Jari Journal 8-3-11

It was only a dream. The next thing about which I need to worry is the current situation of myself and my ill-gotten traveling companions. Honestly. What a wretched fate to be stranded on this pile of rotting sand. The miasma one breathes constantly on this rock reeks of close fungus and cloys the lungs while it, almost otherworldly, seems to ooze about, misty and diaphanous, as if it could be drunk or held. Hope has always been a vessel that requires one constantly to bail water or sink in a sad and lonely sea. Each passing of the tides it sails merely brings one closer to lying on the rocks broken. It all seemed so real. The fevers have me in their grip now. I stand here, just another victim of this land’s foul humours. I must now accept that as fact. My mind is torn where once it gleamed as a tall-mast sail, taut in full sprint. But the doldrums will not hold me, no. Mustn’t let them do that. The things about which I once cared so much seem lame to me now. They’re all dead anyway. And it appears that I am likely soon to join them. That woman—I cannot close my eyes without seeing her. Focus. Now, when all is dark, is clarity paramount. We’ve taken the cannibal camp. “What must be endured can be endured,” mother would always say. Mother, I will remember. What he did was my fault. I could have stopped him sooner, but I was weak. So weak I was. Zura, she called herself. You know that I had no choice but to run. Here I run still. Only, now, I feel caught. I must endure. HOPEISNOWHERE! Must I? Something calls me. I won’t even lie about it anymore. I told you it was self-defense. I told all of them. The things he had done. . . His fate was better than he deserved. I lied. The drunken lout bellowed for the absent-thanks-to-me stableboy to take his horse as he sodded in from his whores. I let him squall for a while about thankless no-breeding gits before I stepped into the ruddy light of his lantern. “An what in the hells’s the HALFbreed doing bout this time’o th’ night?” he laughed. That was right before his eye caught the flash of light reflecting off my steel. My sword. Sobriety, as much as he could drink with a belly full of ale, washed over him in an instant. “So that’s the way of it now?” his query floated soft but clear. Lunging with swells of savage strength, he pressed his attack quickly seeking to drive me down. Feigning peril I flung the full force of my spell into his round, rosy face. Swirls of color bored into his mind. I hear a name. The steel sank so softly into his flesh that at first I felt I had erred. Time lagged before that rich crimson tsunami soaked the world. He fell back onto the lantern, cloaking it in blood, yet somehow loosing its host in the hay. I stared deep into the sanguine glow of the flames and felt. . . joy. Tuoja Myrsky. I am coming.

Jari Journal 8-3-11

Serpent's Skull BretHart