The creature barreled into a tower of coasters, knocking them everywhere.
Once it slid to a stop, it tried to turn toward Daniel, but the papery disks stuck to its tentacles. With its arms and its foot coated in coasters, the creature couldn’t get any traction.
Falling over and over, it furiously grabbed for Daniel. He was out of reach.
Watching the creature clumsily try to right itself diluted Daniel’s fear. It was pretty funny actually.
With his paralysis broken, he stepped away and considered the monster.
He could try to kill it while it writhed on the ground. But its arms thrashed back and forth so quickly it was obvious that a single step too close could be fatal.
Plus, Daniel thought. I have nothing to kill it with.
“Are you intelligent?” Daniel asked, though he was sure it wasn't.
“Are you intelligent?” the creature repeated in Daniel’s voice, and fell again.
“That answers that,” Daniel said.
“That answers that,” the creature repeated. Then it shrieked so loud Daniel thought his eardrums would burst.
Preparing to put some distance between himself and the creature and resume his search for Jeska, Daniel was surprised when he too slipped and fell.
Feeling a wet coldness on his hands, he saw he had stumbled into a small puddle of reddish liquid.
A liquid that, even in the wane light, Daniel could see was blood.
From his vantage point on the floor, he could see that red spatters led away from the puddle, winding past the creature and before disappearing behind a nearby stack.