Story Go Round 11/30/2002, round 1, #3

"And The Sneath Laughed"

Dirk Hammersfelt crouched as he reached the summit. Snow stinging his eyes, there wasn't time to dig his hole. The meatballs were burning his fists, and the pain was excruciating. The Sneath was only moments away. He could hear the cooing sound its species always made before the kill. still, he was ready. A low crouch, pause. Silence.

As he walked away he looked with satisfaction. The mewling had ceased. He broke off his fantasy of the meatballs. The idea of pain kept him sharp, but the hunger was a distraction he couldn't afford. The Sneath was sneaky - hence the first part of its name - but no, that was another distraction. best not to be distracted. Sneaths snuck in pairs. When the hunted together their quarries last sound was hard to understand. And Dirk wanted to understand. Bad. He always felt that the killing instinct always comes from a misunderstanding. Perhaps if he could explain the ways of his people to the Sneaths, they would cease the mindless killing and set up trade agreements instead.

Then again, if he could jam these meatballs in the right parts of their anatomy he would be done with this - And might have a meatball to spare.

He tired of this mindless waiting, No guts, no glory. Or... no guts. It was well known that Sneaths considered entrails a delicacy. He stood up, shouting. Let them come. Pre-emptive action.

The shouting felt good, so he started jumping up and down, and pushed his lungs and throat as far as he could. Maximal noise, and he was making quite a pit in the snow to boot. But eventually, his throat gave out and he fell gasping to the ground, sucking in snow to soothe the raw burning sensation.

Only then did he hear it, from the left and the right of him, from - if it was possible - under the snow. A quiet yet piercing sound that stopped his heart, just as he realized that he was thinking his last thought and, and ...

And the Sneath laughed.

Amber-purple; John-pink; Alan-blue; Terry-orange; Habeeb-brown; Alvin-green