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One prey was eaten by the others. The dome on its head was intact. I could come back for its brains whenever. Its marrow was untouched as well. The others only ate its flesh. Ten of them were next to its corpse with another twenty crowding behind. As for the remaining others, they headed for the building, where the last two prey hid. They stumbled past the back wall, the sides, heading to the front door.

But I learned my lesson last time. Prey can escape through windows. The whole building has to be encircled to trap the prey inside. Unlike the last place, this building has a lot of windows, at least four on each wall. Eight on each if the windows up top counted. There’s a metal door in the back too. The others only covered the front side of the building. As for the back and sides, the prey could escape through those at any time. The trees that they rolled down the hill, they were propped up against the walls. But the prey were smart, making sure to leave the windows unblocked.

The others were still coming out of the woods, stumbling against the trees that blocked them. They approached, crashed, fell, climbed up. So dumb. They didn’t know to go around. Or raise their legs higher. The others that the rolling trees hit were crawling. Some stood. But most crawled. The bones in their legs were broken. If I manage to preserve these last two prey, not have them be eaten by others, I’d have enough time to wait for these injured others to heal.

But first, I have to cut off all avenues of escape. To do that, I have to find my injured others, the ones with no arms that’re carrying my bags. I didn’t see them go towards the front, they must still be in the woods. There they are. They’re on the ground, unable to stand after tripping over the trees. Which one has my four-pointed metal spikes? The wooden spikes too. I’ll put them underneath the windows. When the prey climb out, they’ll step on them, injure their feet. Found them. Maybe I should label these bags; there’s so many.

It took a while to scatter the metal, plant the spikes. But none of the windows were open. That means the prey are still inside. The door on the back is difficult to deal with. I don’t have any brains or blood to attract the others here. Even if blood isn’t infected, after a few days, it turns black, hard, unable to be smeared. I brought the jars of dried blood anyway, storing them in one of the blankets. But they won’t be useful now. What do I do? I can’t place spikes down. When the door opens, it’ll knock them away, clearing the path. Unless I dig a hole. But that takes time. I have a lot of time. Where’s the other carrying my hole-digging tool?

I have to figure out a way to organize them better. The other with the tool is eating the dead prey, in the mass of others. I had to kill a few to make room to grab the tool. The hole doesn’t have to be deep, just enough to prevent the spikes from falling over if the door opens. But while digging, the door opened, revealing two prey. They froze in place. Then the prey in the lead stabbed at me with its spear. I turned around, blocking the strike with my bag, copying the methods the last prey used to block my arrows. I turned back around, swinging the hole-digging tool at the same time.

I swung from the same side the prey was holding its spear with; it couldn’t use its shield to block. The hole-digging tool struck its arm. The prey screamed, dropping its spear. I pulled the tool back, raised it up like a spear. It was heavier than one; why didn’t I think to use it as a spear earlier? I stabbed forward. The prey blocked with its shield. It retreated back inside, the second prey grabbing the door. It tried to close it. But my tool was in the way. The prey stabbed at me, aiming for my arm. I could avoid it if I let go of my tool. But then the door would close. What do I do? Even if the door closed, eventually I’d get inside, kill the prey. But this is a perfect chance to break in. An injury would save time. Is it worth it?

I thought for too long. The prey’s spear stabbed my arm. But it wasn’t sharp enough to pierce through my clothes. It stabbed into my sleeve, sliding down my arm. I released my tool with my right hand, still holding on with my left. Then I grabbed the prey’s spear before it could pull it back. I don’t know why I thought I could take its spear away. The prey was stronger than me, pulling the spear back anyway. I didn’t let go in time, tumbling forward into the prey. We both fell down.

“Get it off me!”

Luckily, I had injured the first’s prey arm. If I hadn’t, it definitely would’ve stabbed me in. Instead, it hit me with the edge of its shield. My back was protected by my bag. My head was protected by the dome. But it hit my head anyway, my vision shaking with every thump. The prey underneath me had its hands on my dome, pushing me away. Was it trying to take my dome off? I can’t let that happen. At this rate, I’ll die. I fumbled around with my right hand, my left pressed down against the floor, the standing prey stepping on it. The bag at my waist had arrows. I grabbed one.

The prey underneath me was wearing the black, green armored clothes. Its head was protected by a dome. The only spots that weren’t protected were its arms, where its sleeves had slid down. And its neck. If I stabbed the arrow anywhere else, the result would be like earlier when the prey stabbed my arm with its spear. I made the obvious choice, stabbing the arrow into the prey’s neck. Even with my vision shaking, loud thumps resounding in my ears, I was accurate. At this close range, it was impossible to miss. The prey screamed. But it was only a gurgle.

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Virlyce

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