“Go!” Asmeret yelled as they helplessly watched it close in. Bluebell tried to lift Phoebe, but she’d already gotten to her feet at Asmeret’s insistence. He was about to scoop her up regardless when a flash of white knocked him aside. Phoebe was only able to hobble a few steps when it reached her; she couldn’t even brace herself before it pounced directly at the gash in her midsection.

Image: The monster jumps into Phoebe. Her body is in the middle of the picture, dividing it in two. On the left side, things are colored normally and the back half of the monster is entering her. Blood and fat tissue splatter around it. The right side is colored black, with the monster’s front half outlined in white. Phoebe is screaming. End description.

The force knocked her against a tree. Bullseye. But where it landed there was no collision, for half of its body had already disappeared inside the wound. It dug, feet pushing down with so much force that Phoebe was convinced it was going to tear her in half. A gurgle of bile and blood sat caught in her throat. It succeeded after a moment of clamoring, sliding forward into an impossible space. It was then that Yuli reached her, running with so much fervor that they nearly crashed into her themself. They dug their snout into the wound but came out with only blood on their face. The monster was gone.

Phoebe’s chest heaved, her eyes wide and glassy. She felt bark scraping against her skin, then soil under her hands. Her legs had given out and she slid down and down until she sat crumpled at the base of the tree. She didn’t attempt to stand up. She tried to look around and realized that there wasn’t much to see at all. Everything was a blur. Then it all faded away.

Image: Bluebell carries Phoebe on his back. She is covered up by his coat and her eyes are closed. Bluebell has a worried expression on his face. End description.

Any earlier complaints from the members of Quill about wanting to shower and change out of their night clothes had been completely overshadowed. They carefully hoisted her onto Bluebell’s back, covering her with his coat. Then, they gathered their things and departed from the site of the crash, arriving at a vacant gas station parking lot half a mile from the tracks. Phoebe was gently laid in the back seat of a car, and everyone drove the rest of the way to Grand Shore in utter silence.



News post regarding the release of chapter II

We did it! We're done... For now!