The Bobbu Writes

Titans

Creepy forest from ground level

One of a few short stories based in a world I’m currently building.

Elka held little Aldin tight against their chest, huddled together as though their closeness brought safety. Feeble light breached the mouth of the shallow cave, just enough to see by. Elka cursed herself for being so far from the others, so far from the deeper places. She cursed herself for having let Aldin convince her to bring him along on this hunt, to teach him how to find food. The boy’s fingers dug into her back as he clung to her, fear coursing through the smallest of his muscles as he fought against the urge to flee.

The ground shook beneath them, the very rocks that they had wedged themselves between, reverberating like the earth itself were a ringing bell. They had just enough time to close their eyes and steel themselves before a great wind pounded against them, like the colossal breath of a mountain.

Aldin looked up at Elka, his body shivering. “They are getting closer, aren’t they?” the boy asked – though this question needed no answer. The great crashing sounds had been getting louder, the winds they caused more powerful, and the earth quaked more violently each time.

Elka gazed into Aldin’s frightened, violet eyes. The irridescent scales upon his brow furrowed into ridges. Elka placed a hand upon his head and reached out into his mind, treading gently so as not to add to his terror. The boy heard her thoughts inside his head as though they were his own; somehow alien, yet kind.

{Do not fear. The Dark may be coming, but we are The People. So long as we are together, we shall survive}

Aldin smiled a little, though his body still shook. Elka has with him. He knew he would be safe; he knew that The Dark would pass by them today, and he would return to the rest of their family once this Titan had moved beyond sight and mind.

Elka tucked Aldin’s head into her chest, wrapping herself around him. It was all she could do to stop herself from shaking, but the boy needed her strength. If they were to die here, beneath the tread of The Dark, then at least she could allow him the small mercy of dying without the shade of fear swallowing his light young heart.

The ground reverberated again, rocks dropping from the ceiling and showering them in dust. Almost immediately the air struck them like a storm, pushing them deep into the crevice in which they cowered.

They did not move, the two Touched People who had ventured out to bring life to others through their efforts. They held each other tightly, barely daring to hope for more of this precious life. Knowing the uncaring Dark loomed so close. Knowing their fate, in this moment, was not for them to decide. A fate that could be cut short at any moment by the careless step of an unthinkable thing.

As Elka stared at the opening of their inadequate shelter, the light began to wane. A shadow fell, hiding the bleak grey sky from her sight.

Looking up, craning her neck to see beyond the topmost boundary of the rocks that framed her vision of the outside world, Elka watched a monstrous shape descend from the sky. A vast expanse of palid grey flesh, cracked like stone, glistening like wet lips. It’s full shape too vast to take in.

As the behemoth crashed into the earth, Elka’s mind opened in panic for a fraction of a second, the carefully attended protections against what lay without her, fell under the pressure of her impending death. Her eyes flashed open wide; her mouth stretched out into a silent wail of horror, as a terrible, monstrous sentience smashed against her fragile consciousness.

As the weak daylight ebbed back into the rocky hole, Aldin carefully pulled his head away from his aunt’s body. “It passed by,” he said. “You were right.”

His gentle, relieved smile faltered as he looked up at Elka. Her eyes met his, but what he saw there did not comfort him as it had moments before. The boy pulled back, his muscles acting almost of their own accord.

Elka stared at him, wildness in her expression, madness in her eyes. She began to laugh. She did not stop.

Published 8 February 2021 at 1:57 pm