The hexagonal columns of graphite towered above Anders. He ran towards the great mound--naked, covered in greasy soot, feet bleeding. His visible ribcage heaved, and he grunted in pain with each breath. He hadn't eaten in days, ever since he woke up in this barren, charred world, cold, and with no memory of his arrival.
The little yellow creatures chased him on smell. They were totally blind--eyeless. They had four legs and liked to stand on their back haunches, sniffing at the air. They were hairless, with smooth scales. Each foot had two toes, and each of those ended in a sharp claw. They had long tails that gave ballast to their fat little bodies. They weren't fast, but they had a habit of collecting in large numbers. They chuffed and clawed and poked through the pebbly black dirt looking for beetle-like insects (who were well camouflaged). At first they ignored Anders. He tried capturing one to eat, but they were good at running away. So he settled for the beetles, which while not tasty, were somewhat satisfying and provided water. It was only when his feet started bleeding that the yellow creatures started following him around--started biting him when he tried to sleep.
Anders reached the graphite panting. He looked back and saw the mass of yellow heading towards him in a V-formation. He turned back and started to climb. The hexagons were about two feet in diameter. The first row rose about three feet above the surrounding dirt. The next rows rose about four or five feet from the previous. Anders climbed from row to row. His muscles were already burning and weak from running, and he was trembling with the effort.
He looked back. They reached the bottom row. A few were able to jump up on the top of the first hexagons, but could not make it to the next row. Anders stopped and rested. Sweated beaded on his face and ran down into his ragged beard. He looked up in the sky, at the blue star. It was fainter than the Sun, and provided little heat. It was colder here than down on the ground--he started to shiver.
There was a mild tremor. It only lasted a few seconds, but they were very frequent. On the day or night he first woke up, he found himself on the slope of a volcano, not ten feet from a slow fluid lava flow. He left the slope immediately, and came down to the plain where the yellow creatures were. Other than the creatures and the beetles, he had seen no other macro life forms.
They were piling on top of each other on the first row. They yipped and gnashed at each other. No one wanted to be on the bottom apparently. They made it onto the second row, and started piling there. Anders climbed up another row, then another. It was getting colder quickly. Anders decided to keep climbing to keep his body warm, but there wasn't much left in him to generate that heat. Perhaps though, the creatures would lose his scent and drop their pursuit.
Anders climbed further, his fingers and feet numb. He sucked in cold air and exhaled vaporous breath. He was shaking so much that he couldn't maintain a grip during another tremor. He slipped and fell, just a few inches. He sat down and saw spots. He pushed himself between the lee of two columns, laid down and curled up into ball. More tremors. More distant yipping and gnashing. Numbness. With his last strength, he turned over and looked up at the star. It pulsed slowly. He counted the pulses to twenty and no more.