The skull is set up in the middle of the field. The skull is large, about 30 feet wide and 40 feet tall. The skull was discovered by the town’s founder, and every year, the townspeople lug it out to the field for the annual games.
Carlos sits on the sideline, waiting his turn. His too-large-sweatpants bunch up at his ankles. He can’t tie the drawstring tight enough and he has to hold them up with his left hand. His mind is an anxious mess. Turn your anxiety into excitement, his friends would say, but he couldn’t. It was just anxiety.
Nobody knows where the skull came from, or what type of creature it belonged to. It’s generally human shaped, but the jaw is sharper, and no ear holes seem to exist. Scientists from around the land used to come to study the skull, but these days, it’s just a town prop. But don’t let a diminutive word like “prop” make you think the skull doesn’t have power. The only thing that keeps the town from being destroyed by the skull is these games.
It’s almost Carlos’ turn. His mind is racing, and he’s trying to transfer his uneasiness into excitement. It’s not working.
The skull is still of interest to the scientific community. But it’s much too dangerous to test, and the world’s too hazardous as it is to put oneself into an unnecessarily treacherous situation. It allows itself to be moved back and forth from the field to the cellar below town, but that’s only so it can feed.
It’s finally Carlos’ turn. He slowly gathers his courage as the townspeople cheer him on. He drops his sweatpants to the ground, and runs, naked, across the field in front of the skull. The eye sockets in the skull light up, and Carlos’ eyes light up in unison. Fire erupts from the skull’s mouth, charbroiling Carlos before the skull sucks his body into its mouth. The remaining townspeople sigh, and the fireworks go off.