Spindly, that was the word. It was like a spider arced out one painfully slow limb after another. Like an ethereal twig waving in the wind. I felt my insides tighten and warmth flush my throat. I looked away and the nausea released me, slightly. But I couldn’t look away forever.

I lifted my foot, and felt an overwhelming weight pull it back down. I gasped in pain as the muscles in my legs strained for movement. I fell to my knees, palms splashing in the murky water. I tasted salt in my mouth before I realized my face was wet with tears. I pushed my hands forward, digging my fingers into the earth. It felt like my fingernails were being torn from my flesh with every forward movement.

The sky crackled, and the monster screeched. I looked around for everyone else — anyone else. My throat was dry, I swallowed and when I swallowed fire burned against my esophagus.

Then, I saw her. Struggling every bit as much as I, my mother had reached the monster. She had strength I could not begin to fathom. But I felt her strength flow through me as I was able to crawl, painfully, slowly.

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