The deer looked up. Her nostrils widened. Her front knees trembled. She turned her head to eye the rusted, overturned logging truck covered in moss and fallen trees, not know what it was. The forest on this side of the mountain became quiet. The deer's heart beat with fury even as she tried to still her trembling, to be invisible.
Her hooves threw up dots of dirt and shreds of half-consumed leaves. Her heart thumped against her aching lungs. Others joined her. Deer, rabbits, birds, mice, a lumbering moose. They fanned out away from the truck, like trees at Tunguska.
The forest was still again.
The soil eased apart under the rusted truck, and it sunk in, with its long-forgotten occupant, now just a skeleton, deep underground.
Five miles away, in a plastic hutch, a seismometer needle scampered across graph paper bleeding furious inky jags.
Metal fingers the size of tree trunks, covered in whirring saw blades, ripped up through the roots of trees, spraying vast arcs of soil and stones skyward. Hands followed, pulling, ripping, pushing. The maw of the creature emerged, spitting up dirt, screaming with a thousand blades running at a thousand revolutions per minute. The fingers unrooted trees and shoved them whole into the maw. The belly of the creature filled with woodchips and it belched sawdust. With new energy it pulled the rest of the body up from the earth. A heart beating with gasoline, lungs that expired carbon monoxide and black smoke, legs made of hundreds of oiled steel pistons, an outer skin made of lines of chainsaw blades--all pushed up.
It stood, eyeless, and screamed. Everyone in logging towns for miles around heard the echoes of straining blades and chains.
It ran. It's hands scraped up trees like they were pondscum, and shoved the vegetation up to the maw. It's feet dug craters into the earth. Its belly glowed with incendiary wood, and it left a trail of thick white smoke. It ran and screamed and ran until it came to the edge of the town in which it had last lived as a man.
It stopped at the side of the road, it's blades and chains and many workings revving down. Opposite was the town's one restaurant--a rundown diner. Just beyond was the motel where the itinerant loggers lived while they worked this patch of forest. The few people inside the diner stared out the window, frozen. One logger held a forkful of pancakes mid-way to his mouth, dripping maple syrup down his flannel shirt.
The creature moved its hand to its maw. It motioned frantically, scraping blade to blade and chain to chain until it discovered the right frequencies to mimic speech.
"Whhhhhhy....." it whirred. "Whhhhhhhhy...."
The creature coughed and belched black smoke.
"Whhhhhy....." Then it screamed, and the windows to the dinner shattered inward, spraying the people inside with slivers of glass, gashing their hands and faces. They screamed and cowered.
The creature stopped moving. When it was still for a minute, one of the loggers inside called out.
"Why did you what? What are you trying to say?"
Its blades whirred up again,
"Lur? Love? Why did you love? What?" yelled out the bravest logger.
"Okay, not love then." The logger looked around at his bloodied up companions under their tables. "Anybody got any idea?" They shook their heads furiously. "We don't know what you're trying to say!"
The creature balled up its fists, then leapt on top of the diner, swing it's arms through the structure, including the people within.
"Furrrrrrrrrr...chchchch....uuuuuuuuu...." screeched the creature, before it ascended back up the mountain to rest.