Sunday, November 14, 2010

BEAST DU JOUR #13: "Tuberous Squom"

The Tuberous Squom is an organism that has a rather odd life cycle. The offspring are "planted" in the ground and resemble the large seeds of a certain type of plant life favored by an avian species. These winged creatures will swoop down and snatch the fetal Squoms out of the ground, take them back to their nests and store them for food to be eaten by their young once they hatch. The Squom will rapidly develop once in senses it is in the higher altitude of the nest and began feasting on the avian eggs before they hatch, fueling its continued rapid growth. When the mother returns to its nest, a battle begins to determine whether the Squom will survive in it's strength by defeating and consuming the adult avian, or perish in its weakness as the adult avian extracts its vengeance on the young Squom for consuming all of its young. If the Squom begins to overcome the avian in combat, the avian will most likely take flight and flee the nest, whereupon the Squom will latch onto the avian as it attempts to flee. The added weight of the Squom renders flight near impossible, especially in its injured state, and the wounded, burdened avian will glide to the ground, struggling all the while to dislodge its tenacious passenger. This is how the Squom escapes the dangerously high nest and returns to ground. When the two beasts finally make landfall, the Squom will attempt to kill and eat the avian, which by this point is fairly easy given the exhaustion and injuries of its prey.

When the Squom grows to adulthood it becomes a towering, leathery, lumbering mass, moving about with a deceptive lethargy that quickly dissolves once it is threatened or attacking prey. It can hunch down and sort of fold itself up into a rounded, stationary shape, appearing as a large stump or boulder to its land-based prey. The Squom will sit silently and motionless until its prey wanders into close proximity, whereupon the Squom will unfurl itself with lightning speed, snatching its prey with its long arms and grasping fingers, drawing it to the Squom's mouth, where it can be quickly paralyzed with its stinging mouth tentacles, or simply have its neck broken by its powerful arms.

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