Clumsy feet pad down the stairs;
three more to go.
A human-sized hole in the wall;
the human puzzle piece on the ground.
pained, angry whimpering.
A tiny, confused creature,
watching from the fourth stair to the bottom.
The light in its eyes begins to fade for the first time.
Warm summer days,
clear, cool water.
The howl of The Beast.
The air chills.
Water droplets grind to a halt mid-air.
Hushed, frantic calls for peace,
resentment for The Beast and his temper,
fear of being heard by those nearby.
An enraged roar bellows from The Beast,
spitting acid with each new outburst.
Cowering beside The Protector,
the now less-tiny creature peers into the abyss over the edge of the liquid sanctuary.
The sparkle in its leery eyes continues to wane.
The cracking of wood,
the splatter of water,
The fledgling adult crawls from its cave,
no longer the tiny creature standing on the fourth stair from the bottom.
but only until overwhelmed by the shrieking of The Protector and the howling of The Beast.
Once-clumsy feet sprint toward the battle ground.
Violent sound waves tear the room apart,
shred the flesh of the other,
barrel toward the creature itself.
They burrow into its ears,
barking paradoxical commands.
The frequencies penetrated the foundation of its being.
Cracks split the creature,
ebbing down to its core.
Fragments splintered away and fluttered into the void.
The last embers of light died,
the eyes of the creature now hollow and dark.
The fledgling was no longer a fledgling.
The creature had matured and earned its title—
The Fractured One.