massive shadow suddenly appeared. She turned around just in time to see one of the monster’s extremities closing up on her. She thought of her kids. They were going to have to do themselves. She didn’t have the time to think of how heartbroken she really felt. The monster squashed her between its extremity and its skin.
Giorgio took his hand away, walked to the door of his room, and shouted “MOM”.
The mother answered, “What is it?”
“I’m getting tired of this. We need to do something about the mosquitoes, another one just bit me!”
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