The hunt had progressed and the chase was great fare / in pursuit of the monster to marshes: its lair. / We split all asunder in search of the beast; / for the one who could find it would warrant a feast. /  My hounds drew me north but I saw in the reedsThe behemoth's foul spoor; and I reined in my steed. / Progressing on foot, all alone; without hounds; / I crept through the rushes with nary a sound. / With my blade 'twixt my teeth I discovered its trail; / I knew I was close; my complexion was pale; / My breathing was haggard, my body was tense; / But I knew I was right when I saw its great rents / In the trees and the stones where its claws had been raked / My knife seemed so small; had I made a mistake? / But - oho! - there it was! The cacophonous noise / that had made our best knights lose their pride and their poise! / I approachŠd the cave; this was all far too simple! / I stepped on the ground; never noticed a dimple / In its sandy surface; my hesitant footfall / would trigger engulfing, removing me withal. / The monster was safe; for the hunter so smart / had just made a misstep as his ground fell apart. / So soon was I gone, 'neath the silt and the crud; / A small soggy patch of some pitiful mud.

-- ansi by nitnatsnoc, lit by cthulu.  click here for the original ansi released in Integrity August 1995 --