lord of the flies
The Purge - Ulvesang
The ground crunched under her feet as she pulled the reins over the stallion's head. Their conversation a stuttering attempt at filling the silence. A flat "I know" the response to the visibly established fact of the Seer's weakened state and the brunette following it up with an equally modulated: "Let's find somewhere to camp". It was during moments of peace like these that she learned more about him. Perhaps also unwillingly so in how they shuffled awkwardly around each other in flesh, as well as the stretched out moments of just breathing between them. A droning exercise of filling, emptying and filling and emptying again that admitted several things in undulated lungs.
One, neither of them was much for small talk. Two, the both of them were tired. The dragging of feet now more pronounced in the joint duo of it.
Mitsuko guided them to a spot where the trees would block most of the wind from extinguishing any fires and tied the horse up. The actions of setting up camp flowed through her in a well-rehearsed choreography. She gathered firewood, stones and finally sticks and branches into a pile on the flattest area that her foot could locate. Then she crouched down and aligned the stones in a circle around the branches, held off with the heavy firewood for now, and drew her dagger.
The brunette stilled abruptly in an intermission between the acts. Everything under suspension but her hand, disconnected from the rest of the body's pressurized melody in dissonant trembles. Her first thought was plain. Ah- it was going to be difficult to whittle anything like this. And the second was annoyed. Lips pursing into a click of her tongue and tsk as she drove the dagger momentarily into the ground and then occupied her palm with something else.
Namely her cheek.
The trembles dissipated in numbed fingers while the focus shifted to the biting hurt of the impact. The skin reddening in reminiscence of the previous assault it had received, but went unnoticed and unremarked on by the woman who had returned to the task at hand. Settled back into her mechanical rut of ploughing the branch underneath her foot- skritch, skritch, skritch- with the blade until it was pointy enough.
Mitsuko made up the fire as if nothing had just transpired.
The gentle crackles of the juvenile flames were in stark contrast to the ageing face that peered into the glowing pile. Shadows emphasizing the hollows of eyes, sketched out in frazzled lines, and angular cheekbones that cut a sharp line to the hardened corners of clenched jaws.
The fire was warm. And she was cold.
Her thoughts drifted away to her victims, the man that she had disposed of first and hidden under to lure the rest of his friends. They had tread upon the scene cautiously, haunted by the potential reappearance of the unknown assailant of their leader in swivelling eyes that had looked at all the wrong places. When convinced that they were alone and out of danger to befall the same fate, they had turned their attention towards the bodies. Curious, it was. The way the men had taken one look at her presumably dead body and started discussing how they could use it.
Mitsuko hadn't even felt bad about the first one. The first victim was also the first one to approach her. He had heaved his leader's body to the side and hovered over her like an incoming storm. Said storm never arriving as she had sprung to life in the hand jabbed into his neck. The man had parted his lips only to spill out the contents of it in a river of red. It had washed over her in uneven streams, the twists of the dagger functioning like a tap to drain him. Any screams drowned out underneath it in gurgles before the bandits came waving and she had to push him off.
Her feet had propelled his body to fly into the man behind him in a kick and she had rolled off to the side. Barely evaded the club that had descended into the spot where her head had previously rested. Up on her feet, run and run and then run some more. Spin, stab and jab into the soft folds where body parts connected. Gut and thigh and chest and neck until they all crumbled.
The fire consumed the thin branches in greedy gulps and Mitsuko shoved one of the bigger pieces into its gaping maws. The latter snapping shut around it in a blaze that reached for the dark drapes, masking the sky from their sights. The question that stirred to life within fixated eyes was an inconsequential one, a motion made merely to keep her anchored to reality.
"Are you scared?" The fluttering eyelashes flailed against the weight of lids, sideway stare a thousand of miles away as it caught the Seer with it "Of me, that is".
I am, she wanted to say. Scared that was.
"Forget I asked." She broke off in a harsh breath. The regret spooked her into quickly averting her gaze away and she made an attempt to rise to her feet, swaying as she did so.