Continued from here. As before, by Leland.
The next many years were long and harsh
They were also lonely, but I had no idea what that meant at the time
In the beginning I was like a piece of sand.
I blew from place to place
I felt nothing on my insides.
Life was a never ending cycle of survival
Though my body continued to morph and change
My chitinous ledges grew larger
My fingers grew thicker and harder
I could tear out huge piles of dusty earth
And suck out the soft crunchy creatures that burrowed beneath
I was a moving land mass.
Not a monster
My hate roiled inside of me
But without eyes watching me
Reinforcing that hate
It began to bake into my bones
But the eyes
The eyes of my mother
Of the only girl to give me a gift
And the smell of that lock of her hair
Was still fresh every time I remembered
I would cringe in those times.
As the years wore on that pain stayed true.
I avoided the smell of humanity
That would drift in with the dusty blasts of air sometimes
I preferred my thick and rigid solitude
As I roamed one day I smelled blood
I sat on my haunches. Staring into the far setting sun.
I decided to pay back the one act of kindness I had received
And walked towards the blood.
The sun had almost set by the time I descended upon the moving human
One of the grit, the marked, the human rejects I had been raised with, was sliding in the sand.
Legs inert and twitching behind them
Blood staining the sand as they moved.
They had a fierce and hard look in their eyes, dust embedded in their teeth.
They first felt my shadow land upon them
They looked at me
A moving mountain
With my fetid yellow eyes
They showed fear on their face. Or maybe acceptance. Maybe denial
Something firm and unrelenting.
I spoke the language of the desert to them.
The words sounded odd and strange in my mouth
They were shocked I could speak
They said their name was Sand Lips
And they needed to send a message
That the Mukori were coming
To kill the Kamai
Their exhaustion took them
And they fell into the sand.
I looked at the grit. The marked and scarred human. Helpless. Desperate. Clinging to life over some words they claimed needed to be heard
Heard by someone human.
I stared at this breathing corpse for a while
Thinking of this message
The Mukori, the Kamai, Sand Lips
Names felt strange in the desert
I was a demon, a mountain, a pair of yellow eyes
I hated names.
I hated these monikers of humanity
I hated them in my ears
In my throat
Along my tongue
I pounded the desert
Threw a massive boulder,
Flung a mountain of sand
Trying to throw it out of me
But it was stuck.
These filthy human names.
The desert could not take them from me.
For the desert was no home for humans.
Only those filthy human camps could take these names
A sound so loud the sky quaked
And the moon cried
I lifted the filthy human over my back
Limp and helpless
A sack of barely breathing meat and pus
I moved my body weight forward
Let my legs press against the earth under me
Towards the humans
The sickening smell of the humans
I saw their little fires in the distance
The ground under me flew
The cool wind whipped into my eyes
The earth stretched and narrowed and the fires grew larger
I came to the fires, the humans all around, all marked, all cut, all children of the grit.
I crashed into their makeshift home
This little gathering of scarred humans
Humans that were so small
Looking up in terror
I was still a demon
And they had no idea what I was here to collect
I put down the limp sack of meat from my shoulder
And I spoke those pus-riddled human words
The Mukori, the Kamai, Sand Lips
Told them they would die.
An old human came out
Whatever that meant
Said they knew not who I was
Said they had not seen one of my kind for a long time
Tears began to leak from me
The elder lifted a bowl up to me
Some sticky nectar of the cactus fruit
I ate the bowl.
This was the second human to ever give me a gift
Went back to the dark
To the desert
The sand and the rocks
The moon and the sun
The bugs and the earth
But I continued to smell these humans
And I did not go far.
More humans came
Humans laden with the pungent, sour smell of relics
I killed these humans, before they could see me, before their eyes could look at me in disgust
Like a pack of bugs they crunched in my teeth
I Split them in half
Popped them like flies
I left them dead there.
They were too loud.
Entitled, angry, and hellishly human.
Their trinkets smelled sweet
And I ate them
They powdered in my teeth
Leaving my mouth sour and salivating for days
I decided this part of the desert was mine
And these cut and marked humans
The ones with the sand lips
Could stay in my piece of the desert
And stay they did
Leaving little bowls of cactus nectar out for me
I felt a touch soft towards them
Like a favored rock or time of the day
I would not choose their death
And they grew older and smaller
And I grew larger and larger
Part 3 here.