The fields and woods
Of course I went to him, kneeling before him, and he blessed me with his touch and his essence. He said that I could stay if I wished, but I said no, I would run with his fire, perhaps draw them away, but I also knew that he would want to do this alone. I understand that. He kissed me, then, and told me we would go together, even if he fell, we would go together into the shadow. And I took that knowledge, that comfort, with me as I vanished into the woods.
I knew the moment the battle began, between Sugaar and the cunt from the Carnival, the miserable piece of godspawn their leaders shat out. I knew, and I gnashed my teeth and howled and gnawed at my own legs at Sugaar's pain, but I wouldn't interfere. I understand the need to fight your own battles.
But if he had died, if he had died, you fucking rancid piece of spirit-scum, you would have found me in the shadows, all teeth and rage, oh yes you would
But he didn't die. He didn't win, but he didn't die, and I stayed away when they came to him again, because I knew that he wouldn't want me witnessing his humiliation. I lay and I moaned as the fuckers came to him, and then...
He isn't dead. I would know the very moment he died, because my heart would shatter. But he is...diminished. The feel of him in this world and the next has faded, his star has winked out, leaving nothing but the flickering candleglow that the rest of the meat-beings in this world give off. And I knew. Of course. Under other circumstances I'd admire the fucking sadism.
Your soul stays with you... until the end of things. And then you can come with me into the dark.
But now the end of things had come, and there is no dark to follow my master into...there is only a dimness, a flickering flame that could be snuffed out at any time. And I am still here.
I rage in the last hours of the night. Most of the beasts have already fled, but I find the stupid, the blind, the young and the old that were left behind. I paint the forest in blood as I howl, froth dripping from my jaws, the darkness shuddering around me. Perhaps I should weep, but instead there is fury, and there is blood, and there is the dark.
Dawn is streaking the sky when I come back to myself, my fur matted with blood, strings of meat tangling between my teeth. I should take man again, but for once I see little point. It would be going into that same, crippled, half-existence no matter what form I took, and that makes me gnash my teeth and wish for more small creatures to rend and tear.
But it's then that I think. Sugaar was forced from his bright star-body into this meat form, stripped and reduced and diminished. And I can't change that, no matter how hard I wish, no matter what sacrifice I made. But perhaps there's another sacrifice I can make. A choice. It would be just like sliding into the shadow, shedding this body as a snake sheds its skin...but this time the dark would take more, as it has always wanted. And I would let it.
I remember Aatxe, lying in the mud and his own filth, staring at me with stupid cow's eyes. I remember how I hated him.
Forgive me, old friend. I understand you better now. I think, raising my head to meet the dawn for the last time.
And so it is, several hours later, that a great black dog with a tangled, muddy coat found the boy who wept and raged against the earth. The boy, wracked with sobs, and with furrows down his cheeks. And the dog, wagging his tail with dumb, animal hope, pressed his nose against the boy's hand and began to lick the blood from his fingers.
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