While running away from the aberrant mass of flesh, which was gradually swallowing up the corridor, surprisingly, I ran into the giant who was waiting for me in a corner not far from where I had previously been. Moreover, when I passed by him, I saw a hint of relief on his face.
Why? I wondered, although the answer to that was not hard to guess, and in doing so, I was overcome with disgust.
He was worried about me. He was worried that the thing had killed me, just like it did with the other idiots who gave in to its attack. That was the conclusion I came to.
‘Absurd. Does he think I’m his pet?’
He probably feared that the toy with which he was getting so much fun would break.
I got angry, but even so, as annoyed as I was, I had neither the time nor the right frame of mind to concentrate on the matter. After all, the voices echoing in my head had not yet disappeared since they had only become bearable after I tried my best to ignore them.
Such a distraction was inadmissible, so I continued running as, at my back, I heard heavy footsteps following me closely.
After a while, we arrived at our destination, where the other men were together with the women, the latter dressed in their usual multi-colored garments and with the large lamps tied to their waists.
Besides them, there was also the rock in its usual position, blocking the entrance to the cave with its massive bulk. It seemed that the big boys had not dared to move it without the permission of their boss.
Once there, I approached the group to sit down to rest, leaning against the wall in a gap between their bodies.
This event generated great stress in my brain. Therefore, although the mental intrusion had disappeared as I moved away from its source, I now had to bear with the consequences. That is the headache and the acute nausea.
Not to say that, after the decrease of adrenaline running in my blood, I had to consciously keep at bay the memories of grotesque images of that massacre and the consequent sinister births that took place of the inert bodies.
‘Disappear. Go away. Do not come here’
During my youth, I experienced what it was like to live with the fear of the dark. A senseless fear that prevented me from staying home alone and even more from going to the bathroom alone at night. I was afraid of it, even though I had no experience to justify it. Even so, as suddenly as it came, that phobia also disappeared.
However, unlike then, I now have a solid reason on which to base the claustrophobia that is making my body tremble.
My breathing became agitated as I began to smell the stench coming from the sweat and urine, while my head unwillingly equated them with blood and other waste, those that flowed from the cuts on the corpses.
In addition, my eyes frantically focused and unfocused endlessly, at the same time that the sounds around me seemed to get increasingly farther away. I felt myself falling into a hole where I had no way to hold on because the sensations in my body were vanishing like vapor.
I thought I was about to faint, but an avalanche of screams and grunts brought me out of my stupor, leading me to raise one hand to wipe away the sweat soaking my forehead while, with the other, I held my racing heart.
Looking up, I glimpsed the men, led by the giant, trying to move the obstacle that stood in the way of the exit, but with seemingly little result.
From what their sweaty, red bodies showed, the weight of the rock was heavier than I had estimated, for although they threw themselves roughly against it, it had only moved a few centimeters. I assumed this was because several hands, which helped to place it, fell during the tragedy.
So, as a means of distraction, I set out to help them.
It was not easy, as the muscles and joints in my arms ached from the pressure I was exerting on them. Besides, to avoid slipping due to the muddy ground, I had to use my toes as hooks, rooting myself as much as possible into it.
Fortunately, in the end, our efforts paid off as we managed to push it far enough so that, sideways and compacting the abdomen, the sturdiest men in the group could get out.
When we managed to remove the obstacle at the exit, we… no, they continued inside. No one dared to come out because the old woman and the giant would not allow it. It was then that I asked myself, why the hell did we do all this? A useless and pointless action if they ultimately decide to die here.
‘What do they expect? Do they think the non-present old man will be able to deal with the abomination?’
The truth is, I didn’t think it was possible. After all, the day I witnessed the use of his power, I also noticed his weakness.
Without moving his body in the least, he could levitate in the air, several flasks simultaneously. A supernatural action, no doubt, but it should not be so difficult to do if magic in this world works as it is popularly known. However, even though this, as he lifted them, they shook as if they were about to fall.
His lack of control became evident.
Despite that, I can’t deny the power and knowledge the old bastard has. At the end of the day, it was he who created and shaped monsters like us. Therefore, I consider his weakness as the result of the years waning his power.
In fact, with a face that looks like someone in his nineties, I’m surprised he’s still alive… if he hasn’t already fallen.
Insane people who place hope in someone who cannot carry the weight of it. Still, I am not one to reproach them for that since, thanks to them, my escape route has been assured. I’ll be fine if I get away at the right time. I’ll be until hunger overtakes me.
Taking a couple of steps forward, I returned to the gap where the rain fell freely between the rock and the cave. Once there, I sat down to let the water soak my head, wanting its coolness to help me avoid relapsing into a new episode of anxiety.
The reality did not turn out to be as comfortable as I remembered, but it was a necessary thing to do. After all, even though I had to put up with the occasional handful of dirt falling on my head, blown off the hill by the wind, my mind was more lucid than it had been the last few days.
That is why, taking advantage of this unusual moment of clarity, I began to count the seconds, waiting to get up at the right moment when my ears would pick up the sound of crying, which would indicate the approach of that thing.
Thus, I waited and waited, but nothing happened.
Strange, as the mental invasion should have reached everyone present by this time, but even though I didn’t let my guard down, on the contrary. Standing up, I tensed my leg muscles and closed my eyes, ready to run.
However, although minutes passed, nothing came. Moreover, it was then that the others around me also noticed the absence of the aberration.
The bustle began to sound all around me, as the women, despite being usually silent, embraced each other, talked, and cried with relief. While the men, curious by nature and seeing that their boss did not prevent them, ventured to the bottom of the cave.
That’s what I thought, although didn’t sure if he did it on purpose. However, be that as it may, I found it convenient that the giant had acceded to their wishes so that they could serve as guinea pigs. After all, depending on how far away their screams are heard, it will indicate how far away the danger is.
I waited a while to hear their howls of fear or pain, but in the end, my expectations were dashed when they returned safe and sound.
Moreover, they did not only do it empty-handed, for they brought the bleeding body of one of the victims dragged by the legs.
How? There was no need to contemplate it for long, for if they managed to get that close to that corpse, it meant the danger had somehow disappeared.
With things going like this, after letting out a heavy sigh, I relaxed, and then, once I released the tension in my body, I walked towards the cave to protect myself from the rain since now it was not necessary to keep getting wet.
I was still afraid, but in reality, my tiredness was higher, so I planned to go to one of the nearby rooms to rest a bit. However, before I could do so, the giant growled.
He had an indication to give us, one that, from reading his body language, I sensed was to go deep into the cave, probably in search of the old man.