“I am coming girl. I gotta weapon.” Toby was too far back in his own mind now; too far to communicate with reason. He was a man trapped behind a mirror watching the event unfold and having no control over it. Despite this, he screamed. There was no Lilly just as there was no breeze. Something was hungry. Something needed strength. Toby was the fuel. He was closer now, “Lilly!” he stopped, panting, stick still in hand. This is where he had heard her. This is where he had…Lilly barked. She was off in the distance. She was running away, away from him. Him? No, that couldn’t be. Toby just, stood there. He was on the verge of tears. She would never run away from his voice. Deep inside, far back in the corner of his mind, looking from the other side of that mental mirror, the real Toby cried. He was going to die.
As the last in the line of the Matheson farm caretakers looked further north into the woods, as tears ran down a face twisted with sadness and confusion, the tops of the trees rustled once more. In the distance the sound of barking faded. The dark mass from above emitted a clicking, crunching sound, like insects being crushed under foot. From this mass something squirmed out of nothing, the delicate, wet sound of birth. A trunk-like tentacle lowered from the branches glistening with a film of glistening, fluid like fresh okra juice. The crushing, clicking sound came again, along with a slight moan not unlike a baby calf just out of the womb and three claws emerged from the tip of the tentacle all the while lowering and lowering towards its prey.
Toby stood in a trance, still staring off into the distance. His lips moved slightly trying to form words as the creature slowly, gently clamped its three claws around the front and sides of his neck. There was a moment of quiet. A moment of peace, as the farmer opened and closed his mouth, just so, to form the last word of his life.
He exhaled in the stillness, “Li…Lil…Lilly”, and with ferocious speed, the thing snatched the human up, and into its grip. With a crunch, blood spilled through the branches of the trees catching, on the leaves, one by one and running down the trunks like the seasons first sap.
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