Why the prey think clustering closer together, rather than running away, as the lumbering beast rattles and wheezes closer and closer is anyone’s guess. By the time the giant predator is upon them, though, it is too late. Acrid black smoke immobilizes the docile, sheep-like creatures. Almost greedily, they inhale the toxins.
An outside observer might watch for a giant maw to open at the front of the boxy creature, but no, the mouth is small, almost petite, unexpectedly vertical. Like moths to a flame, the prey practically push over each other to enter the beast’s belly.
The mouth closes. Inside, the prey are mercilessly shaken up and down, left and right as the monster bounces over holes and berms while searching, ever craving, more victims. The monster repeatedly jolts to a stop, hoping to avoid battle with similar beasts.
Perhaps it’s the odd smell that keeps the prey silent. No baying or bleating or even murmuring. Perhaps it’s the monster’s ability to suck psychic power from forlorn victims. The feeding seems to take hours.
But just as the suffering becomes unbearable, hope unexpectedly arrives; the monster vomits a couple of victims. Every few minutes, more and more victims escape into the muggy, fume-filled morning air.
The monster is smart, though. Instinctively, it knows the victims will recover, regain strength and return in the afternoon for another feeding.