Here's the Smell of the Blood Still

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 7119

Astra's memories of the night were hazy after the point when she had killed the boar, but she didn't think that she had killed again. One night successfully negotiated, two to go. At least she seemed to be fully human during the day; she had feared that she might remain in bestial form throughout the whole time that the moon was full, but apparently the wolf in her emerged only between moonrise and moonset - roughly from dusk till dawn.

Even before surveying the valley, her first priority was to cleanse herself, for she felt that the spatters of blood on her skin besmirched her not just literally but metaphorically too. She found a suitable pool not too far away: small, but deep and with clear water. She drank deeply first, both to slake her thirst and to wash away the lingering taste of blood. Then she immersed herself in the water. It was cold, but tolerable for one as hardy as she.

Having managed to remove the blood, she returned to her vantage point overlooking the valley, at a brisk run in an attempt to get warm. Looking across the valley to check that it was as deserted as she thought:

  1. She saw no signs of humankind.
  2. She saw a wisp of smoke rising above a ridge a mile or so away. Should she investigate it, or simply flee?
  3. She saw a figure following the rough track that wound along the valley floor. It was still too far away to tell anything about it except that it walked on two legs.

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JH (plagiarising Shakespear for the title, originally said by Lady Macbeth)

1/20/2000 11:23:31 AM

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