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City In The Wilderlands

Sector Four Three, Yr209

     Beck sat back down at the fire, checking the pot. He looked around for Sam, but she must have still been out hunting. Food was always scare in the Wilderlands. If you didn't find it, you didn't get it. And sometimes it found you and got its dinner instead.

     He’d managed to scrape together some roots for a stew base, and meat was getting to be a delicacy… Footsteps caught his attention and he looked up to see Sam walk into the campsite holding a limp jackupp. There would be meat tonight. Sam sat and skinned the small animal.

     “I saw a large city in the distance.” She placed chunks of meat into the pot. “Reckon we should go in that direction in the morning. Probably a two day walk.”

     “That sounds fine. Maybe we'll find some other people.”

     Beck looked out into the night, stirring the stew and throwing in some seasoning they'd found on their travels.

     “I'm glad you know your way around the fire. Otherwise I'd be starving myself on bland jackupp.” Sam smiled and poured herself a cup of water, boiled previously. Beck opened his mouth to reply but Sam was up with her weapon at the ready, aiming at something right behind him. He spun around and took in the man who’d stumbled into their campsite.

     “Who are you?” Sam barked her question, walking towards the man. The man pulled a dead rasp from his pouch and tossed it into the firelight.

     “The name's Bern.” His scratched and bloody face held no readable emotion. “I'm just starving and I saw your fire. I brought my own food.”

     Sam lowered her weapon and motioned for Beck to get the rasp. It would be a nice addition to the stew.

     “You seem to have been through a lot. Since you're obviously not a mutated horror or a wild animal, sit and explain.” Sam started to clean the rasp for the stew. Beck held his hands out to help take Bern's things, allowing the man to sit and rest his weary body.

     Beck poured a cup of water and handed it to Bern as he began to talk.

     “About a week ago I was camped out on the other side of the city, on a low ridge. My friend and I...” he lost himself for a second, “Jakoby and I were planning on coming to the city. One night we saw a large pack of mutations run from the city. They didn't care much about us either. They were scared.” He sipped some water. “They had a good reason. In the city we found this... thing. Apparently it was turned off, but Jakoby insisted we mess with it. He turned it on... and....” He left it at that and looked into the sky.

     Sam finished with the rasp while Beck stirred the stew.

     “He's gone? Your friend?” Sam rested her arms on her legs.

     “Yeah. Whatever it was that we found, it changed him. I saw his eyes.” Bern looked back down, at the other two. “He asked me to save him.”

     2 of 3 in a series of short tales by Eric Kahn, set in the Elements realm of Wilderlands. Click here for the first part, and click here for the next in the series.

     You might also like to check out these other series by Eric: A New Prophet, Dash To Chokoloskee, Times Can Be Tough and Trouble In The Water.

Realms > Mortal Realms > Elements > Wilderlands
Art > Short Story

Created by: Kahnman. Last Modification: Tuesday 23 of June, 2009 22:06:13 UTC by MMK.

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