Dogleg Hinterland Two

The night was bad-tooth black and the fire seemed lazy by comparison to the ones she had set in the past — the light travelled little beyond where she was sat. The nightmare clamped around her like the needle-toothed jaws of the ancient nameless creature that she knew awaited her a long way off in the fade of the future’s footsteps. She knew that the Nest was working to feed her bad thoughts, reaching out across the expanse of the Desert of the Held Tongue to fling its poison, but even they had no power to shape things as vital as that from her dreamstuff. Her nemesis had a life of its own and was drawn to her as she was drawn to it.

She decided that she would sleep where she was perched because she was afraid of catching fire if she moved her bedding any closer. If she had been back home in the Hushlands where she hailed from she would have burnt the Goodwill Weed in the fire and she would have slept soundly. But here the wolf packs tore at the fabric of the night and the tear inched its way towards her sleeping form. She had said a prayer to the Great Heart that asked for a little of the fire pictures’ heat to leap into her sleeping head and keep the bad spirits away. No one had good dreams out here she’d bet.

The birds invaded her sleep as they always did, climbing out of her father’s ragged scarecrow body to peck out her eyes and steal her flesh. Madrigal had a dream catcher tattooed on the back of her skull, the feathers running down her neck – it was to protect her as she slept and was something a lot of those in her trade did. Not that there had ever been many in her trade and not that there were many left. They had been hunted down and despatched swiftly, as were all enemies of The Nest.

Morning came slower than she’d wanted. Sleep provided no rest and today was going to be a busy day. Regrew was bound to be wily and if he saw she was tired he would press home his advantage and pocket any profit she might have been able to garner were she in a better state.

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2 Responses

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