No one knew where the beast had come from or what its name was, but, when it came, everything died. Within a week, the massive island was barren of life. The humans thought that they could stay and fight, but they were the first to go.

It stood a gargantuan three hundred feet and its belly was fat with the life it had wasted. Nothing was spared, not even the animals. It drank the rivers dry just to see the fish flail and go still.

The birds were the lucky ones. They flew away early on, over the water. The beast never tried to cross the ocean. There was no telling if it could swim or not, it just roamed the land searching for life to extinguish.

After months of wandering , the beast heard nothing but the wind. In sheer frustration, it let out a roar so great that it uprooted the trees. For a few seconds, there was nothing but silence, until a low roar began in the distance. The beast turned in shock and stomped its way toward the distant sound.

After miles and miles of travel, the beast let out another roar and waited for a reply. High above, in the frozen mountains, an answer reverberated off the trees. The beast mindlessly climbed up the mountainside, scaling thousands of feet, gaze transfixed wholly on the summit.

The cold didn’t bother it at all. The beast’s thick skin made it immune to the elements. It was doubtful whether it could feel anything at all. A few times it slipped, but each time its giant claws locked its massive body in place.

The beast looked small at the top of the mountain. It turned again and again, but there was nothing to see all around. The beast let out one last roar. In the distance, yet another roar echoed back. It snarled, looking to the distant mountain where the enemy noise called.

The beast started toward the edge, sliding on the ice. It stabbed its claws into the mountain to stop its fall to no avail. The claws cracked and broke, sending their master falling helplessly down the mountain. Jagged rocks didn’t slow the descent.

The ground erupted as the beast finally hit home. Its body was broken, yet it still tried to rise. Spent, it, finally, lay flat on the ground, fading fast. Its eyes searched and searched,  but found nothing that could have produced that enemy roar. Little did the beast know, it was chasing its own echo.

Joe Reyes