Blood Moon


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1. To Watch Us Fall

The knife is heavy in my hand. The hilt is rough, and the blade, hewn from the antlers of a stag, sticks out at odd angles. Eight robed figures stand around the room, the torchlight casting harsh shadows onto the stone cut altar between us.

"Good," I hear myself say, "many have come. Ram, Stag, Bear, Wolf, Boar, Eagle and Bull. But where is Fox?"

"He comes. But he may be a while yet - he brings the sacrifice."

"It is the right age?"

"I instructed the boy myself. Only a fool could go wrong."

 

"Indeed. Whilst we wait on him, we might as well-" Suddenly the doors to the cave swing open, revealing the hideous weather. Lighting forks from the foreboding sky, illuminating the figure in the doorway. The boy is soaked through to the skin, and he drags an unconscious figure through the torrential rain into the harbour of the cave. I ignore him for a moment, allowing the others to help with the sacrifice whilst I watch the storm. "Taranis reveals himself. It has been many a year since he has showed himself here." Though the dark clouds obscured the sky - or perhaps because of it - I could make out a great shape looming overhead, roaring thunder at the earth.

 

"Then he has come for us," states Boar, "the Lord Taranis has given us his blessing! He has come to watch us rise above the mere mortals!"

"Perhaps." I reply, voicing my fears, "Or perhaps he has come to watch us fall." I turn to look at my colleagues "On with the sacrifice. Is everything in place?"  As I watch him, Wolf finishes fastening the manacles that hold the prisoner to the altar.

"Just the runes now, and then everything will be ready."

"Of course, the runes." I take out my knife again and swap it into my right hand. Stepping onto the altar, I stand, blade poised to make the first rune.  As I bring it down, the prone form moves, ever so slightly, but just enough to raise my suspicions. "You did administer the drug?"

"Of course," snaps back the boy who brought him in. "What kind of fool do you take me for?"

"And he is definitely the right age?"

"For pity's sake, let's get on with it!" Still not completely reassured, I frown, but turn back to the victim.

 

As I start to mark him, everything is silent and still, even the storm that rages on outside seems distant. I decide that the victim is properly drugged and begin to relax, and then- his eyes snap open. He roars with rage and swings out his arm, knocking the knife aside. It is just then that I realise how big he is. When he was brought in I saw the boy struggling under his weight, but there was something frail and helpless about him then - now that has vanished. He raises himself to his full height and tries to speak, but his words slur. He is still under the effect of the drug. He staggers off the altar and stumbles towards the entrance of the cave door. Boar stands in his way, and is flung across the room, cracking against the cave wall. The doors to the storm outside are flung open, and the victim vanishes into the night.

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A/N I'm not really used to writing in the present tense, so if you spot any tense errors, can you point them out? A new chapter should be coming out soon. Sorry for the wait!

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