I have been hunting the creature for two days now, or perhaps it was hunting me, and I felt in my very bones that the inevitable confrontation was growing nearer and nearer. But until then I had to survive and prepare myself. I didn’t know what kind of creature it was supposed to be, I had no strategy on how to defeat it, I only knew what the shaman told me. The creature has been summoned to be my personal nightmare, the culmination of my fears and doubts, and defeating it was supposed to mark the overcoming the fears and weaknesses of mine. All the warriors in our clan who passed the trial were forbidden from speaking about it, so I presumed it would be no ordinary beast. I’ve made my temporary home in a small cave, as it sheltered me from the merciless weather that raged across the land and would give equal footing to both me and my adversary as the fight would be done on solid ground and not on treacherous snow. It also gave me assurance in the fatality of the situation, because it will mean that I will have nowhere to retreat. If I were to die, I would die with honour as a warrior and not as a fleeing craven prey. I felt it in my very bones, the confrontation was nigh, maybe the spirits were talking to me, maybe it was my intuition, but I knew that this night, would be the fateful one. I lighted the campfire and sat back, closed my eyes and started to gather my strength as the sun was vanishing beyond the horizon. Hours passed, and suddenly I felt an uneasy feeling in my guts, I opened my eyes and saw a shape in the cave’s opening. I couldn’t see the details as it was still covered in shadows, yet it looked quite small and amorphous with what I assumed to be tentacles of tendrils protruding from its body. However it was constantly shifting and changing, and as it grew closer it grew thinner and longer. Then suddenly a pair of malicious yellow eyes entered the range of the light and then towering before me was the body and head of a giant snake. Murder in its eyes and poison dripping from its fangs. It raised its whole body, so much so that its head was nearing the cave’s ceiling and I could see the muscles on its scaly body tensing as it was preparing for an attack. My hands were trembling during that sight, as the primal desire to run away entered my body. I almost dropped the spear that I was holding, however the still burning marking on my skin reminded me of who I am and what I stand for. The creature seemed taken aback by my show of conviction and for a moment its form almost seemed like it lost a sustenance of sorts, looking more like an illusion, or a vision than a real creature. But after just a blink’s time it was back in all its frightening glory. It hurled itself against me head first and tried to pierce me with its fangs, yet I dodged to the side and grazed its neck with the tip of my spear, and a stream of white lymphatic liquid came pouring out. The creature retreated back with a hiss and I took my chance and charged at its body. I prepared myself pierce it through, but as I was charging it started to change its form. It became a blob-like mass for a moment, that then turned into a humanoid figure. The spear would have gone through its body, were my hand not to stop mid stab. It wasn’t some outside force that caused me to freeze. It was because of the shock that struck me, as I gazed into the familiar face of my mother. I couldn’t move, I didn’t understand; she was supposed to be dead, she has been dead for years. I knew even then that it had to be a trick, but my body wouldn’t listen and this moment of hesitation was all the creature needed. Before I could do anything, my mother clawed at my face with razor-like talons and blinding pain ensued. At that moment, an image of my mother’s funeral ceremony came to my mind, and seeing the despicable creature before me, daring to take my mother’s form, a storm of rage started raging inside me. With all the fury I could muster, I stabbed the creature right through the chest and it felt dead to the ground, where it became an amorphous blob once more. I was shaking. From shock, pain, fear and other things. After finally catching my breath and focusing myself, I tried to wipe the blood from my eye, because I couldn’t see anything through it. However nothing changed upon doing so; I tried once more and to no effect. It was only then, that I realized the full scale of my injuries.