The thing that was chasing me is gone. Though it killed Xi, Melanie, maybe others, I couldn't help but feel sorry for it at the end. I won't ever think of it other than as a thing, or a creature, though. Whatever it was before died a long time ago.
I'd carried on through the cave. I was making good time, and I knew that even if the cave entrance was open again, the creature wouldn't catch me. I'd seen it moving, and I knew it wasn't quick anymore. I kept going until I came to a part of the cave that was riddled with circular holes. The holes made me think of the ones Phillips had seen, the holes he claimed were so deep you couldn't hear a stone hit the bottom. There were so many of them, and they were so close together, that I had to slow down. I wasn't willing to risk going anywhere near one.
I'd spent about an hour painstakingly creeping between the holes, when I heard a strangled croak. I turned around. The creature was standing just before the holes, staring at me. Its body was covered in open sores, and in places, the skin had sloughed away, exposing glistening meat. One arm hung limply at its side, and both feet were black stumps. I stood up straight and faced it, staring into its five eyes. The impression I got, if such impressions can be relied upon for an alien creature, was of pain and despair; I knew this creature had been driven to follow me. It was a victim of this terrible place, perhaps more than I was.
The creature raised its arm. Small ribbons of tattered rubber still hung from it. It groaned and stepped toward me. I stood where I was and forced myself to watch as the creature dragged itself along. It sidled past the first hole it came to; the second hole was too much, and the creature began to overbalance. It stumbled away and plunged into a hole on its left. It clung to the side, and I listened to the rattle of its breathing. As I watched, the creature looked at me, directly into my eyes, and released the edge of the hole. It fell, and I never heard it hit the bottom.