I woke slowly, like someone was peeling away thin layers of my sleep one at a time. For a few seconds, I was in that delicious state of being half asleep and half awake. But then, at the back of my mind, I slowly realized something was wrong. But what?

I became aware of a piercing sound, finally waking me up fully. As my surroundings came into focus, I realized that something was very much wrong.

My legs were attached to a structure of some kind, and I was hanging down, supported only by my legs. I heard the sound again, and looked to my left.

"I’M FALLING!”

I didn’t know her, but she was hanging by her legs just as I was. Except, the binding holding her there seemed to be loosening. She looked over at me with tears in her eyes, and then down at the ground.

It was a dizzying drop. No one could survive falling half that height.

She screamed again, and when I saw I screamed too.

These . . . grotesque creatures were walking under us, shaking the ground with their every step. They were huge. Pink mounds of wobbling flesh, covered in . . . something. I’d never seen anything so horrible. I looked away, and looked at her instead.

“Please help me! I’m going to fall!” she cried, shaking in fear. I wished I could help, but I was stuck fast as well. A sharp feeling of fear filled me slowly. If she was going to fall, it was certain I would, too. I looked sorrowfully at her as a gust of wind buffeted her, making her shake violently. I froze up in the sudden cold.

There was a loud cracking noise, and one of her legs came free. She screamed again, a guttural sound of pure anguish, and her other leg came loose. I watched in horror as she fell, as if in slow motion. I couldn’t force myself to look away.

When she finally landed, my earth stopped. She was moving, feebly. She was still alive! There was hope yet!

I froze as a shadow fell over her, and I watched as one of the creatures slowly brought it’s foot down on her. She tried to move, but was so gravely injured that all she could do was moan in pain as it crushed the life from her.

As the creature moved on, I stared at her in horror. Her body was crushed beyond recognition, mangled and stomped into the ground.

But a second later all my pity disappeared, as one of my legs came free.

"I DON’T WANT TO DIE!” I screamed, as I tried in vain to reach the structure, to grab onto something to keep me alive a little bit longer.

crack

My other leg slowly started to loosen itself. I shut my eyes and prayed for it to be over quickly.


The boy watches as another dead leaf floats to the ground, and takes great pleasure in stepping on it and hearing the delicious crackle.

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