I heard the Kazeki’s grunt. It was far and probably full if it was making that much noise. You would hope it was full enough to be forgiving. I had been sent into the terrains of the planet for a scouting mission. Had I, we, known that we would be walking into this demon’s territory we would have retreated until we had a proper convoy. Now, my radio was off. None of my unit’s members were responding. They were either dead or hiding.

A kazeki measured eight-feet long head to torso. Once you added the tail, you were looking at a 13-foot, 500-kg killing machine. It had a bony protective covering on its body so only anti-tank bullets worked on it and its teeth and fangs had poison sacs that helped it conquer prey. However, what made the kazeki so feared among humans was its speed. Its extremely dense muscles made it stronger than anything we’d ever faced. It was a heavyweight that moved like a lightweight and if man ruled his planet because of his brains they were nature’s cheat code in brawn. Now, this kazeki had come back to its land and sniffed foreign scents. An inventory of every square-inch was being done ensuring nothing was there without its permission.

With my binoculars, I could see Ted crawling to a higher point in a Senian tree. He and three others had been caught but he’d managed to escape. His foot was injured and he could only move so fast. The creature would spot him soon.

As the head of the unit I wanted to do something, decided to do something. I picked up a rock and threw it in the opposite direction. The Kazeki stopped and stared. I picked up another and threw it in the same direction. Instead of running, it hesitated just staring in the direction. I threw a third one certain this would make the dumb beast understand something was in its vicinity. As I checked with my binoculars, our eyes met as it stared at me. It wasn’t buying the decoy it wanted to know the source.  Its head disappeared and a bony ridge made its way towards me.

There was no running, but I tried. I could hear its grunts before long. Just as it made its attack I turned and shot it with my flare gun. I hit it straight in the eye and it howled in pain. All fauna seemed to rise up and run, they did not want to be near a Kazeki in pain. The beast swung wildly almost blindly. It rammed me with its head, pushing me over 10 feet behind.  It approached as I took aim again. I shot it with a second flair as it came on top of me and the left side of its mouth exploded in red sparks and green blood but it did not relent. It bit my leg pulling me closer. It’s paw lifted for the killing blow.

I woke up in cold sweat stifling a scream. I looked around. I was back in the ward surrounded by others.

This was the third time I’d dreamt of it in the past week. After what seemed like an hour I took myself to the balcony. It was never fully quiet over here, people just slept in shifts. There was activity going on below.

I went back to my bed and after rummaging through my cabinet found the pills I was looking for. I took two before climbing back to bed. The nurse had congratulated me for being able to do it with only my right hand.

I shut my eye even before the sleeping pills took effect. I knew I’d won. The rescue unit had shown up before it killed me and I had saved Ted. My medal would be presented to me the following month. I’d lost my legs though. It had mauled of both of them with fangs that found the human bone to be no challenge. It had mauled my left hand and they’d had to amputate it. Its acidic poison had burned my left eye, damaged the ear and a good portion of my face. My nose was gone as was part of my jaw. My right eye saw with difficulty.  I hoped I’d go back to the jungles of the unconquerable planet or maybe back to when I was arguing with my ex. The creature might have gone down but it had dragged me to a living hell one that I was in every time I woke up. I’d take a daily death on any day and so I welcomed sleep.

Inspired by Daily Post: Stifle

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