Darkness came early with afternoon rain. Aleks saw a structure, some outbuilding with what could had been steps to those overgrown on the nearby hill. He made his way there at increased pace, only to be confronted by a creature -- some sort of chimaera, almost of mythological depiction -- which spoke with an inhuman voice,“Papa, how much longer? I must go! Don’t make water or you’ll be beaten. Hurry!”
The two voices came from something like a giant greyhound of sleek black napped fur with black orbs for eyes, its lolling tongue blood red and long and tapered. Its legs terminated in talons with which it tore up clumps of the tough, dense, blue-green grass. Its black orbs were almost impossible to disregard, and Aleks had to force himself awake each moment; in dazed instants, the thing closed on him with startling speed. Aleks presented his firearm, waved its muzzle in the creature’s direction; it slowed its advance, but the waves of semi-consciousness intensified.
-- “Don’t force my hand.”
The creature stepped back but loped up the grade to cut-off Aleks avenue of escape,
“Just look at what you’ve done, Tharma! That’ll never come out!”