Thriller Fiction Adventure

Stomach keen, snout sniffing. Beady eyes locate the prize. A seed, small and delightful; will end the hunger. 

A step. One, two, maybe three. 

Pause. Ear twitch. Sound?

Nothing now. Confidence returns. Step three, four, and five. Scuttle here, scuttle there. Slip and weave through the long grass. The path is endless with four legs, while giants can do this with two steps. 

Little claws latch onto the seed and plop it past stuffed cheeks. Delightful and delicious. One, two, and three more. The hunger never ends, but it is sated. There are more seeds and it is best to save them—preservation for the long night. 

Four, five, and more. Grab, clutch, and clutter. 

The wind shifts, bringing new scents. Both unknown and familiar. Wood and straw from the barn; home. The dark goop that leaks from the metallic beast. It is both suffocating and familiar. Feint, moldy meat for the cat. 


The cat is not here. 

But something else is. Not the metallic beast that tours the field. It is quietly sleeping, snuggled in its den. This is something else, something that knows hunger like a friend. 

Instinct says predator. Senses ask where it is. 

There is no sound. No bend in a grassblade. But silence fills the air, throttling round ears. A bird- sparrow- chirps in the distance.

Settled, one or two steps to see. Step three reveals the killer. A flash of red and a leap of death. 


Steps four, five, and six are sprinted. Quick and thrilling. 

Sound whistles past, and flickers of red are bright against the green grass. Red is dangerous. Red is to be avoided. Red is death.

Steps seven, eight, and nine are twists and turns, desperate to outmaneuver. 

A glance behind reveals the jagged jowl of a pointed snout. It snaps, catching air. 

Step ten comes to a skidding halt. The tail is trapped beneath a large claw. Hot breath has dainty whiskers shivering.

One, two, three seeds fly out past stuffed cheeks. 

The tail comes free and the chase begins anew. 

Dash and scurry, scuttle and scamper. Leap, twist, and sprint. The hunter is never far behind, ravenous tenacity is its driving force.

One da-dum, two da-dum, three da-dum.  

Tiny heartbeats drown out sounds. Little paws scratch dirt. Whiskers flick and twitch, touching nearby grass blades and wheat stalks. Ears flattened against the skull for agility and speed. 

Every glance back is a risk, a hazard to life. Terror follows at its heels, gripping with iron and threatening to burst a petite heart. Panic and hysteria keep little legs moving, even when exhaustion flirts. 

Four da-dum, five da-dum, six da-dum

The edge of the field appears, and the short grass is worse. With a tight turn and a dash, the two are turned around. Leaping and bounding in the opposite direction. Another twist and turn, an idea occurs. Brief and hopeful, one step, two steps, three steps. 

Twist and dash, large claws miss by a whisker length. Turned around once more, back in the direction they followed. Playing at death's doorstep, scuttle here and scuttle there, across the short grass. 

Red flickers and teeth snap. The gap between shortens. 

The den is near, so so close. 

Almost there. A Burst of energy causes the gap to meet with the dash of sprinting legs. 

Past the maw of the den, the metallic beast is cold. Sleep has taken it deep. Prey and hunter enter the mouth at rushing speeds. 

Scuttling legs awake the cat which hisses.

Shudder. One predator is bad enough, but two?

Only, it hisses and howls. Leaving with a jump and slight of paw. 

Luck on little legs.

Red dismisses the cat, intent on prey. Dark eyes focused and dreamy. Salvia drooling and pooling. 

Little claws grip and scrape at the metallic beast. Wake up! Save me!

It slumbers, deep and dark, somewhere little legs cannot go. 

But little legs can go within. In the belly of the beast. 

A red snout pokes and prods, whining when it cannot reach its prey. 

One, two, three steps inside. Breathe in, breathe out, all that is manageable. 

Round ears up again, sounds from preening to growling echo around. This is not home. Not permanent, but safe. For now.

Red prowls outside, visible only through a flash of a bushy tail, poking snout, or a perked ear. 

Black goop oozes nearby and covers the scent. Scuttle here and scuttle there. Maybe the scent covers all? 

One step, two, and then another. Closer and closer to poison. The smell is stronger here, and the snout can’t come this deep. Too small for such a big nose. 

Safer, but not safest. 

Eventually, it will need to leave. Eventually, the metallic beast will wake up. 

A paw grazes the ooze. It is sticky and does not come off. A glance outside reveals the snout coming from a different hole. Much closer, sharp teeth snap. 

Dancing away from terror, paws are covered in the black ooze. It is glue, wielding the power of freezing muscle and ripping fur. Scratch and claw, swimming through at high speeds only to realize movement is limited. One step takes an age, two steps are an eternity. Slow. Impossible.

The snout retreats only to come back again with renewed vigor. It can smell its prey and poison alike. It doesn’t care. Hunger clouds judgment.

A dog barks. 

It is near, but not within the den. Nowhere near the belly of the beast. 

Little legs should run. Three steps, four steps. It is tantalizingly slow. 

The snout has disappeared. 

Pause. Breathe in, Breathe out. Sounds?

Dog barking and a cat hissing. 

Frozen fear tugs on little legs. Or is that the ooze?

Do nothing, see nothing, be nothing. 


The farmer gets up with a grunt. Bones aching and head reeling, he is getting too old for this. But the dog- good and faithful- is barking like a madman. Something needs to be done, and the farmer is the man for the job. It is his property, and he protects what’s his. 

Up from the bed, bent fingers latch onto the gun. Another good and faithful friend, Shotgun. In Long Johns and slipping on leather boots, the farmer swings open the front door and cocks the gun. 

Listening, he hears the dog barking from the lean-to, where he parks the tractor. Another good and faithful thing on this old farm. 

Might be a bear, raccoon, or a dare-duty youth. He grunts and with long strides makes his way past the barn and to the dog. 

“Alright, alright!” he hollers. “I’m coming.” 

The dog continues to bark, even when the farmer gets there. He takes the scene in by looking past the barrel of a gun. Better safe than sorry, even if it is a youth. 

The dog-faithful at this point- is barking at the tractor, or better yet, within it. 

“Shut up!” he bellows, and the dog quiets. 

“Let me look, will ya?” Peeking under the tractor, all he sees is spilled oil from good and faithful. Not so faithful now. He straightens, holding a hand to his back. 

“Damn animals,” he mutters and spies the cat. Sleek and black, it stretches and yawns big, like it doesn’t have a care in the world. On a straw bail, much higher than what the dog can see, it curls up and starts purring. 

“Damn animals,” he mutters once more, thinking nothing more than a cat playing tricks on the dog again.

January 27, 2024 22:00

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Alexis Araneta
10:17 Feb 16, 2024

As usual, lovely use of imagery and descriptions. Great job!


Jacqueline R
00:50 Feb 17, 2024

Thank you!


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Ruhani Sayan
09:44 Feb 05, 2024

I like it! You described the feeling and movements of the dog nicely. I could instantly tell your talking about an animal


Jacqueline R
01:48 Feb 07, 2024

Thank you for your lovely comment!


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