Monster Pedestal Box
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May 25 2023 -

Paradise Lost

yana stumbled through the endless sands, her feet sinking deep with every step. The two blazing suns beat down upon her, scorching her skin and drying her mouth. She could not remember how long she had been walking, nor could she remember why she had come to this desolate place. Her memory of the past few days was only pieced together with fragments, leaving behind dark gaps that she could not recall.

"What am I doing here?" she thought, her mind hazy and confused. "How did I even get here?"

Endless dunes and a burning horizon - the air seemed to consist only of boiling water particles. The heat was so intense that it made her head spin. But suddenly, the past rushed in, and with it, the unsettling reason for her suicidal mission. She had braved the dense jungle, climbed rugged mountains, and traversed dark caves, slaying dozens of dangerous creatures, only to meet a sad end in the desert.

"How ironic; I'm trying to escape the moon's deadly rays, and now the sun is killing me," Ayana muttered to herself, as her demeanor shifted to a somber state. "Oskayaat, my beloved island. The place where I belong, my haven. I miss you... I need to find my way out of here. Not for me, but for my people."

With dull strides, she traversed the desert sand for hours, her mind devoid of any stirring thoughts, until she suddenly came to an abrupt halt. She began to feel like the sand was swallowing her, like it was alive and trying to consume her, creeping into her weary footwear and her tattered garments, filling her up like an insidious parasite. As disturbing as this hallucination was, it was just a fleeting glimpse of what might happen if she failed; a dark foreshadowing of the dire consequences that lay ahead.

"What if I never make it out?" she thought, her heart racing with panic. "What if I'm trapped here forever? The burden of breaking this curse rests solely on my shoulders. If I fail, we are doomed."

Ayana stumbled and fell to her knees, her body wracked with exhaustion. She closed her eyes, and the lines between reality and fantasy blurred together.

"This is a dream," she thought as she felt herself lying in the sinister tomb of the desert gods. "This can't be real."

But even in her darkest hour, she couldn't shake the feeling that there was something important within sight - something that would change everything.

"What am I looking for?" she asked herself again, her voice barely a whisper. "Why did I come here? Darama..."

And so she lay there. With each passing moment, her life force slipped away, leaving her vulnerable to the mysterious and captivating shadows that gathered within her mind's eye.

"Finally, will I be torn to pieces, or will my people live?"

The sounds of fierce growls and snapping teeth merged into a deafening symphony as her humanity faded into darkness.


Upcoming next week: Something for the most resilient among you.


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