Hunter on the Scorched Planet

In the cold darkness of the burned planet I wait with the other hunters for the two suns to rise and the monsters to wake up.

The first sun over the horizon is Kyra, a red star. In it’s proximity it appears massive. As wide as the row of mountains in our field of view.

Thanks to the light of Kyra I can see the geometries of the landscape. The blackness of the acid lake looks even deeper under the red glow. Quartzs crystals as tall as a hunter refract the light in warm rainbows.

The hunt will start as soon as the second sun peaks over the horizon

Elio was a blue sun, smaller in size than Kyra but much hotter than its sister. It was Elio that had devastated the planet. Once every year they get close enough to burn every living thing crawling on the surface. After millions of years of the endless cycles, only one species of beast had survived the fires.

That was the creature we were hunting.

A monster of skin thick enough to survive fires that lasted months. A monster that inhaled flames and exhale smoke. A monster capable of burying itself in the scorched earth waiting for for the fires to pass and life to return.

What are they waiting for? I remember asking. Food, they had told me. What food could there be in this land? I pressed. Hunters, they told me.

And now Elio rises. And now I run with my brothers and sisters between the long shadows of the dry bushes and scorched tree trunks. Already I feel the heat even through my thermo-suit, and I see sparkles dance and patches of land ignite.

And I feel the earth below our feet rumble.

I think of the money of our hunt. But most of all I think of the glory of finally capturing one fo the monsters for the first time.

I think of all this as the flames surround us and the earth shakes underneath us.

The monsters are coming up from their burrows to hunt us.


January 12, 2021




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