Tattered remnants of a cape, futilely grasping at the wind. A rifle, and a pair
of knives. The last items in my possession.
It must have happened quickly. When I had returned from supply gathering the forests
had been swept clean and the mountain sides had been scaled. It caught the clouds
and soon raged across the sky, burning it down, causing everything to fall in.
The villages immolation was inevitable.
Under the great clouds of ash and smoke the colossus slunk away. A lazy sway of its
tail crumpled a once towering mountain. I sat there, watching that, and then
everything else burning, and burning.
The fire still burns. Days have passed.
The rifle has range, yet is heavy. The knives are more dangerous to use, yet they
are light. The knives come with. It’s a matter of catharsis. To break that hide,
to see the blood pool on the ground, to see the beast succumb right in front of
me. I need that.
The fire has finally exhausted itself, heat long since faded. But a thick miasma
lingers over the devastation. Animals have yet to return. The birds won’t fly
over, only tentatively circling the mountains.
On high the miasma has mostly dissipated, leaving only barren paths cleaned of
vegetation. These ash bathed paths will be my only companions for some time.
Ash clings to my boots, my cape, my being. I have no way to remove it. Something
I’ll have to carry with me.
With the moon struggling against the clouds and torchlight’s limited radius the
navigation remains a difficult one. And with mist hanging down low viewing the ashen
path somewhat difficult.
The clouds sink into the night and now free moon beams arc over the sky. One snags
on a pair of horns protruding from the mist. Then another wraps around the slow sway
of a tail. That tail.
One last go with the whetstone. It’s time to head down.
It’s squatted down amidst the miasma and the detritus, gorging on ash and immolated
trees. I’m too consumed with anger to as I blow my chance of a sneak attack with snap
of a common tree branch. At speed the beast turns around, letting loose a heaven
shaking roar. Knives are drawn.
One lies broken on the blackened ground. One rests in the hilt, blood dripping from
the long edge.
The beast refuses to get up. A gash across it’s abdomen runs deep. The moment it
rises the beast will spill across the valley. So it just lies there releasing
I should be filled with happiness, lost in exhilaration, awash with catharsis.
Yet all I can manage is a long stare into the creatures fading eyes as I sit on the
ground cradling my side. It would take an immense effort to stand.
Stars shine bright across the sky whilst our heavy breath shamble out into the
cold air. Both our fates are abundantly clear. Neither of us will see the morning.
It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.
All three bits. As I said will be going to redraft at some point. I like it, but right now it’s a proof of concept as opposed to a finished piece.
Music I listened to as I put it all together: