Chapter 8 Summary

Brian is awakened in the middle of the night by a low growl accompanied by a terrible smell. Although he can see nothing in the impenetrable darkness, a stench of rot permeates the shelter. Brian then hears a slithering sound near his feet. Terrified, he throws his hatchet at the source of the sound and kicks out as hard as he can. The hatchet misses its target and instead strikes the rock wall, inducing a shower of sparks; Brian’s leg is simultaneously “torn with pain.”

Screaming and backing against the wall, Brian thinks he can make out a “bulk in the darkness” moving away from him and back out through the door of the shelter. When it is clear that the creature is not going to return, Brian examines the...

(The entire section is 569 words.)