I’ve fallen behind! To catch up, I’m splitting this entry into two entries (cheating, I know) and pasting them here. Prompt: The sound of silence.
The air feels dead around me as I creep through the glade, arrow notched in my half-drawn bow. Something is wrong. There should be birds chirping, insects buzzing, and laughter from my village.
I smell the smoke a mile out, heart jumping to a rapid staccato beat. I drop the meat I’d been sent to gather, leaving it for the animals. None of this is right. Branches and bushes scratch my arms as I race through the woods, becoming one with the land, moving fluidly through the undergrowth just like my father taught me. Like a hunter.
The sight of the village stops me dead in my tracks. Huts are smoldering. Food stores are raided. My clan, my kin, my family, their bodies in bloody heaps. The panic freezes me, equal parts horror and fear wrapping their roots around my heart. This can’t be real.
I find my father first. He’s in two pieces, sliced by what looks to be a greataxe. Humanoids. I step back from my emotions, silencing them, analyzing the scene. Who did this?
There is a mixture of wounds, some from tusks, some from claws, and some from weapons. I taste the air, breathing through my mouth like a big cat, closing my eyes and zeroing in on the beast sense within me. Orcs. I can smell their unwashed stench and brackish blood. Boar, but not all boar. Wereboars. And werewolves. No, their scent is stronger. They weren’t part of the attack. Scavengers after the fact.
I center myself once more, clutching the clan token around my neck before opening my eyes once again to the scene. Bodies in one piece need to be burned. I have to make sure they don’t turn. The owls need to be called, told of the atrocity here. Perhaps they will help me get my revenge.
Time to go to work.