©2022 Michael Raven
> o UtS iD e <
He regained consciousness with a start. It hurt to think. Everything… H u Rt.
But at least he was still something very akin to alive.
Crosscheck. . . .
:: several broken ribs, broken femur, three teeth missing, bite marks, ragged cut across belly, critical blood loss, entrails intact [barely; regen], eye out of orbital, severe widespread contusions… ::
He was lucky. The Girl had —
“The Girl!” he shouted across the yellowed, dead field of wheat. “Girl! I’m here! Come!”
Flurries in moonlight, the only reply.
Elder spirits drifted in, coiled around him, caressed him, soothed. The Girl is gone, they told, voices like a gentle breeze through the willows, a hushed shushing sound that began to make him dream.
Stop. I need to find her.
They shushed him more.
Safe. Alive. You heal.
Fingers massaged, calming, quieting.
You heal. Sleep. Safe.
He didn’t recognize the voices. And, some spirits lied. He struggled against the warm blanket of dreamscape, surrounding, soothing…
Sleep, they said, the evershadows turning to night.
And he slept.
As he slept, his dreams were interrupted by Their howling at the moon, some still a’frenzied well into the true night. He feared for the Girl if she hesitated even a moment to look backward for him.
He needed to fi
E N D_T R A N S M I S S I O N