I scurried up, sandpaper bark tearing my desperate skin, and clung to the top of the wilting palm. The dying plant shuddered as if to ask for forgiveness for violating some unspoken, ancient law: a trespasser’s desperate moment that transgressed nature and black magic. Angry gnats stung my eyes. My mind raced. How long had the beast lurked in such a terrible and dark place? How long had it protected the tribal tomb? The palm’s trunk cracked, squeezed within the monster’s crushing claws. I cursed. Such stupid questions.
The tree fell over and I crashed down, slamming into a brown, loose soil wall. My bruised lungs emptied. Breathless. The nearby creature’s angry breath felt hungry, hot.
Author’s note: This is a continuation of, “I’d Gone Too Far.”