Head-On

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The first thing I think is that I haven't heard it that close up before. The sound of that monstrous thing calling. I've spent a few days in fantasy land. We talked demons, gods and super powers like it was a real thing, a normal thing. Now a real god is approaching and the fear has consumed me whole.

It's one thing to be able to take a stand, another thing altogether to actually face an abomination like this. I can't do it! It takes all I have to just stand there. I hear the beast growling and its steps as it gets gradually closer and I can't even move.

How tall was it again? I didn't get a good look back then, or maybe my memory is betraying me. It was tall. Will it even fit in this room? Maybe it won't and it will have to give up on its head. It might just go back, right? I might be going mad.

I have to move, though. Staying here is bad, going away is bad, by turning around I can see Nathan and Domenica, gone into hiding among the statues. The instant the scream was heard, she grabbed him like a package and ran. I can't blame her, I would have done the same. It feels lonely here, I haven't moved and I don't even feel brave enough to turn back. Is Ñox Cayù already here, looming over me? Domenica is trying to have me lip read something. Hide, I would guess. She looks as panicked as I am now. Should be now. Maybe my sensations are being overloaded, but I'm feeling less and less of anything. Sorry, Domenica. On the off chance that your kid is right, I'm not gonna run and ruin everything he set up. If he's wrong, well... It probably won't matter much longer. What happens if it touches us? Are we absorbed, just like the dead bodies making up its mass? Anyway.

Resolute now, or maybe just numb, I shake my head towards Domenica. She shuts the light, leaving me in the dark. I turn around, feeling ready to face death itself.

It's not there yet. There's not a lot of light but the entrance is right in front of me and the moon shines through now. No one there but me.

I can't help a short nervous laughter from escaping me. I'm gonna sound crazy, but who cares anymore. Really? I'm already crapping my pants and it's strolling around? Nathan got the wrong adventurer for the job, that's for sure. I try to move, one step at a time. My legs are wobbly. I feel like a very old woman. More practical questions pop to my attention now. How am I supposed to protect, or hide, the stone head from that thing? How fast is it anyway? Also, damn it, Nathan, I still don't know how close it has to get to the stone to be trapped. I awkwardly stand in front of the stone part and look towards the large, towering silhouette of the stone entrance. This is starting to look like the most horrifying blind date of my entire life.

Is it its silhouette among the trees? It's dark on dark, I can't really see, but I hear it shuffling in the bushes. Looking for a way in with its big body, I'm sure. I kind of hope it's not the mad god I see. But I kind of hope it is. At least I'll know where it is.

A branch cracks and snaps. It's definitely not just some shape out there. Ñox Cayù has appeared.

It's a bit hard to say but it's probably sixty yards away, right in front of me. Yards never felt shorter. Ñox Cayù, the giant headless chicken thing. It's standing on its drumsticks and using its plucked wings as arms. From that far away, I can't really see much more, but it still doesn't have a head, which is good news, apparently. It's tangled a bit in the jungle bushes around it, but probably not for long. As it struggles, it lets out a chilling croak. Everything's all right. I just have to let it come and distract it. Yeah.

I hear a small sound on my left. Domenica and Nathan went through the statues, apparently. There seems to be a room or a corridor of some sort behind. They'll be safe there, won't they? At least safer than me. Another sound pulls my attention back towards the entrance. Breaking branches. It's almost through now. It's struggling break the last remaining obstacles in the way. They won't last for long. Suddenly it stops moving. Has it given up on this opening? I would gratefully take another five minutes to get ready. Ready to do what, that is the question.

Slowly, as if it's just turning on a pivot, it tilts its body towards me, then stops. It doesn't have a head. How could it be looking at me? That's when it screams again and frantically starts flapping and shaking the trees like its life depends on it. Or like it really wants something. I'm so dead!

The last branch gives out and the thing runs directly at me. I have to distract it, Nathan said. Until it gets close enough. Until it gets sealed again. How long is the sealing supposed to take, by the way? Is it a matter of seconds? Minutes? ... More? From the pace of it, I'm not even sure I'll have a couple seconds to get out of the way. I can't do this. This isn't a matter of confidence, I can't take a tackle from what seemingly amounts to a ton of flesh and not get flattened.

At the last second, I abandon my station and run screaming towards the passage hidden by the statues. Screaming, because Ñox Cayù has just arrived at the temple, and it seems to be after me personally now.


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