The creature, still an infant in its newfound animation, stumbled towards Jeb with vacant eyes, arms outstretched, and mouth ajar.
The shovel pressed against Jeb’s mind. Its weight had seemed to double in the few short moments since his love’s return.
Tears had not marked his face when he had buried her, but now, as he raised the shovel high, his arms trembling from the weight, his vision blurred and salt touched his lips.
Jeb’s mind was breaking apart and falling in on itself. The creature continued to shuffle lopsidedly towards him as he shoveled clods of earth against its shins.
As the burning pain in his back grew hotter and the muscles in his arms began to ache from top to bottom, Jeb realized that he did not have the energy to bury her completely. He stepped back, whimpering in fright, and admired his work.
The creature cocked its head, one ear slipping from the side of its face and dropping down onto the soil packed just above its ankles. With a groan, it pulled one foot free of its earthen prison.
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