Death Above the Trees

The beast had lost, and it knew it. It let out a bellow, beginning to slip backwards out of the air as the hindmost pairs of its feathery appendages fell out of rhythm. Slowly, the weight of its armored carapace began to drag it down towards the forest below.

It took a lot to bring down an worm as big as this one, but the night’s storm had managed it. The winds had blown up out of nowhere, catching the worm as it slept. It had been lucky enough to avoid a lightning strike, but the sheer force of the wind had wrenched its rear sections around hard enough to rupture its left hind gas bladder, and although the membrane had already started to repair itself, the damage had been done.

A flock of smaller worms was beginning to swoop back and forth around the doomed giant, waiting for it to impale itself on the treetops and open its soft innards to them. The filamentous feeding nets around the giant’s mouth writhed in distress, and another bellow, long and low, tore from its throat as it began to plummet.

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