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Temporary Wallows

by Ezzi | Score: 3450

A strip of cold metal fell against the pulse of his neck. "Crystör."

"Darby."

The Cervus stood above him, both hooves around her sword because his head had come to rest on the blade. Eamon pulled all he had into every breath to get an abortive puff; Tirukai Lake throbbed with the dark of fleeing consciousness, but his body wasn't kind enough to unfetter the rest of it.

"I argued once that this wasn't a game," she said. "But you were right. It is. And you failed. Not just yourself or the Crystal Men. You failed Qe." The waves fought and pulled themselves ashore. Every time, gravity laughed, dragging the water back. Neither side had anything to win-- the waves would forever reach for more, and gravity would forever put them back.

Does it matter?

"You humans are good at one thing, and one thing only."

"Losing?"

"No." Her foot came up and weighed sharp toes into his shoulder; his blimped chest folded, fluid squeezing into the last of space along the wall of his chest. He cried. "You make good poison. The moment you stepped on Qe, you poisoned its soul, then its children. The filth you left ate away everything else."

Unbothered by the flap of skin her sword carved out of his shoulder, he dropped on his side and settled on the beach. The sand tasted like dog breath.

"We didn't deserve you!" She must have known she was losing the last ear to hear; her voice would die with him. "And now we'll have no justice, but I have this. I'll take this, and I'll savor it, Crystal Man."

His throat concaved with the effort to gather one measly gasp of air. "Do you win?"

"Win what? I don't get to bring back what I lost. Even if you parasites could save Qe's carcass, it's still a carcass."

"Then go, gasp, it's over," Eamon said, sinking and drowning in a dark lake of his own. Don't make me feel this, please. God, just take me.

Darby's face hovered about his, her snout shriveled with rage. "I'm here to watch you die." She sat down next to him, her body casting a shadow on the sunlit water rushing short of his bare foot. "You know you're the last?" He didn't reply, the thick plaster of grief finally closing off the last of his voice. "They found Vai with the Ira. They found Lilly and Joey where you left them." She laughed when his face began to collapse. "Did you expect anything less?"

A small splash drew away her attention, unfortunately. Behind her, his leg stretched as far as it could. The waters reached out and submerged his foot-- his foot, covered in all kinds of glorious, foreign substances. For a moment, Eamon thought she wouldn't connect the dots, but then she roared and tossed his leg aside. Far too late. The center of the clear lake began to stir, and columns of bubbles rose from the bottom. Darby stood up, swiping her sword across his slanted face. A hot bolt of fire skewered his left eye into his brain and he clapped a hand over his wound. She ran to what remained of the trees, seething. "You've done yourself no favors! They'll rip you apart!" 

But soon, none of that would matter, one way or another. I'll be alive or I'll be free. Eamon let out a voiceless laugh, nothing but a gush of air, and let his eyes slip closed.

Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Location A lake
Event Your character loses a game
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Sentence "He can change."
Words Reach 300 words

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