Through the thick sheets of rain, two cold and steely eyes stared out from the dark foliage at the three soldiers who stood in the middle of the small clearing. It watched as the mud around the men started to puddle, quickly forming small shallow pools of dark, churned-up water. The forest had suddenly been thrust into another torrential downpour.
Then the creature cocked its head up and looked at the darkened sky. It waited, waited, and waited some more. And then suddenly, for the briefest of seconds, the sky above lit up in a brilliant, magnificent white light as lightning crackled and sizzled. When it ended, the creature lowered its head and returned its gaze toward the three men. And there it waited a few more seconds before finally mounting its attack.
Decker Johnson saw his partner’s eyes go wide with horror before it was too late. Turning around quickly while attempting to shove his rifle out in front of him, all Decker could see was an immense, rain-soaked image with a mouth gaping wide as it roared. He went to level his gun, but it was too late.
The massive figure hit Decker with the impact of a train colliding with a small car. Decker was instantly thrown backward, his body splashing down hard into the mud. Meanwhile, his two partners had been completely caught off guard. Shots were fired immediately, but through the thick sheets of rain, it was tough to make out much of anything.
Finn Carter managed to get a shot off right into the creature’s right shoulder. The gigantopithecus blasted a deep guttural roar. Brig scrambled to his feet but slipped in a shallow puddle of water himself as the rain continued to pound down on them. The creature bounded toward the smoking rifle and swatted the gun from the man’s hand as if it were but a mere toy.
And there in the mud, amidst the pounding rain, lightning, and the battering wind gusts, the small band of three realized they were in way over their heads. But most importantly, they realized that at this moment, they should never have come.
The gigantopithecus let out another unearthly roar as it bounded forward toward the man on whom it had initially launched its initial attack. Wasting no time, it opened its mouth wide and bit right into Decker’s left leg. Teeth punctured through flesh, bone, and tendons as the powerful jaw muscles did their thing. The man’s screams, however, were completely drowned out by the pounding of the rain.
Finn sloshed forward through the mud, steadied himself, and fired. He had intended to put a bullet into the back of the towering beast. But in the madness of it all, his left foot slipped out from underneath him. The shot had been an errant one. The gigantopithecus spun around so quickly that it caught both remaining men completely by surprise. The creature let out a cavernous roar, a nightmarish sound to hear from such close proximity.
Quickly, the gigantopithecus bit down on the fallen man’s other leg. Then it raced forward toward the head. Reaching out with an enormous hand, it grabbed Decker Johnson by the left shoulder, and dragged the screaming man through the rain and mud and off into the dark and entangled forest.
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