I was extremely tense by this point. I felt naked and exposed. What insanity had convinced me that coming out here was a good idea?
I looked out over the wastes in the fading light, trying to detect the telltale horned fins of the thresher cutting through the surface of the sand.
With absolutely no warning, the dune thresher violently broke the surface, all three scavengers caught in his horrifying maw. There was a massive explosion of sand as the thresher dove back into the ground with its prize. The ropes immediately snapped taut, and I thought Burroughs would be pulled to his death. I didn’t understand how he thought he could reel in a monster that huge, but he wasn’t even trying â€“ just holding on.
After several tense seconds that stretched towards eternity, the rope began making weird jerking motions.
“Ah. The little buggers are doing their work.” He smiled a ghastly smile. “Shouldn’t be long now.”
“One scavenger still clung to life, but barely. It had actually dug itself halfway out of the thresher, clawing at the air as its skin was slowly eaten away. I vomited.”