Terrell saw him in the tall grass about 200 yards upwind drinking from a small creek. The air was soft and warm, with blue skies that were too bright to look at directly. The sun’s intensity made the colors especially bright, and there was green jungle all around except for a few patches of dark brown earth and the crystal blue of the stream where David was drinking.
Terrell was big and powerful but a lack of protein for two weeks had made his mind slower than normal, and he was physically weak. Even though there was an abundance of plant life and fruits Terrell needed protein to survive, why he could not figure out. How had God planned this to be so difficult, and why?
Movement caught his eye when David lifted his head to look around. Had he seen him? Heard his thoughts? Terrell slipped down beneath the tall grass very quietly and prayed he had not been discovered.
David felt fantastic today, such a beautiful day! He had finished all of the small fish that he could find in the cool blue stream, the sun was warm but not too hot, and he had finally come to accept himself. This had been a struggle all of his life, and it was a huge relief. He lifted his head to take in the beauty of the place and smell the soft breeze with all of its scents and other beautiful things. Life could not be better than this.
Terrell watched as David laid down beside the cool stream to rest. Now was his chance, he could overtake him while he was laying down even though his speed would be much slower than David’s. He must get closer though.
Crawling low on his belly, over the cool dirt, Terrell felt the insects as they scurried down to their homes or got crushed beneath his weight. He did not mind the occasional rocks that scratched his skin or the branches and twigs that jabbed into his flesh, instinct had taken over, and he was in an altered state with only enough conscious awareness to stay quiet and move slowly. Carefully lifting his head above the weeds, Terrell saw that David had turned on his side and was now facing away from him! God was smiling on him today, and his luck could not change, he would be successful.
David felt so relaxed, and the sound of the creek stirred him to turn toward it and watch the gentle movement of the water as it cascaded over the rocks. The different colors were amazing, and he marveled at how a colorless substance could have so many colors and textures. The water he felt could change with its surroundings, transform itself to move around any impediment and remain invulnerable to all of the objects it encountered. Surely it must be a different life form, advanced beyond anything we currently know.
Suddenly David heard a rustle in the weeds behind him, was it the wind, or a small animal? David was so relaxed he did not even bother to turn and look.
Terrell was only 20 yards from David now and could hear the creek and smell David’s faint odor. Should he try and get closer or make his move now? If David got more than 1 second ahead of him, he would never catch up, but if he tried to get too close, David would hear him and move away. It was now or never. Terrell slowed his breathing and allowed his heart to rest, then he stood up and charged David.
David heard a loud grunt behind him and quickly turned over to see Terrell coming at him not more than 10 yards away. He stood up and slipped on the bank of the creek as he began to sprint away. Too late, Terrell had grabbed him from behind and was pulling him to the ground. David desperately attempted to slip away but could not and was finally pulled off his feet and landed on his back facing Terrell.
Terrell looked at David and knew that he had his meal. Finally, he could revive his life force. He was aware that he must kill David quickly or take the chance he would lose his prey, so he maneuvered himself around to a position over David’s neck and struggled to get David’s head bent back enough to expose the juggler to his waiting jaws.
David looked at Terrell in fear and disbelief! Instinct took over, and he went into survival mode desperate to get away from Terrell’s grip. He felt Terrell move around his head and attempt to push it backward and open his neck to a sure death. David twisted his body away from the direction that Terrell was moving and felt muscles tear as Terrell held his head firmly. Quickly David spun the other way in an attempt to throw Terrell’s balance off.
Terrell knew to hold David’s head firmly, making David’s escape impossible, but suddenly David turned toward him, and he lost his footing. David was loose! Quickly he took hold of one of David’s legs with his mouth and bit down as hard as he could. As David screamed in agony, he went down face first into the creek, blood spewing from his torn leg. Terrell quickly got over and behind David and again attempted to push back his head and expose his neck.
David could not breathe! Water came into his lungs so quickly that he could not cough it out soon enough to get a breath. He had to lift his head.
Terrell felt David lift up just as he was pushing back David’s face. This quickly exposed David’s neck, and Terrell stood behind David and sunk the top jaw of front teeth into David’s neck with his chin touching David’s chin. Terrell felt the warm flow of blood in his mouth and knew it was now over. He would let David bleed out enough that he lost consciousness before tearing into his flesh and restoring his life force.
As David lifted his head out of the water and with a violent force from his lungs coughed out the water he felt Terrell’s teeth sink into his neck. David went into a different place than he had ever been before, surreal and separate from himself. It was almost as if David was watching from someplace other than his own body. He looked up and met Terrell’s eyes which seemed moist and full of love. Not hatred or rage, just love. David looked back at Terrell, and for some reason, he felt himself return the loving gaze.
Terrell felt the blood from David revive his energy and bring life force back into his being, and felt love for David and his unwilling gift to Terrell. David would allow Terrell to survive. Terrell knew the guilt would come later, the feeling of having taken David’s life selfishly for his survival, but now life itself had taken over, and there was no turning back.
David knew his life was over. There was no escape. But somehow Terrell had positioned him into a caress and was gazing into his eyes. David could feel Terrell’s conflict, feel the horror of the moment they each knew deep inside. But this was life and here was Terrell showing David the deepest part of his being. David could feel a love coming toward him and without knowing why felt a deep love for Terrell.
Terrell reached out his tongue and licked at David’s mouth.
David kissed him back. And then it was dark.