I am alive, and I perceive.

A beast festers within the dull mind.

Awaiting prey so soft and beautiful, so filling, and oh so wondrous that if it grasps it in its maw… life a-new will be granted forever following that fateful moment.

But what has fate in store for such a sluggish monstrosity. This waiting beast who would hunt so still, oh so awfully still, that time itself is no enemy to it. That as the universe spins and decays in chaos and creation not a hair on its head will twitch, not an eye will blink, nor a muscle expand. A fixed position, perched, salivating, and in a constant state of watching. The soft steps echo into the beast’s chamber as the unblinking eye shifts for the first time in years.

Gold petals upon the floor are the rustling leaves within that domain; an unholy feast was being delivered on foot with care. The heartbeat of the innocent one was faint; the smell was invigorating, what was it about this feminine figure that seemed so sadly warped? The creature stood more still, in breath so shallow as to be indistinguishable from a statue.

It was blood from this game which made the air so intoxicating to that beast, the poor prey stumbled now- the leaves crumbling as the gold flaked away, the beast hesitates as this poor figure comes into full view. The mind has become cramped and hot, the air turned sour as the scent grew stronger. The beast seen not the feasts he was promised within this sad figure and suddenly time become a mightier force than ever imagined. The prey looked up now- after falling to its knees, pulling back its white hood to stare. A face full of eyes was revealed, so many kinds- some aged, some with blinded milk, others young, some sad, mad, happy- more strikingly the number than the individual emotions. The skin holding them together seemed to blanket many crawling bugs which moved horrendously under its skin, a knife was pulled out from a pocket on the coat.

The beast was bewildered by this figure, the prey it was promised was surely not this- a handful of centuries were wasted in waiting and time hadn’t ever been so cruel on any other being if it were the case. It could not be, it simply couldn’t!

As the prey drew knife to its slender throat the monstrous creature attempted to reach out with its arm but found that it was unmoving- stuck in place, as it had been for years. Time had made a statue out of what was once considered a virtuous and patient hunter, a statue of tired and hungry flesh, one who wished only to be fed a glorious meal after a long life. The many eyed feminine figure slumped as the blade slid cross its throat- as the gash in its flesh revealed itself the whole head tilted back like a pez-dispenser – writhing tongues and sharp teeth peeked out from the gaping flesh as words were spoken into the hunters mind in guttural echoes.

“What a waste of a life, did you really think she was coming all this time? How many had you passed up in waiting? How many lives did you deem unfit to fill your stomach? All of this to die starving…”

Without much hesitation following the last words- bugs began pouring out of the self-inflicted wound, centipedes, millipedes, flies, worms, earwigs, and even colorful arachnid- all marching out in a chaotic symphony of writhing mass. Like a crashing carnivorous wave the bugs swarmed the pitiful hunter, the statue of beast hood that had stood so proud for so long, never realizing for a second that it couldn’t even walk after the first few months of staying still had passed. If only the hunter could blink now, if only it could walk, run, hide. But it could do nothing of the sort, and the wave of bugs washed over the creature in seconds, each biting flesh unnaturally well- greedy starving creatures as they were- they took every piece in. An accelerated decay of a death for the once proud beast who thought he could tilt the odds in his favor if only he waited.

The hunter is dead. The bugs retreated to the wound of the once perceived prey that let out only words now in the same dead and guttural tone as before.

“A self-inflicted wound, festering in a dull mind- That is all you ever were.”