(Wow. things just sort of got away from me. It has been so long since I have done anything besides work on my new book. Sigh.)
Nobody visits the Clay Thickets.
This once lush patch of woodland had been a thriving environment but that was when the green deer ran through the wilderness.
Burnt to ash not even the rain was strong enough to bring this wastwland back to life.
Amongst the mounds of suffocating ash, hidden away by dead foliage, an emaciated narsi came out of its den.
Without the magnitude of predators the vermin had flourished but without the necessary foliage to sustain their number, the rodents had turned aggressive.
This particular rodent had only one thing on it mind, food.
The starved narsi cocked its ear and twitched its head in search for any sign of danger, but this ritualistic exercise was more out of primal habit than survival.
After all, most of the major and minor predators had long since been gone or moved on out of fear or hunger.
Like always the narsi sensed nothing to indicate that a threat was near its location. Its ears only picked up the hums of mosquitoes. It was taken by complete surprise when a set of long and sharp claws slammed down on its soft body.
Still alive and screaming in terror, the narsi was lifted into the air by a set of yellow claws.
Held by the tail the rat-like creature swung like a tormented pendulum over a pit of numerous sharp teeth and a salivating tongue.
“Naarssseee.” The abomination of meat, fur, and teeth growled as the poor creature it held was about to have a heart attack.
The narsi’s screams rang through the still air as it was lowered into the mouth. A loud and sickening crunch ensured as one of the predator’s molars turned the roden’t skull to dust.
The large predator could have eaten the narsi whole or used its fangs to act as a guillotine, but it preferred it this way.
It liked the bone breaking sound, the feel of grinding; and the idea that skin, brains, and blood were creating a satisfying mess in its mouth. Above all it liked to think that it was having fun.
Besides, the added fear the vermin endured before its gruesome death was a much needed spice.
With the next bite the narsi disappeared.
Done with the rodent the monster moved on to find something else to fill its needs, its hunger unsatisfied.
The small thing was more a snack than anything, even a hundred narsies were unable to quench the insatiable need for food that the monster perpetually carried. But what else could it do but devour the vermin?
Nobody visits the Clay Thickets. Not the brave, not the foolish, nor even the desperate since it had taken residence within it.