Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dragonblight 01

Three months ago:

Dead girl, lying in the middle of a frozen wasteland.

She is lying on a wool blanket, wearing worn but still serviceable black leather armor. Empty eye sockets stare unblinking up at the gray early morning sky. Fingerless gloves reveal white bones, the flesh stripped away. Her face is extremely pale, shriveled, flesh stripped or fallen away in patches. Under the armor, her body appears gaunt and wasted away. A rucksack lies on the ground a few feet away. A thin layer of frost has coated everything, cold and silent.

But in the Blight, even such meager offerings are not turned down. As the rising sun forces the night's fog to relinquish its grip, carrion birds are beginning their morning patrol. The dead girl, black against a sea of white, is quickly spotted. Several circle her, slowly descending, warily watching for the larger scavengers that wander this dying land. One lands a few feet away from the body, and with a triumphant squawk to celebrate its courage, waddles toward her, eager to claim a mouthful of the remaining flesh.

The dead girl sits up.

The carrion bird shrieks and flaps its way back into the air, outraged at the deception. The girl was only pretending to be a meal! Its companions added their shrieks. Lie! Falsehood! Cheat! Then, slowly, they begin to drift off, their never-sated hunger driving them to search for meat that followed the rules. The girl watches them go with her eyes that are no longer there. As they disappear into the greyness, she reaches out and extends a single bony finger.

"Not yet," she rasps defiantly.

Then she stands stiffly, stretches and brushes the frost from her arms and legs. She picks up her blanket, folds it in half and rolls it into a tight bundle. She lashes it to the rucksack, slings it over her shoulder, and resumes the long cold walk to Venomspite.

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