What Hath Me?by Henry Kuttner
The thousand tiny eyes raced past him, glittering with alien ecstasy, shining brighter, ever brighter as they fed. He felt the lifeblood being sucked out of him—deeper stabbed the gelid cold—louder roared the throbbing in
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In a hundreds of years the Aesir had slain all who stood against them, could this one human manage to beat them?
The thousand tiny eyes raced past him, glittering with alien ecstasy, shining brighter, ever brighter as they fed. He felt the lifeblood being sucked out of him—deeper stabbed the gelid cold—louder roared the throbbing in his ears . . . then the voice came, ""The heart of the Watcher. Crush the heart.""
The man running through the forest gloom breathed in hot, panting gusts, pain tearing at his chest. Underfoot the crawling, pale network of tree-trunks lay flat upon the ground, and more than once he tripped over a slippery bole and crashed down, but he was up again instantly. He had no breath to scream. He sobbed as he ran, his burning eyes trying to pierce the shadows. Whispers rustled down from above. When the leaf-ceiling parted, a blaze of terribly bright stars flamed in the jet sky. It was cold and dark, and the man knew that he was not on Earth. They were following him, even here.
A squat yellow figure, huge-eyed, inhuman, loomed in his path—one of the swamp people of Southern Venus. The man swung a wild blow at the thing, and his fist found nothing. It had vanished. But beyond it rose a single-legged giant, a Martian, bellowing the great, gusty laughter of the Redland Tribes. The man dodged, stumbled, and smashed down heavily. He heard paddling footsteps and tried, with horrible intensity of purpose, to rise. He could not. The Martian crept toward him—but it was no longer a Martian. An Earthman, with the face of some obscene devil, came forward with a sidling, slow motion. Horns sprouted from the low forehead. The teeth were fangs. As the creature came nearer, it raised its hands—twisted, gnarled talons —and slid them about the man's throat.
Through the forest thundered the deep, booming clangor a brass gong. The sound shattered the phantom as a hammer shatters glass. Instantly the man was alone.
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