This is my second favourite piece, wich actually depressed me after i finished it. It's ok to play with feeling while you write, but maybe i am not ready to experiment so far.
Birds of the Forest
The larimyo* was walking slowly. The noise its legs made while it walked reminded him of the good times. When everything was peaceful and normal. When merchants did not travelled with metal blades. When fear could not be smelled.
But he perfectly could. And so did his daughter, riding another larimyo in front of her. She was holding her spear steady, ready for anything that could appear from the sides.
The entire caravan was smelling it too. Merchants, travelers, people looking for a better life.
Even some mercenaries were there, but nothing that could ensure their safety.
The orange skies became while the dawn fell upon them. The people continued walking, trying to ignore the shadows the trees made at the dark forests next to them.
They started to burn some torches, to give light to the black path where they were travelling.
His daughter called him.
“Dad? what are you thinking so hardly?”
He looked at her. His only reason to exist, his more valuable treasure. When the mother died, she was the one to take care of him, while he took care of her. She was already a woman, but for him, she was still his little honey bear.
But he had to stop dreaming awake, and so he did.
“It’s dark. We should not be with torches… we should be darker than Mana. You remember… the st-”
“The stories of the birdmen*. Yes, i know them. But you seriously think they are real? You know, you never believed in this stuff, in the rumours…”
“You never believe in anything until you are in a situation that makes you do so, princess… We already passed the pile of burning corpses in the morning…”
The odor bothered their noses for kilometers until they found out where it was coming from. In a part of the path, deep into the trees, there was a lot of smoke. Some mercenaries gathered up and went to investigate. Half hour later, they came out and told the story. Other people actually went to check the story. Only to find out that it was very recent.
But now it was dark. And it could become their turn any time if they did not took the precautions needed.
“It will be ok, old man! Take my word” she said, and kissed him on the cheek. Then she advanced and he lost her.
The night came.
And the dark came to stay. The shadows were everywhere. He starting to feel tired. Tired… sleep… He was falling asleep on his ride, letting his eyes close… he could not watch much stuff anyways, the torches burned out. Only a little orange glow was letting be seen, accompanied by thin smoke. Just animal noises… little birds in the dark… maybe a scream from a creature being attacked by a predator… No. That scream was human. He incorporated on the biped being. It looked like he was really far from the last traveller of the caravan. The merchant hurried the larimyo to catch up and see what the screams were. But he already knew.
“My honey bear!” he remembered, and started to search for his daughter with the sight. But he was old, and his age made his sight the worst of his senses.
“I hear a fight”
“I hear swords”
“I hear… her”
Then, some strong hands took him and threw him to the floor. The impact was severe, and he coughed up blood. His back was feeling pain in a way it never felt before. Then, something cold and different pierced through his stomach.
People say death is cold, but he only could feel the warm blood flowing on his chest. He stared at his attacker. An anthropomorphic bird. Black eyes… black mask… it looked like a crow. An old human crow with lust for blood.
The creature took the knife from his stomach and stood up, letting him slowly die in the dirt. The noises were becoming every time quieter, slower… but a noise was heard louder than others. Dust. Dust covered his face, and he turned his head to the left. A larimyo fell, with his rider still on it. But it was not any rider.
“Dad!” cried his daughter. Tears were falling from her eyes.
He took sight of someone behind her. Another creature. He lifted his arm, and tried to talk to her, to tell her to escape… but he couldn’t. He was not fast enough. And he had to see the worst thing in his life.
Larimyo- Basically a bipedal creature that is used as horses.
Birdmen- There is a really early concept of a Birdmen (A.K.A Lost) at my drawings, i dare you to find it.