“Flee! Flee! Down! Down! Back!”

These few words in the common tongue were heard over the panicked chittering of the Vermin. In the wake of the death of their Birth Mother, the colony was in chaos. Without their mother, they would surely die out. The only solution was to retreat back underground, heedless of anything in their way and taking whatever they could on their way out. Down below, the rest of the family was still waiting, other mothers still needed to be fed. Their mission had failed, but this was not the end of them. They had struck a blow to the surface that would not soon be forgotten, with storehouses plundered and disease running rampant among the commoners. For now, they would retreat; in the dark, they were fine with waiting.

A full week after the retreat one of the returned Vermin known as Skirtch, came across one of his brothers that was lost in the initial run to the surface. Skirtch rejoiced, for he knew this brother well, though he seemed different somehow and did not appear to reciprocate the excitement of the re-union. His brother was chittering something at him, very lowly and he couldn’t hear what it was, so Skirtch approached him and the closer he got the colder the air seemed to get. Finally when he was practically touching his brother, Skirtch was shivering and could almost feel a frost forming on his fur. He could see now his brothers eyes were both terrified and sad at the same time, and finally he could hear what the chittering was about. “run, run, don’t come close, please run”. Skirtch was confused… but only for a moment, because death followed quickly. His brother killed and ate him, all with sadness in its eyes…  

  

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Waxing Gibbous Moon
Waxing Gibbous Moon
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