A Dusty Train Station and a Monster with Too Many Arms

Griffin and Talon had been in worse spots, but none before had smelled quite this bad.

“You said, ‘run,’ so I ran,” Griffin told Talon.

“In what world does it make sense to run to an outhouse for shelter?” Talon was not amused with their hiding place.

Outside they listed to a boardwalk creak and thump under the weight of their pursuer.

“I saw a door and hopped in.  Only now do I see the crescent moon,” Griffin whispered explaining himself.

“Hush, it’ll hear you.  What’s the plan of escape?” Talon said.  She and Griffin were shoulder to shoulder in the uncomfortably humid wooden box.  Their arms dangled at their sides, unable to move much and neither of them could figure out how they came to be standing this way.

“We could just leave the outhouse,” Griffin said.

“I meant escaping the monster and you know it,” Talon shoved him as much as she could manage.

Griffin leaned forward a bit to take a look outside through the moon shaped cutout in the door.  He could hear the monster’s step, but it was out of his view.

“It is not immediately in front of us, so we could run for the station master’s office,” he said.

Talon rubbed her finger over a smoothed stone they two had come to this abandoned rail port to find.  One side of the white rock had been polished to a glossy sheen and the other was cut with ancient runes.  As was often the case, as soon as the stone was moved a guardian appeared to protect it’s peaceful slumber.

They had come to the station, over run with weeds and hosting more than its fair share of opossum nests, with hope they would be able to simply grab the rock and run back to their safe house to store the menacing relic of a forgotten people.  They were nothing if not hopeful.  As soon as the stone was plucked from its perch in the center of the wayward station the ground rumbled and the station filled with dust.  Outside, just beyond the still intact rails, a beast with far too many arms to be considered ‘cuddly’ rose from the earth.

Its legs were as thick as mighty oak tree trunks.  Its snout housed a thousand serrated teeth and a split tongue that tasted the air for prey.  The body of the monster was covered in dirty orange scales and, from only a brief glance, its tail appeared to be spiked.  All of that was fine and, frankly, par for the course when it came to their monster battles, but neither of the relic hunters could move beyond the monster’s seven arms.  It was horrifying and asymmetrical; two things the hunters did not enjoy.

“Ok, station master’s office it is.  Has to be a better vantage point,”  Talon said.  She counted to three, flung the door open and the two ran as fast as they could manage to the office.

Griffin ran through the office door shoulder first, splintering the wood and destroying the door.

“I really have to stop doing that,” he said, grabbing his shoulder and rolling on the floor.

Talon ducked behind the office desk and searched for the monster.

“I don’t see it anywhere,” she said scanning over the station’s interior.

“I’ll take a look,” Griffin said.  He threw a hand on top of the desk to pull himself up for a better view.  His hand landed on the station’s boarding whistle button and the entire building echoed with an ear splitting whistle, likely for the first time in a decade.

“Move your hand!” Talon shouted.  She grabbed his hand off the desk and he fell back down.

“I landed on my other shoulder!” He shouted and was now holding both of his shoulders.

As the whistle died down, the monster’s roar still sounded.

“It sounds in pain.  Noise! We need more noise.  Hit the button again!” Talon said.  She yanked Griffin’s right hand off his left shoulder and slammed it on the whistle button again.  She ignored his discomfort.

“Keep your hand here.  It is screaming; meaning it is not moving.  I’ll be right back!” Talon said.

“I know exactly how that monster feels!” Griffin shouted at Talon’s back.  “There’s no way you heard me,” he said.

He kept his hand on the whistle button, not knowing exactly how it was still making such an awful sound, but not willing to question it either.  Minutes went by before he heard the faint sound of the monster’s scream stop.  Talon had completed the mission.  He removed his hand and stepped out of the station manager’s office to see Talon rounding the corner in return.

“You’re filthy,” Griffin stated the obvious.

“I know,” Talon replied.

“How?” Griffin asked.

“The outhouse door was open.  The monster won’t bother us anymore,” Talon told him.

“I still don’t quite get the connection,” Griffin was confused.

“It is time to get this stone to the safe house, okay? No questions.  Let’s go,” Talon said.  Griffin knew he would have to wait to get the full story.

 

Thanks for reading!

Optional soundtrack!  Stories and music are a great pair; plus Garage Band is incredibly fun to play with.

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