Still. As these things go….
Mercher poked it tentatively with the tip of his least favourite finger. Jerking it back as soon as it touched, just in case.
Mercher glanced behind him, just in case….
In case of what, he’d rather not think about.
Ever since he’d fallen into, passed through, into this… place… dimension… universe… whatever it was, things had been jumping out in front of him and behind him. All of them were seemingly intent on if not killing him then seriously injuring him, often – apparently – merely because he was there.
Which, he supposed was all well and good in its way. After all, back on the Earth he came from there were some dangerous places, like city centres on weekend nights.
Back there though, in his own place… dimension…universe… or whatever it was, Mercher knew the rules, knew what to expect and when to expect the unexpected.
Here though… wherever it was… was different.
He was beginning to suspect that this dimension did not operate to the same laws of nature as his own more familiar Earth.
Mercher touched the… thing again, this time with his pointed stick.
The… thing had leapt out of the bushes at the side of the path Mercher was running down, and it was not to say hello to him.
After being here less than a week, after a quite a few close shaves, Mercher knew that now. He had learnt that the creatures in this world did not leap out of the bushes to offer the claw of friendship.
After all, Mercher was running down the path to get away from a pack of… well, things with sharp teeth and claws that had been chasing him since first light that morning. Even now, as he stood in front of this other… thing with claws and – of course – lots of teeth, he could hear the pack of those other things howling to each other in the distance.
After only a day in this place, Mercher had armed himself with a big stick. After a couple of days, he had ground the end of it down to a very sharp point. Now he had another stick as well, more of a branch, really. The big one, the branch, made quite a useful club.
Mercher, being a trainee filing clerk, had not – in his past back on Earth – ever had to do much in the way of violence, at least not after leaving school. Now, though, he found he seemed to have an aptitude for it.
Lucky for me, he thought as he stepped over the… thing that was now leaking a strange greenish-blue blood across the pathway, otherwise by now he would be very dead indeed.